Anyone with an objective lens must concede that having Donald Trump as president during a pandemic was a recipe for disaster and that the coordination of any organized response would be botched. With this in mind, I think all world leaders were caught by surprise during the pandemic; it’s difficult to find examples of good leadership, the only ones coming to mind are Taiwan and to an extent New Zealand. On that note, it was rather easy to quarantine a country like New Zealand; not such a simple tasks in the US or any EU member state that now has porous borders.
What has been most troublesome about Trump’s presidency is how utterly insane the media class have reacted to him, putting all priorities and morality aside, even human lives as in the case of Andrew Cuomo, New York’s now discredited governor.
I would agree that responsibility for a pandemic falls under the commander in chief, yet in a country like America I don’t think it’s fair to pin every single death to the president’s lapel as many critics have. Of course, covid deaths will magically disappear from focus in January under Joe Biden’s leadership as I guarantee those figures won’t appear on any CNN chyron! It’s a convenient double standard most exemplified in the case of Andrew Cuomo.
The Total Avoidance of Andrew Cuomo’s Poor Leadership Are Evidence of the Toxicity of our Media Class
As of this writing, Andrew Cuomo is under fire for allegedly undercounting Covid deaths during his tenure as New York governor. Not only is he facing critique for the pandemic but he is now under fire for various sexual harassment allegations.
In addition to being charged with falsyfing data, Cuomo is also guilty of inept mismanagement of the pandemic from the start. Now, to extend him some small credit, the East Coast was rocked the hardest by the pandemic and New York happens to have one of the highest population concentrations. For this reason, Covid figures will be disproportionate when compared to less population dense states like Texas or Arizona. It’s convenient for those on the right to forget that the East Coast was a unique situation having been hit earlier and being heavily populated making governing decisions bound to result in failure.
Given the above, the approval by Andrew Cuomo to place Covid positive patients in nursing homes is an asinine decision beyond belief. Could one think of a worse place to put these patients except in enclosed spaces with the most vulnerable and physically weak in our society who also happen to be the most susceptible to death by the virus?
If we lived in a normal society, which we are far from, this would be enough to unseat Cuomo there and then. At least, that’s what should have happened. The sad truth, which one half of the country won’t ever admit, is that Donald Trump had no influence on this decision by Cuomo, meaning these deaths fall clearly in the governor’s lap (among other things apparently falling there).
The problem here is that Cuomo’s mismanagement of the crisis is old news for anyone who doesn’t pay attention to mainstream media outlets. Only conservative and independent news sources have been reporting very consistently on the nursing home issue in New York going all the way back to early April. If you disagree, read on to see how the mainstream journalism community as a whole went out of their way to praise Cuomo for his handling of the crisis.
I am heavily critical of mainstream journalism, understood as major news outlets (CNN, MSNBC) and Twitter, for the simple fact that partisanship supersedes, it appears, even moral decisions such as the lives of innocent people. Besides the conservative and independent media outlets, where were all the highly paid journalists at CNN, New York Times, and the Washington Post covering the nursing home deaths in New York? We now know there was even a cover up, why did it take almost a year to find that out? My understanding of a journalist is someone who exposes the truth, even when it hurts or goes against your own “team.” Not only were these news outlets eerily silent about the nursing home issue, they chose to double down on the absurd instead, praising Andrew Cuomo for his amazing leadership!
Heaps of Praise for Andrew Cuomo
In the backwards reality that we live in, those who screw up and make mistakes with a “D” next to their name are praised by members of their elite circle until they aren’t politically useful anymore, and we the audience, are expected to lap it up.
Lest you think I’m exaggerating, when Ted Cruz (no big fan) made the terrible decision to fly to Cancun during the power outage in Texas, the media had no problem rightfully criticizing him for a terrible lapse in judgement. Someone even sent a mariachi band to his home as a reminder of this faux pas. Now just imagine for a brief moment if both sides of the aisle were subject to such levels of scrutiny, after all Cuomo’s mismanagement of the pandemic are far graver than what Cruz did. But we don’t live in anything closely resembling a balanced political landscape so rather than punishment for poor behavior, Cuomo was rewarded with praise.
