Topic: Media Research Center
For much of the spring, the Media Research Center acted like the division of the Trump re-election campaign it is and parroted the president's attacks on the World Health Organization as effectively a division of the Chinese Communist Party for purportedly downplaying the threat of coronavirus as it was emerging in China. This led to headlines such as "CBS & ABC Rush to Defend WHO From Trump, Ignore Failures," "MSNBC Spends Two Hours Siding with Pro-China WHO Over U.S. Since Trump Is ‘Worse’" and "New York Times Lauds WHO Against Trump, Quotes CCP Stooge's Criticism."
But when the WHO apparently did something that coincided with the MRC's right-wing agenda, it suddenly demanded that it be covered. Thus, this June 8 post from Nicholas Fondacaro:
Back in April, CBS and NBC threw a fit because President Trump had decided to cut off U.S. tax dollars from flowing to the World Health Organization (WHO), citing their kowtowing to China. They defended the organization as critical to fighting the coronavirus. But, on Monday, the WHO announced that the virus was very rarely transmitted via asymptomatic patients. Due to what was a mystery of who was a carrier, health officials ensured governments and business sunk the global economy, destroying lives. Now that it seemed as though we did all that for nothing, CBS and NBC were nowhere to be seen.
But to their credit, ABC’s World News Tonight did cover the WHO’s new announcement thanks to correspondent and weekend anchor Tom Llamas.
Instead of reporting on this revelation from the organization they feverishly defended from Trump, CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News touted how their city, New York was finally reopening. NBC even wasted time with a segment dedicated to promoting the radical idea of defunding and abolishing police departments.
Just one problem here: the WHO kinda botched things. The next day, it clarified its position by stating that "we don’t actually have that answer yet" on asymptomatic transmission and that the original statement confused presymptomatic transmission with the asymptomatic type, and the original statement ignored studies showing that asymptomatic people do, in fact, spread the virus.
As one would expect, the MRC then got mad that "liberal" fact-checkers called out the WHO on this.Corinne Weaver huffed in a June 11 post:
Facebook’s third party fact-checkers, selected by the liberal Poynter Institute, have officially labeled World Health Organization’s (WHO) statement about asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19 as “misleading.” Ironically, in April, Facebook used the WHO to disprove myths about COVID-19.
According to Healthfeedback.org, a wing of Sciencefeedback.org, two scientists analyzed a piece on CNBC and determined that the “statements by the WHO and the reporting by CNBC were misleading and imprecise.” The CNBC piece touting the WHO’s statement was covered up with an interstitial, or filter, and labeled “partially false.”
Weaver concluded by turning on the WHO again: "As far back as mid-January, WHO was reporting information that was not accurate, based on misinformation from China. An infamous tweet dated January 14 from the WHO stated, 'Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China.'"
Weaver didn't mention that her employer had demanded that the media report the original, misleading WHO report.