Around the Horn to the White House

My friend Michael Patrick Leahy, a reporter who among other things runs the Tennessee Star, the Minnesota Sun and other online news outlets, emailed me a transcript of his interview of Howie Carr, also a friend, who is the dominant radio news personality in New England and a terrific newspaper columnist:

Leahy: We are joined now on the line by our good friend, Boston talk radio king Howie Carr. Howie, the President of the United States is reading what you Tweet about coronavirus.

Carr: Yes, Michael Patrick Leahy. But he read it in your story that you wrote for Breitbart about the preponderance of deaths being in certain age groups and certain facilities (i.e. nursing homes). I’d like to thank you for getting my Tweets to his attention. (Leahy chuckles) I’m glad somebody picked up on them.

Leahy: Well, it was great work on your end. So what’s interesting is, the Massachusetts Department of Health was putting out all these lengthy, lengthy documents and you found in it a slide that was just stunning. And that was the average age among the 4,000 plus people that have died of COVID-19 in Massachusetts is 82 years old. This was like on page 11 of a 100-page report. You found it. Tell us how you found it first. Then you Tweeted it out and I’ll go from there. How did you find that information?

Carr: Actually I should give credit to John Hinderaker at powerlineblog.com. This is how the modern media works. He’s very interested in this and he’s a lawyer in Minnesota. He actually was just scrolling down through documents and found it and printed it.

And I said holy bleep! Where did this come from? As you said, this is a lengthy document that they post every day. They call it the Coronavirus Dashboard. So I looked at it and I Tweeted it out. I’m based in Boston but I’m in Florida. Then I see a guy from Minnesota post it. You’re in Tennessee and you see it and you put it into Breitbart and then the President of the United States sees it.

Leahy: It’s amazing.

What’s amazing is that most people are unaware of basic facts about the coronavirus because reporters and editors are pursuing a partisan agenda, not trying to disseminate information. So it falls to people like us to pass on basic data to our readers.

One amendment to Howie’s recitation: I wasn’t the one who pored over the Massachusetts Coronavirus Dashboard. Rather, a reader whom I have quoted at length several times read that there was a surge of COVID cases in Massachusetts and, curious, looked up the data. She sent me an email that included a chart from the Massachusetts Health Department which I reproduced here. Howie Carr is a Power Line reader; he saw that post, titled “The Models Were Wrong. Does Anyone Care?” and invited me on his show to talk about it.

Which just reinforces the point. Any concerned, intelligent citizen can run rings around the professional media, not because reporters are dull-witted–although, to be fair, that is a contributing factor–but because modern-day “journalism” is largely about not reporting facts that are deemed inconvenient to the governing class. Such is the sad world in which we live, but fortunately, the news blockade is broken every day.

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