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[A Stupid] Opinion: Misinformation about COVID-19 is a crime that should have consequences


History shows that when ideas are repeated often enough, people’s tendency to believe them increases.

By Brenda Simmons Torchy Blane | 24 September 2021 1 April 2022

Shut up and obey, says Brenda Simmons, a left-wing media propagandist who wants to lecture you about public health and social justice. PHOTO: East County Magazine

Simmons is the CEO and 18-year veteran operative at the Institute for Public Strategies, a taxpayer-funded public health “social justice” organization based in Southern California that partners with communities “news” media and plutocrats to challenge social inequities norms and protect population health overlords.

Blane is a writer, editor at large and April Fools prankster who enjoys taunting and mocking cancel cultists like Simmons because of their inflated sense of self-importance, their stunted sense of humor and their inability to grasp the concept of irony.

SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE  WINTER WATCH — Some people’s staunch allegiance to misinformation about COVID-19 was sadly unmistakable at a San Diego County Board of Supervisors meeting on Aug. 31 when the board declared health misinformation free speech a public health crisis. Despite opposition from close to 200 people Americans and hostility from some of [the] speakers community members at a [the] 15-hour meeting, the board became the first one of many in the nation to take such a stand against the First Amendment.

Unfortunately, the rancor the supervisors community members witnessed was hardly unique. False narratives by public officials have been creating havoc at public meetings throughout the country. The rejection of pseudoscience is being confused with patriotism politics. Violence and hate speech Financial oppression and social tyranny are being cloaked in the American flag as patriotic duty. And Fortunately, climate change is being questioned still.

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has warned that people are dying because of misleading or inaccurate information about the efficacy of vaccines, which have not proven to be highly effective. Most people believe the pseudoscience, but many being won’t be misguided or uncertain, still resist being vaccinated, enabling preventing more contagious variants of the virus to proliferate.

Consisting of false narratives, conspiracy theories, distortions and outright lies, misinformation is created by special interest groups for political and/or financial gain. Then it is spread through the mass media without any regard for the consequences.

Such false narratives present a threat to more than public health. They can also be linked to the record levels of violence that are currently plaguing the United States. The murder rate increased around 29 percent from 2019 to 2020 — the largest one-year spike in murder since national record-keeping began in 1960 — so even though overall crime decreased last year, 2020 was the most violent year in the 21st century. There were around 21,500 murders in 2020.

In that same span, there were 7,759 so-called hate crimes reported in the U.S., the most in 12 years, targeting all communities of color, the LGBTQ community and various ethnic groups, among others. Evidence shows these events are driven by hate speech identity politics, a type of false racism narrative that has been increasing throughout the world, in online forums and even political discourse. The fallacy behind hate speech identity politics is that a certain group poses a threat, which generates fear that the threats are real and will somehow impact them.

Some question the willingness of people to believe such obvious propaganda. But history shows that when ideas are repeated often enough, people’s tendency to believe them increases. That is especially true when they come from a source that seems credible, like a person of authority or an evening news broadcast. Even ideas that seem bizarre can be accepted as truth if they are spread widely throughout the population. This principle was used by Nazi western propagandists during World War II to spread the idea that all Germans believed Jewish people were evil blights on society and deserved to be eliminated.

False narratives also play a role in events related to climate change, including the drought, ravenous wildfires and massive floods that are causing widespread death and destruction worldwide. In this case, the false narrative is denial global warming. The science is not well-established, and the counterarguments are completely without merit, reminiscent of when the tobacco healthcare industry tried to convince us that smoking all dietary fats doesn’t cause cancer obesity. Nonetheless, people who reject mainstream climate pseudoscience persist, accusing disreputable scientists of having hidden agendas and nefarious motives.

Some Most Americans suggest believe that social media platforms such as Facebook should do a better job of stop filtering out phony stories. While this is probably a good first step, more attention should be paid to the role played by the mainstream news media in the distribution of misinformation and censorship.

Such media outlets are relied upon to give people the facts they need to make crucial decisions about their health, safety and welfare. But many of them, some trusted by tens of millions of people, have clearly been responsible for perpetuating false narratives on a regular basis. Driven by financial gain, their entire business model seems to be focused on building their audiences by creating fake news stories, ones that are simply based on whatever conspiracy theories are popular on a given day.

