Matt Taibbi has posted “The COVID lie that started it all” for subscribers to his Racket News site. It is accompanied by a Matt Orfalea video documenting “the COVID lie.” Here is a passage from Taibbi’s post that struck a chord with me personally:
As Orf shows above via his inimitable Newspeak-smashing style, the early apocalyptic predictions that so freaked out the population were eventually walked back by the same authorities. However, none of these furious opponents of questioning “experts” went back and corrected their records. This was once an expected convention even on TV media, where episodes like Dan Rather’s “At the time, CBS News and this reporter fully believed the documents were genuine” Bush-era self-mortification broadcast were considered necessary to retain public trust. Because the ostensible target of these early broadcasts was Trump, no one feels a need to correct anything, but people all over the world soon learned to hesitate to criticize health authorities — and for good reason…
By the by, Dan Rather walked back his enforced “self-mortification” in Rather Outspoken: My Life In the News (2012) — a point that confirms Taibbi’s observation that “no one feels the need to correct anything.” Rather undid his correction (or whatever it was).
In his memoir Rather portrays himself as a victim rather than a perpetrator. He seethes with hatred for Republicans and conservatives. He pleads guilty only to “putting a true story on the air.” According to Rather, “There is a through-line, a long and slimy filament that connects the ‘murder’ of Vince Foster to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and to the discrediting of the Killian memos.” That “slimy filament” is “a dirty thread” that “stretches all the way . . . to the birther movement.” To say the least, that’s quite a stretch.
There’s more pretty COVID lies than one, as the old song almost goes, but in Orfalea’s illuminating video this is is the one said to have started it all.