Sunday, March 29, 2020

Still Baffled About COVID-19

I still cannot tell what's going on.
   The media is in hysterics. Either everything is going to hell in a handbasket, or it's fearmongering of Biblical proportions. Inclusive 'or', I suppose...
   Even given my extremely low opinion of the mainstream media, it's difficult for me to believe that they'd do this sort of thing. OTOH, they seemed to completely lose their minds when Trump was elected. If their reporting here is in any way analogous to Russiagate...well, I suppose it really can't be that bad unless they're just making up the body count. Which I can't believe.
   But the dismissive downplaying of the plague in its early stages, the by-now-predictable accusations of racism and xenophobia against anyone who took it seriously (my God how much time and energy and attention do we waste on such cultish bullshit?) then the accusations that Trump (and Trump pretty much alone) did too little...the automatic disagreement with and criticism of everything Trump has done at every stage...the heroification of Cuomo (and the breathless speculation that maybe he would save the Dems from Biden...).
   Trump, of course, is Trump. He does not exactly inspire confidence. Much of what he says, and many of the ways he says it, just make things worse. One could go on. His spastic, inarticulate inaccuracies are force-multipliers for the virus. It continues to alarm me that no one in his administration nor his family (but I repeat myself) can even talk him into just shutting up about stuff he doesn't absolutely have to talk about. Of course he does turn out to be right a surprising amount of the time, with the chloroquine incident merely being the most recent. And closing the borders, of course, which he pulled the trigger on faster than others did and would have. Imagine how well he'd be doing if he could do that sort of thing without sowing uncertainty and confusion...
   But it still seems to me that the other side is worse--though I'm wary of comparative judgments. Has American journalism really gone so far down the shitter that it's, basically, rooting for a plague? I have to say, it kinda seems so. There's the relentless emphasis on statistics that make things seem worse--total deaths instead of e.g. per capita deaths. There's lavish praise for Germany, but typically no mention of the fact that our mortality rate is similar to theirs (or was until recently?). Uncritical acceptance of the numbers reported by the Chicoms...because totalitarians always tell the truth, and they certainly haven't lied to us about this so  far... Uncritical reporting of Cuomo's claims about ventilators...barely any coverage of the fact that he'd stuck 1,000 into a storeroom and was, apparently, lying about them. The report yesterday that hospital admissions had fallen was completely ignored...did it turn out to be false? If so, I didn't hear it--nobody mentioned the report at all.
   The nature of the coverage, combined with what we already know about the MSM, makes it, in my view, unlikely that they're painting an accurate picture. Even if they are, I think they deserve blame for being completely unreliable. They've become so unreliable that we can't know to what extent we should believe them. And that's a very bad position to be in under the (apparently) prevailing conditions.
   Anyway. This'd all be bad enough if we had a reliable media. It's much worse without.


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