Even Voldemort Masks Up in New Public Service Announcement

WarnerMedia, the Ad Council, and the CDC are infantilizing us and insulting our intelligence.


In the ongoing infantilization of all of us, it's come to this: A new public service announcement from WarnerMedia, the Ad Council, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) features digitally enhanced versions of Harry Potter, Wonder Woman, Rick and Ilsa (Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman) from Casablanca, and others who are now wearing masks as they go about their various feats of heroism and derring-do.

But villainous and morally ambiguous figures such as Voldemort from the Harry Potter series, Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers franchise, Pennywise from It, and Joaquin Phoenix's Joker are similarly masked up. If we are so sad and stupid as to take our cues from not just celebrities but fictional characters played by celebrities, we might find it confusing that bad people wear masks every bit as much as the good guys. Nevertheless:

"WarnerMedia is proud to help educate and inform our fans about the importance of mask wearing during this pandemic. Wearing a mask is an effective way to protect ourselves and our loved ones from COVID-19. We hope that by seeing some of our favorite heroes and characters masked up, our fans will follow suit. Mask wearing is a simple step we all can take to show up and support our communities during this difficult time," said Dennis Williams, SVP, Corporate Social Responsibility, WarnerMedia.

Such banal virtue signaling is mostly harmless, I suppose, but to the extent it furthers a metanarrative about the ability of popular culture to command and direct the behaviors of zombie-like consumers, we should push back. Almost four years ago to the day, executives at Red Lobster were claiming Beyonce's song "Formation"—in which the singer coos "When he fuck me good/I take his ass to Red Lobster"—was responsible for a massive spike in sales (it wasn't). This sort of alleged influence has a long history, including tales of Clark Gable singlehandedly destroying undershirt sales in Depression America and Fonzie from Happy Days generating a 500 percent increase in library card applications during the Me Decade.

During the 1990s, cultural and political elites alike wanted to believe risque cable TV programs, explicit music lyrics, newly ascendant video games, and unregulated content on the World Wide Web would inspire kids and dumb adults alike to act poorly, inciting rampant crime, high rates of risky sexual behaviors, and epidemic drug use, none of which happened. But creators of popular culture like to exaggerate their influence on behavior and politicians want to regulate things, so it's an unholy alliance that is rearing its head again in contemporary discussions over the need to regulate social media.

Just as Fonzie didn't create a nation of readers by getting his library card, Lord Voldemort's willingness to cover his disturbing visage won't goose the percentage of mask wearers (already pushing 93 percent, by the way). Still, it would be nice if we could be treated as adults rather than children. And if the CDC in particular would focus on its actual mission of preventing communicable disease.




NEXT: The Trouble With Mitt Romney's Family Security Act

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  2. I will never not be amazed how our society loves to grab on to anything allowing people to act overly righteous and just beat it to death.

    1. Don’t worry, when they finally admit masks do more harm than good, all those people will claim they knew the whole time.

      1. I suspect that before that ever happens, there will be the sound of trumpets, and the heavens will open.

        1. On the plus side, there will be lots of corpses to traipse over.

          1. Mostly old ones, which is good for Social Security and Medicare budgets (and looming taxes for young people), and deplorables, which is good for progressive politics.

            1. Actually, rather unequivocally, the largest piles of corpses have been in Democratic strongholds.

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    2. Fuck that “our society” bullshit.
      People are doing this. People are responsible for this. People have motives for this.
      Lamenting “our society” as at fault, as if you’re somehow above it, is pure cowardice.

      1. Seriously, Nardz. Did you actually read my post so pedantically narrow in order to get overly self-righteous? Do you not see the truck loads of irony with that?

        Anyway, thanks for proving my point.


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    3. Righteousness is a helluva drug.

      1. Ain’t that a fact.

        1. Righteousness killed more people than everything else combined.

          1. Specifically Marxist righteousness.

  3. It’s good to know that the Ministry of Truth is concerned about my health and wellbeing.

    1. It’s more about controlling you, but if your health and wellbeing improve, that’s an unintended consequence they’re willing to accept.

      1. For now, but they’re pretty sure nobody but their select are seeing improvement to health and well-being.

    2. It’s unethical to treat animals poorly.

  4. OK, maybe all that witchcraft and fantasy stuff, because that is just Hollywood bullshit, but to mess with Casablanca, is too much.

  5. How the heck is Voldemort supposed to wear a mask? He doesn’t have a nose!

    1. Shut up and drink the unicorn’s blood, muggle.

      1. I would up-vote you for this if it was possible.

  6. Yes, because superficial protection and safety are the most important goals of those putting themselves in harm’s way–or those trying to cause harm.

