Washington Post Admits Wuhan Lab Leak Theory Was Dismissed Because it was Supported by Trump

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Photo Credit: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

At a Jan. 30, 2020 hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican told colleagues: “This coronavirus is a catastrophe on the scale of Chernobyl for China. But actually, it’s probably worse than Chernobyl, which was localized in its effect. The coronavirus could result in a global pandemic. I would note that Wuhan has China’s only biosafety level-four super laboratory that works with the world’s most deadly pathogens to include, yes, coronavirus.”

Cotton was widely mocked by the liberal media over those remarks and similar ones to follow.

Looking back to the early days of the coronavirus, anyone who mentioned that the virus may have escaped from a lab in Wuhan was labeled a conspiracy theorist. Saying the virus may have been created in that lab was even worse.

In recent weeks, however, journalists who once scoffed at such a notion are opening to the possibility.

The Washington Post’s “fact-checker,” Glenn Kessler, who was himself the subject of a fact-check involving remarks about Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, actually admits that the legacy media’s anti-Trump bias may have been behind their rejection of the lab leak theory.

Kessler excuses both himself and his colleagues from performing their due diligence by saying that the lab leak theory “often got mixed up with speculation that the virus was deliberately created as a bioweapon,” which he finds preposterous. (When the truth finally comes out, he may be proven wrong about that as well. But I digress.) Surely any journalist worth his or her salt would be able to separate the two, and investigate both theories. Did the virus escape accidentally from the lab that was tied to the CCP’s military or was it intentionally released?

It was China’s “lack of transparency” and “renewed attention to the activities of the Wuhan lab” that finally opened their eyes to the possibility that the virus may have leaked from the lab, the only lab in China that is known to work with this specific pathogen.

He finally gets around to the real reason: former President Donald Trump. Here too, Kessler tries hard to absolve himself and the rest of the media. He writes: “The Trump administration also sought to highlight the lab scenario but generally could only point to vague intelligence. The Trump administration’s messaging was often accompanied by anti-Chinese rhetoric that made it easier for skeptics to ignore its claims.”

I’m sure by now, nearly a year and a half after the coronavirus reached our shores, U.S. intelligence agencies have more solid information about its origins. But in those early days, all Trump had to go on was vague intelligence.

As for his anti-Chinese rhetoric making it easier to ignore his claims, wouldn’t a serious investigative journalist be able to put the President’s comments aside and look at the facts? Isn’t that a journalist’s job?

Isn’t Kessler essentially saying that the theory was dismissed mostly because of its connection to Trump?

Kessler takes readers through a COVID-19 timeline. Most of the early reactions were based on the lab leak theory and left the door open to the possibility that it could have been intentional.

Later in January, The Daily Mail and The Washington Times published articles making the connection between the virus and the Wuhan lab.

On Feb. 6, “Botao Xiao, a molecular biomechanics researcher at South China University of Technology, posts a paper stating that ‘the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan.’ He pointed to the previous safety mishaps and the kind of research undertaken at the lab. He withdrew the paper a few weeks later after Chinese authorities insisted no accident had taken place,” according to The Post.

Did any journalists wonder why Xiao withdrew the paper? That researchers who didn’t acquiesce to the CCP’s version of events had a way of disappearing?

On Feb. 9, Cotton struck back via Twitter against China’s ambassador who had said his remarks were “absolutely crazy.”

Following more criticism from The Washington Post, Cotton responded with the following Twitter thread:

The hypotheses include: “1. Natural (still the most likely, but almost certainly not from the Wuhan food market); 2. Good science, bad safety (eg, they were researching things like diagnostic testing and vaccines, but an accidental breach occurred); 3. Bad science, bad safety (this is the engineered-bioweapon hypothesis, with an accidental breach); 4. Deliberate release (very unlikely, but shouldn’t rule out till the evidence is in); Again, none of these are ‘theories’ and certainly not ‘conspiracy theories.’ They are hypotheses that ought to be studied in light of the evidence.”

The turning point in the debate over COVID’s origins came on Feb. 19 when a group of public health scientists published a joint statement, which was scolding in its nature, in the elite medical journal Lancet.

It read: “The rapid, open, and transparent sharing of data on this outbreak is now being threatened by rumours and misinformation around its origins. We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin. Scientists from multiple countries have published and analysed genomes of the causative agent, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2),1 and they overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife.”

According to The Post, “the statement was drafted and organized by Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance,which funded research at WIV with U.S. government grants. (Three of the signers have since said a laboratory accident is plausible enough to merit consideration.)”

These so-called “experts” did the world a great disservice by signing on to this statement. They provided China with an excuse to escape blame for the virus. It was this letter that did more than anything else to turn the tide away from the lab leak theory.

The media would point to this letter from the “experts” and ridicule anyone who mentioned the lab leak theory.

So, why now are they changing their tune? Why did PolitiFact retract their earlier fact check (which debunked the lab leak theory) last week? Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing. Perhaps they’re privy to something that hasn’t been made public yet. Or maybe it’s because there is growing circumstantial evidence that points to the lab leak theory.

