MSNBC is spiraling out of control in this pandemic.
I just turned off “The Last Word” tonight, after Lawrence O’Donnell led the hour with an explicitly false narrative.
He was doing a typical “personal interest” piece about an NYC medical worker who was infected some time ago. As I understand Mr. O’Donnell’s story, that worker tested positive and then stayed home in isolation for several weeks until he recovered. When he recovered, he “heroically” returned to work.
Mr. O’Donnell make very big deal about how “courageous” it was for this worker to “risk his life” in returning to work “even after suffering and recovering from the virus” (all this is paraphrased, the piece isn’t yet available on youtube).
The trouble is, the last part is total unadulterated rubbish. That worker is immune from the virus for at least a few weeks or months, probably longer. The worker did not risk ANYTHING by returning to work.
Mr. O’Donnell, like the rest of the mainstream media, is more interested in presenting a George-Washington-And-The-Cherry-Tree cartoon than actually reporting the actual news.
One of the most important graphics that needs to be presented along with the infection and fatality curves is the RECOVERY curves. That’s important because the portion of the population that has been infected and recovered is at least temporarily immune. It is through the growth of that segment that America as a whole acquires herd immunity. In the absence of a vaccine, herd immunity is what prevents this virus from killing all of us eventually.
That population is now starting to grow (thankfully). It will track the infection curve, delayed by about five weeks, because it takes about that long to recover. It will be about the same shape and about a hundred times larger than the fatality curve, delayed by about two weeks, because it takes about three weeks for the disease to kill those who are vulnerable.
It feels very much like the media is more interested in promoting its sky-is-falling hysteria than the more nuanced truth.
Medical workers who have recovered from the corona virus are a KEY part of our ability to eventually overcome this pandemic. The media should be talking about that, and isn’t.
A few weeks ago, Rachel Maddow did a major segment contemptuously trashing the White House when it announced that the two Navy hospital ships would be arriving in NYC and LA “in a week or two”. She did a long piece talking about how they were out-of-service with no crew. She hammered on Mr. Trump for “lying” about the ships. Less than ten days later, both ships arrived as promised. So far as I know, Ms. Maddow has not broadcast an on-air apology or even admitted that she was mistaken.
I expect Fox News and Breitbart to lie, distort, and fill their time with propaganda. I have higher standards for CNN and MSNBC. It seems to me that one of the most important things we all desperately require during this pandemic is honest and responsible reporting.
We are not getting that from MSNBC.