MSNBC’s Joy Reid and her guests dedicated a full segment of an episode of “The ReidOut” to attacking West who, as a black conservative, upsets the narrative that black voters’ convictions uniformly mirror Reid’s. “Allen West, the Trump candidate for governor of Texas, goes full on anti-vaxxer even as he lies in a hospital bed with COVID pneumonia … and live-tweeting his disdain for vaccine mandates,” she gibed. Reid’s guest, former DNC Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa, also seemed bemused that Allen West “literally hospitalized as we speak, because he’s not vaccinated, and he has low oxygen levels.”
Reid proceeded to read the tweets West sent from his hospital bed in an over-the-top, mocking tone that made her seem at once ghoulish, juvenile, and unprofessional. West tweeted “I can attest that, after this experience, I am even more dedicated to fighting against vaccine mandates. Instead of enriching the pockets of Big Pharma and corrupt bureaucrats and politicians, we should be advocating the monoclonal antibody infusion therapy.” He added, “As Governor of Texas, I will vehemently crush anyone forcing vaccine mandates in the Lone Star State. There are far better protocols that individual citizens can utilize and decide for themselves.”
Reid had plenty of company in the journalistic gutter. Later that evening. CNN’s Don Lemon said, “Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Allen West, known for being an anti-vaxxer, comes down with COVID.” Some criticism of West was manifestly inaccurate: Biba Adams of The Grio ran the headline, “Texas GOP figure Allen West vows to ‘fight vaccine’ from hospital bed with COVID”; yet the words “fight vaccine” — which are in quotation marks — do not appear anywhere in the story. (As noted, West said he would continue “fighting against vaccine mandates.”) The erroneous headline was picked up by Yahoo! News.
One would be tempted to write this off as the media’s longstanding bias against Colonel West, who, as a black conservative, poses a unique threat to their narrative. Reid went on to dismiss West as “basically to the right of Attila the Hun,” as her guest, Jason Jones, smeared West as the physical embodiment of “the zeitgeist of the Republican Party” base voters, who “want that sort of natural, all-natural flavor racism, but they want it in blackface with a 1990s flattop haircut.”
The smirking media coverage meted out to Allen West fits into a long series of stories virtually dancing on the graves of anyone who questions (almost universally Democratic politicians’) authority. “Some people are literally dying to own the libs,” said CNN senior political activist John Avlon. “They’re thinning their own herd,” cracked Nicolle Wallace on MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House about Republicans.” (Apparently, a producer clued her in to how callous her words sounded because the next day she insisted these deaths were tragic and said, “I pray for them.” Then, moments later, she repeated that “they’re thinning their own herd.”)
Here are a few other examples of the media celebrating :
Phil Valentine: Nashville talk radio host Phil Valentine died on August 21 after broadcasting his doubts about the efficacy and desirability of receiving the COVID-19 vaccination. As Phil continued to cling to life in the hospital, Alisyn Camerota attacked his brother, Mark Valentine, for daring to stray from the left-wing script. While Mark appeared on the network to encourage people to get vaccinated, Camerota seemed determined to wring contrition out of Valentine during their July 26 broadcast. Things escalated when Mark mentioned that “there’s blame to go around” for the spread of COVID-19. “Nobody’s discussing the fact that we’re importing thousands of cases of COVID at the Southern border and placing them around cities all over the country.” Camerota cut him off, replying, “Mark, don’t you see that you’re politicizing it right now?” After the interview, co-host Victor Blackwell remarked, “That almost went in a completely different direction.” (When CNN posted the video of the interview, they cut it before Camerota’s testy exchange over the border.) The next day, CNN’s “New Day” host John Berman chided Mark, that his brother’s illness “basically scared you straight, right?” and asked, “Why do you think you and Phil got it wrong?”
Bob Bryant served the poor as a minister of benevolence at Water of Life Community Church in Fontana, California. But the church held a service three months after Governor Gavin Newsom (D) ordered all churches closed — a ban the Supreme Court would strike down in February 2021. Media accounts imply that Bryant may have contracted the virus while on vacation in November 2020. Still, the Los Angeles Times gave this minister of mercy his comeuppance for violating the governor’s orders last December in its story, “Pastor dies of COVID-19 weeks after Fontana megachurch reopened for indoor services.”
Bob Enyart was pastor of the Denver Bible Church, a talk radio host, and the former director of Colorado Right to Life, but he died of COVID-19 last month at 62. Mediaite blasted Enyart for spreading “insane anti-vax conspiracy theories”; for instance, “falsely claiming on his website that the vaccines were tested ‘on the cells of aborted babies.’” In reality, all existing COVID-19 vaccines involve the use of aborted fetal tissue. The Washington Post, “Conservative radio host who spurned vaccines, mocked AIDS patients dies of covid-19.” (That’s harsher treatment than the Bezos-owned paper gave the late ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, whom it described as an “austere religious scholar.”) The Daily Beast also commemorated Enyart’s death with the headline, “Texas GOP Official Mocked COVID Five Days Before He Died of Virus.”
Bishop Gerald Glenn, the 66-year-old pastor of a Richmond-area African-American church and friend of Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), passed away from COVID-19 the day before Easter 2020. The former police officer continued holding church services “not to disrespect [officials] but to support those who were scared,” said his daughter, Mar-Gerie Crawley. Frequent MSNBC contributor Michelle Boorstein wrote in The Washington Post, “Prominent Virginia pastor who said ‘God is larger than this dreaded virus’ dies of covid-19.” The New York Times highlighted Bishop Glenn’s refusal to abide by social distancing guidelines although, as the Post highlighted, he told his members not to shake hands during the service.
Jimmy DeYoung Sr. was a relatively obscure teacher who offered his interpretation of Christian prophecy, and dared to ask, “Could this vaccine be another form of government control of the people?” The Daily Beast, which described DeYoung as a man “who trafficked in Christian prophecy,” said that he “spread disinformation about the coronavirus vaccines.”
This antipathy toward stricken individuals pales in comparison to the media’s disgust at the existence of organized opposition, which they identify with the Republican Party. In September, Reid branded the GOP a “creepy little COVID-loving death cult,” that “love[s] COVID so much you want it to spread into schools, at the office, in the Walmart, on the cruise ships and in the club.” So, too, did her fellow MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski, who called Florida Governor Ron DeSantis the leader of “a growing death cult” and his opposition to mask mandates “death cult material.”
Dying cult members elicit little sympathy from the secular media, nor most people — but few Americans celebrate the illnesses and deaths of their fellow Americans the way the legacy media have. Avlon justified the coverage by saying, “This may seem cold, but it may also be that the lasting regrets of the unvaccinated are what fellow travelers need to hear.” Then again, perhaps cold-hearted recriminations and thinly disguised schadenfreude are what the media want to hear, because “the cruelty is the point.”✪