Ginia Bellafante wrote a painful article in the New York Times about Joe Joyce, a beloved Brooklyn bar owner who went on a cruise during this global Wuhan Flu pandemic and ended up dying. 

Bellafante plainly pegged the blame for the Viet Nam veteran’s death squarely on Fox Newsand Sean Hannity:

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.”

On March 8th, Sean Hannity was saying this was a hoax to sink the President.  This is true. However, the writer of the New York Times article was also dismissing the seriousness of the epidemic on February 27, well before Hannity’s statement. 

She tweeted, “I fundamentally don’t understand the panic: the incidence of the disease is declining in China. Virus is not deadly in cast majority of cases. Production and so on will slow down and will obviously rebound.”

In other words, Bellafonte’s heart tugging article is all well and good, but she misses a much bigger story.   Much of the media missed this.  Heck, it’s even possible that Sean Hannity went on air and dismissed the seriousness of the virus after seeing this New York Times writer’s tweet! 

She was wrong first. 

Plus, to make this even more damning, Joe Joyce was already on his cruise when Hannity made his comments on air.

Balaji S. Srinivasan pointed this out on Twitter, including side-by-side tweet comparisons.  He summed it up nicely:

Just-the-flu journalists failed across the board. That includes Fox, and the NYT reporter now denouncing Fox. Not much in Freud I find useful, but ‘projection’ certainly seems like a real phenomenon.

Ideal: get it right

Acceptable: get it wrong, but apologize and do better — or step down

Questionable: get it wrong, try to just skate by

Insane: get it wrong, assume people forget, feign moral authority, point finger at everyone else.

The just-the-flu journalist never apologizes, never corrects the record, just keeps running their script on autopilot — and talking to an increasingly empty room.


Hat Tip: The New York Times

About The Author

Mark Meckler

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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