Whatever the reason, Kessler’s article was a feeble attempt to explain why the vast majority of journalists, once again, failed to do their jobs.

A version of this article was posted in The Western Journal.

An Interesting Turn of Events in the Matt Gaetz Case

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Photo Credit: Image by Momentmal from Pixabay

On March 30, The New York Times broke the bombshell story that Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican, is under investigation by the DOJ for the possible violation of federal sex trafficking laws. They are looking into whether he may have engaged in a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and paid for her to travel with him. It is illegal, the Times informed its readers, “to induce someone under 18 to travel over state lines to engage in sex in exchange for money or something of value.” The encounters are said to have occurred about two years ago.

The Times also wrote that Gaetz is a subject, rather than the target, of the investigation. Their sources were identified as “three people briefed on the matter.”

As it turns out, the DOJ is investigating the congressman.

The Times described the target of the investigation as a Gaetz associate named Joel Greenberg. According to the Times, Greenberg “was indicted last summer on an array of charges, including sex trafficking of a child and financially supporting people in exchange for sex, at least one of whom was an underage girl.” Prior to Greenberg’s indictment, he served as the Seminole County tax collector.

Last week, Greenberg reached a plea deal with prosecutors. According to The Washington Post, he “pleaded guilty Monday to sex trafficking of a minor and a host of other crimes, agreeing to cooperate fully with prosecutors and testify in court in hopes of leniency for himself.”

The Post and other major media outlets played up Greenberg’s association with Gaetz. They were delighted by this turn of events anticipating the damage that Greenberg’s testimony could inflict on Gaetz.

They wrote: “His plea and deal to cooperate is a potentially ominous sign for Gaetz (R-Fla.) because it signals prosecutors have lined up a critical witness while they continue to investigate the congressman. Gaetz has vigorously denied wrongdoing.”

But, they left out one very critical piece of information which Raheem Kassam, the editor of The National Pulse, discovered.

Kassam reports that, among other charges, Greenberg pleaded guilty to falsely accusing a school teacher (who had planned to run against him in the 2020 election for the office of Seminole County Tax Collector) of having sex with a minor. Additionally, Kassam wrote that “Greenberg is the only person making accusations about Rep. Gaetz right now – two months in – and there’s plenty of evidence to suggest his animosity is driven by Gaetz’s refusal to get involved in Greenberg’s demands for a pardon from President Trump.

Count Four states: “Greenberg used the mail, an interactive computer service, an electronic communication service, an electronic communication system of interstate commerce, and a facility of interstate commerce to engage in a course of conduct that caused, attempted to cause, and would be reasonably expected to cause substantial emotional distress to the Teacher.”

“Greenberg started by mailing letters. On or about October 10, 2019, Greenberg used the United States Mail to send an anonymous letter that purported to be from a “concerned student.” The letter was mailed from the Middle District of Florida and was addressed to the head of the school where the Teacher worked.”

If Greenberg was willing to smear a school teacher to prevent him from entering the race, he is capable of doing the same thing to Gaetz.

A jury would find Greenberg to be a very incredible witness. Certainly, it would be difficult to convict Gaetz if Greenberg has already pleaded guilty to a nearly identical crime.

Even taking the double standard into account, I don’t see it happening.

Read Count Four:

“The victim of Count Four is a teacher at a school located in the Middle District of Florida (referred to herein as the “Teacher”). On or about October 4, 2019, the Teacher filed with the Seminole County Supervisor of Elections to run  Because the Teacher had filed to run in opposition to him, Greenberg used the mail, an interactive computer service, an electronic communication service, an electronic communication system of interstate commerce, and a facility of interstate commerce to engage in a course of conduct that caused, attempted to cause, and would be reasonably expected to cause substantial emotional distress to the Teacher.

“The envelope contained an anonymous typed letter addressed to the head of the school that contained information, alleging an inappropriate relationship between a student and teacher. In that letter, Greenberg, posing as a student at the school, falsely represented that he had first-hand knowledge of a sexual relationship between another fictitious student identified as “R[]” and the Teacher. Greenberg, posing as a student at the school, falsely represented that “R[]” admitted to engaging in oral and anal sex with the Teacher and that the incidents took place at the school. Greenberg, posing as a student at the school, signed the-letter “a very concerned student” at the school.”

“Greenberg’s false accusations resulted in local law enforcement conducting a criminal investigation of the Teacher. Florida Statute § 800.101 criminalizes any “authority figure,” such a teacher at school, from soliciting or engaging in sexual conduct, a relationship of a romantic nature, or lewd conduct with a student enrolled at a school. Violations of the statute are second degree felonies.

“Greenberg’s false allegations about the Teacher involved false claims that the Teacher had committed felony criminal offenses. As Greenberg knew when he made those allegations in the letters and in the online posts, those allegations were false. Greenberg made those false allegations to cause substantial emotional distress to the Teacher. After investigating the Teacher, local law enforcement found no support whatsoever for the false allegations that Greenberg had made.”

