Wednesday, Jul 24, 2024

The Liberal Double Standard

The latest example of the double standards which govern the value judgements of the liberal elite opposed to Trump is the sudden disappearance of their public outrage at those refusing to social distance, when thousands of people gathered in cities from coast to coast to protest the cruel death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police. These are the same sanctimonious politicians and pundits who were quick to condemn thousands of laid off workers and small business owners who protested coronavirus lockdown restrictions as an over-reaction.

According to Stephen Miller, senior advisor to President Trump, conservatives “are upset at the political leaders who think protesting and mass gatherings are suddenly more important than being able to feed your family or keep your business open.” They are sending the message that the supposedly lifesaving coronavirus restrictions that they imposed, such as wearing masks, social distancing, and closing all “non-essential” businesses, schools and religious institutions, had suddenly become “expendable” if they interfere with the promotion of the progressive belief that America’s law enforcement establishment is systemically permeated by racial hatred.

“That wasn’t part of the deal,” Miller said, when Americans agreed to accept the coronavirus restrictions. “People lost jobs. People weren’t able to say goodbye to sick loved ones or host funerals,” Miller adds, but now those sacrifices seem futile because the same local and state government leaders claim that the need to protest racial inequality is even more important than saving lives from the threat of Covid-19.


Even the most prominent public health experts, who have been saying since mid-March that government officials must lockdown the economy and most people must hide in their homes to stop the spread of Covid-19, are now changing their tune. Their new party line, echoed by the mainstream media, is that it’s now time to get out and join the mass protests against racism—with or without face masks—no matter how many more people may contract the virus and die due to the wholesale abandonment of social distancing standards.

Jennifer Nuzzo, a Johns Hopkins epidemiologist, said last week, “We should always evaluate the risks and benefits of efforts to control the virus. In this moment, the public health risks of not protesting to demand an end to systemic racism greatly exceed the harms of the virus.”

New York City Council Health Committee Chairman Mark Levine tweeted, “Let’s be clear about something: if there is a spike in coronavirus cases in the next two weeks, don’t blame the protesters. Blame racism.”

Even Tom Frieden, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who was recently warning against efforts to rush reopening, is now supporting the mass protests, illogically claiming that if the people don’t rise up to demand an end to racial inequality now, regardless of the public health risk, it’ll be much harder later to continue to fight Covid-19.


Well-known bioethicist Arthur Caplan and three colleagues wrote an article arguing that individuals from the American heartland who conducted the early protests in state capitals against the lockdowns had forfeited their right to receive medical care if they got sick. In an opinion piece published in PennLive, they wrote, “If the protesters can’t be persuaded that they are wrong and their behavior is dangerous, they should own up to their political commitment and sign and carry a pledge stating they decline all medical care to treat Covid-19, should they fall ill if resources are being rationed.”

Now that protests are being carried out in support of the liberal goal of demonizing the forces of law and order, the leadership of the public health establishment has reversed course. An open letter signed last week signed by more than 1,200 health experts declared that the response to the anti-racism protests, “must be wholly different from the response to white protesters resisting stay-home orders, [because] white supremacy is a lethal public-health issue that predates and contributes to Covid-19.”

The letter continues, “As public-health advocates, we do not condemn these gatherings as risky for Covid-19 transmission. We support them as vital to the national public health and to the threatened health specifically of black people in the United States.”

What is perhaps most remarkable about this letter from health “experts” is that it treats the Covid-19 epidemic as primarily a race-based event.

But Jeffrey Flier, the former dean of Harvard Medical School, admits that “the sudden change in views of the danger of mass gatherings has been disorienting, and I suspect it has been for many Americans. . . It makes it clear that all along, there were trade-offs between details of lockdowns and social distancing and other factors that the experts previously discounted and have now decided to reconsider and rebalance.”


Flier expressed his fears that, “many public health experts have already severely undermined the power and influence of their prior message. We were exposed to continuous daily Covid death counts, and infections/deaths were presented as preeminent concerns compared to all other considerations, until nine days ago. Overnight, behaviors seen as dangerous and immoral seemingly became permissible due to a ‘greater [political] need,’” Flier added.

