For a mainstream media still coming to terms with the fact that they’ve had to completely reverse course on their year-long “reporting” on how the Wuhan lab leak theory was supposedly nothing more than baseless GOP conspiracy-mongering straight out of Wackoville, old habits die hard.
There is no better example of this at this stage of the game than Associated Press White House reporter Jonathan Lemire, who went on Morning Joe’s program earlier today and promptly reminded us all over again about how there are some (many) in the media who have no interest whatsoever in learning from past mistakes.
During a segment on the Wuhan lab leak theory, Lemire told co-host Willie Geist that President Trump and Republicans “taking a victory lap” on the left’s/media’s about-face on the theory’s credibility was nothing more than “he and his allies … practicing some revisionist history”:
“We should note one thing about former President Trump and some Republicans here, who seem to be almost taking a victory lap with the idea because of their theory that the virus may come from a lab, that this proves that they were, quote, right all along.
That’s not what President Trump said when he was first in office. In fact, we at the AP reported way back in January of 2020, just as this virus was starting to come out onto the world stage, and it started to become a concern here in the United States before it really exploded here, that then-President Trump was leery about talking about the virus.
And he was leery for months of upsetting China. He eventually, of course, took very harsh rhetoric to Beijing. But right now he and his allies are practicing some revisionist history.”
Watch the video, which also includes commentary from the other panelists on the show.
I’ve seen a helluva lot of gaslighting from reporters in my time as a media critic but Lemire’s spin is one deserving of serious consideration for the Gaslighting Hall of Shame.
There is no “revisionist history” from Trump, Republican Sen. Tom Cotton, and others in terms of taking a so-called “victory lap” over the fact that claims they were making last year on the origins of the Wuhan coronavirus that the media and Democrats mocked them for are now being taken seriously.
The only “revisionist history” here is Lemire’s attempt at pretending that Trump was supposedly scared of upsetting China (he wasn’t, as his China travel ban in late January 2020 made clear) and avoided criticizing them “for months” (he didn’t – he repeatedly called the virus the “China virus” starting in March, which enraged China and virtue-signaling reporters like Lemire and others in the White House press corps).
If my memory serves me correctly, Trump first talked about the Wuhan lab leak theory sometime in mid-April 2020. The media spent a considerable amount of time after that mercilessly ridiculing him, Cotton, Sens. Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and others for having the nerve to speculate as to just where the coronavirus came from.
Why? For two reasons. First, because over the years many mainstream media news outlets like the New York Times, CNN, and the AP have – like Democrats including this administration – proved to be little more than mouthpieces and apologists for the CCP, and anything that put the blame on China for the origins of a killer virus had to be swept under the rug and stomped on for good measure.
Secondly, and as I’ve previously noted, because it was Republicans who were openly speculating on the origins of the coronavirus after the outbreak started, stories and commentary were both approached from the “they must be wrong and we have set out to prove it wrong” angle, and the media (and social media platforms) never looked back, even declaring the theory “debunked” when it wasn’t. This is not how traditional journalism is supposed to work, but that’s what they did.
I’m not naive about how the media operates, but a part of me was really hoping that after their abrupt reversal on the lab leak theory that there might be soul-searching being done by reporters as to just how badly they damaged what remaining trust there was left for their industry after the stunts they pulled last year in the middle of a public health crisis.
I’d like to thank Lemire and others in the MSM who have acted similarly over the last few days for disabusing me of that notion.