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Journalist: Left and Right Could’ve Done a Better Job on Ivermectin Snafu

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by VBL
Monday, Sep 06, 2021 - 18:39

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In light of the disastrously erroneous Rolling Stone and other legacy media coverage of the 'Ivermectin overdoses are causing people with gunshots to wait in line' nonsense, written about in many places we found this twitter thread written by Daniel Dale of CNN. It seems reasonable and thought we'd share it. As far as we can tell, everyone in the media supply chain assumed someone else did their job for them. But what exactly is their job these days other than to get clicks? Only one comment from us is added below.

Transcribed from Daniel Dale Reporter for CNN, fact-checking the president and others.Tweets with only cosmetic edits.Original at bottom. Emphasis ours:

Here’s a statement from a hospital that Oklahoma doctor is affiliated with, supporting his comments about ivermectin use contributing to hospital congestion in the state - though not suggesting, as viral stories did, that ivermectin is a main cause of the backup.

As far as I can tell so far, what happened is the doctor gave an interview to a local outlet in which he cited ivermectin use as one reason some hospitals are congested. The outlet then framed ivermectin use as the main cause of the congestion, which it obviously isn’t. Then national and international media outlets aggregated the initial, poorly framed local story without themselves doing due diligence to examine the extent to which ivermectin was contributing to the OK hospital congestion. And Maddow and others tweeted out the stories.

So: This was not great by anyone in the sharing chain. But then, some the people criticizing others for jumping to conclusions themselves jumped to conclusions based on a release from one OK hospital system that said it hadn’t seen any patients with ivermectin problems That hospital is only one of the ones this doctor is affiliated with, so its word was not actually definitive proof that the doctor was making the whole thing up. We now know at least one other hospital the doctor works with has indeed seen patients with ivermectin issues.

I’ll note that the local outlet is standing by its story and released more footage from its interview with the doctor. Because it edited out the questions, though, it’s still not clear how much the doctor was attributing the congestion to ivermectin.

Anyway: I’d say that lots of people involved here - certainly the local outlet/the big aggregating outlets/the prominent tweeters on the left, but also some critics on the right - could’ve done a better job pursuing facts/waiting for facts before coming to conclusions. I’d say the major lesson for all parties here is that a comment from one person or entity is often insufficient to demonstrate that something is true or not true. Another lesson is to look for the initial source of stories that have gone viral via aggregation. That’s all for now

[Edit- Why should it matter to a commenting journalist if the people responsible are left, right, or center politically? Can we not just say the media as a whole messed up? Politics, like race should not be the problem from a media person's point of view. The media is the problem. The profession should start by owning its errors and stop trying to atomize their audience for clicks]

Oh PS: Here's a helpful, much more thorough story from another OK outlet, the Tulsa World, on the hospital congestion situation there. The same doctor is one of several people quoted, talking about the same issues but not attributing them to ivermectin

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