Media Fear-Mongering With Covid, Politics, Life

By: Frank Hyden

-The Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 last night to win the World Series in 6 games. I’m seeing a lot of stories about a player, Justin Turner, who was pulled from the game for testing positive for the Coronavirus. He later celebrated on the field and people are freaking out because he took off his mask. My personal belief is that the Coronavirus is one of the most overhyped events in recent, and probably even not so recent, history. The IFR for Covid-19 is about halfway down this page. The current best estimates the CDC makes right now are-

0-19 years: 0.00003
20-49 years: 0.0002
50-69 years: 0.005
70+ years: 0.054

Now these numbers could be off, they’re estimates after all. However, you would have to multiply these many many many times in order to reach anything close to what the media acts like Covid-19 is. The data is clear to me, those most at risk are the elderly or those with compromised immune systems. Those are the people we need to protect. For those under the age of 50 years old, 200 will die for every 1 million infected. 1 is too many but we shut the country down for this?

The CDC has said that only 6% of the Covid-19 deaths list Covid-19 as the sole cause, the other 94% list on average 2.5 other causes. It’s been argued that this is how you’re supposed to fill out death certificates, that Covid causes respiratory failure, organ shutdown, etc.

However, here’s a case where a man who died in a motorcycle crash while being positive for Covid-19 is counted among the dead.

Here’s a story from May talking about this but there’s a pertinent part about halfway down or so.

“In April, the state’s Director of Public Health Dr. Ngozi Ezike told a coronavirus news briefing that the state’s COVID-19 death toll was counting those who died of “a clear alternate cause” but had the virus at the same time.

“So, everyone who’s listed as a COVID death doesn’t mean that that was the cause of the death, but they had COVID at the time of the death,” she said.”

A few paragraphs later it mentions she clarified her comments the next day.

The next day, Ezike offered clarification. She told reporters that Illinois was not counting those whose COVID-19 infection had nothing to do with their death.

“We are trying to make sure that things that aren’t related at all to the COVID diagnosis are removed, but if someone has another illness, like heart disease, and then had a stroke or other event, it’s not as easy to separate that and say COVID didn’t exacerbate that existing illness. That would not be removed from the count,” she said.

This article also mentions that a lot of states count presumed Covid-19 deaths, even if they don’t know for sure. That brings up another thing, some people believe that the actual death toll is underreported, they believe the numbers are higher. Now, of course, that gets widely discussed in the media while any talk of overreporting the numbers gets quickly swept under the rug and “debunked”. I put that in quotation marks because they never actually do any reporting or journalism on this, they just say it’s absurd and cite some doctors or websites who say that would never happen and ignore doctors and websites who say otherwise.

The problem with all this is the over-politicization of the news and media. You take one of two viewpoints, depending on your political lean, and you do everything you can to either strengthen your side or dismiss the other side. We don’t have real news organizations anymore. The media is divided into those two groups, liberal and conservative. This is completely true at the national level, though your local news can be actual news journalists. National news, though, is biased without question. ABC, CBS, and NBC are liberal-leaning. On cable, CNN and MSNBC are extremely liberal while FOX News is generally much more conservative. You can start listing websites- Yahoo, Google, Twitter, Facebook, etc. are all very liberal. You’ll never see a positive story about President Trump on any of those sites or networks (except FOX News), even when he does something good. Trump has helped He’s helped normalize and strengthen relations between Israel and several Mideastern countries. How is this reported on by places like The AP, Washington Post, Business Insider, and I’m sure many others? Not well.

They don’t want to give Trump credit for anything, even when he does something well. Conversely, there are those on the right who don’t want to criticize Trump, even when he does something wrong. Things have become too polarized, it’s hard to get the truth from anywhere. A lot of times these places don’t even put much effort into hiding their biases. Instead, they ratchet up the rhetoric. Everything becomes life and death. Everything becomes, “They’re going to take your -insert issue here-!”. Usually it’s guns, freedom, rights, etc. and it leads to people having actual mental breakdowns on camera and posting it to social media, where they get gladhanded and backslapped by their insular little bubble, their echo chamber, while the other side derides them and makes fun of them mercilessly. Both sides are “the good guys” in their own mind, regardless of the issue. This leads to actual segregation in places, one place for whites and one for non-whites. It leads to celebrities saying that black people can’t vote for Trump because they’re black, that women can’t vote for Trump because they’re women.

Things are going to reach a peak on Election Day. There’s going to be full-scale riots no matter what happens. If Trump wins, the left is going to go crazy and march on everywhere. They haven’t accepted 2016, they’re sure as hell not going to accept Trump winning in 2020. If Biden wins, the right is going to go crazy and march on everywhere. No matter what happens, the losing side is going to protest and say the winner cheated. These protests will turn to riots and burning and looting places.

The saying is that there’s 3 sides to every story, my side, your side, and the truth. The media (news media in particular but just media in general) has failed us spectacularly by only presenting one side to us. What that side is depends on what place you’re talking about. Most news media gives you the Left side. A small portion gives you the Right side. Very few, if any, give you the Truth and none that I know of give you all 3 sides. Hell, I’d settle for getting 2 sides. Give me the Left and the Truth, or the Right and the Truth. Or the Left and the Right.

What I’m hoping for is that whoever the loser is doesn’t ratchet things up even further. Because we know for damn sure that the media will do that. The media gets rich off of our fear and anger and hatred. That’s why they feed it and foster it and spread it. That’s why they make their clickbait bullshit. They don’t care if it’s accurate or fair, they just care if you click on it or not. They want to get rich with your hateclicks or hateviews. I hope I’m wrong, but it feels like they’re tearing this country apart and they don’t care one bit. Maybe I’m just too caught up in things and it won’t be as bad as I think. I hope so.

Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at hydenfrank@gmail.com and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank

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