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Friday, November 5, 2021
WND's Brown Wimps Out, Defends Anti-Vaxx Misinformers In The Name Of 'Freedom Of Speech'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Michael Brown did his best to sound ominous in his Sept. 29 WorldNetDaily column:

The Sept. 29 lead headline on DrudgeReport was even more apocalyptic and alarming than normal, featuring a giant YouTube logo, front and center, covered by a red "cancel" circle. The headline declared, "YOUTUBE BANS ALL 'ANTI-VAX' CONTENT.'"

Secondary headlines also sounded ominous tones: "Sydney warns unvaccinated face total social isolation IDEFINITELY when lockdown ends …"; "UNITED AIRLINES firing employees who refuse shot"; "Biden Order Mandate Enforcement With Up To $700,000 Fine …" – and more.

Are things really as bad as they seem? In a word, yes.

At this point, Brown had the opportunity to tone things down and stand with reality against anti-vaxxers and partisan alarmists who want to maliciously frame public health measures as issues of freedom. But he turned wishy-washy in explaining his own position on COVId vaccines:

But let me say at the outset that I am not an anti-vaxxer myself. My official, oft-stated, public position on the COVID vaccines is this: Do the research, pray for wisdom, and make an informed decision. As for my personal choices, I'm keeping those personal, since I do not have the health expertise to influence others in either direction.

If he's not an anti-vaxxer, why is he afraid to admit wether or not he has gotten the vaccine? Because he's virtue-signaling -- he apparently believes he has a significant number of anti-vaxxers in his target audience, and he doesn't want to offend anyone, which is why he took the "do the research" copout (which is an anti-vaxxer trope).

So, unsurprisingly, he goes on to frame anti-vaxxer misinformation and disinformation as just another viewpoint that deserves ewual treatment:

The rationale behind the decision is this: "Misinformation researchers have for years said the popularity of anti-vaccine content on YouTube was contributing to growing skepticism of lifesaving vaccines in the United States and around the world. Vaccination rates have slowed and about 56 percent of the U.S. population has had two shots, compared with 71 percent in Canada and 67 percent in the United Kingdom."

But what if it is not just misinformation? What if there are genuine scientific concerns? What if there is a growing body of anecdotal evidence supporting those concerns? And, in any case, who decides what is and is not "misinformation"? More importantly, who decides which "misinformation" is permitted and which is forbidden?

Should a video with blatant misinformation about the Bible be permitted on YouTube, even if it will lead many people astray spiritually? (The answer is yes, it should be permitted.)

What about a video with misleading information about UFOs? Should that be permitted? (Again, the answer is yes.)

But if you have genuine, well-researched, carefully considered issues with vaccines in general, not to mention COVID vaccines in particular, your content will be banned on YouTube.

This really is ominous.

That's a bizarre argument. "Misinformation" about the Bible or UFOs doesn't kill people -- but misinformation about vaccines does.

He then hearkened back to a 2018 commentary defending misinformer and liar Alex Jones to argue that nobody should ever face accountability for spreading lils and misinformation, then concluding with the mention of one more right-wing martyr:

In the past, a major newspaper like USA Today may have had 2-3 million subscribers, while, to this day, major network news shows may draw 5-7 million viewers per network. In contrast, YouTube currently has 2.29 billion users, meaning that when YouTube bans you, it really hurts.

Add to this the fact that we began this year with Twitter banning the most powerful man on the planet from its platform – the sitting president of the United States – and you realize that things are quickly spiraling out of control.

Let us, then, push back with wisdom, with truth, with courage, with strategic action and – for people of faith – with prayer.

Seems like Brown ought to be praying for the courage to call out those who spread misinformation -- and the courage to tell people whether or not he's vaccinated.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:31 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, November 5, 2021 3:37 PM EDT

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