Citizens Fight an Old Source of Nonsense and Bias: NYT on the Aaron Rodgers Controversy

 

This article is typical of the underhanded, agenda-driven nonsense we get from mainstream outlets. First, it is important to note that the article is headlined: “Scientists Fight a New Source of Vaccine Misinformation: Aaron Rodgers.” Given the title, it is somewhat surprising when discussion of what Rodgers actually said does not appear until paragraph 10.  Here’s the meat of it:

Rodgers fueled the controversy further by trying to distance himself from conspiracy theorists. “I’m not, you know, some sort of anti-vax, flat-earther,” he said. “I am somebody who’s a critical thinker.”

But many of his statements on the show echo those made by people in the anti-vaccine movement.

So, in two paragraphs this article does two things.  First, it makes anti-vaccine equivalent to “conspiracy theorist.”  This is usually fine, as far as it goes, but “anti-vaccine” is inherently a vague term.  Are you anti-vaccines generally, are you anti-this-particular-vaccine, or are you anti-this-particular-vaccine-for-me-at-this-time?  These make a difference, but it is easier to simply throw everyone in a bucket and yell “anti-vaxer!  Get him!”

Second, the two paragraphs promise that the article is about to tell us about Mr. Rodgers’ “many” crazy statements.  Given the tone of the article, I presume we can expect all sorts of good examples from Mr. Rodgers’ 40-plus-minute interview.  Let’s see:

Rodgers suggested that the fact that people were still getting, and dying from, Covid-19 meant that the vaccines were not highly effective. (emphasis added)

Interesting how the Times couldn’t pull a quote for this one. Perhaps the word “suggested” is doing quite a bit of work.  One could go look at the transcript, but I won’t.  If the Times is going to use weasel words like “suggested” without quoting the actual language, I’m going to assume they are lying.  You should too.

So, that’s one point that I’m going to ignore and assume the Times is intentionally over-interpreting.  Second, the Times alleges “Rodgers also expressed concern that the vaccines might cause fertility issues, a common talking point in the anti-vaccine movement.”  Shockingly, still no quote.  Note the heavy work the second clause of that sentence is doing—“a common talking point” of (gasp!) “the anti-vaccine movement.”

That’s it.  Forty-plus minutes of interview and an over 1,500-word article, and those are the two examples.  Of course, they go on to rebut Rodgers’ alleged statements (I wouldn’t know, since they didn’t quote the guy).  These rebuttals amounted to: “uh-huh,” says important expert. And I’ll quote from the article to prove it:

Those allegations have been made since the vaccines first came on the scene, and they clearly have been addressed many, many times over,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a vaccine expert at Vanderbilt University. He added, “The vaccines are safe and stunningly effective.

But wait!  What’s the kicker?  The times went on to accuse Rodgers of lying about his allergies with this well-researched piece of evidence: “some scientists expressed skepticism that Rodgers truly had a known, documented allergy.”

“Some scientists say he is a big fat mean old liar and his personal vaccine decisions make my tummy hurt!”

This is all just a reminder that, well, these guys are jokes.  My standard is that if you want me to believe your reporting, don’t tell me that someone “suggested” something or “expressed concern” without quoting.  Don’t preemptively set up your subject as a quack by spending nine paragraphs deriding the decision to not vaccinate before you even fail to quote the guy.  I don’t really care about people’s vaccine decisions (even if their decision-making process is in fact crazy).  If anything is going to convince me that vaccines are dangerous, it’s the disingenuous push by its proponents to demonize and ostracize anyone who disagrees.

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  1. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Excellent analysis. Thank you!  (Is there no tag for “journolism”?) 

    • #1
  2. DJ EJ Member
    DJ EJ
    @DJEJ

    Well done. It’s always suspect when they devote a lot of space/time to interpret and negatively characterize what someone said without providing or providing few actual quotes of what they said. ESPN has done the same thing with Rodgers and with all of the NBA players (Kyrie Irving and others), attempting to make them look like tinfoil hat wearing nut jobs.

    I’ve heard/seen a lot of clips from Rodgers’ interview last weekend. He’s quite reasonable and asks a lot of questions that should be addressed, but the media just ignores and buries those clips.

    Oh, and Go Packers!

    • #2
  3. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    News from Wisconsin: Prevea Health dumped him as a spokesperson, but State Farm Insurance stood by him.

    There was clearly an attempt to have him “cancelled,” with lefty journos tweeting out crap like “Look at what Aaron Rodgers said! I wonder what his employers think of this!” . . . which is a very common way journos try to get someone cancelled.

    (And my wife’s reaction: “Should we switch from Prevea to a different clinic?”)

