Coronavirus

The Media's Lab Leak Debacle Shows Why Banning 'Misinformation' Is a Terrible Idea

How a debate about COVID-19's origins exposed a dangerous hubris

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Facebook made a quiet but dramatic reversal last week: It no longer forbids users from touting the theory that COVID-19 came from a laboratory.

"In light of ongoing investigations into the origin of COVID-19 and in consultation with public health experts, we will no longer remove the claim that COVID-19 is man-made or manufactured from our apps," the social media platform declared in a statement.

This change in policy comes in the midst of heated debate about how to respond to the perception that social media is amplifying the spread of false information. For the last several years, journalists and politicians have pushed to police so-called misinformation through various means. Major news organizations have hired mis- or disinformation reporters. Lawmakers such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.) have urged social media sites to prohibit speech deemed wrong or dangerous—and have sometimes suggested that this should be required by law. More recently, various groups have asked President Joe Biden to establish a federal initiative to combat online misinformation.

But Facebook's concession that the lab leak story it once viewed as demonstrably false is actually possibly true should put to rest the idea that banning or regulating misinformation should be a chief public policy goal.

It's one thing to discuss, debate, and correct wrong ideas, and both tech companies and media have roles to play in fostering healthy public dialogue. But Team Blue's recent obsession with rendering unsayable anything that clashes with its preferred narrative is the height of hubris. The conversation should not be closed by the government and its yes-men in journalism, in tech, or even in public health.

From False Claim to Live Possibility

Consider that Facebook's new declaration sits atop its About page, just above the site's previous policy on coronavirus-related misinformation—dated February 8, 2021—which was to vigorously purge so-called "false claims," including the notion that the disease "is man-made or manufactured." The mainstream media had deemed this notion not merely wrong but dangerously absurd, and tech companies followed suit, suppressing it to the best of their abilities.

"Tom Cotton keeps repeating a coronavirus conspiracy theory that was already debunked," read a February 2020 Washington Post article that criticized the Arkansas senator for departing from the prevailing narrative. Similarly, Politico both mischaracterized Cotton's claims and said the rumor was "easily debunked within three minutes."

But in recent weeks, the lab leak theory—the idea that COVID-19 inadvertently escaped from a laboratory, possibly the Wuhan Institute of Virology—has gained some public support among experts. In March, former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) chief Robert Redfield said that he bought the theory. (His admission earned him death threats; most of them came from fellow scientists.) Nicholson Baker, writing in New York, and Nicholas Wade, formerly of The New York Times, both wrote articles that accepted the lab leak as equally if not more plausible than the idea that COVID-19 jumped from animals to humans in the wild (or at a wet market). Even Anthony Fauci, the White House's coronavirus advisor and an early critic of the lab leak theory, now concedes it shouldn't be ruled out as a possibility.

This has forced many in the media to eat crow. Matthew Yglesias, formerly of Vox, assailed mainstream journalism's approach to lab leak as a "fiasco." The Post rewrote its February headline, which now refers to the lab leak as a "fringe theory that scientists have disputed" rather than as a debunked conspiracy theory. New York magazine's Jonathan Chait noted that a few ardent opponents of lab leak "with unusually robust social-media profiles" had used Twitter—the preferred medium of progressive politicos and journalists—to promote the idea that any dissent on this subject was both wrong and a sign of racial bias against Asian people.

"Story after story depicted the lab-leak hypothesis as clearly false and even racist," wrote Chait. "The outlets that fared worst were those like the Guardian, Slate, and Vox (which is owned by the same company that owns New York Media), which embraced a 'moral clarity' ethos of forgoing traditional journalistic norms of restraint and objectivity in favor of calling out lies and bigotry."

To be clear, while some circumstantial evidence supports the lab leak theory, there is still no scientific consensus on whether COVID-19 emerged from a research facility, a wet market, or somewhere else. (Moreover, there is considerable confusion about whether the U.S. government was funding the sort of research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology that could have produced COVID-19.) The Chinese government has stymied efforts to investigate the origins of the disease, and it's possible the world will never know the truth.

But many lab-leak foes had not merely called the theory unproven. They had lobbied for the theory's adherents to be effectively silenced. They asserted that anyone discussing it was a conspiracy theorist or even a racist. Indeed, some are still discouraging this conversation.

"I & other AAPIs are increasingly concerned that speculation over the lab leak theory will increase anti-Asian hate," tweeted Leana Wen, a professor of public health and CNN medical analyst, earlier this week. "As we embark on a full scientific investigation, we must take actions to prevent the next escalation of anti-Asian racism."

She did not explain why speculation about the lab leak theory would increase anti-Asian hate to a more appreciable degree than speculation about the wet market theory. The idea is counterintuitive: The lab leak theory indicts a handful of individual scientists and the Chinese government, whereas the wet market theory can be used to indict broader Asian cultural traditions that have often been criticized in the West. And while an apparent surge in anti-Asian hate crimes is at this point taken for granted among professional pundits and politicians, its extent and underlying causes are far from clear. For instance, the Atlanta spa killings are often cited as the prime example of the lethal nature of anti-Asian bias, but no definitive evidence has emerged thus far that racism was a conscious motivating factor in the shootings.

Yet it's clear that a certain segment of lab-leak critics believed two things: 1) the theory would fan the flames of racism, and 2) for that reason, it should be proactively censored. Such is the slipperiness of the misinformation label, which has come to include all sorts of claims that are not straightforwardly false.

When 'Misinformation' Turns Out To Be True

What's true of the debate over COVID-19's origins is also true of countless other policy disputes. When The New York Post published a report on Hunter Biden's efforts to lobby his father on behalf of foreign governments, the media pressured everyone to pretend the story did not even exist. Journalists who did share the article on social media were shamed for doing so, and the uniform assertions that the paper had fallen prey to a Russian disinformation campaign swiftly persuaded both Facebook and Twitter to throttle the story. Later, when it became evident that the information undergirding the story (if not all its conclusions) was accurate, tech companies were forced to admit their error. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has apologized repeatedly.

Big Tech takes its cues from the mainstream media, making decisions about which articles to boost or suppress based on the prevailing wisdom coming from The New York Times, The Washington Post, and elite media fact-checkers. (That's according to information I obtained from insiders at Facebook during research for my forthcoming book, Tech Panic.) Social media companies are also wary of government officials, who have shown increasing interest in punishing them for platforming misinformation. Facebook, Twitter, et al. are rationally skittish: Congress has hauled Dorsey, Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, and others to Washington, D.C., numerous times to answer questions about why specific pieces of content were allowed to exist. The best example of this was an April 2018 hearing in which Sen. Patrick Leahy (D–Vt.) printed out pictures of Facebook groups, glued them to a poster board, and demanded that Zuckerberg personally explain whether they were Russian in origin.

In February 2021, Democratic Reps. Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney, both of California, sent letters not just to tech companies but to cable providers taking them to task for airing outlets that spread misinformation. Later that week, Congress convened a hearing on "disinformation and extremism," where lawmakers discussed whether the failure to purge all false claims about the 2020 election from the internet and television may have contributed to the Capitol riots.

Right-wing spaces are undoubtedly rife with absurd election claims, from the idea that President Trump actually won last year to the recent notion that a coup will restore him to office by August. The spread of election-related falsehoods—for which no one is more to blame than the former president himself—fanned the violence and destruction on January 6.

But some of the early reporting about what transpired at the Capitol also turned out to be false. Most notably, an angry MAGA mob did not bludgeon Officer Brian Sicknick to death with a fire extinguisher, as The New York Times and Associated Press initially claimed. It later emerged that Sicknick had suffered a stroke, yet no one called on Facebook to ban the A.P. The defining characteristic of modern campaigns to police misinformation is naked partisanship.

An Epidemic of Federal Falsehoods

No issue has exposed the one-sidedness of the anti-misinformation drive as thoroughly as the pandemic, which has brought us countless examples of health officials making naive, staggeringly wrong predictions. These have continued to the present day. A few short weeks ago, on March 30, 2021, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky warned of "impending doom" because some states were lifting COVID-19 restrictions too quickly. Thankfully, the doom didn't materialize: Coronavirus cases and deaths have continued to declined precipitously, and now even the CDC has recommended a return to normal for everyone who has received the vaccine.

Trump's advocacy of ridiculous or questionable COVID-19 cures earned widespread denunciation, and also inspired considerable fear that people would start drinking bleach and fish-tank cleaners. (When a man died after consuming the chemical, the media raced to blame Trump. The story subsequently turned out to be much more complicated.)

But millions of Americans spent the pandemic wildly scrubbing surfaces and cleaning their groceries due to bad guidance—what might reasonably be called misinformation— from the CDC. Many public spaces still follow such guidance. A requirement to power-wash desks and classrooms was a sticking point in the school reopening debate as recently as February of this year.

Most charitably, those are examples of experts applying their best judgement and making honest mistakes. But there are also instances of intentional lies. In the pandemic's early stages, Fauci discouraged the use of masks only to abruptly reverse himself later. He later admitted that he was worried there wouldn't be enough masks for hospitals and thus was deliberately evasive on the issue. In January, Fauci again confessed to a purportedly noble lie: He purposely set the herd immunity threshold at a lower level because he didn't think the public could handle the actual number. In any fair accounting, this meets the classic definition of spreading misinformation, yet the media's love affair with Fauci has hardly abated at all.

Meanwhile, progressives keep pressuring President Biden to do something to stem the spread of misinformation. A coalition of advocacy groups that includes PEN America, the Poynter Institute, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and others recently sent a letter to Biden urging his administration to create a federal disinformation task force. Several members of the coalition are generally quite supportive of free speech, and their statement calls for "remaining vigilant against censorship and other threats to free expression." Nevertheless, they want the government to explore potential solutions to the problem of social media companies platforming falsehoods.

If the government really wants to fight misinformation, an important first step would be for its own health officials to stop saying things that are false. If social media companies want to help foster the spread of truthful information—as Zuckerberg emailed Fauci to say last year—they should remember that many supposedly authoritative sources in and out of government have partisan axes to grind.

Any broader effort to shut down conversations that include a great number of lies is likely to inadvertently criminalize some politically inconvenient truth, or something that seemed untrue but later proved prescient—lab leak or no lab leak.

