Perspectives: Media Bias and Ivermectin Misinformation

Headline Roundup September 9th, 2021

A viral story about Oklahoma hospitals overflowing with people who'd overdosed on horse dewormer turned out to be misleading, but not until several major news sources had elevated the misinformation. The claim that emergency rooms were backed up with overdosing patients, which originally came from a rural Oklahoma doctor, has since been disputed by one Oklahoma hospital and has not been confirmed or supported by any other source. Rolling Stone (Left bias), MSNBC (Left)The Guardian (Lean Left) and Newsweek (Center) were among the major mainstream outlets to report the misleading story, with Rolling Stone adding a lengthy update at the top of its original article. 

Voices across the spectrum, particularly on the right but also elsewhere, criticized mainstream media's handling of the story and of COVID-19 stories in general. Some voices speculated that because the source's account likely confirmed journalists' preconceived notions about rural Americans' attitudes toward COVID-19, they didn't spend as much time vetting the claims. 

From the Left
5183
OPINION

There is already so much bad news about Covid-19 that no one needs to look very hard to find it. On Memorial Day, the United States was hovering around 25,000 new cases a day; on Labor Day, the figure is more than six times higher. The daily death total is about where it was last Thanksgiving. Deaths in Louisiana and Florida alone are outpacing those in the United Kingdom. More than 100,000 are hospitalized across the country. Not so long ago, it seemed we were on the verge of turning a corner—either to a return to...

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From the Center
5183
OPINION

Last week, KFOR, a local news outlet in Oklahoma, published a story that contained some terrifying information: so many people in the state were hospitalized due to overdoses of ivermectin—a drug originally designed for horses, which some anti-vaccine sources have promoted (incorrectly) as a defense against COVID-19—that there was no room in intensive-care units for other patients, including those with gunshot wounds. The story contained quotes from an interview with Dr. Jason McElyea, a local physician, and was quickly picked up by a number of national outlets, including Rolling Stone magazine, the Guardian, Newsweek magazine, and Business Insider. A producer for...

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From the Right
5183
OPINION

At some point the journalistic injunction, “If your mother says she loves you, check it out” became “If it fits the Narrative, don’t bother to check it out.”

Rolling Stone — which really ought to know better by now — just ran the mother of all journalistic corrections when it nuked its own weekend story about how gunshot victims were supposedly going begging at several Oklahoma hospitals because the emergency rooms were being overwhelmed with patients who had overdosed on ivermectin. Rachel Maddow and a lot of other progressive stalwarts tweeted out their own versions of the...

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