The media bonfire over imaginary hordes of Ivermectin casualties

The media bonfire over imaginary hordes of Ivermectin casualties.

Joanne Nova: The War on Ivermectin continues

After news spread that Joe Rogan took ivermectin for covid, the legacy media “discovered” (in the magical sense of the word) that people were overdosing on it. It was so awful that gunshot victims had to wait for treatment and people were going blind. …

It was such perfect Psy-Ops against ivermectin it’s like it could have been written by a Hollywood studio. Within a day it turned out to be fake news. …

The illustrious pop culture review magazine [Rolling Stone] hadn’t even bothered to make one phone call to check the veracity of anything before going to press. …

Strangely, Twitter has not banned any of the guilty parties, nor slapped warnings about disinformation on any of their accounts. …

Rolling Stone added that there were 459 cases of ivermectin overdoses in the entire US in August according to the National Poison Data System. It sounds like a lot but since there are 6,000 hospitals in the US, that means each hospital might see one ivermectin overdose over the course of a whole year. It’s probably not the cause of too many delays with gun victims.

But if people are overdosing on veterinary products, that means that something is going terribly wrong in the US Health system (and other nations too). Millions of people have no faith in their medical system. If patients could get prescriptions for treatments they have confidence in, there wouldn’t be this problem.

The solution we all want is for doctors to be able to prescribe the medicines they think are most appropriate, and to be able to speak their minds freely.

Kevin Williamson: The War on the Deplorables continues

The venerable pop-music magazine, which not long ago had to retract a splashy story about a vicious gang rape that never happened, has now been obliged to issue a correction — this should be a prelude to retraction — for a story about how gunshot victims wheeled into hospitals in rural Oklahoma are being left to bleed and groan in agony because the emergency rooms are overrun by cases of ivermectin poisoning. As with the infamous rape case, this is a culturally electric event that . . . did not actually happen: “Rolling Stone,” the correction reads, “has been unable to independently verify any such cases as of the time of this update.” There is a reason Rolling Stone has been unable to independently identify any such cases: There are no such cases.

The most important word in this story is not “ivermectin” — it is “Oklahoma.” Because you know who lives in Oklahoma — Joe Rogan fans.

The story turns out to have been based on the claims of one doctor — claims that Rolling Stone never checked. Why? Because the story is about (1) ivermectin, and, more important, (2) Oklahoma. …

Sabrina Erdely’s 2014 Rolling Stone article, “A Rape on Campus,” … related the story of a horrifying, brutal sexual assault at the University of Virginia, a crime that — and this part still matters! — did not happen. The story was a fantasy, a concoction, and a libel — and Rolling Stone’s report was, in the words of Erik Wemple at the Washington Post, a “complete crock.”

A crock of what precisely, though?

Like most of the phony hate crimes and fabricated racial and sexual insults that have for years been an epidemic among young Americans, especially on college campuses, the Rolling Stone rape hoax was a neurotic casserole of familiar ingredients: social and romantic disappointment, weaponized envy, prejudice, mental-health problems, and a progressive-activist culture in which the effort to discredit and abominate cultural enemies — more often than not dishonest — takes the place of argument.

These things follow a pattern: When Lena Dunham made up a story about being raped while a student at Oberlin, her fictitious villain was not a member of the chess team or the president of the campus Sierra Club chapter but a swaggering College Republican; when North Carolina Central University student Crystal Mangum made up a story about being gang-raped, the malefactors were the Duke lacrosse team; the UVA hoax author, Jackie Coakley, falsely claimed that she was gang-raped by members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity as part of an initiation ritual. When feminist activist Judy Munro-Leighton made up a story about being raped, she chose as her assailant Brett Kavanaugh, who was at the time a Supreme Court nominee in confirmation hearings. Jussie Smollett alleged that he was assaulted in the wee hours by . . . weirdly bitey Trump-loving Empire fans who just happened to have a length of rope and a quantity of bleach on their persons as they roamed the freezing streets of Chicago on an early January morning.

In all of these cases, the story wasn’t about what the story was about.

None of those fabricated rapes was presented as a mere crime of sexual violence — a crime that happens every day in these United States, disproportionately affecting not college women (who are, in fact, less likely to suffer rape than are women the same age who are not in college) or well-heeled activists but poor women in isolated urban and rural communities, women with little education, women on Indian reservations, illegal immigrants, etc. The stories and the data associated with some of these places are shocking.

But here’s the thing: Nobody cares about those women.

Not really. Of course, they’ll say they do. In reality, the kind of women our newspaper editors and magazine publishers care about are college students, white tourists abroad, and celebrities. But the most important variable in these hoaxes is not any of the personal qualities of the fictitious victims but the cultural resonance of the fictitious attackers. …

They don’t know much, but they know what they hate.

And so these made-up rape stories are not stories about rape — they are indictments of fraternity culture, or jock culture, or Southern institutions, or Republicans, or anybody else who wanders into the cultural crosshairs of the hoax artists.

The Oklahoma ivermectin story works in the same way, fitting into a prefab politico-cultural narrative that is not strictly speaking connected to the facts of the case at hand.

The Rolling Stone story got picked apart in about five minutes as soon as it encountered the lightest skepticism. The Duke lacrosse story required a criminal investigation. Lena Dunham’s made-up story fell apart as soon as one curious reporter — in this case, me — spent five minutes on Google and made one telephone call. …

These stories get published because nobody cares [about the truth], because these stories serve the purposes of a particular narrow cultural agenda and flatter the prejudices of a particular narrow set of educated and generally affluent American professionals. …

It is not that we do not know how to get it right, or even that we do not have the resources to get it right — it is that our petty hatreds and cultural tribalism have led us to believe that it does not matter if we get it right, that lies and misrepresentations about cultural enemies are virtuous in that they serve a “greater truth.” And this is not an exclusively left-wing phenomenon: Donald Trump’s lies, and the distortions and misrepresentations of right-wing talk radio and cable news, are excused and even celebrated on the same grounds.

The test of a political claim in our time is not whether it is true or false but whether it raises or lowers the status of our enemies. …

A note to our progressive friends: This is your version of Q-Anon — falling for obvious, ridiculous lies because you want to believe the worst about people you hate.

One day the left will be sane and rational again. But today is not that day. There is a lot of madness to be endured before that day arrives.