NEXT: Performative Pandemic Panic

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  1. Speaking of quiet but dramatic reversals…

      1. Yeah… “misinformation” was probably the wrong term, here. I think it’s better classified as “unsubstantiated incendiary accusations”, which I’m not sure I have a problem with flagging or squelching.

        If you have some concrete supporting evidence like “This protein segment of the virus has these markers which we almost never see in natural mutations, but we know they were being investigated in the lab”, then that should be allowed. But accusations like “It must have come from the lab because those slants are probably always working on bio-weapons, and they denied it, and everybody knows they’re always lying, so it’s likely true” don’t add to the corpus of facts and just makes things worse.

        1. Nobody was saying the latter. The circumstantial evidence alone was extremely compelling – the virology lab was at ground zero and the natural habitat of any animal vector was almost a thousand miles away and the CCP was engaging in an impressive massively comprehensive coverup. You didn’t need to analyze the virus. But it’s also telling that some experts who initially did so, including one who communicated with Fauci, had the first impression that it may have been engineered.

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          2. And now we know that Obama reinstated gain of function funding to Wuhan just 11 days before trump was inaugurated. What a shit show.

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        2. “those slants are probably always working on bio-weapons, and they denied it, and everybody knows they’re always lying, so it’s likely true”

          That is correct.

          1. Maybe, but it’s the kind of thing that causes black street thugs to assault elderly Asians in the street. Apparently.

        3. Ah, so you’re ok with squelching unsubstantiated claims? I agree. How about we squelch all the unsubstantiated claims that the 2020 election was legitimate? After all, we know that the number of ballots counted in the swing states which were not validated as authentic under election integrity laws exceeds the alleged margin of victory by at least a factor of ten, so unsubstantiated claims of a “certified election” are in fact pure speculation at best, or felonious cover up at worst.

          1. How about claims that the USA suffered an “insurrection”…which caused a whopping $1.5 million dollars damage? I mean, come on, a good Spring Break Party will cause more than that, on the reg.
            It’s the least impressive “finding” since the FBI scoured Epstein’s Island and reported back “We found this spoon, sir.”

        4. “unsubstantiated incendiary accusations” such as the Steele dossier? See what happens when you allow other people to make your decisions for you.

    1. Robbie failed to mention that Facebook will now rely on fact checkers to censor politicians. The fact checkers they use are biased and proven wrong often.

      1. Apparently, the fact checker most responsible for the ban on discussing the lab leak theory may also be in the chain of command responsible for the US government grant that went to the Wuhan Lab through an intermediary. In other words, he had a direct conflict of interest in suppressing that line of inquiry.

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      2. Nancyboy also will not address the whos and whats that went on at his own publication to avoid or suppress discussing the origins of the pandemic.

  2. But Facebook’s concession that the lab leak story it once viewed as demonstrably false is actually possibly true should put to rest the idea that banning or regulating misinformation should be a chief public policy goal.

    Yeah, I’m sure they’ll learn this lesson.

    Agenda-driven fact checking has been going on for years, and this is the natural next step. Certain claims (or should I say claims made by certain groups) whether or not they are likely to stand up to scrutiny are deemed unassailable so that they won’t be scrutinized. Science as a word was even repurposed from describing a process to instead meaning the absolute truth.

    1. After studying the tweets of COVID skeptics, MIT researchers were puzzled that the mostly data driven, evidentially motivated skeptics viewed science as a process rather than an institution.

      1. That paper was so fascinating. The cognitive dissonance between knowing that science is a method of approach to solving a problem and knowing that to be a good person they have to agree with the arbitrary consensus.

        1. Black, I read that paper recently.

          Cognitive dissonance doesn’t begin to say it.

          1. Autocorrect needs nuking from outer space.

            1. That’s the only way to be sure.

              1. “You don’t catch them fucking each other over just to maintain the appearance of believe some agenda-driven bullshit.”

  3. They weren’t banning misinformation, they were pushing misinformation. And you know why.

    1. But Reason can’t point out why. They were part of the same agenda. And it was successful.

      1. Yep. This article’s complete avoidance of that is a form of gaslighting.

        Neutral arbiters they are not.

    2. They weren’t blaming misinformation, they were punishing alternate facts.

    3. You mean they were punishing “bad facts.” And yes, Orwell, we know why.

  4. The best step is for ‘news’ outlets to never use any social media content as a source, or even report what is being “discussed” there.
    Treat it like the irresponsible rumor mill and propaganda machine it is. Source reports on facts from named, verifiable human sources.
    Crazy I know, but it would work.

    1. True. However, if I can make some money by scrolling through Twitter at my desk and reporting on a tweet, why would I want to do the hard work of journalism?

      News has become tattling. It has become the equivalent of grabbing the note being passed around and telling the teacher to read it in front of the class.

      1. I wonder if any modern journalist learned the importance of primary sources. Time and time again these articles are links back to previous articles quoting themselves, links to other opinion pieces, or just Twitter comments.

        The only site that I’ve seen including an entire tab of primary sourced links is Just The News. I see more primary sources on a change my mind link for crowder than I see in a normal journalistic story. It is crazy.

  5. Do you think robby mentioned sicknick because he’s tired of dee squawking about it in the comments too?

    1. I was glad to see him mention that there are idiots out there who really believe that “scientists fucked up” = racist, but “poor primitive peasants bartering in dead bats for food in a wet market (yuck) right up the road from the lab” = not racist.

      1. No, cultural relativism is anti-racist.

  6. “I & other AAPIs are increasingly concerned that speculation over the lab leak theory will increase anti-Asian hate,” tweeted Leana Wen, a professor of public health and CNN medical analyst, earlier this week. “As we embark on a full scientific investigation, we must take actions to prevent the next escalation of anti-Asian racism.”

    Translation: “You’re fat and ugly and stupid and nobody likes you so shut up.”

    Isn’t there a saying that “racism” is the first refuge of the scoundrel? It’s funny that this “anti-Asian” sentiment we must defend against doesn’t extend to Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambodians, Indonesian, Indians, Pakistani, or anybody else other than Chinese communists.

    1. That’s the same way America is systemically racist even though actual African immigrants and black immigrants from the Caribbean are better educated and earn nearly 50% more than native born black Americans.

      It’s almost like it’s more about work ethic and desire than race.

    2. Tell it to all the black people playing the knockout game on Asians in deep blue utopias, Leana.

  7. This is all a disinformation campaign by leftists like you. You run your false stories and allow no dissent like any totalitarian regime or cult. The flip side of this are all the media approved counter stories you signed on to and ardently pimped, often knowing full well they could not be true.

    You are not a journalist but a propagandist.

  8. Lawmakers … have urged social media sites to prohibit speech deemed wrong or dangerous—and have sometimes suggested that this should be required by law.

    And this “deeming” is to be done by whom, exactly? How about if, say, 25% of polled adults indicate they deem such urging and suggestion wrong or dangerous?

  9. I have to ask what Trump knew. I mean, if he did, this makes his response to the election more understandable. He knew for absolute certain that it was not only a real possibility, but from the e-mails that have leaked, a likely one.

    However, the response of the media was to close ranks and even to insinuate that it wasn’t natural was not only wrong but racist and xenophobic.

    If there’s one massive conspiracy and coverup on something of such importance, then why would you believe they weren’t conspiring and covering up anything else? Especially when their hatred of the president was so transparent.

    This brings the big question. Why SHOULD we believe media outlets who have shown themselves to be untrustworthy?

    1. Much better to believe your crazy Uncle Fester or that guy in a Youtube video who sounded kinda smart.

      1. A potentially crazy person or a known liar?
        That’s not much a choice. This is how people end up believing in nothing.

        1. No, I understand how it works. Lots of people are confronted with so much information, much of it contradictory, that they just shut down and only believe what they verifiably observe, or what really trusted people tell them.

          But the real problem here is an inability, or a lack of confidence, to sift fact from fiction. The real solution here is better critical thinking skills.

          1. You described your own behavior pretty well.

          2. Swing and a miss…

            Your response begins as a “I understand your point, so I will rephrase it yet provide my own take or context.”

            Then you go on to completely ignore the point being made.

            The point is not that people are overwhelmed with info and need the skills to parse it. While Inthink there is some truth to this… it is not the primary issue causing all the problems we see.

            The primary issue is that liars exist but “our betters” keep portraying them as gatekeepers to truth. The everyman eventually wises up and stops believing the liar. The betters are dumbfounded by this. The offer no truth but only defenses for the lies.

            The everyman goes looking for truth and it is only at this point you start to see a problem. You are right… at this point in the story it is important to be discerning and critical. I would agree that is lacking. But the most efficacious solution would not be to wail and gnash teeth over the everyman’s gullibility (the person speaking the opposite of the lie seems like the truth… so many flock to it even if it is also a lie, but that doesn’t make the everyman unreasonable for going in that direction).

            The best response is to stop ignoring the fact that the people we are raised to trust are actually a bunch of lying hacks and hold them to account. Stop the lies, the everyman can stop searching for truth in a world of crazy.

            1. The problem is some people believe the truth is whatever the party says it is.

          3. Guys, Jeff is actually giving a good point here. Quit knee-jerking.
            However, I still must disagree with you.
            In this case, critical thinking really was on the side of a lab leak.
            1: We knew they were studying viruses in Wuhan right next to the original source (though the gain-of-function testing wasn’t public at first)
            2: We know Chinese industrial safety procedures were lax at best
            3: We know China has a save-face culture that covers up mistakes and disincentivizes reporting problems which heavily contributes to #2.
            However, it was not only dismissed but actively shut down. The highest authorities involved are now known to have explicitly lied under oath to prevent this knowledge from coming out.

            Look at all the other examples in the article. Multiple incidents where the most basic of facts were wrongly but widely reported. You can’t expect people to use critical thinking skills to know that a police officer wasn’t hit with a fire extinguisher and later died from a brain hemorrhage, but instead had a stroke the day after the riot.

            How could you possibly use critical thinking when you can’t trust the most basic of facts? You can’t build a house without bricks, and you can’t build an understanding without facts.

            1. Go back and read the comments to articles earlier in the pandemic. Plenty of people were using their critical thinking skills. Others were simply employing the very libertarian principle of being skeptical of government statements.

              Neither much of which were on display in the actual articles by the Reason writers.

              Which wasn’t so much a failure of critical thinking on their part, as it was a desire to support anything that might hinder BadOrangeMan.

