Reading the New York Times has always required a decoder ring. What this editorial tells me is that the ruling class that did this to this country and the world knows that it is on the losing side of history. They are scrambling fast to dial it back while preserving what they can of their dignity and credibility, both of which are mostly shot.
The first step should be to correct errors, a minimal obligation of all ethical journalism. A second step requires more balanced reporting about the pandemic by, for example, honestly reporting about the success of the pandemic strategies employed by Florida and the Scandinavian countries. The alternative is a continuing erosion of trust in medicine and public health.
If these rules are strenuously enforced, millions of videos, interviews, television shows, lectures, press conferences, and scientific presentations will disappear. Maybe tens of millions actually. And all in the name of protecting “science” against its corruption, as if YouTube should be the determinant of what constitutes good science.
A person who is convinced that making green tea causes it to rain isn’t going to be open-minded toward a lecture on atmospheric science and cloud formation. Similarly, based on the above examples, South Korea’s case increases are due to too much freedom, a virus caused 100,000 to die of drug overdoses, and the president can crush a pathogen with behavioral guidelines and mandates.
Ultimately picking weak spokespeople is a broader strategy that undermines debate itself and encourages rampant groupthink, which itself is the defining quality of our media response. If you pick a weak debater to argue the other side, it makes it easy for you to entrench in your own pre-existing belief. It is a cheap tactic.
After quite consciously using the enormous moral and rhetorical force of the government and media to label a third to a half of its own citizens as social pariahs, the Biden Administration is now working hand-in-glove with the country’s large corporations to destroy these same citizens’ standing as fully empowered citizens through the destruction of their livelihoods.
We find ourselves in an emergency situation. The world is tottering between two visions of human life. One centers on freedom and all its creativity, including cities, arts, friendships, technology, and great lives. The other centers on despotism and the relentless drive back to a state of nature: foraging for food, living in rural settings, stuck in one place, and dying young.