NYT‘s Bret Stephens Is Here With Another Garbage Coronavirus Take
Seriously, why does this man still have a job?
What is it about columnist and professional contrarian Bret Stephens that the New York Times finds so irresistible? Is it his use of white supremacist source materials or his denial of climate change? Or maybe it’s his bold claim that rape on college campuses isn’t a problem?
Whatever it is, America’s favorite bed bug is back at it again, with another hot take that has zero basis in reality. In his latest opinion column, “America Shouldn’t Have to Play by New York Rules”, Stephens bemoans that America is being forced to adopt the strict social distancing measures as New York when they don’t have as many cases of COVID-19.
Stephens wonders why folks in Kentucky have to follow the stringent stay at home rules set in place by New York, when they aren’t as hard hit as his home state. So let’s break it down. For starters, the country isn’t taking orders from the state of New York. Pretty much abandoned by the federal government, each state’s governor is implementing their own guidelines and rules, while some places like Georgia lifting their measures this very week.
If eyes are turned to New York for guidance, then it’s as counter-programming. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s daily press briefings offer a professional, informative, and facts-based response to the virus, as opposed to Donald Trump’s rambling, self-congratulatory, and scientifically irresponsible daily reports. One leader tells us to wash our hands and the other tells us to drink bleach. No wonder everyone is looking to New York for some semblance of guidance.
And as for other parts of the country not matching New York’s fatalities: that’s BECAUSE they have been implementing the social distancing guidelines spearheaded by the state hardest hit. It’s cause and effect, Bret. Besides, other states don’t have the population or density that NYC has.
Stephens also claims that many Americans have “dwindling sympathy” for social distancing, which is again false. Despite all the press that the “Reopen America” protests have garnered, they represent the fringiest of the fringe. According to Business Insider, only 14 percent of Americans support ending social distancing to reopen the economy.
Many took to Twitter to call Stephens out on his erroneous and uneducated claims:
I'm not linking to that Bret Stephens NYT column, but "New York shouldn't force the rest of the country to lock down" is A) not what's happening B) irresponsible C) yahooism D) FAKE yahooism, given who he is E) underpinned by the false premise that "the country" wants to reopen.
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) April 25, 2020
when it is finally safe to do so, i will happily go to bret stephens’ home and call him a bedbug in front of his wife and children, as he has specifically requested that his critics do. https://t.co/70VBpmFWRo
— molly conger (@socialistdogmom) April 25, 2020
Folks, I regret to inform you that Bret Stephens is at it again.
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) April 25, 2020
Hey Bret Stephens (who you can’t even @ anymore) and @nytopinion, this assertion in your column today has no basis in fact. Polls show wide majority support for stay-at-home orders and opposition to reopening too aggressively. What you call “much of America” is a fringe position. pic.twitter.com/ZLJTVsOW2K
— Nick Gourevitch (@nickgourevitch) April 25, 2020
The COVID19 geography the right wants you to imagine is "only NYC can or will suffer, while Real America will be fine." The ACTUAL geography is "people whose working conditions put them at greater risk–lower income and predominantly non-white–will bear the brunt of this"
— Aaron Bady (@zunguzungu) April 25, 2020
When bret stephens writes his pro bleach drinking column the NYT will run that too
— Crewman Number Guy (@Atrios) April 25, 2020
What’s confusing to me is all the factual errors in Bret Stephens’ columns is that I’ve written an op-ed for the NYT before and it was thoroughly fact-checked! https://t.co/XcXJWz8RQP
— Britni de la Cretaz (@britnidlc) April 25, 2020
There is no meaningful debate between actual subject matter experts about whether lockdowns need to continue in lower-population-density states. They do. And the fact that Stephens doesn’t site any of them is the tell that he’s bullshitting his readers.
— Isaac Butler (@parabasis) April 25, 2020
Nashville saw its highest daily spike in covid cases YESTERDAY.
Does anyone edit Stephens? Does anyone even do a cursory fact check? For fuck's sake guys. https://t.co/C7Ck8Fnjlo
— Eoin Higgins (@EoinHiggins_) April 25, 2020
Bret Stephens, David Brooks, Bari Weiss, etc are the modern equivalent of medieval courtiers. Their job is not to write anything smart, relevant, or even accurate – it is to flatter the worldview of elites, to reassure them "Oh yes, m'lord, the people agree with you."
— Mass for Shut-ins (is a podcast) (@edburmila) April 25, 2020
(via New York Times, image: screencap/92nd Street Y)
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