There is another reason for the popularity of fake news on the political right (“Return of the paranoid style”, June 6th). It is the double standards found in most of the media’s reporting. This conservative complaint is not entirely a myth. Take covid-19. Widespread demonstrations in early May by right-wing anti-lockdown protesters were depicted by the media as selfish and menacing acts that would result in the virus being spread. Yet the protests that erupted over George Floyd’s horrific death just a few weeks later were praised by the same media. The same Democratic governors who supported lockdown and prevented businesses from reopening even participated in the marches.
One group of experts on infectious diseases, whom I presume supported the lockdowns, penned a letter with over 1,200 signatures stating that the protests were necessary to fight “white supremacy”. It is hard to imagine that these experts would support street demonstrations by conservatives in the middle of a pandemic. Commentators on the right had a field day pointing out the hypocrisy. A politicised scientific and medical community is deeply worrying because it boosts the argument on the far right that supposedly unbiased science and scholarship are a sham.
Matt’s Note: Unbiased science and scholarship are indeed important. While I do my best to be objective in my analyses, I can readily admit I’m somewhat biased and that comes out in my writing.
Please seek out other resources (they do a much better job and have a much better idea of what they’re talking about than I, anyways) if this is important to you.
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