            2. Well said.

              Even now, there’s widespread reporting of falsehoods about another issue, last year’s election. Almost every article calls the claims of fraud “baseless” in direct contradiction of the facts. Whether you accept the result or not, there was significant evidence of and opportunity for fraud which might have affected the outcome. I say that as an independent who doesn’t like Trump and never voted for him.

            3. Jeff is actually giving a good point here.

              It’s not a good point since he applies it only to those he hates while exonerating his allies. This is the left’s entire MO. Repeating what you’ve been conditioned to believe without regard to the facts which determine when it’s relevant is no more insightful than a pet barking because his owner came home.

            4. But the better conclusion to come to is that you just simply do not know whether the virus leaked from the lab or not. Because there are more bullet points:
              4. There are hundreds of bat viruses. They mutate. It could have happened naturally, or been a virus that escaped from the lab, but not modified by the researchers.
              5. The virus that Ken Schulz keeps writing about, the modification of which was partially funded by the United States, shared only 97% of its DNA with SARS-CoV-2. That is too big of a genetic difference for it to have been manipulated into SARS-CoV-2.

              Live with not knowing.

              1. That’s not even the point of the article, or any of the comments here, but I know your lack of comprehension is deliberate. The point isn’t even whether the lab leak or wet market theory is correct.

                The point is, while evidence of both theories has existed this entire time, only one set of facts was dismissed and as a right-wing debunked conspiracy theory, despite the fact that it was never actually debunked. The media, the democrats, and the bureaucracy created a truth and actively worked to supress any evidence to the contrary by censoring any mention of it. This is the definition of a misinformation campaign.

                In so doing, they prevented any significant inquiry into the evidence. They obscured, censored, and outright lied. They denounced as a looney and deplatformed anyone who proposed an alternative to the manufactured truth. They made it a moral issue, by rejecting any inquiry as racist and xenophobic.

                They also created people like you, who are intellectually and emotionally incapable of acknowledging the possibility of an alternative to their preferred security blankie of Truthiness.

                Unless China gives up whatever evidence it’s refusing to give up, we’re not going to know the definitive cause. The best we can do is figure out the most probable cause, based on the availble evidence. If the media and government had been responsible and taken that approach, we may not be where we are. But instead, we have millions of people who know they were lied to, condescended to, and treated like crazy, racist assholes for believing something that’s turned out to be at least possible. And now, after an entire year of this bullshit, the media has trashed their reputation and squandered the trust of the American people. Where are they supposed to go for reliable information? How are they supposed to know they’re not being lied to again? There are almost no American institutions that are trustworthy any longer.

                That’s a way bigger issue than whether COVID came from a lab or not.

                1. You were doing well until you slipped into ad-hominem, my friend. Paragraph 4 undercuts your entire argument, which was otherwise very well reasoned.

              2. In physics we have the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and in Math we have Godels incompleteness theorems. Yet people can’t live with not having certainty in biology.

          4. “The real solution here is better critical thinking skills.”

            And then employ the people with those “critical thinking skills” in the jobs currently held by the fucking SJWs, NPCs and activists who ‘identify as journalists’.

        2. It’s uncomfortable for the human brain, but when there is no conclusive evidence that something did or did not happen, you should believe in nothing — i.e. have no beliefs about what happened.

          1. As an established lying POS, you are not one to lecture us regarding ‘the human brain’.
            More importantly, the issue at hand is the coverup of possible alternatives for political purposes.
            Get lost.

          2. You can have “beliefs”, “suspicions”, etc., as long as you are honest about when those fall short of being “conclusions”. It’s understanding the difference between “plausible” and “true”. It’s how you avoid believing conspiracy theories while still admitting the plausible aspects of such hypotheses.

      2. Or the fat fuck constantly running cover for his lefty boos.

      3. Well we know that youtube was already kicking off epidemiologists that weren’t following the narrative, so your comment is dishonest as ever.

        1. Do you have an example of this?

            1. Yes seriously. Do you have an example of what you are claiming?

                1. He’ll forget it was proven by tomorrow. That’s the nature of epistemic closure.

                  1. He’ll dismiss it on the grounds of “source”.

      4. Is there crazy anymore? From what the media tells me through actions and information campaigns everyone is normal these days and we just have an implicit bias against them we need to fix.

      5. And Jeff once again advertises his blond acceptance of leftist narratives. Everything else is s a crazy uncle.

        Youre an idiot jeff.

      6. I mean I first heard of it from Bret Weinstein on rogan well before it was truly controversial to consider it (honestly it was a simple Occam’s razor argument at the time). So technically a guy on youtube who sounded smart.

        But he also is a truly intelligent and well reasoning biologist, who has knowledge in the field, knows a lot about both GOF research as well as having done extensive research involving bats.

        But convince me I should listen to Don Lemon, the emotional race-baiter instead. Looking forward to that line of reasoning.

        1. Jeff will now move forward pretending he never saw this comment, so if the topic ever comes up again, he can claim honest ignorance.

          1. Hey, if he EVER wants to claim ignorance, about anything, I’ll believe him.

      7. The problem with your argument is that “crazy Uncle Fester” was later proved much more plausibly right than the people shutting him up and labeling him “crazy Uncle Fester” cared to acknowledge. The considered opinion, employing critical thinking, turned out to be that there was a good chance that Fester got it right and the people shutting him up and dismissing him are, at best, closed-minded and intellectually uncurious and, at worst, partisan shills pushing an agenda.

  10. did they have their own Catholic Church\Galileo moment or did they just reach the point where continued demonization of evidence that goes against their masters narrative lost all credulity? or maybe in conjunction with the media democrat whores they will try to memory hole their previous opposition to the free flow of information.

    1. One of the misconceptions about Galileo and copernicus and their mistreatment at the time was that the attacks coming from the church were not solely religious but also scientific at the time. The catholic church at the time had many scientific scholars. The primary thesis against copernicus for example was that his ideas against heliocentric theory was that they were wrong due to the parallax scientific concept. Scientists at the time were not able to measure the small movements required to observe parallax in the night sky, so they dismissed copernicus using scientific concensus, not religious concepts. The latter was used for politics, not to dismiss the science. The church scientists couldn’t fathom an object being thousands of light years away in distance and couldn’t measure minute changes in angles due to that distance.

      https://www.scientus.org/Copernicus-Stellar-Parallax.html

      1. really just referring to this kind of moment
        … but i did offer an alternative explanation as to what might be going on

      2. The primary thesis against copernicus for example was that his ideas against heliocentric theory

        I assume this is a typing error, but Copernicus was a proponent of heliocentrism, not an opponent of it. That was the church.

      3. IIRC Tycho Brahe and some other guy at the time both told Galileo to recant not because they thought he was wrong… they thought he may be right.

        But that he had not yet proven it.

        Can’t remember where I came across that. Again… it’s a real “iirc” type thing. Unlike the left, I am open to the possibility that I am wrong.

      4. That’s cool thanks for the info.

  11. “But in recent weeks, the lab leak theory—the idea that COVID-19 inadvertently escaped from a laboratory, possibly the Wuhan Institute of Virology—has gained some public support among experts.”

    Still not there yet, Goodhair. The “approved” experts might have accepted the possibility in recent weeks, but other experts have been saying this was a possibility all along, but were ignored. And technically, with this statement, are still being ignored.

    Old habits die hard I guess. At least it’s a start!

    1. Perhaps not just ignored but flamed as promoting a debunked Trump conspiracy.

      1. Well, it was debunked in the left’s usage. Unfortunately that only means some left winger somewhere denied it.

  12. “In light of ongoing investigations into the origin of COVID-19 and in consultation with public health experts, we will no longer remove the claim that COVID-19 is man-made or manufactured from our apps,”

    Let me fix that for ya…

    “In light of the instructions we received from the Biden Administration, we will no longer remove the claim that COVID-19 is man-made or manufactured from our apps,”

    1. Let’s say that is true. The Biden Administration has given a plausible reason for flip flopping on the issue: the old line was don’t jump to conclusions that it was man-made until we see the WHO report; the new line is the WHO report sucked, so let’s have a better investigation.

      OK, let’s say Facebook decided to make this policy change on their own, without being pressured by the Biden Administration. That might be the truth. They could have taken exactly the same line of reasoning to decide to change their policy.

      Unless you were on the Zoom call at Facebook, and in on the hallway conversations, you don’t _know_ why Facebook changed the policy.

      1. the old line was don’t jump to conclusions that it was man-made until we see the WHO report;

        This is not the old line. The old line was the lab theory is conclusively wrong. Left wingers are trying to retrofit reality pretending this could have been an honest mistake.

        1. Piles of lefty shit like Mike are more than willing to kick up a lot of dust so YOU can’t see.
          Mike? Fuck off.

      2. We know why Facebook changed the policy. Because Buzzfeed just dumped 3000+ pages of Fauci’s emails, obtained through a FOIA request. They couldn’t hide it any more.

        1. Yep. We’ve reached the point where lying about it is no longer an option. So they shift gears.

          1. And Dee the squawking bird tries to play along.

      3. “the old line was don’t jump to conclusions that it was man-made until we see the WHO report”

        Not even close. The old line was that the the possibility of a lab leak was “debunked” and only racist conspiracists would even mention the possibility.

        “Earlier versions of this story and its headline inaccurately characterized comments by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) regarding the origins of the coronavirus. The term ‘debunked’ and The Post’s use of ‘conspiracy theory’ have been removed because, then as now, there was no determination about the origins of the virus” – WaPo

  13. “I & other AAPIs are increasingly concerned that speculation over the lab leak theory will increase anti-Asian hate,” tweeted Leana Wen, a professor of public health and CNN medical analyst, earlier this week. “As we embark on a full scientific investigation, we must take actions to prevent the next escalation of anti-Asian racism.”

    She did not explain why speculation about the lab leak theory would increase anti-Asian hate to a more appreciable degree than speculation about the wet market theory.

    C’mon Robbie you can’t be this dumb. If the virus has natural origins, then no one can be to blame. But if the virus has its origins in the lab, then *there are people to blame*. And those people are Chinese. And irresponsible demagogues will take full advantage of that and stoke the fires of anti-Chinese animus. Every time there has been a disaster in this country, countless people have been quick to find a group to blame. After Pearl Harbor, it was the Japanese. ALL Japanese, not just the ones fighting for the Emperor. After 9/11, it was Muslims. ALL Muslims, not just the ones that were terrorists. Our country has a terrible history of scapegoating groups of mostly blameless people for their troubles whenever tragedy strikes.

