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Tuesday, April 21, 2020
CNS Forgets It Promoted Dr. Drew's Bogus Coronavirus Claim

On March 3, managing editor Michael W. Chapman devoted an article to touting how Dr. Drew Pinsky, M.D., said the liberal media are "over-reacting" to coronavirus, do not know how to report on it, and have created a 'hysteria,'" and that "the measures taken by President Trump, the CDC, and Dr. Anthony Fauci are 'appropriate' and should be heeded." Chapman added how Pinsky dismissed coronavirus as little more than the flu:

On Feb. 27, in a follow-up interview, Sam Schacher spoke with Dr. Drew on the telephone and asked if he was still as passionate about his view on the coronavirus. 

Dr. Drew said, "Well, let me frame it this way:  we have in the United States 24 million cases of flu-like illness, 180,000 hospitalizations, 16,000 dead from influenza. Why is that not being reported? Why isn’t the message: get your flu shot?"

Chapman quietly added that Pinsky is "a specialist in addictive medicine, and a popular TV personality," though he didn't mention that this gives him no particular expertise on virology, which is where coronavirus study is concentrated.

A month later, CNS finally did some clean-up work for Dr. Drew. An April 6 article by Craig Bannister featured Pinsky's walkback on the whole coronavirus-is-the-flu thing:

Dr. Drew Pinsky, M.D. is apologizing for understating the coronavirus threat by previously comparing it to influenza.

“I was wrong about comparing influenza and coronavirus,” Dr. Drew says in a video apology posted on his Twitter page. Dr. Drew repeatedly owns up to his mistake and apologizes, adding that he has now embraced “the aggressive measures” advocated by the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and the Trump Administration:


Dr. Drew says that he “adjusted course” when Dr. Fauci declared that the coronavirus is much worse than the typical flu. Now, Dr. Drew says, he’s wearing a mask and adhering to the recommended precautions – and, “It’s paying dividends”:

Curiously, Bannister didn't mention that his boss promoted Dr. Drew's previous coronavirus-is-the-flu assertions a month earlier. Further, Chapman's article is still live and uncorrected on the CNS website.

This is perhaps not the best say to demonstrate journalistic accountability at a "news" operation. Certainly CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, would be relentlessly attacking a "liberal media" outlet if it did the same thing.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:29 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 21, 2020 12:30 AM EDT

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