The Mainstream Media Slowly Backpedals

The Mainstream Media Slowly Backpedals

The Brownstone Institute |

Mark Oshinskie

Early in my legal career, I handled many one-day trials. Late one afternoon, I returned to my office. Still wearing my suit and carrying my briefcase, I passed the open office door of a senior colleague named Ben. He called out to me, “How’d you do today?”

I stood in his doorway and replied, “Not good. I couldn’t get their witness to admit what I wanted him to.”

Ben smiled and said, “You’ve watched too much TV. You expect the witness to break down on the stand and admit everything, as grim music plays in the background. That won’t happen. You have to treat every adverse witness as someone who starts with a handful of credibility chips. You let him say whatever he wants and make himself look dishonest saying it. Ideally, he trades those chips in, one-by-one, and leaves the stand without any chips in his hand.”

This made sense. Thereafter, I adjusted my expectations and structured my questions accordingly. 

Media outlets and writers who fomented Coronamania have, over the past two years or so, been retreating slowly from the fear and loathing they began brewing up in March, 2020. They’ve calculated that a Covid-weary, distractable public won’t remember most of what they said earlier in the Scamdemic. 

Last Friday, in two, paired articles, New York Times writers Apoorva Mandavilli and David Leonhardt continue this strategically slow retreat from the Covid lies they’ve sponsored. For the first time, they acknowledge that maybe the shots they’ve praised have caused a few of what jab-o-philic readers will dismiss as minor injuries. 

As he begins his summary of Mandavilli’s theme, Leonhardt admits that the notion that vaxx injuries occurred makes him “uncomfortable.” He’s not expressing discomfort about the injuries themselves. He’s concerned that the vaxx critics might be proven correct. 

Why would a self-described “independent journalist” be made uncomfortable by facts? What’s so repugnant about simply calling balls and strikes? Why does Leonhardt have a rooting interest? What’s so hard about admitting he’s been wrong, not just about the shots, but about all of the Covid anxiety he and his employer have incited throughout the past three-plus years? 

Bear this in mind: In early 2021, Leonhardt went on a 1,600-mile road trip to get injected as early as he could. David, kinda neurotic and def not climate friendly.

Admitting error—or outright complicity with the Scam—during the Covid overreaction would entail losses of face and credibility. After all the harm the media has done, those consequences would be just and proper. 

To avoid this result, the media and bureaucrats are backpedaling slowly to try to change their views without too many people noticing. In so doing, they’re very belatedly adopting the views of those, like me, who from Day 1, called out the hysteria driving, and the downsides to, the Covid overreaction. 

But while they’ve incrementally changed parts of their message, they hold tightly to the central, false narrative that Covid was a terrible disease that indiscriminately killed millions. The Covophobes continue to falsely credit the Covid injections for “saving millions of lives” and “preventing untold misery.” 

Times readers are a skewed, pro-jab sample. Thus, about half of the 1,000+ commenters adopt Mandavilli and Leonhardt’s mythology that, even if the shots injured people, they were a net positive in a world facing a universally vicious killer. Relying on that false premise, these columnists and the commenters assert that no medical intervention is risk-free and that a few metaphorical eggs were inevitably broken while making the mass vaccination omelet. In their view, such injuries are a cost of doing business. 

To begin with, where was such risk/reward analysis when the lockdowns and school closures were being put in place? 

Moreover, the Times writers and most pro-jab commenters pretentiously and inappropriately claim the mantle of “Science.” To many, modern medicine is a religion and “vaccines” are a sacrament. Their pro-vaxx faith is unshakable. But these ostensible Science devotees unreasonably overlooked Covid’s clearest empirical trend: SARS-CoV-2 did not threaten healthy, non-old people. Therefore, neither non-pharmaceutical interventions (“NPIs”) nor shots should have been imposed upon those not at risk. The NPI and shot backers weren’t Scientists. They were Pseudo-Scientists.