    1. Yeah, wet markets don’t cast any negative light on Chinese culture.

      1. Jeff, I’m going to be busy most the rest of the day. If you’re planning on going full retard today, can you hold off? Thanks.

        1. Well, when you get back, be prepared to apologize for your lies.

          1. My lies that the wet market story sheds a negative light on Chinese culture and that YouTube kicked off epidemiologists that weren’t following the narrative? See, that’s what I’m talking about. You’ll have to go full retard to refute those points.

              1. Lol. You did do that though.

        2. He doesn’t live his life in full retard mode? Look at his lack of understanding of the “scientific polling” he posted yesterday to prove the gop falls for fake news more. He dismissed all the blatantly obvious criticisms of the study. That paper has been mocked everywhere outside of his socialist bubble.

      2. I know, right?

    2. Anti-Chinese animus is not racism. Sure, there’s no shortage of people who will group our slant-eyed brethren as “Chinese”, but to tailor the discussion around the lowest common denominator is asinine at best.

      Or, as you say, dumb.

      1. We can’t ignore history, though. We know that these things happen. We were somewhat fortunate, that after 9/11, most of our political leaders were responsible enough not to fan the flames of anti-Muslim hatred. We don’t have those type of political leaders now. We have the Donald Trumps who do not hesitate to cast aspersions on entire groups out of sheer demagoguery.

        1. We can’t ignore history means what exactly? That we can’t have an honest conversation? Sure, people will twist things to their own ends. Fearing that is pointless. Water is wet. Sky is blue. Demagogues will demagogue. Fighting that by suppressing information makes the cure worse than the disease.

        2. It’s exactly why I hate twitter.

        3. You mean like people that live in “fly-over country”, bigot?

        4. But if it was a lab leak involving GOF research this is a very dangerous and concerning practice that needs to be examined. And not examining or even considering said practice cannot be taken off the table because someone might act racist in the future.

          The party line was basically we cant consider that because there is a chance it might make people be mean to the chinese. And you are supporting that? We cant even consider a certain hypothesis because of potential future racism. We cant consider analyzing a dangerous situation that could have (and maybe did) cost millions of lives?

          What if a country participated in X activity, that caused nuclear reactors to be unstable (clearly this is extreme hypothetical). Would we not even consider investigating this avenue and call it disinformation because god forbid the truth causes some people to act racist? Would we label anyone that even wants to consider it a crackpot or say they are spreading misinformation?

          Oh whats that? Fauci, the white knight of the MSM participated in GOF research himself, and absolutely had a conflict of interest and reason to hide a potential lab leak? Maybe there is a danger in letting large institutions and their flawed heroes dictate what misinformation is.

          1. “If”. The current best knowledge is that the virus that the Wuhan researchers may have modified in a “gain of function” manner, partially funded by U.S., shared only 97% of its DNA with SARS-CoV-2. Current technology is not sophisticated to modify that final 3% of the DNA to turn the virus they were reportedly experimenting on into SARS-CoV-2.

            1. This is part of the story that Ken keeps missing in his comments about the Wuhan lab and Fauci.

            2. “If” is completely fine. The issue at heart isnt whether we are certain of the cause.

              The two sides of the issue havent been “it def came from a lab” vs “theres no way it came from a lab”. They have been, “it should be considered a possibility that it came from a lab” vs “it occured naturally you crackpot, misinformation spewing, bigot!!”

              I am a scientist and am OK with uncertainty and also the fact that I could be wrong. I am also not asserting (nor are the scientists on my side) it came from the lab, simply that we should not have ruled it out the way it was attempted to be, as the mere possibility that they did GOF research and it escaped is a massive ethical and safety issue that merits discussion. I welcome that discussion, and am open to all evidence of lab leak or naturally occurring virus, I dont have a horse in that race.

              The other side, is an emotional, political, bunch of children who tried to bully others into accepting the lie they tried to sell, and convince everyone that anyone thinking about it is misinformed, crazy, and pedaling falsehoods. They want no discussion, they want you to fall in line or else you are slandered. This is a dangerous, anti-scientific trend, and I very much have a horse in this race.

              1. “They have been, ‘it should be considered a possibility that it came from a lab’ vs ‘it occured naturally you crackpot, misinformation spewing, bigot!!'”

                That is whitewashing the actual history. There were most definitely right-wingers talking about the lab leak as if it were fact.

                Example:
                https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52496098

                “At the White House on Thursday, Mr Trump was asked by a reporter: ‘Have you seen anything at this point that gives you a high degree of confidence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was the origin of this virus?’

                “‘Yes, I have. Yes, I have,’ said the president, without specifying. ‘And I think the World Health Organization [WHO] should be ashamed of themselves because they’re like the public relations agency for China.'”

                1. Super weird that POTUS might have access to information that’s not publicly available on the twitters, that indicates that WIV is responsible for the virus.

                  Also, the WHO was compromised in their objectivity on the matter. Daszak, the president of the organization that sub-granted money to WIV to conduct GOF research on bat viruses, was on the WHO inspection team. HUGE conflict of interest there.

                2. My statement may have been a slight exaggeration, ill give you that. But Trump saying something stupid or some other person saying something without evidence is not a reason to shut down discussion by more credible sources, and that is exactly what was done. Not considering a very plausible, and potentially true hypothesis because it goes against the party line is absolutely not OK and it is straight up politics, and anti science.

                  1. That’s fair enough.

                    Trump wasn’t just some random person, or course. He was the President and he should not have been spouting disinformation.

                    1. Except Trump was not ‘spouting disinformation.’ Facebook’s move admits that much.

                    2. “That’s fair enough”.

                      But it was “disinformation”?

                      I can’t even….. haha.

                3. “That is whitewashing the actual history. There were most definitely right-wingers talking about the lab leak as if it were fact.”

                  Which of course, given that Mike is a pile of lefty lies, is totally irrelevant. Lefty shits were swearing there was no way this was possible.

            3. Yeah, we know mike. “Live with not knowing”.

              And shut the fuck up. Right?

        5. We have the Donald Trumps who do not hesitate to cast aspersions on entire groups out of sheer demagoguery.

          Not only is this false, but even if it were true it would not match Democrats.

          Joe Biden:

          “They [Mitt Romney Republicans] want to but ya’ll [black Americans] back in chains”.

          Some day a left winger will oppose all demagoguery rather than only when it is useful to attack those they hate. Just kidding, we know that will never happen.

          1. “Not only is this false, but even if it were true it would not match Democrats.”

            Which argument are you making?

              1. Biden: “[Romney] said in the first hundred days he’s going to let the big banks once again write their own rules. Unchain Wall Street. They’re going to put you all back in chains.” (Aug. 14, 2012)

                I don’t know whether this is a fair characterization of Romney’s position on bank regulation, but when you quoted Biden you omitted the reference to bank regulation, resulting in a quote that is essentially substance free. That doesn’t stop you from claiming it’s false. Nor does it stop you from claiming that “it would not match Democrats” even though Democrats have generally supported Dodd-Frank while Republican have generally opposed it. And you add “black Americans” to the quote, as though the Great Recession didn’t have any effect on white families.

                It’s almost like you edited the quote in a dishonest attempt to make it look like Biden was claiming Romney wanted the return of slavery. Of course Biden isn’t saying that. If you think that the regulations placed on banks in the wake of the Great Recession are the equivalent of slavery as practiced in the United States prior to the Civil War, that’s on you. Don’t attribute that view (or the view that the Great Recession only hurt blacks) to Biden.

                1. “It’s almost like you edited the quote in a dishonest attempt to make it look like Biden was claiming Romney wanted the return of slavery.”

                  He told a group of black people that a white republican wanted to “put them back in chains”. What in the fuck did you think black people would take that as you stupid fuck? Oh, he said bank first so that negates the racist shit that came out of his mouth afterwards. You actually took the time to type out three long paragraphs of word salad defending this racist shit. What the fuck is wrong with you people?

                2. If you think that the regulations placed on banks in the wake of the Great Recession are the equivalent of slavery as practiced in the United States prior to the Civil War, that’s on you. Don’t attribute that view (or the view that the Great Recession only hurt blacks) to Biden.

                  I love when self-righteous left wingers reveal their inability to think clearly. Biden explicitly compares the subject to slavery, but left wingers are so insane they work themselves into believing “that’s on you”. By doing so they agree the comparison is wrong but their propagandistic purpose of always attack, never acknowledge precludes accepting reality. So they simply assert nonsense knowing their own acolytes don’t care their assertions are absurd.

    3. The Chinese are not to blame . Fauci is to blame. He funded the research. That is / was being covered up.

    4. After 9/11, it was Muslims. ALL Muslims, not just the ones that were terrorists.

      Stupidly wrong, left wingers live as if their fantasies were real.

    5. The degree of “Muslim hate” has been vastly exaggerated, even though people certainly didn’t like the Muslims involved.

  14. Maybe we can add “trust” and “honesty” to the list of characteristics of “white supremacy.” That would explain some things.

  15. “Yet it’s clear that a certain segment of lab-leak critics believed two things: 1) the theory would fan the flames of racism, and 2) for that reason, it should be proactively censored.”

    There’s a certain segment of lab-leak critics that were motivated by a third thing. But Reason was motivated by the same thing, so let’s continue to ignore it.

  16. “I & other AAPIs are increasingly concerned that speculation over the lab leak theory will increase anti-Asian hate,” tweeted Leana Wen, a professor of public health and CNN medical analyst, earlier this week. “As we embark on a full scientific investigation, we must take actions to prevent the next escalation of anti-Asian racism.”

    If criticizing a government in and of itself stokes hate against people from or descended from those countries why don’t left wingers apply this concern to their criticism of Israel? The relationship between criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism is demonstrably true as the anti-Semitic attacks a couple of weeks ago proved. Yet left wingers feign concern over the non-existent relationship while ignoring the real relationship.

    The simple truth is that left wingers are only concerned about how they can portray events to attack their enemies and protect their allies. Reality is irrelevant.