Before that inflection point, pollsters had found a partisan split in how Americans viewed the pandemic. Democrats living in urban centers, which typically suffered much higher infection rates, generally believed that the media was minimizing the risks of Covid-19, while Republicans living in more sparsely-populated red states tended to say that reporting on the virus threat had been exaggerated.

How opinions will change if the number of Covid-19 cases spikes in coming weeks is hard to predict. It will be difficult to differentiate between infections due to the lack of social distancing in the liberal-supported protests compared to those from premature reopenings due to pressure applied by Trump and his supporters, who have been eager to restart the economy and speed the return to normalcy.

Clearly, a nationwide collision is about to take place between the supporters of more protests and those concerned about a sharp spike in coronavirus infections. Will local elected officials reimpose harsh social distancing and lockdown restrictions if and when the number of new cases jumps? If they do, will the people follow their orders, or decide instead that the original restrictions were too harsh and refuse to accept them again this time?


Conservatives are now watching to see whether the massive protests actually result in a spike of new coronavirus cases. If they don’t, it will confirm suspicions that the initial blanket lockdown orders and the resulting economic damage were more extreme than necessary. And, if there is a spike in coronavirus cases, conservatives will argue that the politicians who allowed the protests to continue should be held responsible by voters for the unnecessary suffering they caused and lives they sacrificed to promote their progressive agenda.

“Right now, it looks like a sham,” Miller said of the original lockdown measures. “People feel conned. And they should.”

Drew Holden, a commentator and former Republican congressional aide, said, “I think what’s lost on people is that there have been real sacrifices made during lockdown. People who couldn’t bury loved ones. Small businesses destroyed. How can a health expert look those people in the eye and say it was worth it now?”


Conservatives allege that the blasé attitude of liberal politicians and their supportive media outlets towards the violence and undistanced public protests of the past two weeks has exposed the underlying cruelty behind the lockdown regulations. They are not arbitrary. They are clearly intended to promote a secular, amoral agenda, while shutting down activities associated with family, faith and traditional American values, such as free-speech, self-reliance, and personal freedoms.

They point to the fact that liquor stores and Walmarts were declared “essential” and permitted to remain open, while churches, shuls, yeshivos and wedding halls were forced to close? Family members and friends were forbidden to gather to publicly bury their dead or mourn their passing—even as hundreds attended the funeral of George Floyd.

The very fabric of American society has been severely weakened in the name of fighting the novel coronavirus. Tens of thousands of small family-owned businesses and their jobs were destroyed by the lockdowns. Many will never open again. Vandals and domestic terrorists were permitted to loot and destroy thousands of storefronts and attack police and civilians brave enough to try to stop them, while the mainstream media and politicians looked on with approval, and threatened the cops for defending themselves and using the force necessary to restore order.


The political argument liberals use to justify their tolerance for anti-racism protests contradicts their previous scientific and medical arguments to justify the shutdowns, as well as being ideologically insulting.

In effect, liberals claim that the anti-racism cause is important enough to justify the cost in lives lost to Covid-19, while they tell conservatives that their protests against the government power grab and the denial of basic freedoms imposed by the lockdown—as well as the damage it has done to the American way of life and economy—were illegitimate.

Democrat governors and mayors engaged in outrageous acts of political hypocrisy in reaction to the protests and violence over the past two weeks, compared to their opposite reaction to earlier public protests against the Covid-19 lockdowns. They also seem to be strangely oblivious to the stark inconsistencies of their words and deeds. For example, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who gained national media attention for standing up to armed but peaceful protesters objecting to her strict lockdown orders, was photographed a few weeks later ignoring social distancing rules by standing extremely close to those protesting George Floyd’s death.


Last week, when New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tried to speak to a crowd of 10,000 people at a memorial service for George Floyd in Brooklyn’s Cadman Plaza, he was shouted down by angry boos and cries of “Resign,” as many in the audience turned their backs on the mayor in a show of disrespect.

De Blasio has vacillated over the past two weeks between issuing public calls for a crackdown on the NYPD officers for isolated instances of the use of excessive force, mostly in response to mob violence, and pleading with protesters, including his own 25-year-old daughter, who was arrested, to stop attacking police and to obey his erratic and spottily enforced curfew. De Blasio announced New York City’s first curfew since 1943, starting at 11:00 p.m. last Monday night, which turned out to be a fiasco. He then changed the start time to 8:00 p.m., and suddenly canceled the failed curfew order Sunday morning, claiming that it was no longer needed.