    Or maybe masks are just PC fashion for virtue signaling. (Or is that virtual signaling?)

  7. CDC’s biggest disinformation campaign about covid (that’s been heavily lobbied for by Big Pharma, left wing media, Big Tech and Democrats) is their refusal to reveal (according to CDC’s data and estimate) that 128.3 Million Americans (i.e. 38.5%) have already been infected with covid, and are still immune from contracting or transmitting the virus.

    Since 10% of Americans have received covid vaccinated, about 45% of Americans are now immune from covid (as about one third of vaccine recipients were already immune due to past infection).

    Three weeks ago, the CDC estimated (but Reason still hasn’t informed readers) that a mean of 4.6 times more Americans have been infected with covid (than have tested positive for covid), and that CDC was 95% certain that between 4.0 and 5.4 times more Americans have been infected (than have tested positive).

    Since CDC now claims that 27.898 million Americans have tested positive for covid, 128.3 million Americans have been infected.

    1. Since just 47 cases of reinfection with covid have been known to occur worldwide (out of 107 million covid cases), and since just 5 cases of reinfection have been known to occur in the US (out of 27.9 million covid cases), the evidence indicates >99.99% of people infected with covid in the past year remain immune.

      But the since CDC has unethically and deceitfully refused to inform Americans that past covid infection confers immunity, and since CDC has unscientifically recommended giving vaccines to those who are already immune, about 10 million high risk senior citizens and people with comorbidities have not yet received vaccines.

      The left wing news media and Big Tech (who demonized Trump’s advisor Scott Atlas, Sen Rand Paul and Tom Massie for truthfully informing Americans about natural herd immunity) still refuse to admit this critically important scientific evidence about covid.

      An NBC article revealing that just 47 cases of covid reinfections have occurred worldwide (and 5 in the US) was deceitfully titled and written to make gullible readers believe that reinfection with covid was very common.

      Even worse, two nights ago on Fox News, Anthony Fauci was asked by Bret Baier what percentage of people who have been infected with covid are now immune, to which Fauci falsely answered “we don’t know”, and then began talking about expanding vaccine distribution.

      Fauci, CDC and everybody who has taken a virology course in grad school (I took several) knows that previous virus infections virtually always result in immunity.

      But Fauci, CDC and their friends at Big Pharma, Big Medicine and Big Tech want to vaccinate ALL (or virtually all) Americans because doing so is far more profitable (than telling people the truth).

      1. States with the highest covid case rates, and with CDC’s estimated mean infection rate (i.e. 4.6 times the case rate) and CDC’s estimated 95% range for infection rate, are:

        Case Rate – State — Estimated Mean Infection Rate (95% Range )
        12.9% – North Dakota — 59.2% (51.5% – 69.5%)
        12.4% – South Dakota — 56.9% (49.5% – 66.8%)
        11.3% – Rhode Island — 51.8% (45.1% – 60.9%
        11.1% – Utah — 51.1% (44.4% – 60.0%)
        10.9% – Tennessee — 50.4% (43.8% – 59.1)
        10.8% – Arizona — 49.8% (43.3% – 58.4%)
        10.3% – Wisconsin — 47.6% (41.4% – 55.8%)
        10.3% – Iowa — 47.6% (41.4% – 55.8%)
        10.3% – Oklahoma — 47.2% (41.0% – 55.4%)
        10.2% – Arkansas — 47.1% (40.9% – 55.2%)
        10.0% – Nebraska — 46.2% (40.2% – 54.2%)

        Since herd immunity occurs when/after two thirds of the population (of a community, county or state) have been infected, a dozen states are very close to achieving herd immunity.

        And since an additional 10% of Americans have received vaccines, which also confers immunity, these and many more states will achieve herd immunity in the next several weeks or month.

        So why hasn’t anyone at Reason reveal or discuss this very important information about natural herd immunity?

        1. Natural herd immunity also explains why the rate of new daily covid cases has plummeted in more than a dozen states during the past 2 – 3 months, which can be understood by graphs at:

          States with the most significant declines in new covid cases are:
          North Dakota -98.6%
          Wyoming -93.0%
          South Dakota -92.1%
          Minnesota -89.3%
          Nebraska -88.5%
          Wisconsin -88.1%
          Iowa -87.7%
          Kansas -87.7%
          Michigan -87.3%
          New Mexico -86.1%
          Montana – 84.0%
          Illinois -82.1%
          Ohio -79.0%
          California -78.2%
          Tennessee -78.1%
          Colorado -78.0%
          Alaska -77.9%
          Nevada -76.1%
          Indiana -75.7%
          Utah -75.0%

          1. To see the hundreds of counties that have or are now achieving herd immunity, just go to
            and look at all of the purple counties (as even lighter shaded purple counties with covid case rates between 10% – 12% are now close to achieving herd immunity, due to increasing vaccinations).

