Coronavirus reporting includes “fake news”

Coronavirus reporting includes “fake news”

PE Bias Grade : D

By: Allen Nitschelm on March 2, 2020 | Article Review

This is a review of the following Boston Globe Article:
Article Title Trump downplays threat of broad US outbreak
Date 02/27/2020
Article Link Boston Globe ( Page A1 )
Syndicated From New York Times
Journalist Emily Cochrane
Maggie Haberman
Noah Weiland
Article Summary

President Trump holds news conference on administration’s response to coronavirus outbreak.

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I’ve been writing about the Boston Globe’s coverage of the news for almost two years now, and my mission is not producing the desired affect. Instead of shining a light on the Globe’s biased journalism and trying to get them to look in the mirror and choose reform, they are just getting worse and worse. Luckily, I don’t take it personally. 🙂

I have documented many false narratives over the past two years and a new one is emerging just like a new virus. It is the coronavirus narrative, which has all the trappings of previous anti-Trump coverage. Nothing Trump does is right, and the news media is including false or misleading reporting in its effort to “get Trump.”

Early on, when the virus was just starting to break out, President Trump decided not to allow flights in from certain parts of China. He was trying to contain the spread of the virus. I have heard (but don’t know first-hand) that Trump was accused of “racism” for his early travel ban. Turns out, he was right to take preemptive action.

Here is an early article from February 2, from a Chinese woman who works in the U.S. and who was clearly incensed that she might not be able to make it back from her trip to China to visit her family. There are very subtle hints that Trump has bad motives in this article, but it is not explicitly stated. See

Then I found a Politico article which does imply racism:

The Boston Globe’s article I am reviewing was much later than these early articles, but again, Trump is clearly at fault just by being President. He is clearly trying to calm markets and citizens’ anxiety by saying that things could get worse, but they could also get better, and not to over-react. This calming does not mean the federal government and state and local governments aren’t taking actions to combat the illness; it just means we shouldn’t panic. That is exactly what the president should do in a situation like this.

But no, he must be lying. He must be incompetent. He can’t possibly be handling things properly.

This article is a report of his press conference where he had experts talk about the problem and he gave his take. One of the experts (either a doctor or the health administrator) described the process for developing a possible vaccine and that even though things are progressing quickly, it takes at least a year or so.

But the article does not mention this. Instead, it provides false information, and I think this is purposeful. Why? Because there are three reporters in the byline. Did none of the reporters hear what the doctors said at the podium?

Here is how the newspaper reports the information about the vaccine:

Trump’s announcement, at a White House news conference, followed criticism that the administration’s response has been sluggish and comes after two days of contradictory messages about the virus, which has infected more than 81,000 people globally, killing nearly 3,000. The president expressed confidence that scientists would develop a vaccine, but he provided no details.

So by instituting a travel ban very quickly, the administration’s response “has been sluggish”? What nonsense. But then to say that “no details” about a vaccine were given is just incorrect.

The article tries to alarm readers by this “rapidly spreading” virus and implies that Trump is downplaying it for sinister motives. Why would he do that? The media doesn’t speculate but he must have a bad motive because he is an evil person.

From what I gather from reading the various news articles, the coronavirus is NOT THAT DANGEROUS. But countries are trying to stop the spread for obvious reasons. So this will mean travel bans and quarantines because if we can contain it, we will incur fewer costs, fewer future disruptions, fewer deaths, and less sickness. It is smart to try to contain it, but it doesn’t mean that if you catch coronavirus you are going to die. The mortality rate seems low and mostly is striking down people who are older or have other health issues, much like the flu does (although children don’t seem as much at risk from coronavirus as they are for the flu).

The Boston Globe and its media allies are obviously crying wolf again and again, just hoping the American public finally gets it and decides to vote for the Democratic Socialist in November. Until then, if this public health scare tactic doesn’t work, the media will move on to the next “fake news” story.


Allen Nitschelm is publisher of He critiques the Boston Globe, mostly focusing on the bias in their news reporting. News articles are graded for bias, and the website has a listing of the average bias ratings for all reporters reviewed. See our website for more information and the four categories of articles we publish.

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Rating: 2.0/10.