As a number of states across the country are reopening their economies in tiered phases, that news is being reported with varying degrees of hostility by the establishment media, depending on the voting demographics of the states and the politics of state leaders.
NewBusters evaluated coverage of this issue on the network evening news shows Monday night, and found that CBS and NBC reported on the opening of red states with a particularly hostile tone.
Non-red states, meanwhile — particularly Colorado, which has a Democratic governor, and Iowa, which is generally seen as a swing state — were either covered in a more neutral manner or simply ignored.
“CBS Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell said during her opening monologue Monday that even as people in some states return to work, others in those same states are suffering and dying from the virus.
“The new plan comes as more and more Americans are suffering for what’s being called ‘quarantine fatigue,’ a desire to return to a more normal life after weeks of staying home,” O’Donnell said, according to NewsBusters.
“That burnout combined with rising unemployment is leading 19 states to loosen restrictions and reopen some businesses and restaurants. Even more plan to do so by May 1.”
O’Donnell reminded CBS viewers that “in many of those states, the number of infections is still rising. Tonight, there are more than 985,000 confirmed cases in the U.S. Nearly 56,000 people have died nationwide.”
CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann then reported from Atalanta, Georgia, with a derisive tone, questioning the intelligence of Republican Gov. Brian Kemp and people who are seeking to return to work.
“Norah, riding out a pandemic in Georgia suddenly has options. You can go out to dinner and a movie, you can get a haircut, a workout, a tattoo. And if you’re wondering, does any of that sound smart, well, so are many Georgians,” he said.
“Governor Brian Kemp’s hungry to reverse Georgia’s soaring unemployment, more than one million new claims in four weeks. But health experts worry impatience is the new pathogen, for governors and consumers.”
“For any state to reopen, White House guidelines call for a two-week downward trend of documented COVID cases,” Strassmann also said. “No states meet that standard.”
But in its effort to portray Georgia’s reopening of much of its economy as careless, CBS neglected to tell its viewers that the blue state of Colorado has also lifted lockdown restrictions to a large degree, and that state leaders are optimistic.
While Coloradoans can not yet enjoy limited dine-in eating or other perks enjoyed in Georgia, like being able to work out at a gym (USA Today has more fully outlined Georgia’s reopening guidelines), the state is preparing to open back up.
The Denver Post reported Democratic Gov. Jared Polis said Monday he believes his state is ready to end its stay-at-home order, citing a decline in new confirmed cases of COVID-19, and the fact that the number of hospitalizations statewide is on a downward trend.
“We no longer have the alarming exponential spread we had a month ago,” Polis said Monday.
The newspaper reported “restaurants, bars, gyms, movie theaters, concert halls, casinos and off-track betting facilities will remain closed,” in Colorado, but “Personal services, like hair salons and massage parlors, can open Friday, so long as the provider and the customer wear masks, no more than 10 people are in the business, and the location is not above 50% of its total occupancy.”
While the policies implemented by each respective state’s leaders are different, both Georgia and Colorado are moving toward the same goal: normalcy.
Yet CBS chose to imply Georgia’s Republican governor is careless for wanting to reopen the state, while ignoring what’s going on in Democrat-dominated Colorado.
I wonder why.
Likewise, “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt also opened his program Monday by reminding his viewers of coronavirus cases and deaths when reporting that people who are in danger of losing everything are getting back to business.
“Ready or not, and with nearly a million confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. since the start of this outbreak, parts of America are moving on tonight,” Holt said, pointing out that the coronavirus has “claimed over 55,000 lives” in the U.S.
According to NewsBusters: “The following report by Blayne Alexander specifically called out Mississippi, Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Georgia (in that order) for reopening their economies.”
Each of those states has a Republican governor.
“[Alexander] briefly noted that ‘Iowa and Colorado joining eight other states starting to reopen,'” NewsBusters added.
Again, Democrat-run Colorado’s governor is a Democrat. Swing state Iowa’s governor, Kim Reynolds, is a Republican.
And NBC apparently felt the need to distinguish those two states as being somehow separate from the other, largely red states that it mentioned.
While hostility toward conservatives is nothing new from establishment media reporters, the work done by NewBusters in evaluating the coverage demonstrates just how partisan this issue has become.
NBC News is telling us that people are dead or dying before mentioning red states that are eager to reopen, while barely mentioning that a liberal state (Colorado) or a swing state (Iowa) are also lifting restrictions on commerce in their own ways.
The reports are also transparent in their tone toward majority conservative states, which are being portrayed as reckless.
Establishment media reporters who still have their jobs and incomes are essentially trying to argue that reopening businesses in red states equates to a suicide mission.
Colorado and Iowa fell into the honorable mention category for NBC in its inconsistent reporting, and were not mentioned by CBS at all in its gloomy reporting.
The only thing that is consistent about the reporting from the networks is their obvious disdain for conservatives. Would you expect anything less from the country’s Democrat-friendly establishment media?
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