Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin once again knocked the mainstream media for previously dismissing the theory that COVID-19 potentially originated from a Wuhan lab leak in China, tweeting on Saturday that journalists should “own up” when they “fail” their readers and encouraged them to “just report the facts.”
“Most MSM [mainstream media] reporters didn’t ‘ignore’ the lab leak theory, they actively crapped all over it for over a year while pretending to be objective out of a toxic mix of confirmation bias, source bias (their scientist sources lied to them), group think, TDS [Trump Derangement Syndrome] and general incompetence,” Rogin, who was one of the very few journalists who previously reported on China’s role in the pandemic and raised questions about the origins of the virus, tweeted on Saturday.
He went on to say that, “Also, the lab leak theory didn’t change. It didn’t suddenly become credible. It didn’t jump from crazy to reasonable. The theory has always been the same. The people who got it wrong changed their minds. They are writing about themselves, with zero self awareness.”
Rogin then noted that “all these reporters scrambling to defend their own records on the lab leak theory are exposing their own hypocrisy & ignoring their basic error.”
“Just report the facts,” he stressed. “Don’t act like it’s your job to tell us what’s OK to think or talk about. Own up to it when you fail your readers.”
After a bombshell report from the Wall Street Journal revealed that U.S. intelligence believes that at least three Wuhan scientists were hospitalized in November 2019 with COVID-like symptoms, much of the media has revisited the possibility that what they previously described as a “conspiracy theory” could actually be true.
On Thursday former State Department official David Asher told Fox News that a government probe last year into the origins of the coronavirs found practically no evidence COVID-19 originated from nature.
The probe was led out of the State Department’s arms control and verification (AVC) bureau and was initially launched at the request of former Trump Secretary of State Mike Pompeo before ending this year.
Asher, the lead contractor on the subject, said the team investigated the two chief hypotheses for the virus’ origins, the other being the lab-leak theory that has gained credence after widespread media dismissal over the past year.
“The data disproportionately stacked up as we investigated that it was coming out of a lab or some supernatural source,” he said.
Rogin also shamed those who were quick to reject the lab leak theory earlier this month, tweeting, “If you are writing a piece defending yourself for being wrong for a year about the lab leak hypothesis by blaming everyone else except yourself for your own wrongness, you haven’t learned a thing and you are just engaged in bulls— navel-gazing that literally nobody cares about.”
“I think a lot of science writers are racing to think ‘How can I position myself’ and ‘How can I seem reasonable while changing my position’ and ‘Aren’t I great for eventually being objective after failing for a year.’ It’s transparent and besides the point,” he continued.
He went on to say that “what all these science journalists won’t admit is they got took by their best scientist sources, who misled them, on purpose, to the detriment of science, journalism and our public health.”
Rogin added that “the scientists who got it right were the ones who had no conflicts of interest.”
“And then to say ‘oh well I guess we’ll never know’ is an awful copout,” he continued in another tweet. “If you are willing to admit the lab leak theory is plausible, you MUST call for a full investigation NOW, including our labs who have crucial information. In any sane world, that would already be underway.”
Fox News medical contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier responded to Rogin’s series of tweets writing that when she had “mentioned the possibility of a lab escape a year ago” she was “immediately canceled because ‘the claim had been rejected by experts.’”
Members of the media have already tried spinning their newfound realization of the lab leak hypothesis. New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman blamed former President Trump and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who both publicly suggested that the virus originated in the Wuhan lab, for casting doubt within the media for withholding evidence to back their claims.
Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler similarly raised eyebrows for declaring that the theory is “suddenly credible.”
Last week, Pompeo said that it is “outrageous” that top government epidemiologist Anthony Fauci and others early in the pandemic dismissed the possibility that COVID-19 could have escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a lab located in Wuhan, China, the city where the outbreak began.
Pompeo’s comments came after a former State Department official told Fox News that about a month before COVID-19 was first reported in Wuhan, foreign government contacts told State Department officials that several workers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology had fallen ill in mid-November 2019.
Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn, David Rutz, Brooke Singman, Tyler Olson and Jennifer Griffin contributed to this report.