Soft press treatment of Democratic ‘Texas super spreaders’ another example of media hypocrisy, critics say
Media top headlines July 20
In media news today, reporters hit President Biden for walking back sharp criticism of Facebook, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell made eyebrow-raising remarks about crime in Washington, D.C., and the Washington Post lightheartedly mocked Hunter Biden’s art.
The runaway Texas Democrats who have been spreading COVID-19 around Washington, D.C., are the latest example of a widespread hypocrisy within corporate media, critics argue, saying GOP lawmakers would be vilified for the same actions.
“The gross partisan hypocrisy here is almost hard to comprehend. Herman Cain was vilified after his death for attending a Trump rally without a mask but the Texas Democrats are being treated like civil rights pioneers while spreading COVID all over DC,” conservative strategist Chris Barron told Fox News.
“The left’s treatment of the Texas super spreaders once again shows that almost none of their behavior during the pandemic has been about the safety of the American people or about the science,” Barron added. “They are only motivated by purely partisan politics.”
More than 50 Texas lawmakers arrived in Washington last week after leaving their home state on a private charter flight to stall GOP voting bills. At least six of them have since been reportedly diagnosed with COVID-19, while other government officials they have met with have also tested positive. Vice President Kamala Harris met with members of the Texas delegation last Tuesday, but she’s since tested negative.
Republicans were ridiculed and scrutinized in the media when a number of people who attended Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s Rose Garden confirmation announcement tested positive for coronavirus in October. The New York Times, USA Today, Vox, Newsweek, Vogue and The Guardian were among the outlets to label the gathering a “super-spreader” event. CNN published a story headlined, “Inside one celebration that helped spread the virus across the US government,” that even featured a chart of where people who tested positive were seated.
“This is not hypocrisy, this is the home team. This is the media, which has been COVID obsessed … they are now happy to completely ignore this example of blatant, what do you want to call it, a super-spreader event? Whatever you want to call it, because it is their team … they ignore it,” Fox News’ Pete Hegseth said on “Outnumbered.”
“We have a pretty clear parallel example here,” Fox News host and former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said. “When I was in the White House, President Trump tested positive, Hope Hicks, myself, many others, vaccines were not available at the time. Do you know what the headlines were? … They went nuts.”
However, news that the Texas Democrats who ditched their homes for Washington, D.C., have been spreading COVID around the nation’s capital hasn’t been given the same type of negative coverage.
NewsBusters associate editor Scott Whitlock found that ABC, NBC and CBS hardly covered news of the members of the Texas delegation testing positive for coronavirus after coming to Washington last week on a private jet, while taking maskless selfies.
“The story, from Saturday to Monday, has amounted to a scant 35 seconds on the ABC morning and evening newscasts, 20 seconds for NBC and a meager 12 seconds on CBS,” Whitlock wrote. “The reporting all had a no-big-deal tone. On Monday, as the total of Covid-plus Texas Democrats rose from three to five, only NBC’s ‘Today’ bothered to mention it.”
Whitlock blasted Saturday’s coverage of the breaking news “pathetic” and noted it received essentially one sentence per network.
“Exit question,” Whitlock wrote. “Can you imagine the coverage if it were Texas Republicans leaving their state to defend conservative legislation?”
Political satirist and Texas resident Tim Young feels the message from corporate media is clear.
“COVID isn’t that serious when Democrats get it,” Young told Fox News. “Obviously if Republicans had pulled this publicity stunt and caught COVID, it wouldn’t just be used by the corporate media to shame them, but probably also by the Biden administration to extend mask mandates on flights.”
The situation has gotten even worse since Whitlock’s report, as a spokesperson for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tested positive Monday after meeting with the Texas Democrats. Separately, Axios reported that a White House official also tested positive for coronavirus after attending the same rooftop reception in Washington as the Pelosi staffer last Wednesday .
The Texas lawmakers are now being labeled “super spreaders” by some critics on the right, but many have taken notice that the story still isn’t exactly dominating the news cycle.
“The best thing about this entire thing is these professional hacks all just look away and not cover this and everyone sees it. Just absolute shamelessness, and they all know it. All of them. They all know how bad it looks and they all just look the other way,” political pundit Stephen L. Miller tweeted.
“Imagine if 50 GOP state reps skipped work, drank beer on a private jet while ignoring federal mask mandates, held a press conference to spread flagrant lies that’ve been debunked, and then infected the Speaker’s Office and White House with COVID. Just imagine,” Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, tweeted on Tuesday.
Fox News’ Marisa Schultz and Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report.
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