            1. Unfortunately for science, truth and public health, Big Pharma, left wing media propagandists and Big Tech companies (whose chief goal in the past four years was to demonize and remove Trump from office) have repeatedly lied about natural herd immunity (claiming it would result in millions of deaths).

              A simple Google search for “Scott Atlas herd immunity” reveals 100+ articles, op/eds, editorials, press releases, etc. trashing Scott Atlas (and lying about natural herd immunity) for merely mentioning the words “natural herd immunity”.

              And yet, everything Scott Atlas said about natural herd immunity (and the unscientific lockdowns) was correct, and has proven correct as time go on (and as natural herd immunity takes place in thousands of communities, hundreds of counties and more than a dozen states.

              1. Not just proven correct, but already ESTABLISHED science for over 100 years.

        2. A factor that can heavily impact the covid case rate is the covid PCR testing rate, as states that have low test rates (i.e. below .6 tests per capita), including KS, CO, SD, AL, IA, NE, ND, WI, AZ, ID,
          very likely have higher covid infection rates (than by multiplying their covid case rate by 4.6).

          For that same reason, states that have very high PCR test rates above 1.6 per capita (including RI, AK, MA, NY, CT, DC) very likely have lower covid infection rates (than by multiplying their covid case rate by 4.6).

    2. Do you have this saved off to a text file or do you type it up each time?

      1. For scientific integrity, accuracy and reliability, I try to update the data daily or weekly, and update the descriptive prose as well.

        As one who spent five years at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health (studying epidemiology, virology, public health economics, policy and law) and who spent 35 years successfully campaigning to reduce cigarette consumption and smoking rates (by exposing and confronting lies and liars at Big Tobacco, Big Medicine, Big Pharma, CDC, US SG and state/local health agencies), I’ve committed my life and career to truthfully informing the public of brutal truths involving public health.

        Unfortunately, for every accurate post by me about covid data and evidence, there are hundreds of bogus sensationalized news headlines and articles that disinform, lie to and scare the public (so left wing Democrats can impose even more totalitarian policies that destroy America).

        1. When I listen to the radio and they rattle off the daily statistics, they say “X people died with COVID” and immediately the news repeats “X people died from COVID.” Is this my imagination, and what are your thoughts on the matter?

          1. I’m repeating myself, but my state’s health department admitted that if you died while testing positive, they recorded it as a COVID death. After this raised some eyebrows, they removed everyone who obviously did not die of covid from those lists: Suicides, murders, car accidents, falls from high places. That only removed seven (7) people from the death count.

            They then said that they were going to create a new categorization system which rated the likelihood of death FROM covid. Something like: Unlikely, possible, probable, confirmed. don’t quote me on that, but it was very similar.

            I’ve gone back to the state’s website and while they haven’t made it clear they’ve implemented that system, it’s… muddy.

            Here’s what their statement is on deaths:

            Deaths are reported to the state by health care providers, medical examiners/coroners, local health departments, and others. For this reason, the statewide count of deaths often lags behind the counts of local health departments.

            As of December 10, 2020, death counts on our dashboard reflect those in our official vital records database (the Washington Health and Life Events System) where the cause of death was confirmed or suspected to have been COVID-19. If COVID-19 is later ruled out as the official cause of death, we will remove these deaths from our dashboard. We no longer report preliminary death information recorded in other systems.

            So each death is reported by local coroners, health departments ‘and others’. I have no idea what each individual group uses as a criterion to report a ‘covid death’. But they say they’re only reporting deaths that were ‘confirmed/suspected’. While I don’t have a problem with that, I don’t know what metrics they’re using to come to that conclusion, and how rigorous all the inputs from the various endpoints are. How do they ‘later determine’ that a death was covid?

            I’m also curious to see if this pandemic will entirely retool how we previously counted regular flu deaths. I suspect that if we gave this much scrutiny to regular flu, I’ll bet all the way up to fifty cents that we’d ‘discover’ that regular flu kills a lot more people than previously thought.

            1. While there have been tons of news stories about people who died with covid (instead of from covid), a closer inspection of the evidence indicates that >90% of people nationwide who were classified as dying of covid actually died of covid.

              1. a closer inspection of the evidence indicates that >90% of people nationwide who were classified as dying of covid actually died of covid.

                By ‘classified’ you simply mean just that, ‘classified’ not ‘confirmed’ as dying from COVID?