The Times’s stubborn, apocalyptic Covid narrative and pro-vaxx message has never squared with what I’ve seen with my own eyes. After four years in Covid Ground Zero, high-density New Jersey, and despite having a large social sphere, I still directly know no one who has died from this virus. I indirectly know of only five—relatives of acquaintances—said to have been killed by it. Each ostensible viral victim fits the profile that’s been clear since February, 2020: very old and unhealthy, dying with, not from, symptoms common to all respiratory virus infections, following a very unreliable diagnostic test. 

Countering the intransigent shot backers, hundreds of commenters to the Mandavilli piece describe non-lethal injuries they sustained shortly after injecting. But both articles, and many commenters to the Mandavilli article, emphasize that “correlation isn’t causation.” 

The persuasiveness of correlation is typically questioned only when one would viscerally prefer not to apply Occam’s razor and adopt the most straightforward explanation for symptoms that began shortly after injection. I suspect that, in their personal dealings, those who say “correlation isn’t causation” seldom believe in coincidences. 

I directly know six people who’ve had significant health setbacks shortly after taking the shots, including one death. These seem like too many coincidences. Further, what would provide convincing proof of vaxx injury causation? Autopsies are, perhaps strategically, rare. Having done litigation, I know experts will always disagree about causation if they’re paid well enough. And ultimately, doesn’t the cited “millions saved” study assume that correlation is causation? 

While the peremptory assertions that the shots saved millions of lives are very questionable and poorly supported, many who read these statements will cite these as gospel because “millions” is a memorable, albeit speculative and squishy figure, and because, well, the New York Times said so! 

While the columnists use this phony stat to justify mass vaccination, only one in five-thousand of those infected—nearly all of them very old and/or very sick or killed iatrogenically—had died “of Covid” before VaxxFest began. The vast majority of these deceased were likely to die soon, virus or no. 

Thus, how can one say that the shots saved millions of lives? For how long were they saved? And did those who conducted the cited “millions of deaths” study believe they’d get future—professional lifeblood—grants if they didn’t find that the shots saved millions of lives?

Further, Mandavilli and Leonhardt never acknowledge—and may not even know of—the statistical sleight-of-hand that’s been used throughout by the jab pushers. I’ve described these tricks in prior posts. For example, there was “healthy vaccinee bias:” those who administered the shots strategically declined to inject those who were so frail that the shots’ systemic shock might kill them. And those who injected weren’t counted as “vaxxed” until 42 days after their first shot. As the shots initially suppressimmunity and disrupt bodies, one should expect the shots to increase deaths in the weeks after the shot regimen begins. Injectees who died within this initial 42 days were falsely categorized as “unvaxxed.” 

FWIW, my wife and I and all other non-vaxxers I know have predictably been fine. The shots didn’t save any of our lives or keep us out of the hospital. Our immune systems did. “The Virus’s” lethality was badly overhyped. 

And more medical intervention doesn’t necessarily improve health. To the contrary, and especially regarding the shots, less is often more. 

While Mandavilli and others blame “vitriolic” anti-vaxxers for discouraging vaxx and booster uptake, vaxx failure itself more strongly discouraged injections than did anything any anti-vaxxer said. The government and media repeatedly touted the shots as “safe and effective” and guaranteed that they would “stop infection and spread.” Montages of these clips are likely still on the Net. Yet, countless injectees—including all injectees whom I know—have gotten sick, several times each. 

Consequently, jabbers felt lied to. Based on such directly observable data of vaxx failure and experiencing or seeing vaxx injuries, and without reading studies or conducting courtroom trials, the public made its own observations and rendered its negative verdict about vaxx efficacy and safety by declining vaxx “boosters.” Besides, if anti-vaxxers held such sway over public opinion that they could stop people from taking boosters, their initial warnings would have stopped people from taking the initial shots. 

Importantly, and by extension, as we skeptics were right about the shots, we were also right when we criticized the lockdowns, school closures, masks, and tests that have been articles of Coronamanic faith. A recent CDC study so has so concluded. 

