Media Karen Culture didn’t take a break for Sunday’s Super Bowl. Once again Florida and its murderous dictator-governor Ron DeSantis found themselves the target of the media’s ire. The NFL set aside the football contest and offered viewers a detour through their favorite social causes.
CNN reporter Randi Kaye was reporting from downtown Tampa Bay on the first occasion that the Super Bowl took place in the home stadium of one of the teams playing. She found herself on the phone to the cops looking to stop public gatherings. Kaye was double-masked and alluded to CNN host Ana Cabrera that she felt her production team was in danger. ‘I spoke to the Tampa police and I asked them, “What are you doing about this?” A lot of people were very concerned.’ ‘A lot of people’ usually means only the reporter asking the question. No one else cared in Florida, where businesses and schools have remained open since September.
When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the game (again, the first team to do so in their home arena), revelers flooded the streets in downtown Tampa to celebrate. Unsurprisingly the once protest-happy pundits, who also cheered the sights of crowds gathering after Joe Biden’s election victory, were out in full Marge Simpson-scolding-squirrel mode. Daily Beast podcast host Molly Jong-Fast tweeted that ‘Florida is going to kill us all’ with a video of the celebration. But Florida hasn’t killed as many people as her home state and city of New York. Florida is 26th in the country and below the national average of COVID deaths. New York is second. Florida has kept their deaths low as businesses and schools stay open, while New York has remained in heavy lockdown with businesses hamstrung and schools closed.
Jong-Fast also celebrated Biden dance parties on several occasions on Twitter. Facts and consistency doesn’t seem to matter to her. Mary Trump, another oft-spotted CNN #Resistance regular who is still hanging around for some reason, responded that Ron DeSantis should be charged with ‘crimes against humanity’.
Andrew Cuomo’s hometown paper took a similarly sanctimonious tone. ‘In Tampa, Super Bowl Celebrations Bring Superspreader concerns’, a New York Times headline screamed this morning. Back when Biden won, the paper’s super-spreader concerns were curiously absent: ‘A Rollicking NYC Celebration for Biden’s Win, Well Into the Night’.
So what’s behind the open and naked double-standards being pushed in both corporate and social media? There isn’t some grand diabolical strategy. It’s pretty simple actually. They are allowed to flaunt the rules and change how COVID affects a population based on the social causes they and political lines they espouse — and you aren’t. It is that simple. COVID-19 doesn’t affect racial protests or Democratic victories. It will however kill everyone who attends a football game or has a private gathering in their home.
No one is denying this is a deadly virus worth taking seriously; therein lies the problem with politicized public health experts who wag their fingers at people trying to get out and enjoy an event, but who explain away mass gatherings in the name of social justice. The virus doesn’t care why crowds have gathered. It spreads indiscriminately.
So does hypocrisy. If you are a public person with a byline, or an activist or a politician who ignores COVID in favor of your cause, you deserve to be ridiculed while lecturing others — you deserve to be ignored. Enjoy the parade, Tampa Bay.