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‘Home Improvement’ Star Zachery Bryan: Hollywood Should Practice ‘Conscious Capitalism’ To Help The Working Class
As the COVID-19 pandemic freezes the American economy, actor-turned-producer Zachery Bryan, who played Brad Taylor alongside Tim Allen on the popular 1990s sitcom “Home Improvement,” has emerged as an advocate for the Hollywood working class – the people behind the camera who get a bad name based on the public statements of “clueless celebs.”
In a recent op-ed for Fox News, Bryan asked Americans to have compassion for the many hard-working people in Hollywood whose lives have been upended by the economic shutdown, asserting that they should not be judged based on the actions of what he called the 1%.
“During a recent conversation with a longtime friend who works in the entertainment industry, she expressed concern that if the coronavirus shutdown goes on too long, they won’t be able to make their monthly housing payment,” wrote Bryan. “It was a reminder that Hollywood, just like the rest of the country, is filled with support and service work positions. Jobs that you can’t do from home. Like millions of others, these are the folks that run the risk of suffering the most from the economic fallout of COVID-19. ”
Indeed, as reported by The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti, between delayed releases, theater closures, and halted projects, Hollywood has taken a beating like no other in recent weeks. Last year, the U.S. box office raked in $200 million in the final week of March; this year, just $5,000. Regardless of how long the shutdown lasts, there’s no telling when Tinseltown will be back to functioning normally.
But Zachery Bryan, who runs the production company Lost Lane Entertainment, feels that maybe Hollywood shouldn’t return to business-as-usual. In another op-ed published Friday, Bryan advocated that Hollywood help its working-class by practicing “conscious capitalism,” wherein studios and production companies give ownership opportunities for creative projects in the same way that corporations give employees stock options.
“Just like tech startups giving employees stock in the company, this type of royalty sharing in Hollywood allows the 99% to share in the long-term profits of their work,” argued Bryan. “A change that will finally allow hard-working and enterprising people at all levels of Hollywood the ability to move beyond economic vulnerability. Had this shift begun earlier, fewer of my hard-working colleagues in Hollywood would be in such a spot of financial uncertainty brought about by COVID-19, but it’s never too late to start and I plan to lead that charge.”
Speaking with The Daily Wire, Bryan argued that new video-on-demand (VOD) services will continue to put more control in the hands of creators, cutting out legions of middlemen – domestic and foreign sales agencies, distributors, lawyers, etc. – whose flat fees diminish a creative’s return on investment (ROI).
“This new VOD streaming model is direct to consumer, cutting out those middlemen in which the content creator gets direct sales and longterm streaming royalties,” Bryan told The Daily Wire. “This decentralizes the industry allowing for creators and filmmakers to basically become their own mini studios, and will allow them to invest profits back into future productions rather than constantly fundraising for their next endeavors.”
“By keeping more of the earnings, filmmakers can hire talent and crews by incentivizing them with ownership opportunities instead of just paying minimum union rates,” he continued. “Creating an environment where everyone reaps rewards based on the success of the movie/series.”
Though the pandemic has wreaked havoc on American culture, Bryan highlighted a silver lining: an outpouring of generosity from all walks of life, which he described as a “universal reset.”
“Without any necessary coercion from Bernie Sanders types, CEOs are skipping their salaries so that their employees can get paid, banks are offering small businesses debt forgiveness loans, as well as homeowners the opportunity to defer their mortgage payments,” he wrote. “Right now, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has said that all foreclosures and evictions are suspended through the end of April 2020.”
People may dismiss such grand gestures of piety as mere PR stunts, but Bryan feels that the “impact of this crisis is too long and too deep” to simply allow for temporary changes, creating a whole new way of life that alters “our habits, our daily rhythms, and the way we think.”
“In my humble opinion, real change doesn’t come by heavy-handed policies and bureaucracy backed by government might,” he concluded. “It comes from the American people and the free market they created, adjusting and making changes to overcome crisis and catastrophes.”
President Trump and the Coronavirus Task Force provide updates on the pandemic.
This event is now expected to begin at 4 p.m. ET.
Pop star Pink shocked her fans on Friday by revealing that she and her three year-old son Jameson tested positive for coronavirus as the pandemic continues to kill thousands of people all over the world.
Pink revealed this news to her fans in a lengthy Instagram post in which she explained that she started experiencing symptoms two weeks ago.
“Two weeks ago my three-year-old son, Jameson, and I are were (sic) showing symptoms of COVID-19,” Pink wrote alongside a photo of herself and her son. “Fortunately, our primary care physician had access to tests and I tested positive. My family was already sheltering at home and we continued to do so for the last two weeks following the instruction of our doctor.”
The singer went on to say that she has since recovered from the virus after being tested again “just a few days ago,” adding that something must be done to make testing more accessible.
“This illness is serious and real,” she wrote. “People need to know that the illness affects the young and old, healthy and unhealthy, rich and poor, and we must make testing free and more widely accessible to protect our children, our families, our friends and our communities.”
Two weeks ago my three-year old son, Jameson, and I are were showing symptoms of COVID-19. Fortunately, our primary care physician had access to tests and I tested positive. My family was already sheltering at home and we continued to do so for the last two weeks following the instruction of our doctor. Just a few days ago we were re-tested and are now thankfully negative. It is an absolute travesty and failure of our government to not make testing more widely accessible. This illness is serious and real. People need to know that the illness affects the young and old, healthy and unhealthy, rich and poor, and we must make testing free and more widely accessible to protect our children, our families, our friends and our communities. In an effort to support the healthcare professionals who are battling on the frontlines every day, I am donating $500,000 to the Temple University Hospital Emergency Fund in Philadelphia in honor of my mother, Judy Moore, who worked there for 18 years in the Cardiomyopathy and Heart Transplant Center. Additionally, I am donating $500,000 to the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Emergency COVID-19 Crisis Fund. THANK YOU to all of our healthcare professionals and everyone in the world who are working so hard to protect our loved ones. You are our heroes! These next two weeks are crucial: please stay home. Please. Stay. Home.
A post shared by P!NK (@pink) on Apr 3, 2020 at 6:27pm PDT
Since recovering, Pink has announced that she will be donating $1 million to coronavirus relief efforts, with $500,000 of that going to the Temple University Hospital Emergency Fund in honor of her mother, who has worked at the Pennsylvania facility for 18 years. Pink added that the other $500,000 will go to the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Emergency COVID-19 crisis fund.
