It would hardly be news to report that Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas isn’t exactly a left-wing establishment media heartthrob right now.
In fact, as the coronavirus crisis blossomed in recent months from a sizable, yet isolated regional health scare into a full-blown global pandemic, Cotton’s firmly — and quite publicly — raised eyebrow about the Chinese Communist Party has managed to earn him the not-so-coveted role of public enemy No. 1 in the eyes of the so-called Fourth Estate.
According to the National Review, Cotton’s willingness to hesitantly suggest that the CCP’s proven “duplicity and dishonesty” leaves the door open to endless questions regarding the circumstances surrounding this virus — including whether it may have originated from an accidental leak from Wuhan, China’s, Level 4 biosafety laboratory — saw him branded a conspiracy theorist by numerous mainstream outlets as early as February.
One Washington Post piece from Feb. 17 was headlined: “Tom Cotton keeps repeating a coronavirus conspiracy theory that was already debunked.”
Of course, the senator never argued such an origin was evidence of foul play or mismanagement, only that the prospect of international investigation should be left on the table.
It’s a possibility that many agree with, including a chemical biology expert at Rutgers University who was cited by the Post to try to debunk Cotton’s view.
But if that is the case and Cotton has been speaking common sense the entire time, then why the widespread media character assassination?
Well, likely because Cotton has made fools of the media establishment regarding this virus since Day One, on the record, before they or even President Donald Trump was talking publicly about the new contagion.
Notice they dismiss the possibility of it originating at the lab as a conspiracy that has been “repeatedly debunked by experts”
Then they cited the expert who just said it may have originated in that lab rebutting a completely different claim. pic.twitter.com/priCV77htZ
— (((AG))) (@AGHamilton29) April 3, 2020
In a Fox News video that resurfaced this week amid the backlash against Cotton, the senator could be seen on Jan. 28 telling host Tucker Carlson the then-ongoing Senate impeachment trial was distracting Congress and the executive branch from responding to the ballooning Chinese health crisis.
“Any time I come out of the impeachment trial for our brief breaks, it seems like there’s been reports of another thousand people who have contracted this virus and a few more that have been killed,” Cotton said.
“I suspect that months from now or perhaps even years from now, when people look back at this time, coronavirus will be considered the bigger story than impeachment,” the senator continued. “I hope that’s wrong. I hope that we can get this epidemic under control before it reaches our shores in wide and far-reaching numbers.
“But again, we should apply an ounce of prevention here, as opposed to a pound of cure after the fact,” he added.
Tucker Carlson from Jan 28
“Why am I watching impeachment coverage all day?”
Tom Cotton: “I suspect that months from now or perhaps even years from now when people look back at this time, coronavirus will be considered the bigger story than impeachment.”pic.twitter.com/AcbUbNG6eM
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 3, 2020
At that time, however, outlets like CNN were still referring to the outbreak as the “Chinese coronavirus” — shame on them, I guess — and Washington was far too busy addressing the second nothing-burger foreign interference scandal of the Trump presidency to worry about a major threat to the global economy and general well-being of the American people.
Heck, less than two weeks later, leading left-wing media personalities and 2020 Democratic front-runners were calling Trump’s ban on travel to and from China hysterical, xenophobic fear-mongering — only to accuse the president of not acting fast enough when the true threat of the virus was revealed, as Fox News reported.
And nobody in the media could ever be expected to admit fault. It’s far easier to simply blame a conservative.
So, now that we have a better understanding of the virus and its impacts, it’s entirely predictable that the press would shift blame to the feet of the president, tarring and feathering the one D.C. dweller to point out the political and media establishment’s inability to focus on things that matter as “absolutely crazy.”
That’s the best way to tell if a politician is speaking common sense and resonating with the American people, though: Just wait and see if the media paints a big fat target on his back.
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