Two weeks ago, I wrote about the demise of the media acting in their role as the Fourth Estate. Right on the heels of that article, NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt was awarded the Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism from Washington State University. Making my point in his acceptance speech, he said that “fairness is overrated,” and the news media no longer needed to present both sides of a given story.
“The idea that we should always give two sides equal weight and merit does not reflect the world we find ourselves in,” Holt said. “That the sun sets in the west is a fact. Any contrary view does not deserve our time or attention.”
How can he be taken seriously with this? Holt’s speech is blatantly admitting censorship of any opinions that do not align with the progressive agenda. As a nonliberal, if I were to disagree with Holt’s unarguably poor example by stating that the sun does not “set” in the west but instead only appears to do so from our position on Earth, according to Holt, the Daily News should not even print this column.
The fact that he is implying the same treatment to subjects more convoluted than elementary science should further emphasize the narrow-mindedness of his claim. He is saying that facts and opinions presented by nonliberals have no right to be printed, and instead treated as “contrary” views that do not deserve “time or attention.” Perhaps the media that allow such discussion are endangering their tender readers rather than daring to let people decide for themselves?
I want to revisit some of the things I wrote in the past that progressive Daily News readers and columnists excoriated me over because my facts and opinions didn’t match their settled science and that, according to Holt, should never have been printed.
Foremost, anyone who understands the nature and philosophy of science would never utter that oxymoronic phrase “settled science.” Science, by its very nature, is never “settled,” and that phrase is nothing more than dressed-up dogma.
When I argued last July that students are statistically unaffected by coronavirus and the University of Idaho needed to stay open with live classes, I was attacked for endangering UI students and all of Moscow. As it turns out, WSU’s and Pullman’s resignation to the progressive settled science resulted in their having the fifth-highest COVID rate in the nation last August. And today, Pullman is back in Phase 2, but Moscow is still open for business.
Exactly one year ago, I argued for Sweden’s approach to handling the coronavirus: children continued attending school, and adults kept working and enjoying pubs. No lockdowns. No masking. They isolated the infected and quarantined the exposed and those especially vulnerable. Otherwise, it was life as normal in Sweden during the last year.
The prediction by the progressives’ settled science was that Sweden would have massive deaths compared to the rest of the world. Instead, Sweden has the 27th highest deaths per million, well behind lock-down countries like Italy, UK, USA, Portugal, Spain, and France. Yet just like Florida and Texas, Sweden is no longer discussed by the media because it is a counterexample to the lock-down, settled science narrative being pushed.
Last August, I argued that all K-12 schools needed to remain open. We knew then that coronavirus didn’t target the young. In that column I cited CDC numbers that a total of 157 children age 15-24 had died from coronavirus at that point in time. Today I checked the CDC’s numbers again for the last 15 months. Of those 43 million children, a total of 42,596 have died, 804 from coronavirus. Progressives, settled scientists, teachers’ unions, and the media (yet I repeat myself) all called for destroying a year’s worth of education and countless lives while everyone knew that those under 25 were statistically unaffected by the virus.
The inconsistencies in the liberal narrative can hardly justify the progressive viewpoint as the only one worth presenting. Lester Holt is missing the point of the news media by opting to suppress opposing (conservative) voices that offend his liberal sensibilities.
He is simply afraid of hearing “I told you so.”
Courtney served 20 years in nuclear engineering aboard submarines and 15 years as a graduate school instructor. He now spends his spare time chasing his grandchildren around the Palouse.