  17. This is bullshit. Fauci said what he said cause he knew the science surrounding mask usage and respiratory viruses.

    “But there are also instances of intentional lies. In the pandemic’s early stages, Fauci discouraged the use of masks only to abruptly reverse himself later. He later admitted that he was worried there wouldn’t be enough masks for hospitals”

    1. Which was always a stupid excuse. Hospitals don’t buy their mask supplies from Walmart or Home Depot.

      1. True. But there’s never really a good excuse for a public health official to intentionally lie to us.

    2. And it makes his “the science changes we have to change” spin such bullshit. There was no science change at all, he said that he lied to save masks for professionals. Now he says he got new information. Which is it?

      1. What about the science that Covid almost never spreads outdoors?
        Multiple studies keep finding this, it keeps not being accepted.

        What about Invermectin? Try saying THAT on YouTube.

  18. “The Media’s Lab Leak Debacle Shows Why Banning ‘Misinformation’ Is a Terrible Idea”

    We need to look at the most obvious and proximate cause of Facebook’s behavior on “misinformation”, and that’s all about the antitrust case the Federal Trade Commission launched against Facebook.

    Back in October of 2020, before the election, the House Democrats released a plan to break up Facebook into Facebook proper, Instagram, and WhatsApp, and severely restrict their ability to make further acquisitions. The Democrats justified that breakup plan on Facebook’s willingness to tolerate “misinformation” on their platform, among other things, and Biden just named the primary author of the Democrats’ breakup plan to be commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission–she’ll be overseeing the ongoing antitrust case against Facebook.

    Given those facts, it is unreasonable to assume Facebook’s decisions about “misinformation” on its platform are being driven by anything other than the antitrust case against them and the Democrats’ near total control over the federal government. Until the antitrust case is over, they’ll do whatever the Democrats want them to do on “misinformation”–rationalizations on any particular subject aside.

    The reason Facebook changed course, presumably, wasn’t because the facts changed. The things we know now really haven’t changed–not in terms of the lab leak theory always being plausible and a real possibility. What changed was that Joe Biden finally changed course and decided to open a new official investigation into the lab leak theory. In other words, Facebook had to change policy or label President Biden’s actions as “misinformation”.

    Don’t miss the forest for the trees. Facebook’s behavior is being driven by the fear of being broken up into smaller competing companies and restricted from making future acquisitions. How they rationalize jumping when the Democrats say jump isn’t the real story. The real story is about why they’re jumping when the Democrats say jump, and I strongly suspect that may have something to do with the Democrats having their balls in a vice.

    P.S. Facebook doing the Democrats’ bidding because the Democrats have their balls in a vice is a terrible example of Facebook exercising their freedom of association, their freedom of the press, or their freedom of speech. If Putin were doing this to a Russian media outlet, American media would call out forced self-censorship by rank intimidation for what it is.

    1. The Dems threatening Facebook with antitrust action is about as authentic as a Wrestlemania match. They aren’t breaking up something that’s so good at data mining for the spook agencies and providing funding and a workforce for their election campaigns, and everyone knows it. They’re just putting on a show for the activists who are stupid enough to think $150K in Facebook ads put the bad orange man in office over Her Inevitability.

      1. Right, they have this game down. It’s similar to how the Ed Dept “forced” schools to implement a Sex Inquisition and climate groups sue and settle with the EPA. In all cases these are allied groups role playing rather than independent groups considering all the relevant factors.

      2. “”They aren’t breaking up something that’s so good at data mining for the spook agencies “”

        Apps do not have to be under the Facebook umbrella for them to data mine.

        1. No, but do you really think it’s a coincidence that Facebook gained that capability after getting angel investment from spook-fronted individuals like Jim Breyer?

      3. They probably aren’t breaking them up.

        They’re forcing them into a consent decree, which is the ultimate objective of almost every antitrust case. In that consent decree, they’ll force Facebook to accept speech codes–just like the consent decree that limited the liability of the tobacco companies in exchange for willingly forgoing their First Amendment right to advertise. They’ll set up an enforcement mechanism to police speech, and they’ll open the consent decree up to any social media company that wants to join–just like they did with the consent decree in the tobacco industry.

        And all the social media companies will want to join the consent decree–after Congress repeals Section 230 and only extends liability protections to social media companies in the consent decree. That’s what happened in the tobacco industry consent decree, too. It was originally targeted at just a few tobacco companies, but eventually almost all of them joined the agreement for the liability protections.

        “At the time the Master Settlement Agreement became effective, the OPMs collectively controlled approximately 97% of the domestic market for cigarettes. In addition to these “originally settling parties” (OSPs), the Master Settlement Agreement permits other tobacco companies to join the settlement . . . Since 1998, approximately 41 additional tobacco companies have joined the Master Settlement Agreement . . . . The addition of the Subsequent Participating Manufacturers meant that nearly all of the cigarette producers in the domestic market had signed the Multistate Settlement Agreement.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobacco_Master_Settlement_Agreement#Subsequent_signatories

        The politicians back then didn’t really want to kill the Tobacco industry either–not when the tobacco industry was a sin tax cash cow. They wanted to control the tobacco industry’s ability to advertise, and they wanted an even fatter revenue stream.

        That’s what you get with a consent decree. If the parties consent, it’s even a way around the First Amendment. That’s what the Democrats want from the antitrust cases and the resulting consent decrees. They want a way around the First Amendment to restrict speech online.

        1. “”The politicians back then didn’t really want to kill the Tobacco industry either–not when the tobacco industry was a sin tax cash cow.””

          Yes government does not want to kill the cash cow.
          Is Facebook a government cash cow?

          1. The Democrats want other things from Facebook (and social media), and until January of 2023, at least, the federal government and the Democratic party are more or less one in the same thing.

            The governments want to control “misinformation” like the Wuhan lab theory, Hunter Biden’s emails, speculation about Comey’s true motives, “conspiracy theories” about Lois Lerner’s activities at the IRS, leaks from whistleblowers like Snowden, etc.

            They want to prohibit people from promoting racism (opposing reparations), promoting homophobia (opposing gay marriage), promoting misogyny (opposing abortion), or promoting xenophobia (supporting a wall).

            1. Don’t take my word for this.

              I mentioned that the House Democrats released a report in October of 2020 detailing how they would break up each of the Big Tech companies, with Facebook included, and I mentioned that the primary author of that report, Lina Khan, has since been appointed by Joe Biden to be commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission, which is bringing the antitrust action against Facebook.

              Well, here’s what it says in that report about breaking up Facebook:

              “In the absence of competition, Facebook’s quality has deteriorated over time, resulting in worse privacy protections for its users and a dramatic rise in misinformation on its platform.”

              —-Majority Staff Report and Recommendations

              Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law of the Committee of the Judiciary

              “Investigation of Competition in Digital Markets”

              Page 14 of 450

              https://judiciary.house.gov/uploadedfiles/competition_in_digital_markets.pdf?

              This isn’t speculation on my part.

        2. More importantly, perhaps, was the huge slush fund that government got to dish out to the well-connected, campaign contributors and other people that were owed favors. For a few years there, a huge percentage of ads on sports programs, channels and radio stations were anti-smoking ads.

          Interestingly, after milking the Master Settlement cow for over 20 years, it’s drying up due to a decrease in smoking. The fevered attempts to regulate and demonize healthier alternatives to cigarettes represents the efforts of those advertising agencies and marketers to get to retirement sailing the same boat. Nothing, absolutely NOTHING to do with the non-existent health issues from nicotine.

    2. This is what bothers me about HyR’s coverage of social media companies. They’re so far down the road of reacting to very credible threats by government to their business that it’s very distortive to consider their actions in a vacuum — to posit us as being at a crossroads between unfettered freedom of contract and association, and restriction of same — rather than in the context of being a transmission belt for government policy. In this world of nth-best choices, it may well be that legal actions that superficially appear to restrict their freedom of action are the best available way to improve their customers’ freedom of speech.

  19. In January, Fauci again confessed to a purportedly noble lie: He purposely set the herd immunity threshold at a lower level because he didn’t think the public could handle the actual number. In any fair accounting, this meets the classic definition of spreading misinformation, yet the media’s love affair with Fauci has hardly abated at all.

    Consider both types of errors: (1) Actual misinformation the supposed anti-misinformationsists (henceforth SAMs) support and truths that Sams wrongly claim are misinformation. The combination of (1) & (2) are the difference between reality and what left wingers want people to believe because it advances their political goals.

    There are two possible reasons this is happening. The first is that left wingers value politics over anything else including a massive pandemic which costs millions of lives. The second is that they are incapable of recognizing the difference between reality and the political construct they created to cast themselves as virtuous heroes in the modern world.

    1. It’s both reasons, depending on which person. The fact that the first group wasn’t just doing it for political reasons, but for the specific political reason to save the country from a president that was an existential threat to our future, made the second group more even more motivated to do their bidding.

      1. This has been going on for decades, none of this is a response to Trump.

        1. To a lesser extent, yes. But it was amplified immensely for Trump.

          1. They’re more open about it than they used to be in the same way they more openly support government control of everything. Their institutional control protects them from repercussions and as this becomes stronger they can be more open about their true beliefs.

            1. Remember, when what’s his name got caught lying about Bush’s military record, he got fired. Getting caught lying about Trump gets you a book deal.

    2. He purposefully used a herd-immunity threshold coming from a model at the level of a college sophomore statistics student (and indeed for which a bright sophomore would criticize for being overly simplistic), and which sets the threshold unreasonably high.
      His model assumes there is the same probability of transmission between a toddler in Maine and a 90-year-old in Arizona as there is between two sophomore statistics students at Ohio State U.
      Any competent first-year epidemiology graduate student should be using a model at least as sophisticated as the one-parameter-heterogeneity model (see https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32576668/) which in fact predicts a lower threshold than the original Fauci claim…

      Which justifies again the statement that Fauci is a source of disinformation.

  20. Just like with Hillary’s emails, they don’t care WHAT was leaked; they’re only pissed that someone snitched.

  21. No issue has exposed the one-sidedness of the anti-misinformation drive as thoroughly as the pandemic,

    Maybe this is true, but only because people haven’t been paying attention. Misinformation has been step one in the left’s standard playbook literally for decades.

