Today we begin a new format for our Saturday review of this past week, and moving forward we will be focusing on a single, idiotic news story from the past seven days. In researching and evaluating candidates for this initial essay it has become clear that we should expect no shortage of contenders.
Winner: President Biden Declares Facebook Is “Killing People,” With An Equally Silly Retraction
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Last Friday, President Joe Biden kicked off a firestorm when he commented to reporters that Facebook’s inability to meet Biden’s personal standards of censoring users for what he believes to be “misinformation” regarding COVID vaccines is, in fact, “killing people.”
On Monday, Biden then tried to mend fences with the social media giant by backtracking somewhat, stating “Facebook isn’t killing people. These 12 people are out there giving misinformation. Anyone listening to it is getting hurt by it. It’s killing people. It’s bad information. My hope is that Facebook, instead of taking it personally that somehow I’m saying that Facebook is killing people, that they would do something about the misinformation – the outrageous misinformation – about the vaccine.”
Blaming Facebook for killing people if users post erroneous information about vaccines is akin to accusing a bullhorn of murder if someone uses it to shout “fire!” in a crowded movie theater. Facebook is a platform, a tool, and like just about every other tool imaginable, people will misuse tools. Our federal government, and particularly our president, should not be in the business of attacking a private company that is a platform, and not a publisher.
Regarding Biden’s walk-back and his point that the twelve individuals who supposedly account for all the “misinformation” are actually killers, wrong again, Joe. Depending on exactly what those people posted, they may be guilty of being highly irresponsible, and they may even deserve to have their accounts revoked by Facebook and other platforms. But even if we are to assume that certain Facebook users have chosen not to be vaccinated due to something they read on their newsfeed, and even if those users were eventually infected with COVID and died – the individuals who posted that information are still not responsible.
Biden’s mindset with Facebook “misinformation” is indicative of the left’s overall attitude towards personal responsibility. Jacob Blake was accused of raping a woman, he violated a restraining order by going to that woman’s house, he refused to listen to police commands to stop and put his hands up, and he proceeded to reach for a knife on the floor of his car. Yet when police shot Blake, it wasn’t Blake’s fault, it was the cop’s fault. Or it was the fault of ‘systemic racism.’ When someone goes on a rampage shooting at people, it’s not the maniac’s fault, it’s the gun manufacturer’s fault. And if someone bases their decision whether to receive a COVID vaccine strictly on a false story in Facebook, then the left blames Facebook or some yahoos posting inaccurate information rather than person who actually made the decision.
There are plenty of resources available to all of us to make an informed choice on vaccinating. Personally, I got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in April, and I’m glad I did. Yes, there are risks, but I determined I’d rather take the risks posed by the vaccine than deal with the unknowns of being stricken with COVID. But millions of Americans have chosen not to be vaccinated, and most of those decisions have been carefully thought-out after weighing all the pros and cons of getting jabbed. Those are personal decisions, and decisions for which each one of us are personally responsible. Just us, no one else, and particularly not some knucklehead on Facebook.
Finally, if Creepy Joe is going to blame COVID deaths on anyone or anything other than the virus itself, shouldn’t he be blaming China? Or the World Health Organization? It now appears highly likely that the COVID pandemic originated with a lab leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and the WHO was not only complicit in a cover-up of China’s COVID misdeeds, they also mistakenly told the world at the beginning of the pandemic that the virus was not airborne. Aren’t the Chinese and the WHO more responsible for “killing people” then some vaccine skeptics on Facebook?
Honorable Mention#1: MLB’s Cleveland Indians Rename Team “The Guardians”
On Friday, Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians franchise unveiled their renaming of their team to “The Guardians.” The biggest challenge in assessing this story is determining which aspect is most absurd: 1) The choice of the name “Guardians” which just sounds ridiculous, 2) The new logo, which looks like it was drawn by a first-grader, or 3) The fact that the team is bowing to the woke mob and undoing over a century of tradition and community loyalty. If forced to decide, I’ll go with #3.
Honorable Mention #2: COVID Mask Mandates Making A Comeback
Los Angeles has reestablished its indoor mask mandate for citizens, and federal public health officials are promoting the idea of mandating masks for school kids when the summer is over. COVID does not pose a serious health risk to kids: not before millions of Americans were vaccinated, and certainly not now. And for adults, we have the option to be vaccinated. If you chose not to be vaccinated, it’s understandable, and that’s your right. But for those of us who were vaccinated, mandating us to wear masks is Orwellian. This is scary stuff.
P.F. Whalen is a conservative blogger at TheBlueStateConservative.com. His work has appeared in multiple publications, including Human Events, the Western Journal, and American Thinker. Follow him on Parler @PFWhalen.
Photo is a screengrab from YouTube.