“THANK YOU to all of our healthcare professionals and everyone in the world who are working so hard to protect our loved ones,” she wrote. “You are our heroes! these next two weeks are crucial: please stay home. Please. Stay. Home.”
Just days before revealing her diagnosis, Pink indicated that she was leaning on her faith in quarantine when she shared a video of herself singing a gospel song while giving her son a bath.
“Faith is always a comfort and so is song, just like a sick baby in a bathtub,” she captioned the video. “I love you all. Enjoy this very casual hug from my heart to y’all’s.”
A post shared by P!NK (@pink) on Mar 30, 2020 at 10:14pm PDT
This serve as a reminder that coronavirus will impact anyone, regardless of how famous they are or how much money they have. We’re so glad to see that Pink and her son have recovered, and we pray that they continue to stay healthy in the days and weeks to come.
This piece originally appeared in UpliftingToday.com and is used by permission.
Read more at UpliftingToday.com:
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Respond After Learning U.S. Won’t Foot the Bill for Their Security
Meghan Markle And Prince Harry Issue Final Plea As They Officially Quit Royal Life Today
Dog The Bounty Hunter Announces Plans To Marry New Girlfriend Francie Frane – Says She’ll Be ‘The Last Mrs. Chapman’
The post Pink and her 3 year-old son test positive for COVID-19 – ‘This illness is serious and real’ appeared first on LifeZette.
She Claimed He Raped Her And Gave Her HIV. He Wasn’t HIV-Positive Before Their Encounter And Is Now Afraid For His Life.
Last year, a male Indiana Wesleyan University student was accused of rape by a woman who was trying to get incomplete grades for her fall semester. On December 11, 2019, while making her claim and trying to change her grades, she said she had been tested for STDs and found out she was HIV-positive.
A note from IWU Associate Professor Anneke Stasson included in the Incident Reporting From said, “It makes me really worried to think that the guy who gave her HIV is still on this campus.”
Thus began an ordeal that violated the male accused student’s due process rights and expelled him from campus with allowing him to defend himself. The male student, referred to in court documents as John Doe, sued IWU and was granted expedited discovery for the case. During that discovery phase, John learned of his accuser’s (referred to as Jane Roe) HIV claim. John and his attorneys filed a request for an emergency temporary restraining order (TRO) to force IWU to contact Jane and verify whether her claim about being HIV-positive was true, because if it is, John is in serious risk.
John’s attorneys said they were unaware of Jane’s assertion until a few days before they filed the April 3 TRO request, even though IWU knew that it was possible that Jane had exposed John to HIV months before discovery.
“Despite requests by John’s counsel, IWU refuses to contact Jane to require her to verify her HIV status. Absent a temporary restraining order directing IWU to do so, John will be forced to break quarantine to seek medical testing, potentially exposing himself to the novel coronavirus. With a serious preexisting health condition, John is especially vulnerable and will face irreparable harm if forced to seek medical attention in the midst of a pandemic. IWU can avoid this by simply contacting Jane and requiring her to verify her HIV status,” wrote John’s attorneys, Susan Stone and Peter J. Agostino.
John’s TRO requests stated that IWU was well aware that John has an underlying medical condition that causes him seizures and puts him at risk for contracting the coronavirus and serious complications from HIV, yet he contends that IWU was more interested in showing they take sexual assault allegations seriously than the truth of those allegations or an accused student’s life.
After John’s attorneys contacted IWU’s attorneys to demand Jane prove her allegations about being HIV-positive in an effort to spare John from leaving quarantine and exposing himself to the coronavirus by going to a doctor to obtain an HIV test. An email from IWU’s attorney, Amanda Shelby, shows little regard for John’s concern and suggests he order an HIV test online, take it at home, and then send it in for analysis.
John’s attorneys contend this is a flippant disregard for his health, calling it “offensive and insensitive, particularly when this dilemma was created by IWU’s callous and deliberate indifference.”
“In this situation, every moment counts, and there is no time to wait for a test to arrive and then wait to receive results. Nor is it a reasonable alternative for John to seek in-person medical attention when doing so would potentially expose him to the coronavirus, an equally dangerous and life-threatening virus. The simple solution is for this Court to compel IWU to contact Jane immediately and require her to verify her HIV-status through medical documentation. Otherwise, IWU’s inaction will continue to place John at risk of imminent, irreparable, life-threatening harm,” John’s attorneys wrote.
The attorneys argue that the balance of harms and the public interest weigh in John’s favor, since there would be next to no harm for IWU to simply ask Jane to prove she tested positive for HIV. John, however, faces great risk in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak and as a medically compromised person to determine whether he is HIV positive and begin treatment.
John’s previous motion for a preliminary injunction resulted in a ruling that he was likely to succeed on the merits of his Title IX violation claims, basic fairness violations, and breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing claims. John’s attorneys claim this new evidence makes it even more likely his lawsuit against IWU would succeed.
They write that John was “denied the chance to present a case, cross-examine witnesses, and full appeal rights.” Even though IWU dean Andrew Parker, who was the sole investigator and decisionmaker in John’s case, was aware of Jane’s HIV claim, he did not mention it to John when they spoke on December 12. Further, John contends IWU violated its own handbook by allowing “the highest levels of IWU leadership” to directly intervene in John’s case and “order that his request for a Case Appeal be denied.”
It appears IWU just took Jane’s allegations about HIV at face value, assuming from the start that John was HIV-positive – must know it – and knowingly infected Jane. Since John says he was not HIV-positive before his encounter with Jane, it brings up the possibility that a) Jane is lying about testing positive to further her claims in order to get leniency for failing her semester, b) someone else raped her, or c) she got HIV from someone else and is pinning it on John, knowingly or unknowingly. If she lied about being HIV-positive or that John was responsible, then her credibility is at stake – yet IWU didn’t attempt to confirm her claims.
John’s attorneys previously contended that John did not rape Jane, and that the process used to expel him for at least one year was biased and unfair. His attorneys previously wrote that the single investigator took just seven working days to find John responsible despite evidence he was innocent. Jane, the attorneys contended, also broke multiple campus rules and was never punished.
The two engaged in sexual activity that John insists was consensual, while Jane claims it was not. John told investigators that Jane’s body language, participation, and her following John to his bedroom and continuing the sexual activity indicated she did consent. Jane also claimed she told John “no” and to “stop,” but he says she never gave any indication she wanted the activity to cease. Jane also stayed with John in his dorm room talking after the encounter and then went to his roommate’s room to talk and was overheard laughing. At that time, she also texted John while he was in the other room. That night and the next day, Jane continued texting with John normally without any indication something was wrong. The two had hooked up prior to this encounter as well.