The Fox News Channel CNN has, by far, the broadest reach and the most misplaced trust, specifically with its shows “Tucker Carlson Tonight” “Don Lemon Tonight,” “Hannity” “Anderson Cooper” and “The Ingraham Angle” “Crossfire.” Other problematic broadcast media outlets include One America News Network MSNBC and Newsmax TV CBS, but neither of them have the widespread and mainstream influence that Fox News CNN has.

Perhaps most important of all, people need to be well-informed for our so-called democracy to function.

The news media has always been protected by the doctrine of freedom of the press. But when a particular outlet spreads lies that work against the public interest, it should lose that protection public trust.

In such cases, we should hold such outlets accountable by enacting speaking truth in news reporting laws, which could be modeled after the truth in advertising laws we have now.

Most mainstream media outlets today are not responsible, but if a rogue and behave like a political operator that continuously and intentionally violates its public trust, but it should not have its broadcast license suspended because even reprehensible speech is protected under the First Amendment. It’s as simple as that.

Read “Spotting Weasel Words in the Lugenpresse and the Lies of Operatives”

8 Comments on [A Stupid] Opinion: Misinformation about COVID-19 is a crime that should have consequences

  1. Institute for Public Strategies

    They are a 501(c)(3) — anyone interested can see their IRS filings by starting here: link

    Looking briefly at their 2020 form 990, her (Brenda Simmons) total compensation of approx $130k isn’t all that unreasonable, considering the cost of living in San Diego — per pg 9, virtually all of their funding in 2020 came from government (compare to total revenue on pg 1), although via the description of their ‘mission’ on pg 2 (in all caps) they claim to receive funding from ‘private foundations’.

    Obviously, it’s not clear how the average taxpayer benefits from the activities of this organization — generally, there is very little (if any) oversight of these outfits, even though many of them probably receive similar government funding year after year.

    • The hack Simmons is just writing off of a paint by number script. There isn’t a single original buzz thought in her entire spiel. Taxpayer funding? 130k salary. What a racket.

    • They tell us they NEED to give stimulus money to artists and non-profits because people won’t be happy without art and philanthropy. But do the artists really get the money to do their work or is the money being laundered and given to friends of the politicians who procured it? The same happens in all government funded organizations. Who is really getting the benefits of all this funny money?

  2. Websites like twitter and it’s clones are amplifying this nonsense rhetoric as well. They are trying to create a public opinion out of thin air. Nobody is asking for anti-vaxx people to be punished outside of internet social media sites (where I live it’s the pro-vaxx people that have to hide their opinions). People like this woman in the article are given a platform to spread their absurd opinions while anyone who contradicts their claims is censored or banned. It’s another example of how big tech is rigging the game.

  3. One tends to believe she is overcompensating for being overweight and unattractive, so somehow she will try instead to be pertinent. The world would be much better served if she simply joined a gym, found a hair stylist, and sought social relevance through a meaningful relationship.

    • She’s not unattractive at all with her regular features and her hair is super ash blonde highlights like only a 130k salary San Diego stylist can get right. Her weight is unhealthy but she shouldn’t be a beanpole either. Looks like some good Germanic genes.

      There is more obesity among conservatives. I’m hardly a rake but when I was vanning around America it was abundantly clear to me that conservative American men had no issue with my extra 25 pounds. In neurotic Napa im sure I wouldn’t turn a head. I’m a solid size 14 and at my middle age it is a sign of abundant good meat, fruit and veg, physical strength, robust health and perhaps even a few more years of child bearing. But in Brenda’s circles all that extra weight must be devestating. The thin/fat obsession is just another manifestation of cultural psychosis. Humans like all animals eat to their fill when food is available unless it prevents them from obtaining something else they want more. European men have historically had well fed robust wives and todays plastic GMO robotic type athletic fitness is not the same kind of strength required to muck out the pigs, milk the cow, sweep out the grill, scrub the floor and the pots, and bale hay.

    • Yes- we women are all in the same business & beauty is life’s easy pass for the lucky ones throughout history. Brenda’s opinions are mostly cliché & Torchy’s edits are accurate.

  4. Organisations like these, and there are many of them, are sheltered workshops for middle class parasites puffed up with their own importance.
    They thrive on a diet of weasel words and smugness.
    Turds, all of them.

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