Coronavirus Explained: The Media’s unyielding obsession with money, Trump, and disaster porn

Coronavirus Explained: The Media’s unyielding obsession with money, Trump, and disaster porn

By Matt Rooney

Have you ever hated someone or something so much that you were willing to burn the proverbial house down? No? Yeah. Neither have I. The Media certainly hates Donald Trump and his supporters that much. Big Media is also a business, one which thrives on direct advertising and online “clicks.”

Enter disaster porn.

The first half of The Urban Dictionary definition of “disaster porn” is apt: “When the media puts horrific or tragic images on a 24 hour loop, constantly driving them into your head, and then refers to the events portrayed as an “unspeakable tragedy” . .. .despite the fact that they have four different talking heads analyzing it 24 hours a day.

But that definition is incomplete because it doesn’t adequately account for motive (the Urban Dictionary definition goes on to use 9/11 NYPD t-shirt infomercials as a purported example of disaster porn’s aims, and I think that entirely misses the mark). The Media isn’t trying to raise awareness or funds for charity. The Media loves Coronavirus because the Media loves making money and screwing over evil unwoke Republicans! Coronavirus is everything they’ve been hoping and praying wishing for since Donald Trump won the presidency in November 2016. The Dow is down today over 2,000 points as of this writing and they’re absolutely loving it. 

Remember: the global economic system was supposed to collapse (per Paul Krugman) a few years ago.

Russiagate was guaranteed to result in Trump’s removal from office.

Ukrainegate was certain to dislodge Trump from the White House.

The Third Reich would rise again and white supremacists were going to overrun our communities after Charlottesville.

We were also told to expect a mass school shooting on a weekly or daily basis after Parkland.

Assuming we survived long enough; after all, North Korea was going to stated World War III.

Wait. Iran will start World War III.

I’ve lost track of how many times the world was supposed to end since President Trump took office.

You’re still here so congratulations, it has not. Our little blue orb is still spinning.

Each example above shares a few things common: (1) they were crises blown out of proportion by journalists who are economically/medically/geopolitically illiterate; (2) each “crisis” was framed to indict Donald Trump and his supporters; and (3) each “crisis” was tailor-made for clickbait-y articles which drive traffic and website revenue.

Bad news sells. Bad news also serves the agenda of media members who are in actuality Democrat operatives. It’s a win-win as far as they’re concerned. But what are they supposed to do now? Atlantic Hurricane season is still months away. Jobs growth stayed strong through February 2020. The Media would be absolutely lost without Coronavirus to do – they hope – what none of the aforementioned exaggerated crises could: hobble the Trump reelection machine which in large part depends upon robust economic growth as a counterpoint to the stagnation of the Obama-Biden years.

No one is saying Coronavirus is a hoax or not serious. The virus is a clear and present danger to the elderly and anyone with an immune deficiency disorder or condition. What we’re tackling head-on here is the Media’s out-and-open willingness to create a panic for political and pecuniary gain.

It’s not just the political right that’s over the self-interested hype. Dr. Drew Pinsky of television fame has emerged as a leading critic of the Media’s Coronavirus coverage.

“Businesses are getting destroyed and people’s lives are being upended not by the virus, but by the panic,” Drew explained during a recent interview. “The panic must stop. And the press, they really somehow need to be held accountable because they are hurting people.”

Dr. Drew is 100% right (e.g. we’ve had something like 24 Coronavirus deaths versus 20,000-52,000 flu deaths in the U.S. so far this season) but, again, he’s missing (or not stating) the proximate motive problem: the Media WANTS grounded planes, empty concert venues and super market fist fights over that last bottle of hand sanitizer. It’s giving the Media a pass to attribute their reckless behavior to ignorance.

The Media wants a panic. It wants to hurt people. Most of all, it wants to hurt the Trump presidency. Nothing else matters, least of all the human, real world cost.

Save Jersey’s Founder and Blogger-in-Chief, MATT ROONEY is a nationally-noted and respected New Jersey political commentator. When he’s not on-line, radio or television advocating for conservative reform and challenging N.J. power-brokers, Matt is a practicing attorney at the law firm of DeMichele & DeMichele in Haddon Heights (Camden County).