The report that found John responsible focused on the agreements between John and Jane – the fact that sexual activity took place – while omitting key information from John’s side of the story. IWU used its rule that consent cannot be assumed from silence, the lack of a “no,” or prior sexual history as its basis to expel John until Jane was no longer a student.
If what John says is true – that Jane willingly participated in the sexual activity – then it is further evidence that such consent rules are meaningless because any accuser can claim they were violated without having to provide evidence of such.
Joe Rogan, host of the podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience,” said on Friday that he would vote for President Donald Trump over Joe Biden if Biden becomes the Democratic presidential nominee.
Rogan made the remarks while talking with guest Eric Weinstein, a left-wing political commentator who is also the managing director of Thiel Capital.
“This is the real issue with the Democratic Party,” Rogan said. “They’ve essentially made us all morons with this Joe Biden thing. They really have. They’ve made us all morons.”
“I can’t vote for that guy,” Rogan continued. “I’d rather vote for Trump than [Biden]. I don’t think he can handle anything. You’re relying entirely on his cabinet. If you want to talk about an individual leader who can communicate, he can’t do that. And we don’t know what the f**k he’ll be like after a year in office. The pressure of being President of the United States is something than no one has ever prepared for. The only one who seems to be fine with it is Trump, oddly enough. He doesn’t seem to be aging at all or in any sort of decline. Obama, almost immediately, started looking older. George W. [Bush], almost immediately, started looking older.”
Joe Rogan–who supported Bernie–on his podcast yesterday w/ managing director of Thiel Capital Eric Weinstein.
"I’d rather vote for Trump than [Biden]. I don’t think he can handle anything. You’re relying entirely on his cabinet."
1.3 million views on YouTube since yesterday pic.twitter.com/Sxor0RvVZ0
— Alex Thompson (@AlxThomp) April 4, 2020
ERIC WEINSTEIN: I think that in general people, when they are given no choice at all, express themselves moronically.
JOE ROGAN: When they are given no choice at all — How so?
WEINSTEIN: I want a choice of an actual president that’s viable. I don’t have one. Now you’re going to ask me which of the none-viable people do you like best?
ROGAN: This is the real issue with the Democratic Party. They’ve essentially made us all morons with this Joe Biden thing. They really have. They’ve made us all morons.
WEINSTEIN: Can you imagine?
ROGAN: I can’t vote for that guy.
WEINSTEIN: I can’t vote for him, I can’t vote for Trump.
ROGAN: I’d rather vote for Trump than [Biden]. I don’t think he can handle anything. You’re relying entirely on his cabinet. If you want to talk about an individual leader who can communicate, he can’t do that. And we don’t know what the f**k he’ll be like after a year in office. The pressure of being President of the United States is something than no one has ever prepared for. The only one who seems to be fine with it is Trump, oddly enough. He doesn’t seem to be aging at all or in any sort of decline. Obama, almost immediately, started looking older. George W. [Bush], almost immediately, started looking older.
Rogan, who is a supporter of socialist Bernie Sanders, has repeatedly hammered Biden in recent months over Biden’s struggles on the campaign trail.
“You have to be able call out s**t that’s wrong on your side,” Rogan said in March. “And this is one of the problems that the Democratic Party is having right now with this Joe Biden guy. You guys gotta be able to call it out, you can’t let this slide, because everybody else see’s it and Trump is going to eat him alive. He’s going to eat that guy alive.”
“The guy can barely remember what he’s talking about while he’s talking,” Rogan continued.
“Stop. Pause. He can’t be president,” Rogan said earlier in March. “Stop. Pause. Pause. Listen, we can’t play any games here, folks. This is a really old man who can’t talk. This is not a joke. Like that right now, ‘you know the thing,’ play that again. This should get you into a mental hospital. They should be like, ‘Hey, um, Joe are you alright?’”
The New York Times has issued several corrections regarding an article published two weeks ago insisting Attkisson was a “coronavirus doubter.”
After the article was published, Attkisson and her lawyers sent a letter to the Times demanding they correct their story or face a defamation lawsuit. The Times article was about five people, including Jerry Falwell Jr. and Dr. Drew, who doubted the severity of the coronavirus. As Attkisson’s attorneys stated in their letter, the Times’ article included “false and defamatory” statements regarding the ex-CBS journalist’s reporting on the coronavirus.
“Through a combination of discrete statements of fact, the defamatory headline, and the juxtaposition of defamatory statements concerning a small group of individuals with whom you have lumped Ms. Attkisson, the article conveys the false and defamatory gist that my client, among other things, lied to her readers and listeners, reported as fact lies that endanger the lives of the public, and otherwise violated the litany of ethical standards by which responsible journalists conduct themselves,” wrote Attkisson’s attorney G. Taylor Wilson of Wade, Grunberg & Wilson, LLC.
As The Daily Wire reported previously, the letter included 10 examples from the Times article that defamed Attkisson:
- The false and defamatory headline, “From Jerry Falwell Jr to Dr. Drew: 5 Coronavirus Doubters.”
- “While public health experts warn people to take precautions, these popular media figures insist that the virus is overhyped.”
- “Misinformation about the coronavirus continues to circulate across swaths of the American media – on popular podcasts, in blog podcasts, in blog posts, in online videos and on prime-time cable news shows – as recently as this week.”
- “Some are conservatives who insist the virus is being hyped for political purposes.”
- “Even as President Trump and the federal government’s top public health officials warn that the virus is not something to be taken lightly – and the authorities reported more coronavirus deaths in the United States on Wednesday – these commentators make misleading comments, cherry-pick facts and go so far as to claim that the virus could be a hoax or a North Korean Plot.”
- “One of Mr. Hannity’s top sources [Ms. Attkisson] selectively picks facts.”
- “In the past, she [Ms. Attkisson] has promoted the debunked theory that vaccines cause autism.”
- “The facts she has chosen recently to highlight falsely leave the impression that the deaths are not all that significant in number and largely contained to one facility.”
- “‘Look at those 30-some-odd deaths – most of them were from Washington State,’ Ms. Attkisson said last week on her podcast, adding that most of those were in an assisted-living facility. ‘The vast majority of those who passed away were from one cluster in the United States – almost none anywhere else.’”
- “And yet visitors to Ms. Attkisson’s website this week might have come away confused about the severity of the virus, as there were several ads for high-grade protective masks.”
