Robin Smith / June 21, 2021

The NYT’s Phony COVID Pulitzer

The award is a joke and the paper is a rag, so it’s a match made, well, somewhere.

The New York Times was recently awarded a Pulitzer Prize “for a distinguished example of meritorious public service” through its coverage of the COVID pandemic. This formerly prestigious award has been reduced to little more than a participation trophy in the pandemonium of parrots in the mainstream media. These parrots reference political documents and oppositional research as vetted and confirmed information and continually squawk their own narrative, not the dispassionate facts of the news.

The soaring citation for the top prize offers supporting evidence of the basis for criticism: “For courageous, prescient and sweeping coverage of the coronavirus pandemic that exposed racial and economic inequities, government failures in the U.S. and beyond, and filled a data vacuum that helped local governments, healthcare providers, businesses and individuals to be better prepared and protected.”

The NYT did, indeed, offer feature pieces capturing the grueling work of healthcare providers, first responders, and many untitled individuals who served in the midst of COVID. It did leverage resources unavailable to smaller publications to provide epidemiological data that provided the scale of impact in various analyses.

However, “courageous” and “prescient” are terms that do not seem to apply to the paper’s praise offered to China or the effort to deny that the virus came from a Wuhan lab. Even as recently as February 2021, the NYT was aided by the World Health Organization in rejecting the possibility of a lab leak despite the fact that none of the 174 initial COVID-positive patients ever visited the market in question, even patient zero.

The virus originated near an international laboratory rated at biosafety level 4 (the highest rating). The lab is committed to research on pathogens that cause fatal diseases, like ebola. The Wuhan Institute of Virology is renowned for housing the largest bank of viral strains (more than 1,500), but according to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, fact-checkers, and the NYT, we should not distrust the communist Chinese.

When asked to be honest about its own state’s governor, the NYT repeatedly fell short during the COVID crisis. New York nursing home deaths far exceeded other comparable states, but the NYT had no trouble shaming other states that better managed senior care while keeping their economies more open and getting children back in classrooms.

The NYT was committed to pushing a one-size-fits-all COVID response despite demographics, availability of open space, weather, and other data that permitted some states to entrust their citizens rather than pronounce that livelihoods were expendable, the high recovery rates of the virus notwithstanding. That is exactly the aim of big government socialists who constantly mistake equity for equality — taking away independent thinking and treating everything with sameness, not effectiveness.

In January this year, Axios wrote of the trust crisis that exists around key institutions, chief among them the media and government. Referencing the 21st annual Edelman Trust Barometer, those who compose and construct the news are deeply mistrusted. Some 56% of Americans surveyed agreed that “journalists and reporters are purposely trying to mislead people by saying things they know are false or gross exaggerations.” Another 58% agreed that “most news organizations are more concerned with supporting an ideology or political position than with informing the public.”

Recognizing the power of the November 2020 election, Edelman re-polled Americans after the election. Data deteriorated even further, with only 57% of Democrats and a paltry 18% of Republicans trusting the media.

Those demanding bipartisanship most are actually the most biased, rendering no public service. Instead, the Pulitzer Prize is diminished to a souvenir for selling out.

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