It will be a couple years before we know the full story of the COVID-19 Crisis. But one thing is certain right now. When the dust settles, the corporate press better have been right on this one. They have gone all in with non-stop, wall-to-wall coverage of the pandemic. If this turns into a complete overreaction, they are done for. They are already on thin ice with a large portion of Americans and it’s not even certain that they will ever get the buy in from younger generations.
This points out the very reason why the press and journalists should be held accountable when they get things wrong. When the balloon goes up, you need to know who you can trust. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that everything the corporate press is telling us about COVID-19 is true. Why do you think so many twenty-somethings still went out and partied? Sure, some of it is due to the fact that their age group isn’t at much risk. But a large reason is that Millennials and Generation Z don’t trust the media.
53% of adults 29 and younger do not trust the media. Each age group after them gets progressively more trusting of the corporate press. 57% of 30-44 year olds trust the media. 45-59 year olds increase to 61%, while the 60 and older crowd trusts the media 67%. Younger adults are also less likely to trust their own preferred news source. Here’s the scoop on what is to account for this. Younger generations are more adept at using the internet and finding alternative news sources. In the age of the internet and social media, Millennials and Gen Z grew up being able to instantly fact check and share alternative points of view. They either bypassed the corporate press entirely, or were turned off by them after seeing them spew lies their entire lives.1
Here is what those generations have learned from the corporate press. After going all in to support the Iraq War and WMD, we found out the media cheered on the war without doing any actual journalism and there was no credibility to the claims of WMD. The media just regurgitated whatever talking points the government gave them. After voting Obama into office, based on hope and change and ending the wars, we watched as the media cheered on more wars and bombing campaigns. The media failed to hold the Obama administration’s feet to the fire for that, or bulk data collection of millions of Americans. Most recently, the corporate press went all in on Trump-Russia collusion. After the details emerged of these wasteful investigations, we learned that this too was all based on lies that the media overlooked or actively obfuscated to push their own agenda.
Talk to just about anyone and they understand the basic concept that CNN and MSNBC are on the left and Fox News is on the right. People understand, at least at a fundamental level, that news is slanted. It certainly diverges along political lines with 69% of people identifying as Democrats trusting the media while only 15% of Republicans trust them. Independents are at 36%. Thats not surprising considering how many 24-hour news channels are of the Left while only Fox News is the voice of the Right.2
Is it really any wonder why there is so much doubt regarding media coverage of COVID-19? Ranging from conspiracy theorists claiming it was human made, to simply questioning what the proper response should be. There is even doubt and confusion among medical professionals. I talked with a physicians assistant working in the trauma department. As she said, “It’s hard to rattle a trauma doctor but half of them are terrified and the other half just seem confused.” It should tell you something that the deluge of details coming from the media is too much for even a medical professional to take in.
This level of fear mongering is absurd. In any other profession it would be considered malpractice. Of course college students are still going out for spring break. Why would they believe the corporate press? When the media needs to fill 24-hour news cycles with content, they will dig deep to find any new piece of information to keep eyeballs glued to their televisions. And why not? Everyone is stuck at home. In an attempt to keep you from switching over to Netflix or sitting around and enjoying time with your loved ones, the media has gone all in on the COVID-19 Crisis.
As I said, time will tell if we have completely overreacted, took appropriate mitigation measures, or fell somewhere in between. The corporate press is already at risk of being a dinosaur going extinct as a younger, more sophisticated generation comes of age. If history shows that they overreacted, or politicized a global crisis that required serious journalism, not even a trillion dollar bail out will keep people watching.
Reprinted from OperationLibertas.com