Instead of any actual investigative reporting by “journalists” last spring, Americans instead were treated to a video aired May 22 with Andrew Cuomo and his brother Chris making casual banter all while, without exaggeration, people were literally dying under the governor’s watch. If Cuomo had any integrity he would have resigned for his poor handling of the crisis there and then. Such a decision would have made no sense because in the media’s eyes Andrew Cuomo was a national hero. As I’ll outline, there is no incentive for a politician like Cuomo to leave when the entire media apparatus will run cover for him (until he is no longer politically useful).
The heaps of praise didn’t just end with favorable media interviews. The level of corruption is actually quite astounding: due to his bravery during the pandemic Andrew Cuomo received the International Emmy Founders Award for his daily televised briefings on the coronavirus pandemic.
For those who still argue the term “liberal” media is an AM radio talking point, I would direct your attention to the treatment of Andrew Cuomo during the pandemic. It’s a clearcut example of how journalism on both sides of the aisle has turned into nothing other than propaganda pure and simple. How else can one justify such an award?
If that weren’t bad enough, Andrew Cuomo also somehow found the time to pen a book: American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Think about that. In the middle of a pandemic, with people in his own state dying unnecessarily due to poor leadership decisions, Cuomo chose to capitalize off the crisis. This is an example of crony capitalism at its finest where the term public servant has lost any semblance of meaning. Capitalizing off the pandemic in a leadership is egregious enough, sadly we only discover now, in yet another case of too little, too late, that Cuomo was fudging the fatality numbers so his book would make him look better.
Not only did Cuomo get the entire media apparatus to defend his poor leadership during the pandemic, not only did he try to profit from the situation, not only did Andrew Cuomo then attempt to cover up the fatalities, they even changed the name of the Tappan Zee bridge to honor him. I don’t know anything about Mr. or Mrs. Zee but always enjoyed saying the name out loud, it had a certain catch to it, like Mr. Bob Dobalina. What a disgrace that our society rushed to quickly name the bridge after such an incompetent and corrupt politician.
The level of media bias right now is simply bad for our society and country as a whole. Not only does it alienate half the country, it breeds cynicism for anyone who can see through the charade. Just imagine what better leaders we would have if someone like Cuomo received the same treatment that Donald Trump did during his 4 years as president? Going back to Ted Cruz, just imagine if Democratic leaders were held to the same standards. In the case of Cuomo there would be no book, no bridge, and no joking around with his equally inept brother on CNN.
Disagree the Media is Biased? See How Well “Journalists” Did Their Job Reporting on Cuomo’s Handling of the Crisis
The difference between an activist and journalist is that a journalist digs into facts in an effort to find the truth, even when it may go against “their team.” An activist, on the other hand, ignores the truth to push a narrative, because “their team” being right, especially from a moral standpoint, matters far more than even the truth.
The reporting of Andrew Cuomo’s leadership during the pandemic is a clear case of the above at work. We didn’t get reporting, we got activism, which is unhealthy for society. The narrative was quite simple: only Donald Trump is to blame for the mismanagement of the pandemic and Democrat leaders cannot be at fault for their decisions because they are the good guys, after all, so instead of any scrutiny, they should be praised.
The examples below serve as abundant proof of this narrative at work. Read through the massive praise Andrew Cuomo received and ask yourself, should I trust the judgement of these so-called journalists? (Credit goes to The Daily Wire for these examples which are behind a paywall so I have shared them for the purpose of illustrating this point.)
“Measure the data. Act on the data. Readjust on the data. Such a rational approach to governance is entirely beyond Trump’s capabilities, which is one reason he is uniquely unfit to govern during a health emergency.” – Jennifer Rubon, Washington Post
“These [Andrew Cuomo] press conferences are chicken soup for the soul. He’s setting an example of rising above partisanship and seeking cooperation when America needs it most. Such a contrast between Cuomo press conferences and the Trumpaganda we get from the Liar-in-Chief” – Ana Navarro, CNN
“I’m watching an [Andrew Cuomo] coronavirus briefing from start to finish for the first time and I have to say that this is the first time in this whole crisis I’ve felt completely confident that someone in government has the chops to handle this pandemic. It is incredibly comforting,” Seth Abramson, Newsweek
“As the pandemic rages, and my city is decimated and I watch the empty streets from my window, I’m comforted by Andrew Cuomo’s 11 a.m. press conferences, which both the local news and national networks are showing. It’s nice to know that someone is governing, that someone is keeping track of the hospital beds and the ventilators and the masks, and keeping the pressure on the federal government.” Molly Jong-Fast, Daily Beast
There are more examples but I think I can rest my case. Will any of these journalists admit they were wrong? Probably not although they’ll immediately jump on the anti Cuomo bandwagon, now that’s convenient to do so, ie when the narrative shifts.