    • #3
  4. DonG (CAGW is a hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a hoax)
    @DonG

    The NYT is just a propaganda machine defending the “official narrative” by demeaning anyone that is not in lock-step.  This is pretty standard Maoist technique.  However, the narrative is changing and promoting boosters and the NYT needs to update their propaganda.  The NBA said yesterday that J&J vaccine is only good for 2 months and boosters are required (not unlike what Rodgers said).  Will NYT correct the “crazy” NBA?  Or, will they correct themselves to catch up the NBA?

    • #4
  5. Vince Guerra Member
    Vince Guerra
    @VinceGuerra

    The league is 100% sold out to the Covid hysteria and to have Rodgers, Dak Prescott, and others refuse the vaccine was a slap in their faces. 

    Dan Hansus even went and blamed the Packers loss on Sunday on Rodgers because he was benched after testing positive for Covid. Hu? Funny, I don’t remember anyone tearing apart Lamar Jackson for getting Covid despite having been vaccinated. 

    It’s about protecting interests that have nothing to do with football…or science. 

    • #5
  6. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    The Packers are not my team, but now I hope they face my team in the Super Bowl.

    • #6
  7. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    To me, the strangest part of the article is the fact that the venerable New York Times cares what a football player thinks about virology. 

    • #7
  8. Richard O'Shea Coolidge
    Richard O'Shea
    @RichardOShea

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):

    The league is 100% sold out to the Covid hysteria and to have Rodgers, Dak Prescott, and others refuse the vaccine was a slap in their faces.

    Dan Hansus even went and blamed the Packers loss on Sunday on Rodgers because he was benched after testing positive for Covid. Hu? Funny, I don’t remember anyone tearing apart Lamar Jackson for getting Covid despite having been vaccinated.

    It’s about protecting interests that have nothing to do with football…or science.

    Jackson has had it twice, and I don’t believe he has been vaccinated.

    • #8
  9. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Friends don’t let friends commit ‘journalism’. Or read the Times.

    • #9
  10. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    The pro-all-vaccines-always-and-forever movement has been so politicized over the last twenty years. It’s sad.

    Just answer people’s questions.

    As do most thinking people, I assume they dodge questions and respond with personal attacks against the person asking the question because they cannot answer the question.

    I blame the CDC for this politicization. And the ridiculous concept of “herd immunity” the CDC first foisted upon the public with respect to the MMR vaccine.

    During this recent pandemic, there were many people who wanted all of the CDC’s virus-transmission-control measures to be stopped. This group said, “Hey, we love the idea of herd immunity. The fastest way to get there is to simply let this virus rip. :-) Let it go. Don’t try to stop it. We’ll have herd immunity in a year or two.”

    This was hilarious to me, to watch the CDC suddenly back up from a concept it had been using to intimidate people for twenty years since they first thought it up. :-)

    I think Dr. and Senator Rand Paul shares my concerns over the misuse of the “herd immunity” concept that was borrowed from ranching. I say that because I’ve noticed he goes out of his way to say “community immunity,” which has a vastly different meaning. Herd immunity is a ridiculous goal to assert for human beings who travel and for microorganisms that constantly evolve.

    Over the last twenty years (not including the pandemic years, for which I don’t have statistics), the flu vaccine has been taken by only about 60 percent of the adult population in the United States. Flu has led to (the flu itself doesn’t usually kill people) secondary-infection deaths in many people every year–older people and immunity-compromised people. Everyone in the medical world has pushed the flu vaccine. Yet only 60 percent have felt the risk of the vaccine was worthwhile. This has driven the CDC crazy, but that’s argumentative humanity. The human mind and psyche are what they are. We  can’t change it.

    The CDC has always stopped short of absolutely guaranteeing that any particular vaccine–flu or MMR or any other vaccine–will not do what the vaccine’s doubters are afraid of.

    Throughout the MMR debate, the CDC attacked Dr. Andrew Wakefield personally and professionally, they insulted and attacked the vaccine-hesitant parents (I had my kids vaccinated but I sympathize with those parents), and they pushed the idea that if your child wasn’t vaccinated, he or she would be responsible for killing or maiming everyone around them.

    But through it all, they never answered the question simply and directly. “Does the MMR vaccine cause autism?” The best they could come up with was, “We have no evidence that the MMR causes autism.”

    Not even Donald Trump was convinced by that answer. He expressed his own reservations about the MMR in one of the 2016 debates.

    • #10
  11. Vince Guerra Member
    Vince Guerra
    @VinceGuerra

    Richard O’Shea (View Comment):

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):

    The league is 100% sold out to the Covid hysteria and to have Rodgers, Dak Prescott, and others refuse the vaccine was a slap in their faces.

    Dan Hansus even went and blamed the Packers loss on Sunday on Rodgers because he was benched after testing positive for Covid. Hu? Funny, I don’t remember anyone tearing apart Lamar Jackson for getting Covid despite having been vaccinated.