              2. I just find the phrasing curious. When they read off the government numbers they always say “with,” and the news always says “from.”

                Those words radically change the meaning of the sentence.

                1. As does ‘cases’ vs ‘infections’

            2. Another point I’d like to drive home, is that once the seven (7) people had been removed who were clearly not COVID deaths, that means that 100% of the remaining (thousands) people on that list, were presumed to be absolutely positively deaths caused by COVID. Logically, that simply couldn’t be true. It might be 75%, it might be 85%, it might even be 95%, but there’s simply no way that the remaining 100% were covid caused, full stop.

              So I haven’t tracked how many other people they removed from the lists– which, to their credit, they claim they do: ” If COVID-19 is later ruled out as the official cause of death, we will remove these deaths from our dashboard.”

              1. I remember a radio interview with my state’s CDC where a caller directly asked the guy about “with” vs “from.” He openly admitted that “with” inflated the numbers, but justified it by saying people who die outside a hospital setting without being tested are not counted.

              2. And to scrutinize the numbers even finer, what is the difference between the death of an 85 year old with chronic lung and heart disease, likely to die within 6 months, who contracted a bad case of COVID, and the death of a 45 year old, in generally good health, who also contracted a bad case of COVID? Did they both “die” from COVID?

            3. I suspect that if we gave this much scrutiny to regular flu, I’ll bet all the way up to fifty cents that we’d ‘discover’ that regular flu kills a lot more people than previously thought.

              ‘a lot more people than previously thought’ meaning there’s a pile of corpses out there that nobody thought to count or ‘a lot more people than previously thought’ meaning pneumonia, cancer, and heart disease are a lot less fatal than currently believed?

          2. A few months ago, the CDC released a list of co-morbidities. It got a lot of traction from people saying “only 5% died from COVID alone”, but the most common side-effects were pneumonia and respiratory failure (lung effects caused by COVID).

            However, it was interesting to see that heart attack was listed in ~20% of cases, and “malignant neoplasm” (aka cancer) was in over 10%. A similar fraction listed either dementia or alzheimers, showing which demographic was actually dying. These are your “deaths with COVID” to be concerned about. (Though please note, I’m certain there is a lot of overlap in these due to multiple-cause deaths and these probably aren’t additive).

        2. Thank you for your service.

        3. Yes, good stuff which can’t be repeated often enough.

  8. (already pushing 93 percent, by the way)

    Oddly enough, the exact same percentage of people who say they’ve never eaten a pint of ice cream straight out of the carton while standing in front of the freezer.

    You realize that that percentage is a self-reported figure, which means people are lying their asses off and giving the answer they think they’re supposed to give?

    1. Yeah, what people say is a reflection of how they want to be seen.

      The choices people make are different when there are trade offs associated with them, and talking about what you would do in the absence of trade offs doesn’t account for that.

      Talk is cheap.

    2. It’s like these people have never even heard of Freakonomics.

    3. If I wear two masks for four hours, does that count as wearing one mask for eight hours?

      1. If you wear two masks does one count for me?

  9. WarnerMedia desperately wants consumers back in the cineplex again. If Wonder Woman is wearing a mask, then maybe my kids will be safe sitting in a theater–isn’t that what they’re going for here?

    1. I think that some people wearing masks is good. Especially when the mask is made of duct tape.

        1. + 1000

          I love you Diane

    2. Probably part of the thought process, I’d also posit that by working with authorities they feel that is the best avenue for a return to profitability. Piss off the regulators and they will drag their feet in re-opening theaters. Be seen as working with our front line heroes and the theaters may open a little sooner.

  10. Apparently, someone insulted the Veep, and the news media called in “Experts” who determined the insult was “dangerous”.

    The media must die.

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  12. Could you imagine a better incentive to tell all these cunts to go fuck themselves and eat the mask out of your ass than this CGI load?

  13. Disgusting.

    And I notice that everyone always overlooks one part of the CDC guidance on masks, which specifically says that you should NOT wear a mask while exercising or doing other vigorous activity.
    I’m not entirely convinced, but it seems reasonable that masks might be appropriate in certain settings for limited amounts of time. Being around someone who is particularly at risk, or if you absolutely have to go out and think you might be getting sick, for example. But always wearing masks in public is not healthy either physically or psychologically.

    1. Look up the WHO’s Dec 2020 guidelines on mask wearing with COVID. They explicitly say “even when worn correctly masks do not provide sufficient protection nor source control to prevent COVID infection”

      But then continue to recommend mask wearing yadayada

      At this point it’s making laws and requirement a based off a group’s collective superstition

  14. I didn’t realize Red Lobster will still around. Or that Beyonce was so cheap.

    Oh yeah Hollyweird and their ad – ok whatever cretins wear your mask if you think it helps.