    A few examples:

    – Claiming 1 in 5 women on campus are sexually assaulted in a 4 year college term.
    – SPLC driven claims of ever increasing KKK style hate groups.
    – The claim 1/2 of all personal bankruptcies in America are due to medical bills.
    – The claim “nothing has changed” over anti-black racial discrimination between the Jim Crow Era and afterward.

    The left’s lies have been going on so long the entire media and academia process is corrupt. Students coming up in this world accept this propaganda mission as normal, even accepting it instead as “science”. What we’re seeing now is the effect of allowing this corruption to proceed unopposed for so long it’s now considered the new normal.

    1. Women make 70 cents on the dollar.

      Immigrants use less welfare (they say this by using total dollars, not dollars per capita)

      Jobs Americans won’t do.

      1. Women make 70 cents on the dollar.

        Excellent example. About a month ago my son’s grade school teacher dropped this one, claiming the disparity is “for the same jobs”. When I explained how the percentage was determined even my 4th grader could understand the statistic doesn’t mean what was claimed and is essentially meaningless. But left wingers continue to push it because reality is irrelevant to them.

      2. Also, a much more surreal and glaring one:
        “Anti-Asian attacks are increasing because of the lab leak hypothesis.” (followed by a disorienting turn to discuss White Supremacy, in Pelosi’s case)

        The black folks I’ve seen on video after video attacking elderly Asians, often with pretty explicit race-hate commentary by the attackers, are NOT the people who’ve been following the lab leak/wet market debate.

        And I’m generously assuming they aren’t counting theft from Asian-operated small businesses and discrimination in admissions from top schools, neither of which are perpetrated by white supremacists.

    2. “No issue has exposed the one-sidedness of the anti-misinformation drive as thoroughly as the pandemic,”

      You are forgetting the big one – the elephant in the room – election fraud last November, and the fake 1/6/2021 “riot” by Trump supporters at the Capital. Robby, a dutiful leftist, is proudly going down with the ship on these instances of “misinformation”.

    3. During the past 50+ years I’ve seen so much of this in the field of nutrition as to dwarf all this political stuff. And when you’ve waded thru that sea, you get to the swamp of chemophobia. And then there’s the outstanding peak to scale there regarding many classes of drugs. The volume of normative “facts” people believe is stunning.

  22. Robbie is using this piece as a covert anti-Fauci screed. An excellent case of both sides journalism. There is a world of difference between Fauci downplaying masks at a time when the spread of the virus was minimal and there was much uncertainty and the concerted effort by many groups to deliberately spread outright lies and misinformation. They are not even close to the same thing.

    I appreciate the people at Reason defending free speech. It’s a valuable argument to make. But they repeatedly ignore the fact that organizations – private, political, and state-run- are deliberately sowing epistemological chaos. It’s one of the defining problems of our era. It’s playing out with the whole election fraud allegations. It’s a cynical drive by Republican supporters to sow doubt and confusion so that democracy will hobble along dysfunctionally and corrupt actors will file in through the breaches in the walls of democracy and fill their grafting hearts to satiety. But sure, Fauci is bad because he tried to get a handle on the pandemic. Does anyone believe Fauci had any corrupt motives for any of his decisions and actions? No. You all know this too because the pandemic is a very difficult thing to control. So don’t throw Fauci in there as just another misinformant alongside the real grifters. That’s just weak punditry. Or punditry with an agenda.

    1. You are no less a “pundit” yourself; check your own bias.

    2. Even if what you say is true and that Fauci’s faults are less malicious that others…

      It doesn’t actually mean anything with regards to the point of the article.

      It is not good that people lie. It is unfortunate that some people are incorrect at times. Both premises lead to corrupt information being spread.

      The article is about what to do about it… not to necessarily try to parse what “kind” of incorrect info it is. Because it doesn’t matter… lie or honest mistake or even a white lie. The solution is not censorship and that is the point of the article.

    3. “”It’s playing out with the whole election fraud allegations. It’s a cynical drive by Republican supporters to sow doubt and confusion so that democracy will hobble along dysfunctionally..””

      It’s as if you are willfully ignoring the democrats role in this. For four years they claimed Trump was not duly elected. And if you want to go with “but Russian”, consider at no point could dems prove there was any fraud, or that the Russians changed any vote.

    4. sparkstable is right. The point of the article is that labeling something misinformation on the word of an expert has pitfalls just as much as info that comes from your Granny’s neighbors uncle.
      I personally believe that the overly zealous suppression of even the idea that it could have come from a lab had immeasurable harm, so even those that were doing it with the well meaning intent of protecting Chinese people from backlash still spread misinformation that likely led to harm in other ways.
      If I were a Trump supporter or a general anti-government person that was leery of the official government line what do think my reaction would be to a 180-turn in policy and later admitted lie about said policy. It might be to not believe you when you say the bars have to shut down to contain the threat, or eventually not believe you when you say the vaccines are safe. If it had appeared that all the major media had supported your lie and not let me question it then I am going to stop trusting the media along with the government.
      I have no evidence to back it up other then what I have seen and heard from people as I talk with them, but I think Fauci’s mask lie and the early suppression of the lab possibility when everyone knew there hadn’t actually been enough time to rule it out lead to more damage and possible death because it gave legitimacy and a “see, they lie” to all the fringe and crazies that were knowingly outright pushing agendas.

      1. Exactly… people (sadly like my dad) do not need to know the truth to know who is a liar. And it is the detection of liars among the trusted that causes one to consider the possibility that those we once thought of as crazy may actually be right.

        Why is that? Because the reason we believed they were crazy is because the people we now know as liars told us so. And if we lose faith in those who lie to us, we start to reconsider our positions on other things that were based on information from those liars… like who is crazy and about what.

        And when the crazy people, upon retrospect, were telling me that these trusted people were lying to me all along… it gives me reason to start believing them about others things.

        That’s dangerous to just do without critical thought… but it isn’t unreasonable. AMD it is what many people are doing.

    5. You want to talk grifters, how about those promoting test and trace long after the pandemic had become…pandemic?

    6. So are you trying to say Fauci is Batman?

    7. “Does anyone believe Fauci had any corrupt motives for any of his decisions and actions? No.”

      New around here?

    8. Uh, Fauci was involved in the decision for fund GOF research at the Wuhan facility. He had a pretty clear motivation to suppress that information, and not an especially noble one.

      His motivations, more recently, to misrepresent outdoor infection rates, mask necessity, social distancing (6 ft. only if you expect to be coughed on), and the efficacy of NON-Big Pharma virus solutions (currently, Invermectin, which you may or may not hear about), I will not speculate on.

      But it adds up to enough to move Fauci from the “tryin’ as good as he can, bless his heart” category into suspected-of-bad-faith category.

  23. “A coalition of advocacy groups that includes PEN America, the Poynter Institute, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and others recently sent a letter to Biden urging his administration to create a federal disinformation task force.”

    Just get on with it and call it The Ministry of Truth

    1. Yeah, the fucking EFF signed it. Depressing.

  24. The first step is firing all the fucking bureaucrats in NIH, CDC, FDA, and others who helped make this fucking virus possible, and then made it worse by their recommendations for handling a pandemic.

    It was clear they either knew what happened and lied, or didn’t know at all and were worse than useless.

    My hope is the next president who’s not a democrat will clean house, but history says otherwise. That can only happen with a willing Congress who will legislate and cut the budget right out from under DC swamp rats.

    1. If Trump did not clean house of all of the people who conjured up the Russia hoax and used the opportunity to frame Americans for crimes they did not commit in order to have leverage to get them to say things against Trump, I don’t think anyone is going to do any house cleaning.

    2. The first step is firing all the bureaucrats, period. They’re unaccountable to anyone, and have enormous power. More than any elected official could possibly dream of having. Federal agencies are huge, and nobody ever has any idea what those agencies are actually doing, because they’re opaque. They sit behind a wall of regulations and rules that they make themselves. A 30-year federal bureaucrat who’s in upper management has more power than a senator, because the chances that a 30 year upper management federal bureaucrat will ever get fired is slim to none. He can do whatever he wants because he has no accountability to anyone.

  25. Facebook made a quiet but dramatic reversal last week: It no longer forbids users from touting the theory that COVID-19 came from a laboratory.

    “In light of ongoing investigations into the origin of COVID-19 and in consultation with public health experts, we will no longer remove the claim that COVID-19 is man-made or manufactured from our apps,” the social media platform declared in a statement.

    One of these things is not like the other.

    the lab leak theory—the idea that COVID-19 inadvertently escaped from a laboratory, possibly the Wuhan Institute of Virology—has gained some public support among experts.

    The “Lab Leak Theory” does not require the virus to be man-made or manufactured. Other questions might arise if the theory is true, but those other questions have no bearing on the original question.

    1. “”The “Lab Leak Theory” does not require the virus to be man-made or manufactured.””

      This. But Trump said it so some people started barking like rabid dogs.

      Of course if it did leak, people would try to cover it up big time. Imagine if Chernobyl killed a couple of million people across the world.

    2. “The “Lab Leak Theory” does not require the virus to be man-made or manufactured. Other questions might arise if the theory is true, but those other questions have no bearing on the original question.”

      I’m sure that is relevant to some argument or other, but here it simply serves to show you’re confused or trying to change the subject; stupid or dishonest.

  26. Right-wing spaces are undoubtedly rife with absurd election claims, from the idea that President Trump actually won last year to the recent notion that a coup will restore him to office by August. The spread of election-related falsehoods—for which no one is more to blame than the former president himself—fanned the violence and destruction on January 6.

    But some of the early reporting about what transpired at the Capitol also turned out to be false. Most notably, an angry MAGA mob did not bludgeon Officer Brian Sicknick to death with a fire extinguisher, as The New York Times and Associated Press initially claimed. It later emerged that Sicknick had suffered a stroke, yet no one called on Facebook to ban the AP. The defining characteristic of modern campaigns to police misinformation is naked partisanship.

    Nothing makes Robby look more like a left wing partisan hack than this sort of nonsense. There has been significant evidence of rampant election fraud since election night when the swing states that went for Biden shut down their counting early, ejected all of the Republican poll judges, then started counting again, and then turned in massive Biden counts, in some cases swing the state vote by hundreds of thousands of votes in 3-4 hours, accompanied by video of unsecured boxes of ballots being carted in, and or, counted multiple times. The reality is that if the counts while Republicans were effectively excluded from the counting process were excluded, Trump likely would have won those six states. (And the Republicans would have probably at least three more Senators). But keep pretending that the videos of unsecured boxes of ballots being carted in after the Republicans had been excluded, or the mother/daughter team running the same batch of ballots through counting machines 3-4 times didn’t exist, because the same powers that prevented anyone from discussing the lab leak theory, don’t want us to see if, and how, the election was stolen.

