Four More Examples of Media Bias

Four More Examples of Media Bias

The media is distorting everything that comes out of the Trump administration. Here are four examples from just the last few days.

Last Thursday, the New York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today obnoxiously proclaimed: “’Science should not stand in the way’ of schools reopening, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany says.” What did McEnany actually say? “You look at the JAMA pediatric study of 46 pediatric hospitals in North America that said the risk of critical illness from COVID is far less for children than the seasonal flu. The science is on our side here.” Clearly, McEnany was arguing that the science doesn’t justify continued school closures. 

When Trump claimed in an interview on Fox News on Sunday that “Biden wants to defund the police,” host Chris Wallace admonished, “Sir, he does not.” Trump cited the charter that Joe Biden had signed with Bernie Sanders, but he should have mentioned Biden’s response in a July 8th interview when journalist Ady Barkan wanted to know: “The leaders of Black Lives Matter . . . believe that the solution is to reduce the number of interactions that civilians have with the police. We can reduce the responsibilities assigned to the police and redirect some of the funding for police into social services, mental health counseling, and affordable housing. . . . Are you open to that kind of reform?” Biden responded: “Yes, I proposed that kind of reform.”

Again, Ady Barkan asked, “Do we agree that we can redirect some of the funding?” Biden emphatically answered, “Yes, absolutely.”

A week earlier, PolitiFact awarded a “mostly false” rating to Vice President Mike Pence’s similar statement that Biden would “absolutely cut funding for law enforcement.” The fact-checker explained, “Biden also said he is open to redirecting some police funding to social services, but he has stated opposition to fully defunding the police.” But Pence never said that Biden wanted to fully defund the police, he merely said that the former vice president would “absolutely cut funding.”

Politifact also said that Biden “has proposed more funding for community policing and using federal funding to incentivize police reform.” But nowhere in any recent interview has Biden suggested increased funding for police.

Chris Wallace couldn’t give Trump a break in their interview, declaring on the subject of coronavirus: “We have the seventh highest mortality rate in the world. Our mortality rate is higher than Brazil, it’s higher than Russia, and the European Union has us on a travel ban.” But no acknowledgment was made that the United States counts coronavirus deaths very differently than other countries. 

“I think in this country we’ve taken a very liberal approach to mortality,” White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx recently noted. “If someone dies with COVID-19, we are counting that as a COVID-19 death.” Incredibly, a motorcyclist who dies in an accident is added to the coronavirus death toll simply by virtue of testing positive for the disease, even if the virus had nothing to do with the accident. 

Some countries go to the other extreme, declining to count a death as COVID-related if any other cause can be listed. As Birx explained, “Let’s say the virus caused you to go to the ICU and then have a heart or kidney problem… some countries are recording [that] as a heart issue or a kidney issue and not a COVID-19 death.”

On Friday, CNN ran the headline: “Ex-Trump economist concedes White House was warned of potential pandemic disaster in Sept.” In fact, the CEA advised the White House about what to do if a pandemic hit, but did not give any warning about the pandemic that struck later that year. The White House later used this report’s guidance to put Operation Warp Speed into effect quickly, a program to speed-develop vaccines. Instead of the 10 to 15 years it normally takes to develop a vaccine, following the CEA report, the vaccine may take just 12 months. But CNN would rather not tell you that.

If people can’t get past the headlines or bother to look at original sources, they will conclude the Trump administration was incredibly irresponsible, out of touch, and anti-science. The opposite is true, but media from CNN to Fox News are ganging up on Trump. And people wonder why President Trump finds it necessary to Tweet.

John R. Lott, Jr.

John Lott Jr. is the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and the author of the new book “Gun Control Myths.”

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