Truth-Teller in Chief?

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Photo Credit: Image by Alexandra ❤️A life without animals is not worth living❤️ from Pixabay

How often do you read or listen to the radio, television or an internet news publication and then almost immediately stop and think to yourself, “What the heck, are they serious?” In my case, it’s usually ‘Whaaaa?,’ followed by my internal monolog of ‘I’ll take ‘Things that Didn’t Happen for $200, Alex’.

This surprise at the facts seems to be happening to me with ever increasing velocity. Lately, I read about untrue race hoaxers with increasing regularity, those graduates of the Al Sharpton School of Inflammatory Lies; people like Twanna Brawley, Jussie Smollet, Dauntarius Williams (as reported by the Wichita Eagle) or the yet-to-be-named idiot who single-handedly shut down the Albion campus, reported in the American Crisis. I just shake my head in disbelief. Why, how, who benefits?

Nasty stuff and it turns out its even nastier when false. Even if we find out it didn’t happen, it’s always investigated and reported as a hoax way too late; the lie about what didn’t happen is already embedded into the lexicon of popular culture and could be fueling the next round of those ‘mostly peaceful’ protests.  Damage done.

The ‘news’ organizations?  They seem to pass on as much uninvestigated dreck as those who start the falsehoods. Two plus years of Russian/Trump campaign collusion sound familiar? Good little lad Treyvon Martin vs. that awful white-Hispanic George Zimmerman, anyone?

Government spokespersons? Ever force yourself to sit through a White House press briefing? Hard to tell what’s worse; the implied narrative ‘question’ that rambles on longer than a broken Biden synapse or the dog’s breakfast of tangentially related factoids of an answer from the spokesperson at the podium.

I think to myself, where is that unvarnished source of truth that we so desperately need? Where can we go to get the facts, and nothing but the facts, about the events of the day? Didn’t we used to have a place like this?

Mr. Narrator (interrupts): “Richard Edward, you know who you are missing. Think a little harder about it and the name will come to you.”

Richard Edward: “Well, I usually say, when I see something that I think is bogus, ‘I’ll take things that didn’t happen for $200, Alex’…..”

Yes! I remember now. George Alexander Trebek, the greatest source of correct answers in the world. You knew in your knower that when Alex gave you the correct answer, there was no way on God’s earth that he was mistaken. Mr. Trebek and his merry band of fact gatherers were the best on the planet. CNN, MSNBC, CBS, FBI, NSA, CIA – you guys don’t have nutin’ on Alex and his gang.

Mr. Narrator:  “I knew it would come to you, Richard Edward. Mr. Trebek was always one of your heroes. His intelligence obvious, his personality engaging and maybe most importantly, his ability to deliver the correct answer to the contestants who got it wrong was always gracious, without condescension.”

Richard Edward: “Mr. Narrator, we really need Mr. Trebek, or someone like him, in our world … especially in the world of news reporting. I need someone whom I can trust when I hear them speak. I want to listen to someone who can deliver good and bad news, without any bias. I want to listen to someone who will raise his or her own eyebrows when they read the news, especially when they themselves find the story suspect. I want someone who can admit that they didn’t know the answer or need more facts before they can give an answer.”

“Mr. Narrator, as I search the net and change channels on my LCD display, I feel like Diogenes, casting about in the world of news anchors and reporters, hoping for success before my candle burns out.”

Mr. Narrator: “Ain’t gonna happen Richard Edward. Nowadays, good news is considered to be fast news, truth aside. If you aren’t first, you lose.”

“No bias? Don’t you know everyone who isn’t a POC is racist? Yep, heard it on the news just last week. Can’t trust a racist, can we?”

“Solid sources? C’mon man, anonymous sources close to the _____ are so much easier to create and quote. You really think anyone is going to go on record in this day of cancel culture, anyway?”

“You want honesty, Richard Edward?  Marry a lie detector operator. You want nothing but the truth? Well, even if a story isn’t completely true, ask any reporter why it’s better to be ‘directionally’ correct, to give the impetus to the narrative – they can always make adjustments for the facts as they appear, weave them into the narrative, at a later date.”

In my ‘knower’, I believe that Mr. Narrator is correct. Facts and truth have become causalities of speed and agenda. Is there any candidate in our culture who can wear the mantle of unvarnished truth giver? (I’ve got two people in mind, but the jury is still out on both and besides that, one of them is a lawyer).

Is that why Mr. Trebek was so popular? I mean, it was just a game show, right? Was it just his pleasing, engaging personality or was it something more? Did he become, albeit in our collective subconscious, our speaker of truth, our trusted voice, the source of fact? Who would you trust more back in the day, Mr. Trebek, Mr. Politician or Mr. Newscaster?

If, like Richard Edward and Mr. Narrator, you feel America needs a new, truth-teller-in-chief, please leave us a comment.  Feel free to nominate someone in your comment and give old Diogenes a hand.

— Richard Edward Tracy