Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Climate Change at Fox News – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on April 25, 2020

Drowning in the swamp. Holding hands with Trump on the way down.

By Steve Hall

There has been a drastic change in the climate at Fox News.  We used to think of them as a counter-balance to the “mainstream media”; an alternative perspective, with “balance” and yes, with a healthy dose of skepticism about all things government.  Then suddenly, inexplicably, Fox News jumped on the hysteria bandwagon.

– – – – –

Imagine this:  an old white guy is elected President, with AOC as his running mate.  The old guy can no longer do the job, perhaps perishes, and AOC becomes President.  She immediately sounds the alarm:  the threat from climate change, the destruction of the earth, is imminent.  She shows the models and presents the science.  The media shouts “armageddon” day after after day, incessantly, with a parade of experts who agree.

AOC says that we knew this was coming and yet we did not prepare.  That we had ten years, but now there is no time left.  The public is whipped into fear and mass hysteria.  AOC declares a national emergency and a “War on Climate Change” and the people acquiesce.  She orders temporary measures to cut the use of carbon-based fuel: shuts down oil production; shuts down cruise ships; restricts airline flights; orders people not to drive unless it is essential; and shuts down all frivolous activities.  But the two-week “temporary” shutdown quickly turns into another month, and then another, with no end in sight.

People comply voluntarily.  “Everyone agrees” that this must be done.  But voluntary soon turns to mandatory.  Guidelines, when administered by bureaucrats, become arbitrary laws.  Because the economy is so interconnected, because all workers are essential, the economic impact begins to grow and spread.  Hundreds of thousands of workers are unemployed.  Businesses are bankrupted.  The effects ripple through the entire economy and cause a deep recession.  AOC promises to make everyone whole and initiates massive Federal spending, with Congress happily agreeing (it buys them votes, and would be so politically incorrect to question, let alone dissent).

The Federal government has no money except which it first takes from the people; the shutdown drastically reduces the money coming in.  The Federal government has no savings; they were already deep in debt.  The “Fed” was out of “ammunition”; interest rates had been held artificially low for years and they had already been doing bailouts and QE to keep the economy propped up.  So all of the AOC stimulus and Federal aid has to come from additional, excessive debt, or from what amounts to printing money out of thin air.  America wobbles on the verge of an unprecedented depression, perhaps total economic collapse.

– – – – –

Now try to imagine Fox News jumping on board with AOC in that scenario.  Not questioning the models.  Not presenting other perspectives and alternative views.  Not considering the consequences.  In fact, doing just the opposite – sounding the alarm and promoting the panic, actually encouraging the shut downs!   Unimaginable?  Many of us thought so.  Yet that is exactly what they did with this virus!

Tucker Carlson was one of the very first, sensationalizing how dangerous this could be, urging Federal action.  Within weeks, every Fox News anchor was on board, not only agreeing with the unprecedented step of shutting down the nation, but also with the dangerous, dictator-like experiment of quarantining people who were not sick!

That was, in fact, pretty much what communist China did.  Except in America it was to be  “guidelines”?  Voluntary?  Temporary?  No, it’s turning out to be mandatory.  And once that hysteria was in place, the momentum is to remain shutdown, especially from those who have acquired new powers.  “Flatten the curve” we did, but now the new goal seems to be “no new cases” (an impossible goal in any realistic time frame) or “until there is a vaccine.”  A vaccine, by the way, is no silver bullet; we have had seasonal flu vaccines for years and people still die.

Today at Fox, they repeat, “We all know that we had to do it” while at the same time scrambling to address how we avoid the inevitable economic consequences (which would have been so obvious to anyone who bothered to think about that before taking the leap).  But just like the AOC story, we have shut down oil production; shut down cruise ships; and restricted air travel and driving.  But we went even further, locking down a majority of the population, shuttering most businesses.  Now we have the unemployment and the bankruptcies.  And the politicians are making the ludicrous promise that no one will suffer financially.

So now Fox News folks are resorting to the CNN approach – attacking – complaining about a Governor who makes arbitrary rules, how awful that is.  Do you really expect any different when you make such a leap toward authoritarianism?  That’s what always happens when you replace the Rule of Law with the Laws of Rulers.  Why has Fox News not been interviewing Rush Limbaugh and Judge Napolitano and Lieutenant Dan Patrick and Doctor Ron Paul from the very outset?  Why are they arguing that some are “taking it too far” when they never should have been allowed to “take it” in the first place?

It was a mistake to shut down the country.  Because of economic repercussions, of course.  But also in our loss of liberties, another huge step toward an authoritarian America.  Not to mention that the deaths that result long-term are very likely to far exceed the death toll from the virus.  Especially if our economy collapses.  Or if we experience hyperinflation.  Or we we engage in a huge new hot war to “pull us out of the depression”.

What is so sad and disheartening now is the refusal of Fox News to admit that the shutdown was a mistake, or to even entertain the idea that it might have been.  I guess they are in CYA mode, just like so many politicians.  Instead, they continue to straddle the fence – “we all agree that we had to do it, but now we need to decide how best to open up.”  They continue to promote the theory that “if we hadn’t done it, it would have been much worse” – – when there is no valid data to support that (we’ll likely, eventually, prove that theory to be false).

Where are the models and the what-ifs and the projections about what might have happened if we had not shut down?  If we had Instead just issued the guidelines and encouraged people to act responsibly?  Even on Fox, that discussion seems to be off limits.

We were never going to stop this virus, because it is so contagious; they told us that from the beginning.  The bottom line is this:  if someone is afraid, has underlying health issues – in fact for for any reason at all – they have the option of self-isolating.  If they do, and if they sanitize incoming, wash their hands, and don’t touch their face, then they will not get the virus!  (Or at least the chances are so slim as to be statistically negligible.)  No one is stopping them!

But many people are willing to take the small risk.  After contact, there’s maybe a 50/50 chance of contracting the virus.  Of those that do get infected, only 4% will get seriously ill.  In other words 96% – ninety-six percent – will experience mild symptoms, or none at all.  The risk of dying from Covid-19 looks to be about the same as from the flu just a few years ago.  Less total deaths than from driving automobiles.

It is pure irony to see the “awful mainstream media” and Fox News on the same page!  Promoting mass hysteria, crazy models, and un-vetted “science”.  Let alone supporting a national lock down and lock up.  Ironic, too, that it is the Washington Post, of all people, now questioning these trillions of dollars of spending and debt.  Maybe their objectives really are no different?  This pandemic, and our response, is revealing the crumbling infrastructure of the American experiment and our Constitutional Republic.  Perhaps we were unprepared do defend against this latest virus (it is, after all, one of about 200), but neither was Fox News prepared to defend our liberty.

Be seeing you

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