Activism, Not Journalisim
Now you may say, well it’s just the media, what influence do they have? The issue here is that the media as it stands has become so closely entwined with the Democratic party that it is difficult to separate the two. Think I’m exaggerating? Prior to the scandal being worth of reporting, there was speculation that Biden would appoint Cuomo as Attorney General. Imagine for a moment, that the powers that be thought Cuomo deserved to be placed in one of the highest echelons of power in the United States. This is the power of media propaganda at work.
This raises the next issue I have with mainstream media outlets. Isn’t it suddenly convenient that all of this news comes out after Joe Biden was elected? Once again, if we had real, objective journalism in the major news outlets and not those who heap propaganda on the audience, they wouldn’t have been afraid to question Cuomo’s actions in the midst of the pandemic (see examples above). Instead, you get Cuomo joking with his brother on TV about who has the bigger nostrils. As I’ve pointed out, we as a society knew about the nursing home mismanagement going all the back to April. Where were all the so called journalists back then?
Sadly, we won’t return to a stage where journalism can become objective again if people continue to rely on cable news outlets for their news on both sides of the aisle.
The Future of Journalism
The good news is that podcasting and the emergence of independent journalism have become an inconvenient chinks in the armor (am I still allowed to write that?) of main stream news outlets. Cable shows like CNN and Fox News as well as mainstream radio like NPR represent an antiquated means of delivering information, especially news.
Any hot button issue would take hours to fully decompress and discuss, which is the beauty of podcasts. Whether it’s abortion, gun control, or vaccines, a significant amount of time is required to even scratch the surface of such complex issues. Putting 3 – 5 people in little Brady Bunch windows only to have them scream at each other until the scheduled commercial break forces one to condense complicated arguments into flashy sound bytes. This type of communication is the intellectual equivalent of a diarrhea inducing Nacho Bell Grande combo for one’s mental well being. I’d even argue it is a driving force behind our very contentious culture as of late.
It’s indeed ironic that Joe Rogan, a UFC commentator and former reality show host grew to such popularity over the last several years. Why is it that so many listeners almost religiously want to hear what a comedian has to say? So much in fact, that Spotify paid Rogan an estimated $100 million for an exclusivity deal.
There are 3 main reasons that Joe Rogan has become such a popular cultural figure over the last few years. First, Rogan has no agenda so people tend to trust him over a highly paid anchor on CNN or FoxNews who basically get paid to push what they are told.
Rogan speaks his mind because he’s already wealthy and doesn’t care if it angers his listeners or turns off some, a term we often now call “f*** you money.” Our country is so devoid of honesty, especially in the mainstream media outlets (see my examples above as a refresher), Rogan tapped into the niche of people who are intellectually curious and want to hear the truth.
Secondly, main stream news outlets assume that Americans and people as a whole have low attention spans and would be bored by a 3 hour discussion, which is why why we end up with news bytes and those panels of experts shouting over each other. This was an underestimation of people’s attention spans and intellect, which is evidenced by the growing number of podcasts on nearly any topic. Rogan was one of the first to pioneer the art of the “long format discussion.”
Finally, and what makes Rogan such a threat to the status quo, is that he invites a true cornucopia (I hope I can still make a Native American reference) of viewpoints on his platform. Diversity is one of the fashionable trends in elitist culture today. Ironically those who preach diversity until they are red in the face want nothing to do with diversity of opinion and will do everything they can to stomp it out. This is why you’ll rarely see true conservatives ever speak on CNN, write for the New York Times (someone lost their job for that recently) or even be allowed to speak at elite universities, let alone be part of their staff. The reason conservatives care about free speech and I find myself defending them is that free speech is to protect the minority viewpoint which is now where those on the right find themselves.