On April 1, the Times issued a correction to the article and changed the language surrounding Attkisson. The correction reads:
An earlier version of this article referred imprecisely to statements made by Sharyl Attkisson. Ms. Attkisson accurately reported the number and location of U.S. coronavirus deaths, as of the date of her March 13 podcast. Separately, a reference to advertisements for protective masks that appeared on Ms. Attkisson’s website has been removed.
Attkisson wrote on her personal website that before her attorneys sent the letter, she contacted Times editor Carolyn Ryan about the needed changes, reporting her complaints were dismissed. Attkisson said: “Ryan defended the article by saying that because I had reported on coronavirus deaths– in a way The Times acknowledges was perfectly accurate– readers could somehow be misled into believing they were not at much risk if they were not in a high risk group.”
When Attkisson explained that the major authorities on coronavirus – including the Dr. Anthony Fauci, the CDC, and the Surgeon General, along with the Times itself – reported the same numbers and asked how readers could be “misled” when she reported the same facts as others. She said Ryan didn’t respond.
“Wiser heads ultimately prevailed. Lawyers at The New York Times have now forced multiple corrections in the defamatory article. Even with the revisions, false implications remain… but the corrections are a step in the right direction,” Attkisson wrote.
Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) has called on the federal government to provide payment to illegal immigrants as part of the continuing efforts to provide financial relief to those affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
Appearing on Univision last week, Espaillat said that illegal immigrants deserve stimulus checks from the government as well. In the segment, a Univision narrator said, “Republicans have refused to include people without social security numbers in the relief measures.” A clip of Espaillat is then shown, where he said, “Millions of undocumented [immigrants] who work hard, and they’re outside on the streets now exposing themselves to getting sick, should also receive this kind of protection.”
This was a step further than what Espaillat previously supported. His office issued a press release on March 23 urging the federal government provide relief checks to people who file tax returns with individual taxpayer identification numbers instead of just those who file with social security numbers. This would mean those who qualify would have some documentation with the federal government.
“We must put meaningful resources into the pockets of those hardest hit by the coronavirus. However, the current economic stimulus proposal is limited to one-time cash payments that exclude immigrant taxpayers who do not have a social security number, which will have an immediate impact on their citizen children and spouses,” Espaillat said in the release.
“In order to resolve this issue and ensure all individuals, particularly lower-income individuals and families, receive needed relief, we ask that individuals who file tax returns using Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) are included in the final stimulus package,” he added.
Immihelp, an organization that provides information about green cards, visas, and other immigration information, lists a number of factors for someone to qualify for an ITIN:
Non-resident alien who is required to file a US tax return
US resident alien who is (based on days present in the US) filing a US tax return
Dependent or spouse of a US citizen/resident alien
Dependent or spouse of a nonresident alien visa holder such as H4 visa holder
Nonresident alien claiming a tax treaty benefit
Nonresident alien student, professor or researching filing a US tax return or claiming an exception
ITINs are for federal tax filing only and do not make someone a U.S. citizen or authorize them to work in the United States. It also doesn’t qualify them for social security benefits.
There are a number of issues with Espaillat’s demands, chiefly the idea of the federal government providing checks to noncitizens when our country is in turmoil. By limiting those who would receive checks to individuals who pay federal taxes, however, it might make sense since the people are contributing to the federal government that is now issuing checks to the people who paid those taxes.
This is not the only issue that comes from using tax returns as a way to dole out federal cash, even though that is probably the quickest way. The federal government is using 2018 federal tax data, which is the most recent available. This means that people who have lost income or their jobs may not get a stimulus check if their 2018 income was too high.
Let’s have a brief history lesson.
Back in November 2019 in the town of Wuhan, China, cases of a strange new flu started surfacing. Later we learned that a dangerous flu-like type strand infected the city, and 11 million people were at serious risk.
The world didn’t know about COVID-19 (coronavirus); our invisible brutal enemy was born – festering at least a month and a half.
In January, President Xi Jinping made a decision that would ultimately condemn the world: allowing five million people to leave the country, later known as the epicenter of the virus, without being screened.
These individuals claim there was a cover-up of massive proportions.
Watch the video below.
This piece originally appeared in WayneDupree.com and is used by permission.
Read more at WayneDupree.com:
Report: FBI Discovered Chinese Nationals Sneaking Viruses Into U.S.
Opinion: China is Preparing to Start a Military War with America
[VIDEO] Pelosi Gets Testy as She Struggles to Explain Why She Ignored Coronavirus in Favor of Sham Impeachment
The post WATCH: Whistleblowers ‘silenced’ by China claim country could have stopped coronavirus spread appeared first on LifeZette.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has three words of advice for the Chinese people: “Stop eating bats!”
The coronavirus now sweeping the world originated in a “wet market” in Wuhan, China. Scientists say SARS-CoV-2 mostly resembles related viruses found in bats and pangolins. China is still allowing markets to sell all sorts of wild animals — including bats.
“These wet markets in China, people eat bats and they eat monkeys, and bats and monkeys — at least bats for sure — carry this kind of virus,” Graham said Friday on Fox News. “This is where ebola came from, this is where SARS came from, and this lab may be 300 yards away from the wet market in China where they test bats for coronavirus infection, but people literally eating bats 300 yards down the road.
“Bats carry this stuff,” Graham said, “and they literally eat bats. Stop eating bats!”
Graham said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said “the world should ostracize every country that allows exotic animals like monkeys and bats to be intermingled with the food supply and near humans.”
A recent analysis of SARS-CoV-2 by a group of researchers compared the genome of the new coronavirus with the seven other coronaviruses known to infect humans and drew a clear conclusion: “Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus,” they wrote in the journal Nature Medicine.
“The overall molecular structure of this virus is distinct from the known coronaviruses and instead most closely resembles viruses found in bats and pangolins that had been little studied and never known to cause humans any harm,” the researchers wrote.
The researchers compared SARS, MERS and SARS-CoV-2, HKU1, NL63, OC43 and 229E and compared the receptor-binding domain (RBD) and how it binds with receptors called ACE-2 (to be highly technical, ACE-2 is a type I transmembrane metallocarboxypeptidase with homology to ACE).
“The RBD of SARS-CoV-2 is optimized for binding to human ACE2 with an efficient solution different from those previously predicted. Furthermore, if genetic manipulation had been performed, one of the several reverse-genetic systems available for betacoronaviruses would probably have been used. However, the genetic data irrefutably show that SARS-CoV-2 is not derived from any previously used virus backbone,” the researchers wrote.
