The media is now blaming former president Donald Trump’s “xenophobia” for their dismissal of the coronavirus lab leak theory in 2020.
The theory that the virus leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology was dismissed as just a “conspiracy theory” by many establishment media outlets.
As reported earlier this week, CNN’s former president Jeff Zucker told staffers to bypass investigating the COVID origins lab leak theory because it was just a “Trump talking point.”
Many outlets turned to blaming Trump’s “xenophobia” after the lab leak theory was viewed as probable by the FBI and U.S. Energy Department,
But Trump had long suggested the virus came from a lab leak in China but was branded a ‘racist’ by the media; now it seems they have egg on their face.
Meanwhile, some media publications still favor the natural origin hypothesis, while others suggest Trump was so ‘racist’ that the theory had to be initially dismissed.
“Everybody has an excuse for their bias and their activism and lack of logic,” media analyst Joe Concha told Fox News. “And when in doubt, break glass and blame Trump for everything.”
“We had journalists and pundits and editorial boards who believed the Chinese Communist Party over Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz and the president of the United States, all because of their party affiliation, and there was an election after all here at home,” Concha added.
Sunny Hostin, co-host of ABC’s “The View,” claimed Trump “unleashed xenophobia” during a conversation about the lab leak hypothesis.
Meanwhile, Whoopi Goldberg made excuses for comedian Jon Stewart, who embraced the lab leak theory during an appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” in 2021.
“[Trump] made it about Asian people, and I’m sure Jon Stewart didn’t realize that that’s what was happening, because I’m sure he didn’t know what was going on all over the country with Asian folks getting smacked and hit and people saying stuff to them about bringing the disease here,” Goldberg said.
“If you-know-who had not started with that, had he not made it about that,” Goldberg continued, “had he said, ‘Listen, this might have come out of a lab,’ it probably would have been listened to a lot differently.”
MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan also claimed the lab-leak theory was ignored because it was a right-wing “anti-Fauci conspiracy theory.
“The simple reason why so many people weren’t keen to discuss the ‘lab leak theory is because it was originally conflated by the right with ‘Chinese bio weapon’ conspiracies and continues to be conflated by the right with anti-Fauci conspiracies. Blame the conspiracy theorists,” Hasan tweeted.
FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver blasted Hasan’s tweet, writing, “This is so refreshingly honest. The Bad People thought the lab leak might be true, therefore as journalists we couldn’t be expected to actually evaluate the evidence for it.”
Left-wing CNN columnist Jill Filipovic out right blamed Trump’s rhetoric for being dismissed.
“The best explanation I can come up with is that Trump’s racist ‘China virus’ bulls–t, which resulted in lots of anti-Asian bigotry and attacks on Asian people, put liberals understandably on the defense against any theory that seemed to blame China for Covid,” Filipovic tweeted.
MSNBC analyst John Heilemann argued Trump “politicized” the lab leak theory.
“The lab was always a thing where it could have been, where it could have come from,” Heilemann said. “But I will say if you go back to that time, why did people seize on the notion that they’ll reject the lab leak theory? Because like everything else in COVID, Donald Trump politicized it from day one.”
“His thing in the first two weeks was ‘kung flu’ and it’s not that it started in a lab, that the Chinese released it on the world, that it was a bioweapon… It was in his political interest to make China the villain,” he added.
The revelations of the lab leak theory show the media cannot be trusted.
Earlier this week, journalist Tom Elliott posted a Twitter thread of clips from media talking heads who dismissed the lab leak as a “conspiracy theory.”