U.S. states that haven’t been as heavily affected by the coronavirus as others are taking steps to return to normalcy by easing restrictions to reopen their economies. The media seems to overwhelmingly think this is a bad idea and continues to show those efforts in a bad light.
The beaches: Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) gave some municipalities the green light April 17 to reopen beaches with strict guidelines in place, but he was still quickly criticized. Residents can walk and run on the beaches but can’t sunbathe or bring towels and chairs. Gatherings of more than 10 people are still banned.
Pictures of beachgoers flooded social media with #FloridaMorons trending on Twitter, prompting accusations that they’re violating social distancing guidelines. The media similarly showed pictures of Florida residents “flocking” to the beaches to its viewers and readers. The Guardian said it was “hundreds” and CBS News said it was “thousands” that visited the beaches.
Among the critics was Miami Heral columnist Fabiola Santiago who said the situation would “thin the ranks” of supporters of President Trump, DeSantis, and Mayor Lenny Curry. She suggested it was Trump supporters who defying the social distancing recommendations.
Turns out that the “packed” beaches in Jacksonville weren’t that crowded, WJXT Reporter and Anchor Vic Micolucci explained in a post on Facebook.
PERSPECTIVE:Jacksonville area journalists are being accused of lying to the public about the images shown of the…
The protests: People at beaches weren’t the only misleading images. Media outlets have also loudly condemned people protesting lockdown orders and demanding to get back to work. CNN’s Don Lemon described them as “slapping the face” of first responders. The Washington Post called them “dangerous” and “right-wing protests.”
The frenzy even reached Facebook, which recently banned anti-lockdown protest events.
Separately, CNN published an article claiming protesters in Maryland “are ignoring distancing guidelines put in place to save lives and packing public spaces.”
In Ohio, broadcasts showed what appeared to be a large gathering of people protesting the lockdown. Cleveland.com said there were “hundreds” protesters in Columbus.
People on-site shared a different perspective:
A lot of the “liberate” footage is meant to make these events look big.
Here’s what the protest in Ohio today really looks like.
— Joshua Potash (@JoshuaPotash) April 20, 2020
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R) receiving scathing rebuke from Vanity Fair for launching a plan to re-open the state. “Front-Runner for Country’s Dumbest Governor to Reopen Essential Bowling Alleys, Nail Salons Friday,” reads their headline. The Week called it “Georgia’s dangerous coronavirus experiment.”
What’s the big deal? Former CNN digital producer and media critic Steve Krakauer noted that the overwhelming backlash from the media seems to be skipping Democratic leaders. Colorado’s governor announced a plan to reopen the state early next week and Michigan’s governor Gretchen Whitmer said she’ll let their stay-at-home orders expire shortly after on May 1.
Other states that also put forward plans to get the states back on their feet include New York, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, South Carolina, North Dakota, Texas, Tenessee, and Vermont. Despite the media’s warnings, all of these plans still include some restrictions and implore residents to follow social distancing measures for the immediate future.
We’re a news site for people who don’t trust the news. Check us out daily! You can also find us on Twitter.