Meanwhile, current and former members of de Blasio’s mayoral staff published an open letter expressing their deep disappointment at his failure to deliver on many of the liberal reforms he promised when he was elected mayor six years ago. The letter also condemned de Blasio for standing “with the very police who perpetrate. . . violence” over the last two weeks. It demanded “radical change from the Mayor, who is on the brink of losing all legitimacy in the eyes of New Yorkers.”

The letter also called for specific measures, including a $1 billion cut in the NYPD’s budget, the firing of all officers accused of using excessive force against protesters, making the past complaints records of all NYPD officers available to the public, and an independent commission to investigate police violence and the response to it by the mayor’s office.

De Blasio announced Sunday that he was agreeing, in principle, to one of the demands in the letter, by redirecting an unspecified portion of the funds for the NYPD in next year’s city budget to social and youth services.

De Blasio’s performance was condemned by the New York Times in an editorial headlined: “Mayor de Blasio, Open Your Eyes. The Police Are Out of Control,” and rejected his claim that the city and its police force are “doing everything from a perspective of restrain.” It also blamed “this dangerous moment” entirely on de Blasio’s failure to control “police behavior.”


De Blasio is not alone in being targeted by his former liberal supporters. Minneapolis’s Democrat Mayor, Jacob Frey, was humiliated over the weekend by protesters yelling “Go home, Jacob,” and “Shame! Shame!” after he announced his opposition to a move by a veto-proof majority of the City Council to completely defund, and thereby eliminate, the Minneapolis police department.

The same New York Times editorial that blasted de Blasio also criticized Governor Andrew Cuomo for denying claims that New York police were not bludgeoning peaceful citizens “for no reason.” It sarcastically instructed the governor, “Open your eyes, Mr. Cuomo.”

The editorial also tellingly asks, “What pressing responsibilities have so occupied these two officials that they do not have the time to make sure the safety of New Yorkers is protected and the rights of New Yorkers are respected?”

Meanwhile, Cuomo is struggling to evade responsibility for the deadly consequences of an order issued with his knowledge and approval by the NYS Health Department. It dumped thousands of elderly patients still testing positive for Covid-19 into understaffed nursing homes unprepared to care for them properly, in an effort to free up hospital beds for an expected flood of new Covid-19 patients that failed to materialize. The decision eventually resulted in the deaths of an estimated 5,800 elderly Covid-19 victims.

Earlier in the pandemic, Cuomo publicly berated President Trump for refusing to take personal responsibility for the initially botched federal effort to ramp up Covid-19 testing. At that time, Cuomo borrowed President Harry Truman’s famous motto, “The buck stops here,” to boast that he was personally responsible for making all of the key state-level decisions in response to the disease. But since the disaster in the state’s nursing home was revealed, Cuomo has been desperately trying to shift the blame to others, including the nursing home operators forced to accept the sick patients, and the federal government’s health guidelines, which Cuomo claims his Health Department’s order was following.


Cornell Law School professor and critic William Jacobson told Fox News, “the riots have ripped the mask off the mainstream media politicized coronavirus hysteria. When it was politically convenient, the media shamed and attacked people who wanted to reopen their stores or even gather at the beach. Now that rioters and looters are gathering in large numbers, the media no longer cares about social distancing, because the media sympathizes with them.”

To try to camouflage their bias, mainstream media outlets have been selectively editing their news coverage of the protests to emphasize their “peaceful” nature and focusing on the use of force by the police, rather than the violence of the looters.

Far more national media attention was directed last week at NYPD officers who allegedly used excessive force against protesters—none of whom were seriously injured—than the death of David Dorn, the police chief of Moline Acres, Missouri, a former St. Louis police captain killed while protecting a St. Louis pawn shop from looters; four other St. Louis cops who were shot at a demonstration; and a Las Vegas cop who was shot while trying to break up a large crowd outside a casino.

