MRC: Media's worst lies in '21 were about pandemic

MRC: Media's worst lies in '21 were about pandemic

MRC: Media's worst lies in '21 were about pandemic

2021 was certainly a banner year for mainstream media outlets -- if that phrase means misleading a vanishing audience and dwindling readers -- and a media watchdog says the pandemic tops the list of misdeed.

Dan Gainor of Media Research Center says when the media watchdog compiled a list featuring usual culprits such as CNN and The New York Times, the topic of COVID-19 topped the list.

“Because,” he says, “you only get the media narrative of Covid. You don't get the story about other treatments. You don’t get a story about the downside. They don't dig into VAERS. It's almost positively Soviet the way they do it.”

Back in October, CNN repeatedly lied when telling its audience popular podcaster Joe Rogan had taken “horse de-wormer” to fight Covid. That claim was referring to Ivermectin, which is indeed used to worm livestock, but a Nobel Prize-winning human version of the drug is prescribed to human beings in Third World countries to treat parasites.

The human version was also prescribed to Rogan, and he mentioned it along with several other medicines a doctor had prescribed to help him recover from the virus.

Reacting to Rogan’s illness, CNN talk show host Erin Burnett (pictured at top) claimed Rogan had down a “livestock drug” despite warnings that it is not safe to do so.  

In a second show, CNN host Don Lemon said Rogan had taken the “de-worming drug, Ivermectin, which has been touted by fringe right-wing groups.”

Gainor, Dan (MRC) Gainor

“They’re making [expletive] up,” Rogan angrily told his audience. “They keep saying I’m taking horse de-wormer.  I literally got it from a doctor…They must know that’s a lie.”

Rogan, who is not known for backing down, vowed to sue CNN. In a later interview, he confronted Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s medical correspondent, over the network’s lies.

“Does it bother you that the network you work for out and out lied, just outright lied, about me taking horse de-wormer?" Rogan asked Gupta.

"They shouldn't have said that," Gupta agreed. 

Facing a growing mountain of criticism, CNN eventually released a statement claiming the bigger issue it was attempting to convey was concern that a “powerful voice” in the media had “sowed doubt” about the COVID-19 vaccine.

'You can't suppress information'

Rogan, meanwhile, made news in recent days when he joined Twitter's much-smaller rival GETTR after Twitter permanently banned Dr. Robert Malone for spreading COVID-19 "misinformation." 

Malone is the mind behind the MRNA vaccine technology, who is also a critic of the COVID-19 shot, but Twitter has yet to state what "misinformation" he had spread.

Malone's ban from Twitter occurred just a day before he was set to be interviewed on Rogan's popular show.

"What the media doesn’t understand is that you can’t suppress information," Malone said of his Twitter ban. "It’ll find a way to be free."

Regarding Rogan's popular podcast, Gainor says the show host embraces the "essence of free speech" on his show because Rogan often invites guests who disagree with the host but are welcomed to state their views.

Media ‘lost interest’ in Afghanistan

According to Gainor, the second big media topic from 2021 was America’s sad, bungled, and fatal withdrawal from Afghanistan after the Taliban captured Kabul. That withdrawal was already going terribly wrong when U.S. servicemembers were killed by a suicide bomber outside the U.S.-held airport.

Faced with the killing of Americans in Kabul, the Pentagon dropped a bomb (pictured at right) on a suspected Taliban operative, who turned out to be an innocent aid worker, and killed him and his seven children.

Almost overnight, however, the media moved on.  

“If this had been something that Donald Trump or George Bush, or any other Republican had done, there'd be daily stories,” Gainor says. “The media lost interest in it because it became a Biden disaster.”

MRC says other stories ignored or bungled by the media last year included the porous U.S.-Mexico border; the Jan. 6 prisoners still awaiting trial in a jail cell; cities ripped apart by left-wing rioters; the Biden administration’s economic policies; and a looming war in Ukraine.