  15. “in which the singer coos “When he fuck me good/I take his ass to Red Lobster””

    That’s nice of her. But I didn’t think donkeys ate seafood.

    (Huh? She meant what? Oh.)

    1. Thanks pal. I needed that laugh.

  16. Heart disease and diabetes will have killed more people than COVID this year and every year past for several decades and likely into the future.

    When are we going to see daily virtue-signalling videos from Biden, Christie, Skeletor, Moobs, Pritzker, and Lightfoot jogging a 5K and eating balanced, calorie-controlled meals? I propose it should be a requirement for all virtue signalling public servants. The public needs more examples of healthy eating and exercising forced on them than it does obese blobs or shambling corpses getting jabbed in the arm.

    1. We will. But right now we’re in the “we can’t shame fat people” mode.

  17. WarnerMedia, the Ad Council, and the CDC are infantilizing us and insulting our intelligence.

    If social media should have already taught you anything, it’s that the general public is by and large composed of infantile human beings whose intelligence it is nigh impossible to insult.

    1. Uh, Hollywood and the Feds have been insulting our intelligence since we were born.

  18. They should have used 1984 and Idiocracy, the two movies our country most resembles currently.

    1. Disagree. In Idiocracy it’s asserted that the reason the nation/world is on the verge of extincition is because the idiots out-bred and displaced the educated minority from the levers of power. In our reality, the educated minority turns out to be a significant portion of the population that’s too stupid to figure out things like breeding, that nature imbues into rodents inherently; and thinks Idiocracy was some sort of profound social commentary rather than a comedy with a dumb premise.

      1. It’s a Retardocracy.

        1. Retards with badges.

          1. Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges!

        2. Really, it’s more like Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, They Live!, or, unfortunately somewhat most analogously, Cell (don’t watch the movie, read the book). It would be really pointed commentary to do a remake where the aliens/possessed go around putting masks on people like they can’t breathe our air a la War Of The Worlds.

          If Joe opens his mouth and screech-inhales or starts talking into his wristwatch, I’m out and all future communications should be initiated with a white flag.

  19. Whatever happened to the ‘cure’ created while Trump was president? Is it getting ‘masked’ too?

    1. Skepticism, “Is this some sort of propaganda being used to diminish the credibility of famous censorship pictures of masked people? So now when everyone see’s pictures of censorship masking people they think ‘oh, good’ they’re wearing a muzzle.”

  20. I’ve got nothing left in the tank anymore.

    Psychopaths and pant shitters have endless reserve energy I can’t fight.

    I’m just gonna stand out of the way.

    1. Rufus, find yourself a nice stout, cabernet, or single malt and call it a day.

  21. Voldermort is evil, and want to destroy the wizard society and instill himself as lord and dictator, I see where he would be pro mask.

  22. lol, I vape through my mask on the few occasions I’m forced to wear the damn thing. Still blow clouds identical to those when I’m not wearing a mask.

    No offense, but anyone that honestly believes the masks do anything are quite literally retarded. It’s the equivalent to crossing yourself to ward off evil. A modern religious talisman of the ultra-progressive government-as-god ethos.

    They should replace ‘In God We Trust’ on all our currency and replace it with ‘Save Us Government’. It would be far more accurate.

  23. Whenever I see people wearing masks while driving in their car alone, sitting in their office or home alone, or while walking or biking on trails/paths at large state, county and city parks, I remind myself just how stupid, scared and submissive many/most Americans have become.

    Left wing politicians, media propagandists and Big Tech understand this too, which is why they continue to mislead and scare the public to advance their totalitarian policy goals.

    1. Are you watching people while they’re home alone?

  24. Feels like a cult.

  25. That tears it! It’s a crime against humanity to cover Ingrid Bergman’s face, circa 1940.

  26. Even though a lot of these characters are evil, they aren’t stupid. It isn’t completely surprising that they’d be smart enough to wear a mask to reduce their odds of being infected or infecting a useful minion. COVID symptoms seem like something that would inconvenience a supervillain enough for them to want to avoid infection.

    The only one it doesn’t make sense for is Pennywise, who is likely immune to the disease since he isn’t human.

  27. “Almost four years ago to the day, executives at Red Lobster were claiming Beyonce’s song “Formation”—in which the singer coos “When he fuck me good/I take his ass to Red Lobster”—was responsible for a massive spike in sales (it wasn’t).”

    I was totally unaware of that. To paraphrase Dave Barry, I’m so far out of it that the light which left It four years ago has still to reach my planet.

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