The Daily Mail wrote this week that “the markets have gone back to operating in exactly the same way as they did before coronavirus despite the outbreaks links to bats.”
“Some guy in China started all of this, and it most likely came from a wet market,” Graham said. “Just remember what I said. Some guy in China started this and we’ve got to stop this stuff in China.”
Graham also urged President Donald Trump to phone Chinese President Xi Jinping and demand an immediate closure of all wet markets.
“What I would tell President Trump is to call up President Xi and say, ‘Listen, you just reopened the wet market in Wuhan where we believe all this came from. Crackdown on bringing exotic and other wild animals into these wet markets where they contaminate the food supply and human beings.”
I am deeply opposed to the government shutting down churches and arresting preachers. But I am also deeply opposed to churches meeting right now. Let me tell you about Albany, Georgia.
There are 490 cases of COVID-19 in Dougherty County, Georgia. The county seat is Albany. There are 29 deaths in the county. For perspective, I started writing this piece on Wednesday, and there were 466 cases and 26 deaths. By the time you read this, the number will be over 500. Dougherty County has 89,000 people, making it, per capita, the hardest-hit part of Georgia and, again per capita, on par with New York City.
All the COVID-19 cases in Albany can be traced back to an unknowingly infected preacher who preached a funeral there on February 29. The virus spread among the attendees, who then spread it to the community before anyone realized they were infected.
Ninety percent of the deaths are African American. The youngest victim was a 34-year-old male. The oldest was a 92-year-old female. The local hospital is out of resources, out of doctors and out of bed space. The Georgia National Guard is shuttling resources to the area, but the situation is dire with only one significant hospital. Outpatient facilities are being converted rapidly.
The models so many are relentlessly trying to undermine got it wrong in Albany. The models undercounted the expected spread of the virus and rates of hospitalization. According to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, though the state has relied on several projection models to help figure out hospital capacity and spacing concerns, the models got it wrong in New York City; they underappreciated the toll the virus would take.
Let me tell you about Evans, Georgia. There are over 20 cases there. Though epidemiologists are still tracing the viral spread, at least some cases come from a man who drove 190 miles away to Bartow County, Georgia to bury his father. He attended church in Bartow County, and several members were unknowingly infected. He got infected and carried the virus back home, where it began to spread.
In Bartow County, there are now 147 cases and 4 deaths. Almost every single one can be traced back to that one church and one church service. In neighboring Floyd County, there are 71 cases and 2 deaths. Most of those can also be traced back to that one church service at that one church.
Most of the churches have stopped worshipping in their buildings now. But for some, the church building has become their prideful idol. A pastor in Florida got himself arrested by not only openly defying a general ban on assembly but also bussing people in to give the government the middle finger.
Churches are not being singled out for closure. The whole nation is going on lockdown. But at a time when Christians need to show Christian humility, some pastors have decided to engage in false bravado in defiance of the common community good.
The character and nature of many of these churches is not to serve but to bring in crowds and cash. They are not demonstrating Christian humility and seeking the welfare of their cities. They are not even demonstrating faith. They are demonstrating disrespect to their communities and showing a very weak faith more grounded in a building than a body of Christ.
Where the law does not clash with Christian conscience, the law should be obeyed. The church is a people, not a building, and the gates of hell will not prevail against the body of Christ, but a virus can cull a herd of congregating idiots.
The government should not be targeting churches. But churches should be responsible. Go volunteer in the community, and seek the welfare of your cities. On Easter, join a livestream to worship together with the global body of Christ. Christians need to reject false bravado for Christian humility right now, and they need to seek the welfare of their communities through service and by staying away from in-person gatherings.
To find out more about Erick Erickson and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
President Donald Trump has forced out the Intelligence Community Inspector General who shared the whistleblower complaint with Congress, which led to Democrats impeaching the president, who was acquitted in the Senate.
Michael Atkinson, the Intelligence Community Inspector General, will leave his post in 30 days and will be the latest casualty of Trump’s war on disloyal people within his administration. Trump was the one who appointed Atkinson.
As The Daily Wire reported last September, Atkinson determined a vague whistleblower complaint about Trump making a “promise” to a world leader was of “urgent concern” and sent the complaint to congress. Then-Acting Direct of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, however, said he was not required by law to turn the complaint over to congressional Democrats, who were looking for anything they could use to impeach Trump.
Maguire didn’t turn the complaint over because it was a rumor told to the whistleblower, who hadn’t listened in on the phone call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. The whistleblower filed his complaint 18 days after the allegedly egregious phone call.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced Democrats would open an impeachment inquiry before any hard evidence was released. The next day, Trump released a transcript of the phone call between him and Zelensky, which showed the president asking the Ukraine leader to cooperate with U.S. investigations into corruption in Ukraine. Trump also mentioned Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son’s lucrative job with a Ukraine energy company despite having no qualifications for the job.
This launched a months-long “investigation” into Trump and his alleged withholding of aid to Ukraine. Zelensky said he was not aware the aid was withheld and that Trump never demanded he look into the Bidens in exchange for the money. Further, Trump had withheld foreign aid from many countries – including Ukraine – before for various legitimate reasons.
In the end, Democrats impeached Trump in the House. They then waited nearly a month to turn over the articles of impeachment to the senate, even though they claimed removing Trump was urgent and necessary. They then staged a “somber” delivery of the articles as members of the party tried to keep from smiling as cameras rolled.
Democrats then demanded Republicans in the Senate call more witnesses than the House did, which the Senate refused. The Senate acquitted Trump after a short trial.
Trump informed congress of his decision to fire Atkinson in a letter sent Friday night and obtained by CNN.
“As is the case with regard to other positions where I, as President, have the power of appointment … it is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as inspectors general,” Trump wrote. “That is no longer the case with regard to this Inspector General.”
Though Atkinson won’t officially leave his post for 30 days, he has been put on administrative leave effective immediately, a congressional source told CNN.
Trump previously had removed several other people who worked against him on impeachment.
“Atkinson’s firing is the latest case of the Trump administration removing officials who took part in the President’s impeachment. Trump also removed Alexander Vindman, a then-National Security Council official who had testified in the House’s proceedings, along with Vindman’s twin brother, both of whom were reassigned out of the NSC, and fired then-US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland,” CNN reported. “Other officials, including then-US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and her acting successor, Bill Taylor, left the Trump administration after the impeachment proceedings.”
Trump has the authority to fire people in his administration at will, and is trying to ensure the people who work for him carry out his agenda instead of their own.
