MSM ‘shock and awe’ over inconsequential case of mad cow disease

It’s no surprise to anyone who pays attention that mainstream media tilt their coverage in favor of Democrats and leftish ideas. But it’s not confined to endless puff pieces about the president, or the ignoring of unpleasant facts.

Often, it’s more subtle — as when the general thrust of a news story advances a particular narrative even when the facts within the story don’t really support it. Glenn Harlan Reynolds/New York Post

Which brings me to a really interesting blog that my brother-in-law sent me this weekend: Bad, bad big city press.

The blog is about an isolated case of mad cow disease that was recently in the news:

The latest and best example I can give you is the general media coverage of the fourth U.S. case of BSE [bovine spongiform encephalopathy or mad cow disease] – and the first in nearly a decade – announced April 25. That cow, nearly 11 years old, tested positive for atypical BSE, caught during routine USDA BSE surveillance testing. “Atypical” means it’s more than 99% certain the animal did not get the disease from eating diseased mammalian tissue, and may have spontaneously developed the cattle brain disease. That last part’s still the subject of scientific debate.

USDA’s Chief Veterinarian Dr. John Clifford provided a comprehensive briefing to the media… Clifford, at least in the subsequent industry briefing, stressed several times the case was atypical and what that meant, that the animal was tested at a renderer as part of regular and routine USDA testing, was never presented at slaughter so no meat or byproducts entered the food or feed chains, and that beef and milk were safe. In short, the system worked.

But you wouldn’t know that if you listened to the MSM. They totally ignored the facts that Dr. Clifford was giving them and continued to hype the story to follow the narrative they wanted to project:

Instead of presenting a relatively minor news story, several general media outlets ran with stories patently designed for shock and awe. Either explicit or implied food safety issues were raised where none exist. In one network TV report, the word “atypical” and its meaning were never used to describe the ancient cow [it was 11 years old] found in California; in another network report, the “on-air talent” flat out stated there was a “break in the feed rule,” referring to the federal regulation banning the refeeding of mammalian tissues to bovine animals. [This was not true. No “break in the feed rule” occurred.] Several major newspapers simply parroted activist criticism of USDA’s testing program under which about 40,000 animals are tested yearly. None of the examples cited qualify as objective reporting or even good entertaining-it’s-so-bad yellow journalism. To be fair, the best, most professional story I read – objective, balanced, factual and understandable by the layperson – was in USAToday.

You have to use your critical thinking skills more now than ever when you read or listen to the news. In the MSM, journalists no longer exist. Facts don’t matter to them. They are now shills for their own leftist agenda.




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