All News Is Fake News

My old pal Matt Purple has another fascinating piece on the coronavirus pandemic in The Spectator USA. According to Matt, our worst fears have been realized: “your conspiracy theorist friends were right”—COVID was engineered in a Wuhan lab that received funding from the U.S. government.

“In fairness,” writes Mr. Purple,

nothing that’s emerged over the last month has confirmed that the coronavirus came from a Chinese facility.  Many good-faith scientists continue to believe that it was zoonotic, meaning it emerged through animal-to-human contact.  Yet if the lab leak theory is true—and we now have more evidence than ever to suggest that it is—then the broad-stroke narrative that emerges sounds like a cobweb strung across the dankest corner of Alex Jones’s hippocampus: the United States funded a Chinese lab that produced a virus that killed 3.7 million people, then tried to cover it up.

Like me, Matt’s a journalist. Unlike me, he’s a good journalist—easily one of the top five in the country, I’d say. And, like all good journalists, Matt is plugged in. He absorbs a wide variety of news sources and analyzes them all critically. So, you should absolutely read the whole thing.

Like I said, I’m a lousy journalist. I don’t read the news. But I dedicated a whole chapter of my new book The Reactionary Mind urging others not to read the news, either. The chapter’s called, “All News Is Fake News.”

I’ll use this story as Exhibit A, because—like millions of Americans who don’t follow the news cycle—I’ve always assumed that COVID was engineered by the Wuhan Institute of Virology. That wasn’t my opinion; I didn’t weight the evidence thoughtfully and dispassionately and arrive at the most reasonable conclusion. I just didn’t realize that anyone thought otherwise. Until these “exposés” started breaking, I had no idea anyone seriously doubted that COVID-19 was manmade.

Really, how could they? How could anyone believe that an especially deadly and resilient strain of the common cold evolved suddenly in a town containing a laboratory that specializes in engineering diseases and swept the planet in a matter of months, killing nearly 4 million people in before its first birthday—and all as some cruel joke played by Mother Nature on her unsuspecting kiddos?

Why, I suppose they might have read about it in the newspaper.

The media serves only one purpose, and that’s arming the public with pseudo-facts to defend lies that otherwise would otherwise be squashed by the faintest exercise of common sense.

This has been obvious for decades, if not centuries. Susan Sontag (of all people) made an excellent case against mass media in 1982:

Imagine, if you will, someone who read only the Reader’s Digest between 1950 and 1970, and someone in the same period who read only The Nation or the New Statesman.  Which reader would have been better informed about the realities of communism?  The answer, I think, should give us pause. Can it be that our enemies were right?

Our friend Mr. Purple says that the vindication of these Wuhan Truthers marks a return of “X-Files politics”: an atmosphere of anti-government conspiracy-theorizing that reached its previous zenith in the belief that 9/11 was an inside job.

The thing is, Nine-Eleven Trutherism was always stupid and nobody ever really believed it. Why? Because the official story—that a bunch of Muslims were pissed at U.S. was building military bases in the Middle East and supporting the Jewish State—made perfect sense. Yet the official story about COVID was just as stupid as the 9/11 conspiracy theory. It took about fifteen months for that official story to fall apart; meanwhile, the whole “jet fuel can’t melt steel beams” theory has yet to catch on twenty years later.

In all three cases, low-information but high-common-sense voters knew exactly what was going on: the Soviet Union was evil, 9/11 was real, and COVID was engineered in a Chinese lab.

What’s astonishing is how many news outlets have consistently churned out absolute rubbish pushed by malicious government operatives to deceive the masses. The New York Times covered up Stalin’s atrocities in the Ukraine, pushed certain false narratives that led to the Invasion of Iraq, and accused President Trump of being “xenophobic” for saying that COVID came from the Wuhan lab.

I know, I know. It’s easy to pick on the Gray Lady. But this sort of thing happens all the time! It always has, and it always will. Because that’s why the media exists. It hands out a million insignificant little “facts” in order to sell us one big whopping lie.

I thank God for good journalists like Matt Purple who are fighting the propaganda mill from within. They’re on the frontline in the war against Fake News. But they can only do so much. They need help from the folks back at home. We, the people, must finish the job.

Friends, the media is like Amazon. The only power they have is the power we give them. So, I beg you: cut the head off this serpent. Stop buying into this ancient, wheezing disinformation machine. The world would be a much better place today if conscientious citizens worried less about being “informed” and just used a little common sense.

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