If there is anything badly needed in our country it’s for those with differing viewpoints to hash out their thoughts with each other, not hide in echo chambers both online and on television. But this division is the fuel that fills the coffers of legacy media outlets so naturally it is perceived as a threat.
You can tell that legacy media perceives Joe Rogan as a threat due to the attacks he’s received by their henchman in the news and Twitter circles. Similar to anyone who threatens the status quo, he’s given the litany of schoolyard tactics that is commonplace for what we call discourse in modern times: racist, misogynist, bigot, homophone. It’s worth mentioning that these attacks are from the same class of intellectually lazy journalists who praise the likes of Cuomo, a man who may turn out to really be a misogynist and bigot. The reason that the likes of Rogan and others are perceived as a threat is they open doors to schools of thought that mainstream outlets don’t want others to hear because it undermines their credibility.
Glen Greenwald: A True Journalist Who Stands By His Convictions
Independent journalism is scaring the elitist class as many authors are going the substack route and ditching larger conglomerates. This makes those in the upper echelons of society nervous because it is far harder to keep a narrative under control when it is not directed from above. The most high case and best example of this at work was Glen Greenwald’s departure from the Intercept, a site he ended up founding.
For those who want to know what a real journalist looks like, I’d encourage you to check out Greenwald’s substack. In the words of Eric Weinstein he calls balls and strikes where he sees them. Greenwald was highly critical of the oversensitivity of terrorism and mistreatment of Muslim Americans during the Bush years but had no problem exposing intelligence issues during the Obama years. He has never been shy to report the truth, regardless of who held the reigns of power. In some cases I would argue that he purposely tries to poke holes at whoever is in control, which is a good thing. In a healthy society the role of a journalism is not cheerleader (what we have today) but an unsatisfied critic.
What ultimately led Greenwald to leave the Intercept is one of the most recent examples of elitists attempting to control the narrative. Despite being the founder of his own media company, The Intercept, it was deemed too dangerous to report on the Hunter Biden laptop scandal so close to the election. The idea being that such reporting would help get Trump elected if it were to expose the corruption of Joe Biden’s son. Such reporting was a big fat no no as far as the elitist class is concerned and their influence is so deep that it even found its way at his own company. So Greenwald threw in the towel and left it.
Turning the Corner on Legacy Media
Legacy media, most embodied by cable news, late night television, and newspapers are slowly showing their age. Viewership levels for stations like CNN or MSNBC in a post Trump world are dropping being replaced by live streamers and Internet based apps like YouTube, Twitch, and podcasts.
On the written media side, the decent, non activist journalists are realizing that staking a claim on their own can be more profitable and see greater exposure as a result. Despite considering itself a “progressive” the New York Times basically forced out Bari Weiss.
As she writes in her resignation letter: “My own forays into Wrongthink have made me the subject of constant bullying by colleagues who disagree with my views. They have called me a Nazi and a racist; I have learned to brush off comments about how I’m ‘writing about the Jews again.’…some coworkers insist I need to be rooted out if this company is to be a truly “inclusive” one, while others post ax emojis next to my name. Still other New York Times employees publicly smear me as a liar and a bigot on Twitter with no fear that harassing me will be met with appropriate action. They never are.“
Good for her. I never heard of Bari Weiss until she left the Times and now she is one of the independent journalists I actively follow. As Substack grows, we will hopefully see a renaissance of the type of journalism that got warped and transformed starting around 2012 or so.
It’s then no surprise that those who still do the bidding of the elitists attack Substack. In the intellectually lazy fashion that is activist journalism the attacks are the same drivel we’ve heard for so long now.
The fact that substack has caught the attention of elitists is a good thing, it means that the same game plan won’t work much longer. Such attacks do not come from a position of strength because if Substack didn’t matter, why bother drawing attention to it? I think society will be better for it and with a more independent media class we can begin holding our leaders accountable as they should be. Long live independent journalism!