Many of NPI and shot backers have taken refuge in “We-Couldn’t-Have-Known-ism.” But millions, including me, did know, based on widely available information, that the NPIs and shots were bad ideas. And as we knew that only the old and ill were at risk and that the NPIs would cause great harm, those who are very belatedly admitting that “mistakes were made” not only also could have known; they should have known. Their failure to know reveals either a willful, opportunistic, tribalistic disregard of plainly observable information or a lack of intelligence. 

Throughout the Scamdemic, Mandavilli and Leonhardt have belatedly, incrementally changed their disproven views. Their untenable alternative was to persist with a plainly failed narrative and trade in their credibility chips, issue-by-issue. But they’re doing so slowly to evade responsibility for being wrong when it mattered. 

For example, for two years, Mandavilli strongly supported keeping schoolkids home. Similarly, 41 months after the Scamdemic began, Leonhardt quoted, with apparent surprise, an “expert” who says that Covid deaths correlate closely with old age. By the time they made these concessions, most of the public already knew that the columnists’ notions were wrong to begin with.

It also took Leonhardt 41 months to admit that Covid deaths were significantly overcounted. But, as when drivers who exhale a 0.25% blood alcohol level say they “only had a couple of beers,” neither Leonhardt nor the rest of the Covid-crazed will admit how much these numbers were strategically inflated. 

Leonhardt had also backed Paxlovid, which has long since been widely devalued. 

And Leonhardt very belatedly admitted that natural immunity follows infection and confers immunity: first to individuals, then to the group. By so conceding, he was merely validating a basic epidemiological principle—herd immunity—that was widely accepted before March, 2020 but, from 2020-22, was used to vilify those who stated it. 

Further, while Leonhardt and Mandavilli continue to sell the phony “Pandemic of the Unvaccinated” narrative, far more vaxxed, than unvaxxed people have died with Covid.

Conspicuously, Mandavilli and Leonhardt also fail to mention that hundreds of thousands have suffered apparent vaxx injuries or deaths from heart attacks, strokes, or cancers and that overall deaths have increased in highly vaxxed nations. Thus, when one considers all causes of death, the shots seem to have caused a net loss, not gain, in life span.

The Times writers ignore the tens of thousands of American post-vaxx deaths listed in the user-unfriendly, and therefore underused, VAERS database and the excess death increases in the most highly vaxxed nations in 2021-22. Unlike the vaxx injured, who are still alive, dead vaccinees tell no tales. Nor do most of their survivors because, as with families who’ve lost a young man in a war, those left to mourn don’t want to believe that their beloved has died avoidably or in vain. The reluctance to attribute deaths to the shots is particularly acute if the bereaved encouraged the decedent to inject. 

While Mandavilli and Leonhardt now begrudgingly report that the shots may not, despite all of the ads and bureaucratic assurances, have been so safe after all, conceding that the shots have killed people is a bridge too far. At least for now. 

But the Overton window has been opened. Thus, the media backpedaling will continue, albeit slowly. Vaxx injuries and NPI-induced damage are not emerging trends. They’re established trends that deserve much more coverage than they’ve received. The lockdown/mask/test/vaxx supporters have been thoroughly wrong throughout. They have no credibility chips left. 

I derive little satisfaction from watching their pro-vaxx/NPI case crumble. Firstly, unlike in a courtroom, where judges and juries are, at least in theory, focused on what witnesses say, most people’s attention is too scattered to notice the Covid fear-mongers’ reversals. The media’s retreat has occurred very slowly. As the backtracking fear-mongers have cynically calculated, the public’s Covid fatigue will blunt anti-media anger. 

Secondly, these media’s concessions come far too late to have much practical benefit. Team Mania’s social, economic, and political objectives were accomplished in 2020-22. Sadly, this damage is permanent.

Nonetheless, in order to discourage additional public health, political, and economic chicanery and oppression, we must continue to say what’s true: the Scamdemic was a massive, opportunistic overreaction that most people were too naive to apprehend. 

Truth is intrinsically valuable. Regardless of outcome, telling the truth is our obligation to posterity. 

Source: Substack

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