The American media care more about the narrative than the facts

As heterodox pundits like Glenn Greenwald have pointed out, a remarkable element of all these storylines is that many facts which eventually ‘came to light’ were known to large numbers of powerful people for months. The US government document detailing the potential human origins of Covid-19 was in the possession of at least the State Department 13 months ago. The Washington Examiner, summarising both sides of an active debate within the medical-research community, pointed out in September and November of last year that HCQ can work when administered to the proper population of patients. In the Lafayette Square case, it surely must have occurred to one of the literally hundreds of reporters covering Trump’s ‘disgraceful’ actions that American presidents almost never personally initiate major police or military actions with zero days’ notice.

So what happened? Did anything change? Was there a total reversal of major storylines that had run un-altered for a year? A cynic might well note one obvious difference: the occupant of the White House is now Joe Biden. It is no mere speculation that mainstream media in the States leans left: a famous 2004 poll by Pew found that exactly seven per cent of national reporters identify as conservatives or libertarians (much the same is true in academia, where 18 per cent of social scientists identify as Marxists, and Democrats outnumber Republicans 30:1 in some fields). This slant – bias, if you will – was definitely reflected in television and newspaper coverage of Trump, with network TV coverage of the Orange Man being 91 per cent negative during at least one significant bloc of time.