    Oh, and guess what? The only video of violence from 1/6/21 that we have seen so far has been by the Capitol Police and later identified AntiFA instigators. And the only death from violence that day was the unexplained shooting of Ashlii Burkett by a still unidentified Capitol Police officer. The crowd was boisterous, yes. But there is no evidence publicly available that the Trump supporters were the least bit violent.

    The left, including its dutiful foot soldiers like Robby, are suppressing the “misinformation” about the election fraud and the Capital “riots”, for all that they are worth. I think that it is likely that they will continue to do so, both of these are existential threats to the Democrats who took power as a result of the election fraud. Every law or regulation enacted by the Biden Administration will be suspect, as will be the party itself, if the allegations turn out to be true, and there is a decent chance that that will be shown, with the ongoing Maricopa County recount by the AZ Senate.

    1. Don’t over-do it. You can’t claim there is no evidence that Trump supporters on capital Jill were the least bit violent when we have the video of a dude blugeoning a police officer who was on the ground using a flagpole.

      Comparatively the violence was negligible, but if you oversell it as zero then people can discount the whole thing.

      1. Very good point. There is never any reason to claim more than the truth will support. It is what causes so much trouble with getting people to consider police reform.

        BLM lies about there being a blue on black genocide. That causes many people to shut down when I try to talk to them about actual policing issues like QI or Asset Forfiture or the harm of drug laws.

        1. Agreed. I did go overboard. BUT the violence seemed to primarily go the other way – the Capital Police overreacting. And, we do know that the only person to die from violence that day was Ashlii, that they refuse to identify the police officer who shot her, and the video showing her being shot very much looks like there was no legally justifiable reason for the unknown officer to have shot her, including the presence of other Capital Police standing idly by her.

          Nevertheless, there are still a number of “protesters” still in jail, denied bail, and awaiting trial. Some have apparently been in solitary confinement now for months. What are they being accused of? Pretty much trespassing. Held without bail for months for trespassing in the People’s House? Esp with released video showing some of the Capital Police unlocking doors to let them in? At this point, I suspect that there will be no court trials of any of them (with all convictions come from plea bargains), because trial would require discovery, which has been, so far, denied. And that would require disclosure of thousands of hours of video, which has been, so far, successfully hidden.

          Ask yourself – was there really a “riot”, and if so, how violent was it? If it was, then why haven’t Pelosi and Schemer released the thousands of hours of video to make their point? Why has the Biden/Garland DOJ arrested people merely charged with trespassing using SWAT teams and no-knock rads, and then refused to let those arrested post bail? Why does everyone “know” that there was a riot, but the public has seen little, if any evidence, that the rioters ever assaulted the police, or anyone else (excluding the small number of AntiFA instigators, later identified via video)? How do you know that it wasn’t all theater? Do you really believe that this is beyond them somehow? On what evidence? That they have never lied to us (including about the origins of COVID-19)?

      2. Fair enough. But when they came in with the shocking, horrendous, pearl-clutch-inducing figure of…”1.5 million dollars in damage”, including paying UNION WAGES to the maintenance engineers for picking up all those papers, I have to figure there were lots of Congresscritters forcibly restraining an eye roll.

        1.5 mill? Antifa’s gotta be snickering. They can do more damage than that at a largely peaceful pre-Largely Peaceful BLM Protest planning meeting.

  27. Another example of a Reason author trying to retcon himself onto the right side of history.

    If it wasn’t for double standards…

  28. Adam Housley
    @adamhousley

    “Also…US intelligence believes China is trying to produce variants that suggest it came from bats to cover up that it originally came from a lab. The belief is still that it escaped accidentally, but was allowed to spread.”

    This country’s disgusting Pravda-esque Democrat owned media deliberately delayed letting this information out so that China would have more time to cover their tracks. Do you people sleep at night or are you just too fucking stupid to know how bad this is?

  29. 2 things:

    1. It must be lonely to be Robby Suave at Reason.

    2. Why are we buying the retconning by the media that “racism” was the reason they discounted the labbleak theory. It is silly to even suggest such a thing. Not one single person actually *believed* any of that nonsense about saying “Wuhan Coronavirus” being racist. It was solely and entirely bought into as a cudgel to be used against Trump, solely and entirely because it was there. There is no other reason. There were dozens of posts to that effect here at Reason contemporaneously to the statements. No need to rely on people’s self serving rationalizations 15 months later.

    1. The racism BS wasn’t just something to be used against Trump. It was literal CCP propaganda. Do you remember the early days when it was spreading in Italy and the Chinese media sent over videos warning people against social distancing from Chinese people because it was racist? Pepperidge farm remembers

      1. So, you are saying it was exactly, precisely what the left claims Russia was doing in 2016.

        Except, in this case it actually happened.

      2. “It was literal CCP propaganda.”

        When caught in the bind between questioning the obvious propaganda from a totalitarian government and saying anything that might aid BadOrangeMan the editors at Reason chose their version of the lesser of two evils.

        Or, more likely, their paymaster (who profit greatly from China) told them what ‘choices’ they had.

    2. Some people believe everything about racism now. It’s an incredibly easy answer to everything. You don’t even have to think about the problem, cause: racism. Why? Racism. How? Racism. Retards.

  30. All it took was an offhand remark by Trump that his doctor said good results were being had by using hydroxychloroquine, and that drug instantly got politicized like medical (or non-medical) marijuana. Is there any chance for an objective look at hydroxychloroquine within the next 50 years?

    1. I think your statement is enough to get you banned from all social media platforms.

      I also think that might answer your question.

    2. OMGZORS!! YOU RACIST! WHY DO YOU WANT CHILD SEX SLAVES TO DRINK BLEACH AND DIE?!?!?! YOU TRANSPHOBIC WHITE MALE… CHECK YOUR PRIVELAGE!!!

      1. Yeah that was rough, my circle of friends were all on the my god we were told to drink bleach kick for a while, what an idiot. I tried to explain out what was trying to be convened but there was not desire it was Orange Man Bad only.

      1. c19hcq.com

        c19ivermectin.com

        Ivermectin is clearly superior though HCQ is not ineffective.

        1. Yeah, I’ve been sneaky spreading that info before it, too, gets the “conspiracy theory” label.

          Bret Weinstein’s already getting brigaded with messages of the “Blood on your hands, reeeee!” variety, but he even lays out not just evidence that it IS effective, but explains how.

          darkhorse podcast #83 on you tube if it’s still there.

    3. We do know that hydroxychloroquine was a tonic used for malaria and that malaria is not a virus, so it’s doubtful to be a cure for COVID-19.

      My suspicion is that Trump, being a Teatotaller, was just having fantasies of drinking gin and tonic in the veldt with Michael Caine and taking on The Zulu Nation.

      1. Well who hasn’t?

  31. I’m going to sit here and JAQ off all day like Ken did yesterday while I post articles about how Covid came from animals. Keep in mind, my hypothesis— that Dear Leader is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths through his narcissism and incompetence— isn’t based upon whether I’m right or wrong. I’m just JAQing off and gaslighting so it’s all good.

    Here ya go Ken: https://medika.life/debunking-nicholas-wades-origin-of-covid-conspiracy-theory/

  32. what do you eat to recharge after such an expenditure of gaslight?

  33. It’s not a dramatic reversal.

    The man-made origin of COVID19 didn’t serve the democrat narrative for the 2020 election. So it was censored.

    Now that the election is over, and the right people are in charge, there’s no need to censor it, so they’re letting it go. That way, they can claim to be fact-based, since they eventually opened their minds to all the facts.

    But, in reality, the science and the facts didn’t have anything to do with it.

    1. Yeah, now that the lab leak theory has been upgraded from crazy-ass conspiracy theory peddled by bleach-drinkers and cranks to extremely unlikely scenario unsupported by any evidence you guys are feeling good about yourselves. Hey, anything that makes one happy in life I say you should go with it.

      1. I’m flattered, but this really isn’t about me.

      2. There might be plenty of evidence, but the Chinese aren’t sharing. How can you make a determination that it didn’t come from a lab if you don’t have information from that lab?

      3. As opposed to the mountains of evidence supporting natural origin? I mean, other than the “CCP wants THIS explanation” evidence?

  34. Folks, as long as Omniscience is a logical impossibility (Omniscience is perfect knowledge without acquisition or verification which also negates volition, all contradictory,) any one of us is subject to accidentally believing or spreading misinformation.

    Declaing a “War On Misinformation” is like the previous attempt to declare a war on a human condition (“The War On Poverty”) or the war on a tactic (The War On Terrorism,”) the war on plants (“The War On Drugs,”) and the various unofficially declared mini-wars on inanimate objects (a future “War On Guns?) All are exercises in absurdity and deadly futility and so it will be the case with “The War On Misinformation.”

    Now let’s get to work on something worth fighting for, which is Nuremberg-style trials for the CCP and PLA members responsible for unleashing the Hell of COVID-19 onto the world!

  35. Gee robby, who knew? No mea culpa from reason?

  36. In February 2021, Democratic Reps. Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney, both of California, sent letters not just to tech companies but to cable providers taking them to task for airing outlets that spread misinformation. Later that week, Congress convened a hearing on “disinformation and extremism,” where lawmakers discussed whether the failure to purge all false claims about the 2020 election from the internet and television may have contributed to the Capitol riots.””

    And censoring disinformation is going to help the conspiracy theorists how?

    Perhaps they can make me a censor? I know disinformation when I see it.

    1. Ya, those two airheads just want Fox news etc. banned.

  37. Facebook made a quiet but dramatic reversal last week: It no longer forbids users from touting the theory that COVID-19 came from a laboratory.

    For the NPCs still using Facebook this may be dramatic. I don’t use sites that willfully censor content they deem problematic.

  38. What short memories here. The Wuhan connection was first posed by Trumpy, and thereafter any suggestion that he may be correct was demonized. He insisted on referring to the “China virus”, resulting in howls of indignation by the leftists. Seems he may have been spot on though Suave would restrict himself from admitting such.