    It’s about protecting interests that have nothing to do with football…or science.

    Jackson has had it twice, and I don’t believe he has been vaccinated.

    Then that doesn’t surprise me, he’s their golden boy who can do no wrong.

    • #11
  12. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Kelly Cullen: “Rodgers suggested that the fact that people were still getting, and dying from, Covid-19 meant that the vaccines were not highly effective.” (emphasis added).

    Is this wrong?

    • #12
  13. Kelly Cullen Coolidge
    Kelly Cullen
    @KelKilken

    Stina (View Comment):

    Kelly Cullen: “Rodgers suggested that the fact that people were still getting, and dying from, Covid-19 meant that the vaccines were not highly effective.” (emphasis added).

    Is this wrong?

    Its completely ambiguous-and intentionally so.  Depends on how you define “highly effective” and, regarding Rodgers’ comment itself, how you define “suggested.”

    • #13
  14. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Kelly Cullen (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    Kelly Cullen: “Rodgers suggested that the fact that people were still getting, and dying from, Covid-19 meant that the vaccines were not highly effective.” (emphasis added).

    Is this wrong?

    Its completely ambiguous-and intentionally so. Depends on how you define “highly effective” and, regarding Rodgers’ comment itself, how you define “suggested.”

    I consider the MMR to be highly effective and the Pertussis booster from several years ago to be highly ineffective. And I think the mRNA vaccines fall somewhere below Pertussis, though I could be argued slightly higher than Pertussis, but still hovering around highly ineffective.

    • #14
  15. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    To me, the strangest part of the article is the fact that the venerable New York Times cares what a football player thinks about virology.

    Well, the NYT just has to jump onto whatever bandwagon comes along.

    • #15
  16. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    To me, the strangest part of the article is the fact that the venerable New York Times cares what a football player thinks about virology.

    Well, the NYT just has to jump onto whatever bandwagon comes along.

    When they’re not pulling the bandwagon themselves.

    • #16
  17. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    News from Wisconsin: Prevea Health dumped him as a spokesperson, but State Farm Insurance stood by him.

     

    So should I forgive State Farm for canning the original Jake from State Farm?

    • #17
  18. KCVolunteer Lincoln
    KCVolunteer
    @KCVolunteer

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    To me, the strangest part of the article is the fact that the venerable New York Times cares what a football player thinks about virology.

    It’s because the NYT has trained their audience to care what people like Greta Thunberg think. So when a prominent athlete says something that undermines the narrative, they have to be attacked. And when that persons words can’t be used against them, the NYT just substitutes what their words suggest. So much easier to destroy a straw man.

    • #18
  19. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):
    Funny, I don’t remember anyone tearing apart Lamar Jackson for getting Covid despite having been vaccinated. 

    He was not. That was the point. And here in Baltimore, they absolutely went nuts.

    • #19
  20. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    So should I forgive State Farm for canning the original Jake from State Farm?

    We have State Farm Insurance but I don’t know what this is. Maybe a teevee commercial? 

    • #20
  21. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Kelly Cullen: “Rodgers also expressed concern that the vaccines might cause fertility issues, a common talking point in the anti-vaccine movement.” 

    It is worth noting that an argument can be completely ignored once you label it a ‘talking point’. It’s a particularly shabby fallacy in a new suit. 

    • #21
  22. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    So should I forgive State Farm for canning the original Jake from State Farm?

    We have State Farm Insurance but I don’t know what this is. Maybe a teevee commercial?

    Correct, and it’s probably to your credit that you don’t know about the commercials. 

    • #22
  23. Dotorimuk Coolidge
    Dotorimuk
    @Dotorimuk

    Pretty sure the NFL has other problem players it should be worried about….

    • #23
  24. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    Pretty sure the NFL has other problem players it should be worried about….

    No.  The NFL’s problem players are the ones who engage in independent thought.  That’s a real problem for leftists.

    Beating up their girlfriends?  Eh, that’s just boys being boys…

    • #24
  25. DJ EJ Member
    DJ EJ
    @DJEJ

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Dotorimuk (View Comment):

    Pretty sure the NFL has other problem players it should be worried about….

    No. The NFL’s problem players are the ones who engage in independent thought. That’s a real problem for leftists.

    Beating up their girlfriends? Eh, that’s just boys being boys…

    As Clay Travis pointed out, the media and the left (but I repeat myself) are more upset about Rodgers speaking his mind than about (now released from the team) Las Vegas Raiders receiver Henry Ruggs driving his Corvette in Nevada while intoxicated (blood alcohol level 0.161%, over twice the legal limit) at 127 mph and striking and killing a 23 year old woman and her dog in her Toyota.

    Edit: adding this link that shows more photos of the crash.

    • #25
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