Washington Times columnist Tim Young told Fox News that mainstream media outlets had been acting like “it’s the end of the world when conservatives don’t wear masks. . . [but] their dropping of mask shaming, social distancing and coronavirus fears [ended] as soon as the riots began [to] show that they have a left-leaning agenda.”

Media Research Center vice president Dan Gainor said the mainstream media has “moved on from the virus because to keep reporting with the same vigor means they’d have to call out Black Lives Matter protesters and their psychopathic Antifa brethren. And that’s just not done in the lefty confines of victim-oriented journalism.”

But some reporters have not been reluctant to talk about their reactions to the widespread carnage seen in the wake of the last weeks of protests and riots. Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer, while talking with a business reporter about the task of rebuilding that lies ahead, shared his dismay and heartbreak on driving to work each day through two miles of boarded up storefronts in the heart of midtown Manhattan, one of the world’s greatest shopping and business districts.


A particularly egregious example of distorted reporting was the media’s coverage of President Trump’s controversial decision to leave the White House grounds and walk across Lafayette Park on Monday afternoon, June 1, to inspect the damage to a historic church that rioters had burned the previous day.

Reporters ignored the fact that a large mob of “peaceful” protesters ignored three separate warnings from local and federal law enforcement officers to clear the park, and were pelting the officers with objects before the cops used conventional, non-lethal crowd control measures to force them to move. The reporters misidentified the officers as active duty troops, falsely accused them of using chemical weapons to disburse the protesters, and ignored the fact that order to clear the park to enlarge the secure area around the White House had been issued by federal Park officials, rather than the Trump White House, hours earlier.

The media did not hesitate to distort and falsify their reporting to support their pre-conceived political narrative that the incident was another example of Trump exceeding his authority as president and trampling on the civil rights of protesters for the purpose of satisfying his ego by staging an attractive photo-op. The media then refused to accept the factual reports of eyewitnesses to the incident, including Attorney General William Barr, that contradicted the anti-Trump narrative.

The media continued to distort President Trump’s comments at a Friday press conference which was held in response to the surprisingly positive May jobs report issued by the Department of Labor earlier that morning. After explaining the significance of the jobs report as a harbinger of rapid economic recovery from the Covid-19 lockdowns, Trump shifted gears and expressed his support for all people who regret and condemn the cruel death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, and their calls for better American interracial relations.

Trump said, “Hopefully, George Floyd is looking down right now [from heaven] and saying this is a great thing that’s happening for our country. It’s a great day for him, a great day for everybody. This is a great, great day in terms of equality. It’s really what our Constitution requires and it’s what our country is all about.”

But except for those who watched the White House news conference on Fox News—the only media outlets which carried it live—Trump’s message was grossly distorted by news reports which falsely reported him saying that the spirit of George Floyd would be cheered by the positive economic news. Trump was then roundly criticized by his political opponents based entirely on those deliberately misleading reports about his remarks.


Even the once-distinguished “Gray Lady” of American journalism, the New York Times, abandoned its own standards of editorial objectivity after it came under withering criticism last week from its own journalists for agreeing to publish, as an op-ed, the conservative views of Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton entitled “Send in the Troops,” in which he sought to justify the federal government’s deployment of federal troops as a last resort to restore law and order, if all else fails to halt widespread riots and looting. Cotton argued that the president has the legal right and obligation, under the Insurrection Act of 1807, to do “whatever it takes” to halt the “insurrectionists.”

Even though the law is more than 200 years old, it has remained relevant in modern times. Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy used it to send in federal troops to enforce civil rights de-segregation orders, over the opposition of Southern state governors. Most recently, it was used in 1992 by President George H.W. Bush, and his attorney general, Bill Barr, to put down riots over an unpopular verdict in the trial of Los Angeles cops for the beating of Rodney King.

The other opinions published on the same Times editorial page had been uniformly in favor of the protests, justifying the violence and the threat to public health as well as law and order, while simultaneously condemning the president in the harshest terms. The publication of Cotton’s piece was part of a long and hallowed tradition at the Times of exposing its readers to the opposing opinions on newsworthy issues, even if they were expressed by some of the world’s most controversial figures, including Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and even a member of the Taliban.

