They put the “low” in low-information voters.
The combined efforts of an American pop star and a British pop culture magazine together added up to an abysmally wrong talking point for those who hate President Donald Trump on both sides of the Atlantic.
The errors take only a second to spot by a half-aware reader, but even half-awareness is apparently hard to come by in some circles of the anti-Trump left.
In this case, the point man for ignorance is entertainer John Legend, a singer who’s unaccountable popularity has made him a spokesman of sorts for politically correct causes ranging from rage at the Trump presidency to reworking the holiday classic “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”
Legend took part in an interview published Monday by the British edition of GQ, the men’s lifestyle magazine, that gave him an opportunity to lambaste Trump with a string of insults while using a statistic that was not even close to correct.
And it was teed up by a question that was wrong in its basic premise.
Neither of those elements had been corrected by Monday afternoon in the east, and it’s a good chance they never will be.
The piece bore the byline of GQ writer Mark Jacobs, whose fawning introduction of Legend, the husband of supermodel Chrissy Teigen, made the bootlicking of the mainstream American media during the Obama years look like speaking truth to power.
Its last sentence is: “It’s become a trope that Legend, Teigen and their two children are America’s true first family.“
That gives a clue that this isn’t going to be hard-hitting stuff.
After some questions about Legend’s new album and how he and his family are coping with the coronavirus crisis, Jacobs decided to give Legend a platform for punditry, teeing him up with a question based on a lie that liberals are doing their best to make an urban legend:
That Trump’s comments in mid-April about the potential use of light or disinfectants to fight the coronavirus meant the president was actually recommending the use of household cleaners inside the human body.
“What are your thoughts on Trump’s agenda and violent rhetoric,” Jacobs asked, “such as his suggestion that Covid patients might inject their lungs with disinfectant?”
Trump never suggested any such thing, but that didn’t faze Legend, who responded with a string of insults for the commander in chief that no doubt pleased his liberal fan base, but didn’t have a thing to do with the truth.
“It couldn’t be a worse person to be in charge right now than him and that’s what America is stuck with and that’s why we have the highest death rate in the world from this disease and I don’t believe we’re going to be out of the woods for a while, because of his incompetence, his selfishness, his short-sightedness and his inability to coordinate a real national response,” Legend said.
Well, Legend’s opinion of the president aside (his standard Hollywood hatred has been documented before), the fact of the matter is that the United States does not have the highest death rate from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
According to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center, the U.S. death rate of 20.7 per 100,000 of population is eighth among countries whose records can be trusted – and behind a few with the kind of socialized medicine regimes admire so much.
Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Ireland all have higher deaths per 100,000 cases of COVID-19 than the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins.
(China’s claim that it has had a death rate of only 0.33 per 100,000 in the population is not to be believed, considering the torrent of lies from the Middle Kingdom since its communist rulers unleashed this contagion on the world.)
So the question was fatally flawed – asked by the kind of “journalist” that seems to think political points are more important than facts.
The answer was fatally flawed – a platform for lots of anti-Trump bluster build around a fact that was embarrassingly off base.
According to Breitbart, GQ’s parent publication Conde Nast didn’t respond to a request for information about why the reporter didn’t correct Legend, or why the publication’s editors didn’t either.
The answer should be obvious: Any comment, question or insult that can – hopefully to liberals – hurt the Trump presidency is fair game.
The facts of the case, the truth of the circumstances, are secondary to that over-arching goal.
Even a fashion magazine like GQ needs to have some responsibility for what it portrays. Even preening, pompous pop stars like John Legend need to have some responsibility for what they say.
But instead, they teamed up to put out false information, seemingly without a care for its truth – a new kind of “low” for low-information voters.
It’s likely no coincidence that Legend was a supporter of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ now suspended presidential run. “Low-information” was almost a prerequisite of being a Bernie backer.
Come November, when Americans go to the polls, Legend, his liberal fans, and even some journalists working for British publications, are going to find out how little their information is really worth.
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