NYT Blames Fox News for Man’s Death – There’s One HUGE Problem
It takes a big person to admit that they were initially wrong about something and that they’ll be revising their stance in the face of new evidence.
And it takes a New York Times columnist to get it wrong from the beginning, then revise their opinion while hoping everyone forgot what their initially argued as they now sanctimoniously lecture everyone else for believing what they did months ago.
Such is the case of New York Times columnist Ginia Bellafante, who tried to create a narrative that Fox News’ reporting (though she singles out Sean Hannity) on the Coronavirus caused a Trump supporting man’s death. The story spread like wildfire through social media, with countless liberal journalists pretending to express sorrow for the loss of a man they wouldn’t think twice about smearing as a racist/sexist/homophobe in any other context.
But as everyone who wasn’t a journalist quickly realized, there were countless stories with Bellafante’s narrative. As the National Review’s Dan McLaughlin documented:
The column is framed around the death of Joe Joyce, a bar owner from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Joyce was a Trump supporter; his son, a friend of Bellafante’s, “was at odds with his father politically.”
His death is too politically useful, it seems, to resist. And with Joyce gone, his Ivy League–educated kids get the last word. Bellafante writes: On March 1, Joe Joyce and his wife, Jane, set sail for Spain on a cruise, flying first to Florida. His adult children — Kevin, Eddie and Kristen Mider — suggested that the impending doom of the coronavirus made this a bad idea. Joe Joyce was 74, a nonsmoker, healthy. . . . He didn’t see the problem. “He watched Fox, and believed it was under control,’’ Kristen told me. Early in March Sean Hannity went on air proclaiming that he didn’t like the way that the American people were getting scared “unnecessarily.’’ He saw it all, he said, “as like, let’s bludgeon Trump with this new hoax.”
So, did Hannity influence this man to take a cruise? It’s curious that Bellafante never gives us the date that Hannity made those comments – because they were made on March 9th, while Joyce left for his cruise on March 1st.
The Times has since “stealth edited” the part about Hannity from the article, offering readers no indication that the article had been altered, or any explanation for why it was.
Furthermore, as McLaughlin points out, Andrew Cuomo said on March 1st that New Yorkers should “relax” about the threat of coronavirus, and Bill de Blasio concurred. Even ten days later de Blasio was encouraging non-sick people to congregate in public, and five million per day were riding through the city’s subways. He also had still refused to close schools at the time.
But Fox News deserves the blame?
In perhaps the greatest irony of this whole debacle, among those downplaying the risks of coronavirus before even Hannity made the comment she quoted was a New York Times columnist named Ginia Bellafante. And no, it’s not someone who coincidentally has the same name and job.
“I fundamentally don’t understand the panic,” she wrote on February 27th. “Incidence of the disease is declining in China,” she continued, believing Chinese communist propaganda.
“Virus is not deadly in vast majority of cases. Production and so on will slow down and will obviously rebound” she concluded.
Is Bellafante therefore culpable for anyone’s death from the coronavirus if they happened to encounter her writing first? Only according to her logic.