But in this case, the editors of the New York Times quickly caved in to the liberal outcry over Cotton’s essay. They attached a long preamble to the version of the piece now on its website which seeks to explain to its readers why the editors permitted Cotton to express his ideas without more thoroughly censoring and politically sanitizing his words.

The after-the-fact editorial introduction fell far short of a formal apology because it failed to note any factual errors in Cotton’s piece. It claimed that the Times’ process for editing Cotton’s piece was “rushed and flawed, and senior editors were not sufficiently involved. While Senator Cotton and his staff cooperated fully in our editing process, the Op-Ed should have been subject to further substantial revisions. . . or rejected.”

The paper’s preamble also noted that the essay’s “headline, which was written by the Times, not Senator Cotton, was incendiary and should not have been used.”


Finally, the Times editors admitted that they had “failed to offer appropriate additional context … that could have helped readers place Senator Cotton’s views within a larger framework of debate.” In other words, the editors were saying that they could not trust their paper’s readers to make up their own minds about Cotton’s opinions.

Aside from its thinly-veiled insult to the intelligence of its readers, the preamble’s description of the editing process before Cotton’s piece was published by the Times was deliberately misleading.

Senator Cotton and his staff first contacted the editors of the Times and offered to write the essay on Monday, June 1, after discussing the applicability of the Insurrection Act in a Fox News interview that morning. After several rounds of back-and-forth with the editors at the Times, they reached agreement on the content of the essay on Tuesday, and Cotton delivered his first draft to the paper early the next morning. During that day, the essay went through three additional drafts, incorporating changes suggested by the editors to improve its clarity and style, and a final review to carefully fact check and sharpen its contents. Both sides signed off on the final version at about 2:30 Wednesday afternoon, June 3, and it was published online shortly thereafter.

Initially, the only problem with the final version of the essay that Cotton was aware of was a pair of misplaced quotation marks which somehow snuck through the Times’ proofreading process, but which had no material impact on the piece’s message. But the reaction from the papers’ mostly liberal readership and more than 800 members of its employees was scathing and unforgiving. Staffers claimed that Cotton’s piece endangered the paper’s black employees, while others protested silently by calling in sick the day after the essay was published.


After the paper’s Editorial Page Editor, James Bennet—brother of Colorado’s Democrat US Senator Michael Bennet—admitted that he did not pay much attention to Cotton’s piece before it was published, he was forced to resign. A memo to the staff from the newspaper’s publisher, A.G. Sulzberger, said, “Last week, we saw a significant breakdown in our editing processes, not the first we’ve experienced in recent years. James and I agreed that it would take a new team to lead the department through a period of considerable change.” The memo was a de facto admission by the publisher of the New York Times that it has abandoned its commitment to its longstanding masthead motto of bringing readers “All the News That’s Fit to Print.”

It was the latest in a long series of editorial embarrassments for the self-declared “newspaper of record” over the last several years, including revelations of plagiarism by one of its leading black reporters; a published admission in August 2016 by media columnist Jim Rutenberg that he and other reporters were violating their own journalistic principles by deliberately slanting their news coverage against Donald Trump; and the 2019 publication in the Times’ international edition of an anti-Semitic syndicated cartoon depicting a blind Trump wearing a yarmulke leading a dog with the face of Binyomin Netanyahu wearing a collar sporting a Magen David. In addition, supporters of Israel have been aware of a strong pro-Palestinian bias in the newspaper’s Middle East news coverage, and its thinly veiled hostility to Netanyahu and his policies, especially with regard to new Jewish construction in the West Bank and Yerushalayim.

After learning that Bennet had been forced to resign for publishing his essay, Cotton told Fox News, “The New York Times editorial page editor and owner defended it in public statements but then they totally surrendered to a woke child mob from their own newsroom that apparently gets triggered if they’re presented with any opinion contrary to their own, as opposed to telling the woke children in their newsroom this is the workplace, not a social-justice seminar on campus.”

Senator Cotton also expressed his disappointment in the Times for issuing a tweet which misrepresented the point he was making in his essay by claiming that was calling for “military force against protesters in American cities.” In his response, Cotton tweeted, “This is false and offensive. I called for using military force as a backup, only if police are overwhelmed, to stop riots, not to be used against protesters. If @nytimes has any decency left, they should retract this smear.”