Candace Owens Accuses Governor Of ‘Lying’ About Newborn’s Coronavirus-‘Linked’ Death, Calls For Resignation
Despite medical officials having yet to issue a final cause of death for the infant, and his office admitting as much, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) declared to the nation Wednesday that his state had suffered what he described as “the first pediatric fatality in Connecticut linked to COVID-19,” the death of a 7-week-old who tested positive for the virus in the autopsy. In a video posted on social media Friday that has already racked up nearly 3 million views, conservative commentator Candace Owens demanded the governor resign for what she says she has confirmed to be a willful “lie.” On the same day Owens posted the video, the office of the state’s chief medical officer told the media they have yet to issue a final cause of death for the child.
“It is with heartbreaking sadness today that we can confirm the first pediatric fatality in Connecticut linked to [COVID-19],” Lamont announced in a series of tweets Wednesday. “A 6-week-old newborn from the Hartford area was brought unresponsive to a hospital late last week and could not be revived. Testing confirmed last night that the newborn was COVID-19 positive. This is absolutely heartbreaking. We believe this is one of the youngest lives lost anywhere due to complications relating to COVID-19. This is a virus that attacks our most fragile without mercy. This also stresses the importance of staying home and limiting exposure to other people. Your life and the lives of others could literally depend on it. Our prayers are with the family at this difficult time.”
While Lamont’s statement strongly suggested the baby died because of coronavirus, the state’s chief medical examiner, Dr. James Gill, said Wednesday after the governor’s announcement that the cause of death of the child had not yet been established.
“The infant did test positive for the COVID-19 virus and an autopsy was done at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner,” Gill said in an email to CT Post Wednesday. “At the current time, we have not issued a final cause of death. There are numerous tests that we must do on infant deaths before issuing a final cause of death. We cannot discuss the specifics of an investigation.”
As reported by FOX 6 Wednesday, a spokesman for Lamont acknowledged that officials “did not know whether the infant had underlying medical conditions” when he made the announcement.
Owens, who was born in Connecticut and still has family members who live in the state, responded to Lamont’s announcement Wednesday by blasting him for “scaring mothers” through “partial information” and “political doublespeak” — particularly noting his use of the imprecise phrase “like to COVID-19” in his statement — and accusing him of trying to use the tragic announcement for political purposes.
“‘Linked to Covid-19’. What the hell does that mean?” Owens wrote in a series of posts. “Did the newborn have pre-existing conditions— yes or no? Did the infant die OF coronavirus yes or no? STOP with this political doublespeak. Scaring mothers of newborns with partial information is SCUM BEHAVIOR.” She added in a follow-up post: “‘Complicated by’ ‘Linked to’, has anybody else realized that ALL of these death announcements provide partial information? If you are going to start using the death of infants to scare people into doing what you want, you better start providing FULL information, [Gov. Lamont].”
On Friday, Owens posted a video on Facebook in which she claims to have confirmed that the 7-week-old infant died from a terrible accident at home, rather than complications related to the virus, and accuses Lamont of knowing that when he made the announcement Wednesday. Lamont, she said, should resign or be forced out — and perhaps face legal consequences for his alleged actions. In the video, Owens does not provide many specifics about the case, stating that she is attempting to be sensitive to the family who suffered the tragic death, but has since specified in a follow-up tweet that the child “was accidentally suffocated by its caretaker, who then called police.”
Since word is getting out— I can now confirm that the infant in CT was accidentally suffocated by its caretaker, who then called the police. @GovNedLamont KNEW this, & then lied to the world by linking it to the #coronavirus because he wants more Federal money.
He should RESIGN. https://t.co/q6L5V55DWh
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) April 4, 2020
Owens’ claims are yet to be either confirmed or refuted. As of Saturday morning, Connecticut officials, including Lamont and Gill, have not provided definitive updates about the results of the investigation into the infant’s tragic death, and most media outlets that initially reported on the case have provided no follow-up reports. On Friday, the Hartford Courant reported that two days after the governor’s announcement, “questions remain about the 6-week-old baby’s exact cause of death.” The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner “has not ruled that COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, caused the baby’s death as of Friday afternoon,” the outlet reported.
In another social media post Friday, Owens highlighted video of Lamont being asked about his much-reported claim on Friday and if it’s possible the child died of a cause other than COVID-19. The governor responds by quickly directing the question to the Public Health Department’s Dr. Matthew Cartter, who says, “I don’t know the cause of death for this person that you’re talking about, or any of the people.” His office’s “purpose,” he explains, is to report on confirmed cases of COVID-19, not cause of death.
Here it is! @GovNedLamont pressed today about my earlier report that he LIED about the infant #coronavirus death. Look at this coward as he’s too scared to answer—now claiming they have no idea how the baby died!
It was an at-home tragedy. He should be forced to RESIGN for this pic.twitter.com/lJ2ohO7Gv9
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) April 3, 2020
The granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy and her young son are presumed dead after the two took a canoe into the choppy Chesapeake Bay waters to retrieve a soccer ball and got swept away.
The U.S. Coast Guard late Friday suspended the search for Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, 40, and McKean’s 8-year-old son, Gideon Joseph Kennedy McKean. Numerous teams had searched for 26 hours, covering more than 3,600 square miles of air, land and sea, authorities said.
“This was a difficult case, and even more difficult to make the decision to suspend the search,” Cmdr. Matthew Fine said in a statement. “Our crews and partners did everything they could to find them. We’ve kept the family informed at every step during the search, and our thoughts are with them tonight.”
Presumed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden now backs restrictions on travel from China — two months after President Donald Trump put them into place to stem the spread of the coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China.
Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said on CNN on Friday that the former vice president “supports travel bans that are guided by medical experts, advocated by public health officials, and backed by a full strategy.”
“Science supported this ban, therefore he did, too,” Bedingfield said.
On Jan. 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global health emergency of international concern. The same day, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the first time confirmed person-to-person spread of the Wuhan virus and applauded WHO’s decision. And also that same day, Trump created the White House Coronavirus Task Force to coordinate U.S. efforts regarding the new disease.
The next day, on Jan. 31, the president declared coronavirus a U.S. public health emergency and issued a travel ban between the United States and China. Campaigning in Iowa that day, Biden criticized Trump’s China travel ban, saying, “This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia.”
On Feb. 1, Biden again criticized Trump for the move.
“We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus. We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering. He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency,” he wrote on Twitter.
We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus. We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering. He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) February 1, 2020
The Trump campaign blasted Biden for his tardiness.
