Sunday, March 14, 2021

Journalism of the Plague Year



By A.J. Liebling
Meta-Content Generator with Medical Editor Vincent Boom-Batz, M.D

It's been a full year since the country shut down in response to the worst public health crisis in a century.  This fact, shocking in itself, occasioned any number of media retrospectives.  All of them dilated on the crushing toll of human suffering and the over half million dead.  

A surprising number of them however missed one of the most salient aspects of the tale: the ineptitude and intentional misconduct of the Former Loser Grifter and his regime, which greatly increased the scale of the calamity.  

First, let's get a few facts out of the way.  The United States death rate from COVID-19, as a percentage of population, was the fifth highest in the world, notwithstanding our nation's riches and medical sophistication.

Here are the hard numbers from Johns Hopkins University:

The actual numbers are kinda small on this plot, so here's a few that will help us do the arithmetic.  The U.S. has lost 532,590 souls as of March 13, representing a mortality rate of 162.79 per 100,000.

Through the miracle of fractions, we can calculate how many we would have lost if we had had the lower mortality rates of other advanced countries.  

Let's start with our friend Germany, where the death rate per 100,000 was 88.45, about half of ours.  Had we been blessed with this death rate, we would have lost only 289,376 persons and 243,213 Americans would still be breathing.

Germany's totally different, you may say.  To which we say first, why, and, second, let's look at our frosty neighbor to the North, Canada, where the death rate was 60.44.  At that rate, we would have lost only 197,737 and 334,853 of our fellow citizens would still be walking around.

By the way, the mortality rate for Japan was 6.73. At that rate, only 22,018 Americans would have died from COVID, and 510,571 not.

So we would contend that one of the biggest stories of the plague year was the hundred of thousands of Americans who died needlessly due to the inept and often counterproductive response of the Former Loser Grifter Administration.  Hydrochloroquine, anyone?

So did the media focus on this appalling fact?  

Well, some more than others.  You're up, NBC Nightly News:

You can watch for yourself, but we didn't hear one f***kin' word about the role of the FLG regime in making a bad situation so much worse.  Frankly, Lester, we care less about your newsroom than we do about the failure of government to save our lives.  And while NBC did cover the hunger and poverty caused or exacerbated by COVID, it didn't think the political response to this agony was worth mentioning.

Over at the Tiffany Network, there was a sound bite of this idiot predicting 120,000 dead



and a glancing reference at unnamed “stumbles” in response, but nothing more specific, like drinking bleach or more generally the failure of the Former Loser Grifter to set an example by wearing masks and socially distancing and generally not behaving like a clueless inept narcissistic corrupt Russian stooge.

Since we are examining the response of news media, we can pass over right-wing bullsh*t volcanoes like Fox “News,” except to point out that one year later they are still doing their level batsh*t crazy best to kill off their audience:

The whole flaming mess is just a Death Cult for Rupie.

To be fair, the scriveners did a little better.  Here's the Newspaper of Record:

Mr. Biden signed the landmark legislation and scheduled his speech a year to the day after Mr. Trump declared from the Oval Office, in an early indication of what became a catastrophically misguided pattern of denying the reality of what faced the United States and the world, that a “low risk” coronavirus pandemic would amount to nothing more than “a temporary moment in time.”

That's not so hard, Lester and Nora.  Is it?

And here's The Washington Post:

It will be a cold hard fact, as evidenced by 500,000 tombstones and counting, that a nation President Donald Trump declared “more prepared” than any other has clocked the globe’s largest death toll, becoming a symbol of deadly hubris and apathy. A mad scramble for personal protective equipment and ventilators betrayed a lack of preparation, even as a sort of toxic masculinity sickened health policy.

But the clearest recounting of the catastrophe that unfolded over the last 12 months came from not from self-proclaimed journalists but from the late-night patrol.

Seth Myers reminded us that the source of so-much suffering was the “sociopathic incompetence” of the Former Loser Grifter Administration and the FLG himself who “often did everything he could to spread the disease.”

That's not even opinion, that's just the facts, people.

Meanwhile, Stephen Colbert said that the nation's leaders had failed to respond to the pandemic, and noted the irony of the Former Loser Grifter opposing masks because he “should be ashamed to show his face in public.”

All of which leads to (not begs, ffs) the question: why do we have to get the straight story from late-night comedians?  It's like the old Russian joke about their Communist-era newspapers, Truth and News:  “In the Truth there is no news and in the News there is no truth.”

The massive unnecessary loss of life caused by the failure of government at all levels to respond properly to this pandemic isn't an opinion or a joke.  

It's the Awful Truth.  And it's also the news.

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