WSJ: Has there been in recent history a more tendentious, hysterical, data-denying and frankly disreputable exercise in misdirection than the way in which much of America’s media has covered the Covid-19 epidemic?
Perhaps we can forgive them the endless repetition of pandemic porn; the selectively culled stories of tragedy about otherwise completely healthy young people succumbing to the virus. While we know that the chances of someone under 30 being killed by Covid are very slim, we know too that news judgments have always favored the exceptional and horrific over the routine and unremarkable.
Perhaps we can even forgive them the rapidly shifting headlines—each one shouting with absolute certitude—about the basic facts of the virus and its context: its lethality and transmissibility, the merits of mask-wearing, or the effectiveness of this or that therapy. The science is evolving, and so too is the reporting.
But there are larger representations of this massive and complex story that we should mark as simply unforgivable.
First, the notion, implicit or at times explicit, in so much of the reporting, that the U.S. handling of the pandemic has been a globally unique failure. This is quickly ascribed to the ignorance and malevolence of the Clorox-injecting, quack-cure-peddling bozo in the White House.
The death toll in the U.S. stands at around 500 per million people. That is significantly higher than in Germany or Japan, for example, but still some way below the U.K., Italy, Spain and several other European countries. Among the Group of Seven nations, America is right in the middle. more