“Joe Biden today finally endorsed President Trump’s travel restrictions on China in response to the coronavirus, more than two months after they were imposed and after Biden has already characterized them as ‘xenophobia’ and ‘fear-mongering,'” wrote Tim Murtaugh, director of communications for the campaign.
“Trump issued the restrictions on January 31. Democrats like Biden’s top coronavirus advisor, Ron Klain, opposed the move. Health experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci have repeatedly credited the travel restrictions with putting the United States ahead of the curve in combating the coronavirus.
“After two months of criticizing the effective China travel restrictions, Joe Biden now wants a do-over. The overwhelming evidence shows that Biden repeatedly slammed the restrictions out of a knee-jerk need to oppose President Trump’s every move. And now that he has reversed himself, Biden adds to a long list of Trump actions that Biden has called for or agreed with after the President has already acted. While President Trump has been leading the nation in this war against the virus, Biden has positioned himself as the opposition at every step of the way,” Murtaugh wrote.
Trump 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale also ripped Biden on Twitter over his travel ban reversal.
“This is a long time lag, even for Sleepy Joe! TWO MONTHS after @realDonaldTrump restricted China travel Biden says he supports it. After 2 months of bashing the restrictions as ‘xenophobia’ & ‘fear-mongering.’ That’s not leadership. That’s bad judgment,” he wrote.
This is a long time lag, even for Sleepy Joe!
TWO MONTHS after @realDonaldTrump restricted China travel Biden says he supports it.
After 2 months of bashing the restrictions as “xenophobia” & “fear-mongering.”
That’s not leadership. That’s bad judgment.https://t.co/YqbXKTa5M4
— Brad Parscale – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@parscale) April 3, 2020
Bedingfield, though, said Biden’s “reference to xenophobia was about Trump’s long record of scapegoating others at a time when the virus was emerging from China,” and that it was not a reference to the China travel ban.
An international poll of more than 6,000 doctors finds that the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine has been deemed the most highly rated treatment for the novel coronavirus.
The survey, conducted by Sermo, a global health care polling company, asked 6,227 physicians in 30 countries to find out what is the most effective against SARS-CoV-2. The poll finds that 37% of those treating patients suffering from the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 rated hydroxychloroquine as the “most effective therapy” out of a list of 15 choices.
On Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave chloroquine and its derivative, hydroxychloroquine, emergency-use authorization, although many physicians were already using the drug.
Azithromycin, known by the brand name Zithromax or Z-Pak, came in as the second-most effective therapy at 32%, followed by “nothing.”
Hydroxychloroquine, which is sold under the brand name Plaquenil, was prescribed mainly in the United States for the most severe cases. “Outside the U.S., hydroxychloroquine was equally used for diagnosed patients with mild to severe symptoms whereas in the U.S. it was most commonly used for high risk diagnosed patients,” the survey found.
Sermo released a statement on the poll with other findings, including:
- The three most commonly prescribed treatments amongst COVID-19 treaters are 56% analgesics, 41% Azithromycin, and 33% Hydroxychloroquine
- Hydroxychloroquine usage amongst COVID-19 treaters is 72% in Spain, 49% in Italy, 41% in Brazil, 39% in Mexico, 28% in France, 23% in the U.S., 17% in Germany, 16% in Canada, 13% in the UK and 7% in Japan
- Hydroxychloroquine was overall chosen as the most effective therapy amongst COVID-19 treaters from a list of 15 options (37% of COVID-19 treaters)
- 75% in Spain, 53% Italy, 44% in China, 43% in Brazil, 29% in France, 23% in the U.S. and 13% in the U.K.
The two most common treatment regimens for Hydroxychloroquine were:
- (38%) 400mg twice daily on day one; 400 mg daily for five days
- (26%) 400mg twice daily on day one; 200mg twice daily for four days
Globally, 19% of physicians prescribed or have seen Hydroxychloroquine prophylactically used for high risk patients, and 8% for low risk patients, Sermo said.
President Donald Trump has been a big booster of the anti-malarial drugs, expressing optimism about the drugs that he said could be “one of the biggest game changers” in medicine.
“HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE & AZITHROMYCIN, taken together, have a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “The FDA has moved mountains – Thank You!”
In his tweet, Trump was referring to a French study that the drug combo can be effective in counteracting the coronavirus COVID-19, which has spread across the world after emerging in China.
“Despite its small sample size, our survey shows that hydroxychloroquine treatment is significantly associated with viral load reduction/disappearance in COVID-19 patients and its effect is reinforced by azithromycin,” the study found.
“French confirmed COVID-19 patients were included in a single arm protocol from early March to March 16th, to receive 600mg of hydroxychloroquine daily and their viral load in nasopharyngeal swabs was tested daily in a hospital setting,” the researchers wrote in an abstract, Fox News reported. “Depending on their clinical presentation, azithromycin was added to the treatment.”
If there is one thing on which you’d think left and right could agree, it would be the proper response to the present coronavirus. After all, COVID-19 doesn’t distinguish between left and right: Conservatives and liberals are just as likely to contract and even die from it.
Yet, it’s amazing how consistently left and right differ on even this issue.
Virtually every opinion piece in The New York Times, The Washington Post and every other mainstream, i.e., left-wing, journal share two characteristics: a sense of foreboding (millions will die) and an unshakeable conviction that to prevent mass death, the world’s economy must be shut down.
Meanwhile, virtually every opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal and on just about every conservative website contains less foreboding and asks more questions about whether the cure may be worse than the disease. To cite some examples:
March 11: Ben Shapiro published a piece titled “Our Fears About Coronavirus Are Overblown.”
March 16: The Hoover Institution published a piece by Richard A. Epstein whose thesis was: “I believe that the current dire models radically overestimate the ultimate death toll.”
March 16: City Journal published conservative thinker Victor Davis Hanson’s piece whose thesis was: “Our response could prove as harmful as the virus itself.”
March 17: My column titled “Why the Remedy May Be Worse Than the Disease” appeared on many conservative sites.
March 19: The lead Wall Street Journal editorial was titled “Rethinking the Coronavirus Shutdown.”
March 19: A column titled “Will the Costs of a Great Depression Outweigh the Risks of Coronavirus?” appeared on The Federalist’s website.
March 24: The Wall Street Journal published a column by two Stanford professors of medicine titled “Is the Coronavirus as Deadly as They Say?”
Meanwhile, the liberal and left-wing media published hundreds of articles warning us of millions of deaths if we don’t shut down the American economy.
