Last week, Jon Stewart threw Stephen Colbert for a loop by pointing out that the lab-leak hypothesis isn’t just a Republican conspiracy theory but actually an increasingly likely explanation for the COVID19 pandemic.
Dan Rather, who, like Stephen Colbert, is a very serious, tuned-in person, is still quite disturbed by Jon Stewart’s assault on Science™:
Scientists, and the very ideals of science, are under attack on many fronts. This is dangerous and shortsighted. So I was dismayed to hear Jon Stewart add to the "questioning" when he went on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert this week. My thoughts here.https://t.co/p38C7zXvEX
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) June 20, 2021
With this as the backdrop, Stewart had something he wanted to say about the pandemic, and science. “I honestly mean this: I think we owe a great debt of gratitude to science,” Stewart began. I do not believe most people hearing this in real time expected he would go where he eventually did. But go there he went. “Science has in many ways helped ease the suffering of this pandemic ― which was more than likely caused by science.” From there Stewart unleashed a rant, couched in his familiar style of humor, about his conclusion that the theory COVID came from a Chinese lab in Wuhan was a certainty. He added, “Oh my God, there’s a novel respiratory coronavirus overtaking Wuhan, China. What do we do? Oh, you know who we could ask? The Wuhan novel respiratory coronavirus lab.”
Now, this needs to be put in the correct context. It is true that, early in the pandemic, many if not most scientists dismissed the notion that the virus leaked from a lab. A year and half later, the origins of the virus remain a mystery and China has been far from forthcoming — to say the least — about what they know, and did. It is also true that more scientists are considering the lab theory as worthy of examination, although there is no specific evidence to date that it is the source. Furthermore, it seems that most virologists do not think that the virus has the chemical fingerprints of human engineering. But that could be perhaps a possibility. We just don’t know. And we need to try to find out, letting the facts lead wherever they may.
There could have been a world where our political leadership at the time explained this process, where they helped guide the public through what we knew and didn’t know, differentiating between points of confidence and uncertainty. Instead, they chose a different path and did not listen to the science as it emerged and coalesced. They played games with the data. They spread lies and misinformation. They wished the problem would disappear by magic. And now that we have suffered hundreds of thousands of deaths, many of them preventable if we had followed what the scientists were telling us, these same forces want to attack researchers like Dr. Fauci to paint him as the enemy and distract from their own folly. We can expect that from the supporters of Donald Trump, but the words of Jon Stewart and many who share his politics show that this is not an issue that cuts neatly along partisan lines.
Read the whole thing if you like. But if we were to sum this up for you, we’d probably just tell you that Dan Rather’s argument is incredibly intellectually dishonest. Instead of being disappointed in Jon Stewart, he should be disappointed in the media and so-called experts who went out of their way to push bogus fake narratives instead of advancing legitimate inconvenient ones.
Anthony Fauci did lie. Repeatedly. We’ve covered his gaslighting extensively here, and we’re only one site. Moreover, Rather would like us to believe that The Experts didn’t lie to us, but that they were just trying to interpret the information as it came in. The problem with that assertion is that for well over a year, media and Democratic politicians didn’t treat the lab-leak hypothesis as a viable explanation for the pandemic. They immediately portrayed it as a conspiracy theory, and they portrayed anyone willing to consider the hypothesis as an evil, anti-science, xenophobic fearmonger.
In short, Dan Rather is mad that the people he is so dedicated to maligning as backward and ignorant may have been right after all.
Journalists against questioning. https://t.co/Nq4ywEEf27
— David Harsanyi (@davidharsanyi) June 21, 2021
Someone needs to remind Dan Rather that "questioning" forms the foundation of the scientific method. https://t.co/iCT5apIBxR
— xristosdomini (@xristosdomini) June 21, 2021
Science dictates that the science can change. But what Rather et al. have spent the past year doing is slapping the “Science” label on whichever narrative they want to push at any given time, leaving no room for new information if it contradicts that narrative.
You know what is even more dangerous, Danny?
An incurious press. https://t.co/an1CtxfVx0
— BayAreaFrau (@bayareahausfrau) June 21, 2021
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) June 21, 2021
We’re definitely not talking about Jon Stewart.
Reminder that Dan Rather sucks https://t.co/rlKS1tbYeB
— Jon 🔬 (@JonnyMicro) June 21, 2021
We didn’t really need a reminder … but it doesn’t hurt.
Actual journalism has been under attack for decades by lying sacks of crap like you. https://t.co/fGca7h1edk
— 🍹Princess Consuela Banana-Hammock (@kimmie_c_) June 21, 2021