  39. Wow, did not know facebook deleted posts about lab leak theory. How bizzare. Anyone with half a brain would consider that a possibility, and until the Chinese share what they know, how could that theory be disproven?

    1. No, the people with half a brain SUPPRESSED information about the lab-leak likelihood.

      Fortunately, those of us with WHOLE brains had a better understanding of what had happened, and ignored the Official Social Truth.

  40. The author of this article is a conservative scientific illiterate. “Lab leak” is NOT synonymous at all with “man-made”.

    1. Mr. Murphy, you sir have warmed my heart. This has been driving me up the wall constantly. It’s not that hard but everywhere you go the two are confounded. They are not only different but diametrically opposed in plausibility.

      The idea that a naturally occurring virus could have escaped from routine lab work (or been brought back by scientists infected during field work), is entirely plausible. It is not racist and only assumes that human error that has happened in US labs could happen in China, and that China’s authoritarian government would try to hide something they think might make them look bad. These are hardly unlikely assumptions .

      The idea it was made however is inconsistent with easily confirmed evidence including the the structure of the viral genome. For it to be true requires a series of implausible assumptions including a lot of difficult molecular biology work to obscure the man-made origin, all to produce a freakishly half-assed bioweapon.

      It’s not that hard to tell the two ideas apart.

      1. Well, gain-of-function research isn’t exactly automobile design in the first place.

        I wanna see them admit the real dichotomy here, which would be between the “lab escape” school and the “deliberately designed and released” whackos.

        The latter are unnecessarily making the leap from “possible explanation” to full-blown conspiracy theory.

  41. Sorry,…. anyone ignorant enough to depend on the amercan media for meaning is harmless, and not worth worrying about. We all get pretty much that which we deserve. I have no sympathy.

  42. And as further evidence of media’s inability to get simple things right, the ongoing inability or unwillingness to tell the difference between being MADE in a lab vs ESCAPING (leaking) from a lab. The lab leak hypothesis is that a naturally occurring virus escaped from a lab in Wuhan that was known to be studying coronaviruses as part of research to understand coronavirus biology and prevalence in wild animal populations. This is not a fringe idea and never should have been considered one. In fact, it should have been treated as a significant possibility from day one. The idea that the virus is made in a laboratory either as clandestine gain of function work or for bioweapons, however, continues to be fringe because it is not only unsupported there is considerable evidence against it.

    The inability (or unwillingness, it’s not that hard) to distinguish between the two ideas is a major problem. At first this meant treating the non-fringe ‘escape’ hypothesis as fringe, now it is contributing to treating the fringe ‘made’ hypothesis as non-fringe. So you get misinformation coming and going. Reason contributes by continuing to fail to differentiate between the two. Strong work media!

    1. “And as further evidence of media’s inability to get simple things right, the ongoing inability or unwillingness to tell the difference between being MADE in a lab vs ESCAPING (leaking) from a lab. The lab leak hypothesis is that a naturally occurring virus escaped from a lab in Wuhan that was known to be studying coronaviruses as part of research to understand coronavirus biology and prevalence in wild animal populations. This is not a fringe idea and never should have been considered one. In fact, it should have been treated as a significant possibility from day one…”
      Which it was not; any mention was regarded as right wing conspiracy theory by same media sources not trying to tamp down the fire.

      “…The idea that the virus is made in a laboratory either as clandestine gain of function work or for bioweapons, however, continues to be fringe because it is not only unsupported there is considerable evidence against it…”
      Here you have at least two problems:
      1) Funds are fungible; any GoF research, clandestine or otherwise, were funded by me; the US taxpayer. And how do *you* prove there were none?
      2) The evidence you claim is going to have to originate from that lab. The agencies of the CCP go with honesty and transparency like axle-grease and pickles; try booking a trip to Xinjiang Provence about now.
      And it doesn’t take the blatant dishonesty of the CCP to suggest to most of us that the axle-grease major media is every bit as compatible with the honest pickle.
      See the blatant dishonesty of the US media just this evening: Watch CBS TV news this evening where that slimy actress cast as a news-reader makes the claim, nearly 6 months after Siknik was declared to have died from a stroke, that the 1/6 protest caused 5 deaths, including Siknik.
      I live in CA. I have been blasted by bullshit from the D-controlled government for the last 16 months regarding what amounts to a manufactured ‘crises’.
      I’m certain that I’m not alone in calling *BULLSHIT!*
      Got “evidence”? Show it and give us a trail to the source; your facile claims and assurances are N(ot) W(orth) S(hit)

      1. Corrections:
        “…by same media sources *NOW* trying to tamp down the fire…”

        “…And how do *you* prove there were none?(GoF research)…”
        Yes, there should be no requirement to prove the negative, but if you can’t, don’t spend my money there>

    2. Seems DrRadium showed up long enough to drop the ‘currently true’ version of the circumstances, along with some misdirection to keep your eye off the man behind the curtain, and then blew off.
      No, Dr.Radium, I’m still not claiming a conspiracy; there’s more than enough bullshit generated absent agreement with others, as noted about the cop, above, and perhaps your BS.
      Wanna gain a rep? Show up and prove you’re worth it.
      Otherwise, fuck off as one more propagandist.

  43. It’s obvious that the reasons for discarding the lab-leak probability were A), to avoid fingers being pointed at the American scientists and politicians who were funneling money to the Wuhan lab, and B), because it was Trump who held all along that this was the likely source.

    Orange Man Bad.

    Meanwhile, people were dying from incorrect information, and because governors were shipping the deathly ill to rub shoulders with the high-risk and denying the use of treatments which had been suggested by the Bad Orange Man.

    1. Cuomo’s staff admitted to lying about the data since it might help Trump otherwise.

    2. I thought nobody was dying and the numbers were all cooked and it’s just the flu.

      1. “I thought nobody was dying and the numbers were all cooked and it’s just the flu.”
        Sarc? I hope so.

  44. Truth matters…justice matters. Fear that a fact will support some narrative some tribe is afraid of is irrelevant. If we are to look at how any fact will impact some sterotype we might as well just break the country apart now. If the virus started in Milan do you think any of the “woke” media would say..”now we don’t want to create any anti Italian hate crimes in the US”? Of course not because Italians are not a tribe that is obessed with being a minority under “oppression” and and “us versus them” mentality that many “tribes” in the US are.

    The Big Tech masters are just part of the NYC media left wing cabal that has infected the country with marxism for decades…they are the enemy of liberty and any “disinformation” is from CBS, NBC, NYT, WAPO and hell Goldman Sachs, Citi, the Fed and of course “big tech” who is run by the same bolshevik types who have run the media for decades…time to force big tech to not censor anyone unless they are violating the NAP…period end of story

  45. Lena Wen’s comments are such that you wonder if people like her could block the truth which could save people in fear of the truth reinforcing a sterotype of some sort…

  46. Nobody who is involved in the press/media should be censoring anything other than something overtly hate/mean/dangerous. The fact that we knew shortly that China had protected their own country from any travels in or out of that Viral area and let international in and out continue unabated would be a bases to suspect just about anything. It was logical to question this lab so near and in that business. Reasonable people would not have written it off and if even half of the so-called news people out there were anything thing other than a Liberal press/media on the air or print, there would be a clamor of objections to this sort of censuring of speech and press!

    1. “…other than something overtly hate/mean/dangerous…”

      You can’t define those terms, which is why A1 is there.
      Buzz off.

  47. The real surprise will come when they follow the money trail to the bribed lab worker who let it loose. Given how many prominent Democrats were publicly praying for “something like an epidemic” in the summer of 2019 hoping to stop Trump’s blazing economy, it’s pretty obvious who had the greatest motive. And, face it, it can’t cost too much to bribe some poor Chinese lab tech.

    1. Now THERE ya go!! If we’re gonna conspiracy theory, let’s big dog the effort!! It was the fucking Democrats all along!!

  48. We have always been at war with Eastasia.

  49. In 2021, start earning cash from your home and getting paid(500$ to 700$ / hour ) by this job. These are the best online jobs I’ve made $84, 8254 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student. Join it today here…payhd.com

  50. Kansas politicians, complained the 30 May 1856 Daily Pittsburgh Gazette–just after Rep Preston Brooks (D-SC) caned Senator Charles Sumner–made it a 5-year felony to “print, write, introduce into, publish or circulate” anything “calculated to produce a disorderly, dangerous or rebellious among the slaves in this Territory…” The article quoted the First and Fourth Amendments. So, did proslavery Democrats repent, quit ransacking homes, burning papers and clubbing Senators?

  51. Maybe the administration could task Hunter with organizing bat barbecues at Chinese-American cultural exchange clubs across college campuses.

  52. Originally social media held the promise of open communications. Now it is where discussion and debate go to die, only allowing what the gods of Facebook deem to be the truth. Much like those that believed the earth was flat and the center of the universe and those that said otherwise were deemed heretics.

    1. We haven’t figured out how to regulate it yet. It’s like any other industry. What makes money is turning the product into a dopamine-delivery device. Casinos do well.

      The mistake is believing that people are able to be convinced by conversation with opponents. It doesn’t work that way. People are usually more motivated to feel that they are right than to actually be right.

      I don’t understand the hand-wringing, really, because it’s a fact that Facebook caused an armed insurrection against the United States, whether we like it or not, so therefore it must be regulated or eliminated just like any other threat to our way of life.

  53. Fact: The virus was in a lab where it belonged.
    Fact: The virus was in Wuhan, China.
    Fact: Components of the virus originated in nature.
    Fact: People worldwide have reasons to fear biological warfare.
    Fact: Biological warfare may be defined to include clinical selection of potent strains of any virus.
    Fact: Biological warfare may be defined to include techniques of viral dissemination that can be calculated for maximum transmission effectiveness.
    Likelihood: There is no sane reason that any nation would spread a virus that does not also have a technique for treating its infectiousness.

    I’m with the idea that conspiracy theories shouldn’t be canceled. Often the media can’t do better by permutating the purported facts yet missing the grit to the issues at hand that matter. Conspiracy theories at least attempt to reconcile the needs of somebody with issues that hypothetically matter.

  54. “Healthy public dialogue” (in the article)?
    Spare me, PLEASE.

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