US Media’s Anglo-Centric Pandemic Reporting Is Harming America

The MSM is doing little foreign reporting on the pandemic. That failure is getting Americans killed.

Testing Muslim congregants in India. (Source)
Commuters waiting to board a ferry at Mombasa, Kenya on March 27th. I was this very dock back in 1994. (Source)
Muslim faithful observing social distancing while attending evening prayers at a mosque in Karachi, Pakistan. Most other mosques in the world are currently closed. (source)
An Iraqi soldier sanitizing a street during curfew in Baghdad (source)
Children queueing for rice and legume meals in New Delhi during the COVID-19 lockdown (source)
Taiwanese soldiers taking part in a drill on March 14th. The drill was organized to practice preventing the coming spread of COVID-19 (source)
Kim Jong Un is rumored to be gravely ill. The report has been denied by South Korea, but the above photo seems to indicate a marked lack of caution by his refusal to wear a mask. (source)
A Philippine soldier checks a woman’s quarantine pass in Pasay City, which is less than two miles from the American embassy. My family has verified that they are required to carry these passes on the street. (source)
  1. China is doing what America used to do: develop soft power by sending help to poorer nations in need, and to America herself. They’re not doing this simply out of the goodness of their hearts — they know the recipients of their aid will remember that it was China and not America who reached out to help them in their hour of need. Algeria now calls China a “true friend.”
  2. China is also stepping up their leadership on the international stage. They just donated $30M USD to the WHO to make up part of the shortfall after the American government refused to continue funding the world’s largest health organization and is working to restructure the debt of poorer nations facing enormous hardship. Again, this is not a matter of charity, but an effort to repair their longstanding reputation as a predatory lender and perhaps become seen in the same way America was for generations.
  3. It’s not just America that is pushing social distancing and providing economic stimulus. Many other nations are, even though they have far fewer infected and deaths. If we look at our nation’s response per capita — per person — our failure is painfully obvious. Iran, even after all the economic hardship imposed by our own government, has one-ninth the number of deaths per capita that we do.
  4. However, our media has repeatedly presented news stories from Sweden, about how that nation is functioning without any national lockdown. What has not been mentioned on television news at all (as far as I can tell) is the fact that Sweden’s COVID-19 death rate per capita is over twice that of America’s. With that kind of result, one would wonder why our media is presenting that nation’s response as a possible example to follow.
  5. America’s leadership needs to stop insisting we listen only to certain media outlets. Much of the news above was drawn from sources as the South China Morning Post, Africa News, the Straits Times, Al Jazeera, Xinhua, and the Khaleej Times, all of which are seen as good and generally trustworthy news sources outside of America. How many Americans have even heard of them, much less willing to trust news sources that are obviously from the Middle East or China?
  6. Most importantly, America’s mainstream media needs to push stories like those listed above to foster a greater awareness by our people of the world around us, for the more we know about the rest of the world, the more we will realize they’re really no different from ourselves, the more we will respect them, and the more we will learn from them.

Retired Navy. Inveterate contrarian. If I haven’t done it, I’ve usually done something close.

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