KIRK: CPAC Coronavirus Coverage Exposes Media Bias

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Charlie Kirk Contributor
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The mainstream media are betraying the trust of the American people with their politicized coverage of the coronavirus outbreak — and the recent efforts to portray the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) as a breeding ground for COVID-19 offers clear proof.

If you’ve been paying even modest attention to the news, you’ve undoubtedly seen a flurry of sensationalist headlines about CPAC and the novel coronavirus. The Washington Post, for instance, ran a story arguing that a “Coronavirus case at CPAC brings outbreak closer to Trump.” Politico used similarly loaded language, publishing an article titled, “CPAC scrambles to contain coronavirus fallout.” Vox shamelessly reported that “A coronavirus case at CPAC undercuts Trump’s message that Covid-19 is under control.” The list goes on.

Predictably, the vastly exaggerated headlines often buried the facts about what actually happened at the conference — one CPAC attendee tested positive for coronavirus, but had no direct interaction with President Trump. The coverage has also glossed over the fact that CPAC organizers took immediate proactive measures to further contain the spread of the disease, such as alerting every individual known to have come in contact with the infected participant.

“In this case, there was nobody with any symptoms at any time, nobody got sick because the [the infected person] was there,” Chairman Matt Schlapp of the American Conservative Union, which hosts CPAC, said in a recent interview. “We had 10,000 people in a ballroom and no one got sick, even though the virus was there.”

The CDC recommends a 14-day incubation period from the moment of exposure, meaning any attendees who came in contact with the virus at CPAC in late February would have already developed symptoms by now. Of course, the liberal media update their overblown CPAC news stories with these basic facts.

This wasn’t merely a case of coronavirus fear mongering — though it certainly was that. The biased agenda behind the CPAC coronavirus coverage was laid bare by the scant attention paid to a far more sensational story from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference, an explicitly bipartisan affair that took place just a few days after CPAC.

In contrast to CPAC, three individuals with the virus reportedly attended AIPAC — and more have tested positive for COVID-19 in the days since. Despite the fact that AIPAC also hosted roughly 20,000 guests, including prominent U.S. lawmakers from both parties, the liberal media kept their attention firmly fixed on the Republican-oriented CPAC. Go figure.

The two-faced coverage says pretty much everything there is to say about the biased press in this country — the liberal media have clearly demonstrated that they care more about attacking Republicans than they do about reporting the unvarnished truth — even when it could be a matter of life and death.

Charlie Kirk is the founder and executive director of Turning Point USA, an advocacy group for young conservatives.