President Trump added his comments on the resignation of the Times Editorial Page editor by congratulating Senator Cotton for his “excellent op-ed” and condemning the newspaper for pulling back from its obligation to inform readers about both sides of issues in the news, and for once again publishing “Fake News.”

Bennet’s replacement, Kathleen Kingsbury, wrote in a note to staff that until a more “technical solution” is in place, anyone who sees “any piece of Opinion journalism — including headlines or social posts or photos or you name it — that gives you the slightest pause, please call or text me immediately.”

Another major American newspaper, the Philadelphia Inquirer, fired its executive editor, Stan Wischowski, after black members of its editorial staff also staged a “sick-out” and strongly protested the headline on a story by the paper’s architecture critic expressed concern over the damage inflicted by rioters and the city’s classic building that could “leave a gaping hole in the heart of Philadelphia.” In an obvious dig at the Black Lives Matter movement, whose heated rhetoric has encouraged that violence, the story was entitled “Buildings Matter, Too.”

After some internal debate, the Philadelphia paper discarded its original, catchy three-word headline and replaced it with the long and clumsy: “Damaging buildings disproportionately hurt the people protesters are trying to uplift.”


Journalists are not the only class of professionals who compromised their own standards for honesty and objectivity in their eagerness to publish “facts” that would further tarnish President Trump’s credibility.

The Lancet, a prestigious British medical, has now been forced to retract a research paper it published on May 22 which claimed that hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), the anti-malarial drug on which President Trump had pinned high hopes as a potential treatment for Covid-19, was worse than useless. The research paper claimed that HCQ had no benefits for Covid-19 patients and was responsible for 30 percent increase in the risk of cardiac deaths. It had been submitted for publication by an obscure Chicago-area firm call Surgisphere, which claimed that it was an “observational study” based upon data gathered from 96,000 patients and 671 hospitals on six continents.

However, researchers in the field soon raised objections to the lack of hard data to support the paper’s findings, including the names of the hospitals which allegedly were the sources of the raw information. The Lancet admitted it had accepted the article for publication even though Surgisphere had failed fully cooperate with its independent peer reviewers seeking to confirm its results.

Further scrutiny revealed more problems with the study’s credibility, such as the claim that it included results from more than 4,000 patients in African hospitals which are not known to be the source of reliable medical data. There was also more data on more Covid-19 deaths in five Australian hospitals than have been reported from the entire continent. The last straw was the request by Professor Mandeep Mehra of the Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston, the lead author of the study, to retract its publication, because he also had been denied access to the raw data that was supposedly backing up its results. That left the CEO and founder of Surgisphere, Dr. Sapan Desai, who is currently the defendant in three medical malpractice lawsuits, as the only researcher involved willing to vouch for the study’s findings.

Adding further insult to injury, the New England Journal of Medicine, which published another Covid-19 research paper by Surgisphere on May 1, also retracted it last week.

HCQ has been in widespread use to treat other diseases for the past half-century and was already widely available. Early anecdotal reports which claimed to see encouraging results from use of HCQ in a small number of coronavirus patients prompted the launching of several serious clinical trials to verify and document those findings. But based on the results of the Surgisphere study published in The Lancet, the World Health Organization and several other health researchers halted their clinical trials of HCQ’s effectiveness against Covid-19 before they could be completed.


The willingness of The Lancet to publish the study in violation of its own standards for research verification seems to have been motivated by the strong anti-Trump bias of its editor, Robert Horton.

Horton printed a blatantly political editorial calling for Trump’s removal from office in a previous edition of The Lancet this year. His desire to embarrass the president for having prematurely endorsed HCQ apparently overpowered his professional ethics as an expert on medical research. As a result, The Lancet now says, “We can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources,” which means that public health experts around the world still have no reliable information about the usefulness of HCQ against Covid-19.

The corruption of the journalistic ethics at the world’s leading newspaper, as well as one of the world’s leading medical journals, testifies to the power of Trump Derangement Syndrome, and demonstrates the extreme lengths to which Trump’s enemies are willing to go in their efforts to destroy him.



The Root Cause

  We have been living in turbulent times for a while, and this week, they got even more turbulent. Just a week after one party’s

Read More »


Subscribe to stay updated