Or take the example of President Donald Trump’s announcement at a press conference on March 19 that hydroxychloroquine had “shown really good promise” in helping to cure COVID-19.
Virtually every left-wing news medium mocked him for making that claim.
March 21: “AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s Breathless Takes on Drugs for Virus.”
They implicitly or explicitly blamed the president for the death of an Arizona man who ingested a fish tank cleaner because it contained chloroquine phosphate (because the name sounds similar to hydroxychloroquine).
March 24: CBS News published a story headlined “Arizona Man Dies, Wife Ill After Taking Drug Touted as Virus Treatment: ‘Trump Kept Saying It Was Basically Pretty Much a Cure.'”
March 24: The left-wing site BuzzFeed simply lied about that story in order to blame the president: “A Man Died After Self-Medicating With a Form of a Drug That Trump Promoted as a Potential Treatment for the Coronavirus.”
March 24: The left-wing St. Louis Post-Dispatch did the same in its headline: “Man Dies After Taking Chloroquine Phosphate, Additive in Drug Touted by Trump as COVID-19 Treatment.”
March 24: The Democratic governor of Nevada, Steve Sisolak, issued an order that, in the words of the Nevada Health Response, “prohibits (the) prescribing and dispensing chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for a COVID-19 diagnosis.”
A particularly egregious example of the left-right divide on the coronavirus response appeared in The Washington Post on March 27. One of its columnists, Max Boot, wrote: “Radio host Dennis Prager bemoaned our unwillingness to sacrifice lives as we did during World War II, saying ‘that attitude leads to appeasement’ and ‘cowardice.’ The United States lost 418,500 people in World War II … but it would be far worse to lose 2.2 million civilians — the worst-case estimate of the U.S. death toll if we let the novel coronavirus spread unimpeded.”
On my radio show and in my weekly PragerU “Fireside Chat,” I criticized New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo for the way he defended shutting down his state: “I want to be able to say to the people of New York: I did everything we could do. … And if everything we do saves just one life, I’ll be happy.”
It is hard to imagine a more morally absurd sentiment. Anyone who thinks rationally knows it is not worth depriving millions of people of their incomes, forcing thousands of companies to go out of business, causing recovering addicts to lapse back into addiction and much more economic and social damage to “save one life.”
As we are fighting a “war” against the virus, I used a war analogy to make my point. I noted that if we had fought World War II with the attitude that we cannot lose one life, we would never have fought the Nazis or the Japanese. I further noted that we do not make any social policy based on saving one life. For example, every time we raise the speed limit, we know thousands more people will die.
But the left went nuts. Max Boot in The Washington Post is only one example.
So, then, why this left-right gulf?
One reason, as I have written previously, is that hysteria is to the left what oxygen is to biological life. Leftists pride themselves on being rational. But the further left one goes, the more feelings displace reason.
A second reason is hatred of Trump. On the left, damaging Trump is more important than truth and more important than the welfare of the American people. If Trump believes hydroxychloroquine offers hope, let’s debunk its usefulness.
A third reason is leftists are afraid — of life and of death. Fear of life is why they build “safe spaces” on campuses for students who cannot handle a visiting speaker with whom they differ. And they are afraid of death. They undoubtedly find Patrick Henry’s famous cry, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” incomprehensible, if not downright foolish.
Even COVID-19 has brought no cease-fire in the ongoing American civil war.
Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, published by Regnery in May 2019, is “The Rational Bible,” a commentary on the book of Genesis. His film, “No Safe Spaces,” came to theaters fall 2019. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.
On March 25, Tara Reade, a former Senate staffer for Joe Biden, made a disturbing accusation about her old boss. She claimed in a podcast episode with Katie Halper of Rolling Stone that then-Sen. Biden sexually assaulted her in a secluded area of the Capitol in 1993, pushing her against a wall, trying to kiss her and penetrating her with his fingers.
Like many accusers, Reade cannot prove this happened. The Biden campaign quickly denied it. “Women have a right to tell their story, and reporters have an obligation to rigorously vet those claims,” deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said in a statement. “We encourage them to do so, because these accusations are false.”
But are those obligated reporters rigorously vetting these claims? Are reporters pounding the pavement and incessantly droning on their cellphones over this? There’s no sign of any of that.
The networks haven’t said a single word about them … even as Biden did an hourlong town hall on CNN, interviews on NBC and MSNBC and then more interviews on CNN and MSNBC. So in the week after the allegations emerged, Biden was asked 55 questions but not one about this accusation. But NBC’s Chuck Todd asked Biden whether President Donald Trump has “blood on his hands” for his response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The networks clearly believe there should be a presumption of innocence, and that the mere launch of these charges can unfairly sully an image. The fact that this accusation emerged from a sketchy source like Rolling Stone underlines that. Journalists appear to be very sensitive … when the target is a Democrat. How can they fail to see the double standard?
This was not the standard for Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings in 2018. The broadcast networks offered more than 300 minutes to several accusers who told wild stories of Kavanaugh’s sexual assaults during his teenage years that could not be proved in any way. Christine Blasey Ford couldn’t manage to offer a time or a place of her alleged assault — less information than Reade offered. But she instantly became a profile in courage, cemented as a “historic figure.”
During the hearings, the accusers were warmly embraced (metaphorically) by one Joe Biden. “For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus, nationally, you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she’s talking about is real,” he said.
There’s nothing on the Biden story on NPR — the proud purveyor of Anita Hill’s unproven accusations against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas — and nothing on The New York Times. Two years ago, The Times somehow found space for a story that claimed Kavanaugh threw ice cubes at a man in a bar scuffle while attending Yale.
There’s no evidence of investigative journalism from The Washington Post, which first published Ford’s incredibly vague accusations. As Kavanaugh was being aggressively prosecuted and accusations arose about the Post cooperating with a Democratic plot to derail Kavanaugh, executive editor Martin Baron protested saying, “The conspiracy theories are pure nonsense.” As the late Wes Pruden used to say, there wasn’t a conspiracy, just a consensus.
In 2016, The Post was first to jump on the 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape in which Donald Trump assaulted no one but bragged about how he could assault women because he was a TV star. The paper waited about five hours before publishing the story. It seemed like the entire political elite — Republican and Democratic — was demanding Trump drop out of the presidential race immediately.
Where are all these people now that Biden is in the dock? Absent. Apathetic. Callously indifferent. Out to lunch, never to return? #MeToo dies in darkness.
Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Tim Graham, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.