Purely Political, By James Buckley
Before we open the paper of record (in this case, the New York Times), let me respond to last week’s Voices letter (“Trump’s personality overshadowed his achievements”) from 83-year-old John Gainor, who explained why he couldn’t support the former president in the last election. Even though President Trump “did, indeed, do some wonderful things for our country,” Mr. Gainor wrote, “his manner when compared to President Bush or President Reagan, was off-putting and not the face of America we wished for the world to see.”
There is not much one can argue with in his well-written letter, but what I’d like to know from Mr. Gainor is this: Because of your dislike of, even disdain for, Mr. Trump, did you then vote for Mr. Biden? And if you did, are you pleased with the results of the election you helped bring about?
I really am curious. I hope you’ll respond.
READING THE NEW YORK TIMES
Don’t believe in a parallel universe? It’s real. Proof, you ask? Pick up The New York Times, any issue, any day, and you’ll find the evidence.
Most editors and journalists live in that parallel universe. For example, the first article in the Times’ June 25 international issue is an actual opinion piece (and labeled as such) on the front page, above the fold. Written by Nicholas Kristof, it contains the usual crap about how “America is Back,” now that easily distracted and cognitively impaired Joe Biden is safely ensconced in the White House.
Mr. Kristof writes that “a Pew Research Center survey found that 75 percent of those polled in a dozen countries expressed ‘confidence in the U.S. president to do the right thing,’ compared with 17 percent a year ago.”
What is the “right thing?” Communism? Socialism? The ascendancy of China? Free college? Free housing? Bombing Syria? Sex changes for 13-year-olds? Open borders (Come one, come all!)?
Mr. Kristof goes on to lament the usual hog manure of “the Capitol insurrection and attempts by Republicans to impede voting.”
THE WITCH DOCTOR TOLD THEM WHAT TO DO
“Desperate for a COVID cure” outlined some of the steps taken by those in “low-income immigrant communities” too poor to see a doctor in their struggle against COVID-19. I’m quoting now: “the use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine — the malaria drugs pushed by President Donald J. Trump last year — make regular appearances at the market as well, as do sham herbal supplements.” I’m surprised the “journalists” who lumped hydroxychloroquine in with sham herbal supplements didn’t include drinking bleach.
In another New York Times article (page 5), not labeled “Opinion” but surely is, headlined “Republicans lapse into irrelevance in big cities,” the former president gets most of the “blame” for Republicans not reaching across the aisle to get things done. “Having embraced the former president’s strategy of racial and geographic polarization, Republicans now find themselves with scant purchase in the culturally dynamic, economically powerful communities that Mr. Trump demonized for half a decade.”
Is the “Black Lives Matter” movement or Critical Race Theory considered racial polarization? If “geographic polarization” means firing back at Hollywood and/or big city newspapers and mainstream media, which were all (OK, only 92% or was it 93%?) negative toward him, then fine, there’s a point to be made.
In a “News Analysis” below the fold (still on page 5!), Nate Cohn writes that “Even a cursory look at the effort by former President Donald J. Trump to subvert the 2020 election … ” Was Hillary’s “Steele dossier” gambit an attempt to “subvert” the 2016 election? Was her claim that the 2016 election was “stolen” from her via collusion between Vladimir Putin and Mr. Trump an attempt to “subvert” that election?
Losing 2016 Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is referred to twice as a “Georgia voting rights activist” and never as a disgruntled office seeker trying to subvert the 2016 election.
MOVE ALONG FOLKS, NOTHING TO SEE HERE
In the “Still tracing the origin of the coronavirus” article, the Times shared the belated “discovery” that COVID-19 could indeed have come from the virology lab in Wuhan. The author of this piece opines that because the Trump administration had suggested the pandemic was a Chinese plot to derail his re-election, the politicization of the inquiry into the virus’s origins “gave rise to a false consensus in parts of the press” that the virus couldn’t have come from the Wuhan lab.
A false consensus?
The most obvious “consensus” of where the virus came from should wrap itself around the idea that both U.S. scientists and Chinese scientists were responsible for the sloppy gain-of-function experiments, the leak and ultimately the pandemic. And because both groups of scientists were probably responsible for the deaths of millions of people and the destruction of economies worldwide, both countries made every effort to confuse the issue and muddy the petri dish.
We now have articles and photos online and in print of researchers with scratches from bats they’d been experimenting on, and in one, a bat is photographed clinging upside down on the face of a researcher. If it flies like a bat and bites like a bat, it’s probably a bat …
See you next week, back in the real universe.
James Buckley is a longtime Montecito resident. He welcomes comments and questions. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.