Monday, 20 April 2020

NY Times Article Blames Fox News for Trump Supporter’s Coronavirus Death; Hypocrite Reporter Questioned Virus ‘Panic’

Yet another example of why the media is held in such low esteem by so many: New York Times reporter Ginia Bellafante wrote an in-depth profile of popular Brooklyn bar owner Joe Joyce, a man she knew about through her friendship with his son, who died this month from the COVID-19 Chinese coronavirus. In the article, Fox News is blamed for the man’s skepticism about the virus that caused his death. Yet Bellafante herself posted similar skepticism of the “panic” about the virus in the same time frame as her article is set.
Joe Joyce, screen image via Vice/YouTube, November 8, 2019.
Bellafante wrote on Twitter February 27, commenting on the stock market having a bad day as the world started reacting to the global impact of the coronavirus:
“I fundamentally don’t understand the panic: incidence of the disease is declining in China. Virus is not deadly in vast majority of cases. Production and so on will slow down and will obviously rebound. cc:
@opinion_joe” 
I fundamentally don't understand the panic: incidence of the disease is declining in China. Virus is not deadly in vast majority of cases. Production and so on will slow down and will obviously rebound. cc: @opinion_joe
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Bellafante thanked a fellow journalist on Saturday for this compliment on her article:
“He watched Fox, and believed it was under control.’’ How many more of these stories will we hear in the weeks to come? Heartbreaking reporting from @GiniaNYT.”
Excerpt from Bellafante’s article published Saturday, A Beloved Bar Owner Was Skeptical About the Virus. Then He Took a Cruise.
…I have heard about Joe Joyce for as long as I have known his oldest son, Eddie, a neighbor and friend, a lawyer turned novelist who was at odds with his father politically but grateful for his contradictions. Joe Joyce was a Trump supporter who chose selectively from the menu of current Republican ideologies, freely rejecting what didn’t suit him. He didn’t want to hear how much you loved Hillary Clinton, as one regular at his bar put it to me, but he was not going to make the Syrian immigrant who came in to play darts feel as if he belonged anywhere else…
…On March 1, Joe Joyce and his wife, Jane, set sail for Spain on a cruise, flying first to Florida. His adult children — Kevin, Eddie and Kristen Mider — suggested that the impending doom of the coronavirus made this a bad idea. Joe Joyce was 74, a nonsmoker, healthy; four years after he opened his bar he stopped drinking completely. He didn’t see the problem.
“He watched Fox, and believed it was under control,’’ Kristen told me.
Early in March Sean Hannity went on air proclaiming that he didn’t like the way that the American people were getting scared “unnecessarily.’’ He saw it all, he said, “as like, let’s bludgeon Trump with this new hoax.”
Eventually, Fox changed course and took the virus more seriously, but the Joyces were long gone by then. On March 14, they returned to New York from Barcelona, and the next day, before bars and restaurants were forced to close in the city, Joe Joyce went to work at JJ Bubbles for the last time.
He and his wife then headed to their house in New Hampshire. Their children were checking in from New York and New Jersey, and on March 27, when Kristen got off the phone with her father, she called an ambulance. He was wheezing. His oxygen level turned out to be a dangerously low 70 percent. On April 9, he died of Covid-19. The following day, Artie Nelson, one of his longtime bartenders at JJ Bubbles, and also in his 70s, died of the virus as well.
It is possible, of course, that Joe Joyce did not contract the coronavirus on a trip to Spain, where almost 20,000 have died from complications related to it. Although the combination of being on a cruise ship — a proven petri dish for infections — and visiting a country with a full-blown outbreak is hard to ignore. But there was a way he might have avoided the trip, his daughter speculated. “If Trump had gone on TV with a mask on and said, ‘Hey this is serious,’ I don’t think he would have gone.”
The cruise departed on March 1 from Florida. Joyce would have flown down a day or two early, leaving New York around the same time Ginia Bellafante was expressing her own doubts about the virus. Yet nowhere in her first person reportage is any mention of her harboring similar doubts as Fox opinion host Sean Hannity around the same time. Here are her words again:
“I fundamentally don’t understand the panic: incidence of the disease is declining in China. Virus is not deadly in vast majority of cases. Production and so on will slow down and will obviously rebound. cc:
@opinion_joe”

Last word goes to Joe Joyce, from a Vice article and video published last November

People usually think of New York City as a liberal bubble, but there are some red spots on the map scattered throughout the five boroughs — so we went to one in Brooklyn and drank there.
It wouldn’t be a stretch to call Kitty Kiernans or J.J. Bubbles in Bay Ridge safe spaces for New York City’s few Trump fans. “Everyone in this bar is a Trump supporter,” Tom Duffy, a ferry navigator, told VICE News’ Michael Moynihan at J.J. Bubbles.
Joe Joyce, the bar’s owner, supports Trump too. He prefers Fox News to other cable channels and has a hard time reading the New York Times. “They’re so biased,” he said…

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