Formula News

Most nights I watch NBC Nightly News, not because they are more or less accurate or biased than the other major new channels, but because they package everything into a single, commercial-free YouTube. I can catch up on what the MSM is saying (and not saying) at my leisure.

There are clear patterns to NBC’s coverage, well-scripted formulas. Lately the broadcast invariably opens with a COVID story. Watch one and you’ve seen them all. They all follow the same script. Open with shots of long lines of cars queuing up for COVID tests or busy intensive care units while anchors Lester Holt or Kate Snow report on a “grim new milestone” in the pandemic. Follow with more dire warnings, then an emotional appeal from a hospital worker … somewhere … and a heartbreaking interview with somebody who lost a loved one to COVID, their grief splashed all over the screen for all to witness. This could be you. And while most COVID victims are elderly people who have already lived a normal lifespan, these victims are invariably middle aged, family people, hardworking men and women. People like you. Then they’ll trot out a handsome doctor to repeat the official mantra. Follow with more dire warnings of hospitals in crisis, staffing shortages and more fear imagery, with a possible soundbite from Dr. Fauci. Lately they’re peddling promising vaccine news – the antidote for fear and desperation.

Left mentioned? The brutal costs of the lockdowns in lost jobs, suicides, alcoholism, domestic abuse, child abuse, depression, loneliness and despair. The lockdowns go unquestioned. I’ve yet to hear a reporter ask why it is safe to eat in an airplane, but unsafe to eat in a restaurant. Or why we must limit social gatherings on Thanksgiving, but it’s okay to shop for Black Friday deals. We are told we must “follow the science” but never hear from the hundreds of well-credentialed doctors and scientists who will tell you why lockdowns don’t work and are a bad idea.

This one-sided formula won’t tell you that, even before the pandemic, hospitals did sometimes experience crunches from influenza outbreaks. Not once has NBC revealed just how many hospitals are at limits. Is it 5%, 10%, 90%? I have no idea, and I’d like to know. NBC never reveals whether the middle aged COVID victims they just told you about had underlying conditions: obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer. Were they heavy smokers? Hard drinkers? We have no idea.

I’m not a COVID denier. I take this virus seriously. I socially distance and follow the protocols. But I want facts. We deserve truth, not propaganda designed to tweak emotions and spread fear.

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