by WorldTribune Staff, April 20, 2020
A New York Times columnist blamed Fox News host Sean Hannity for the death of a man who may have contracted the coronavirus while on a cruise to Spain.
The April 18 NY Times article by Ginia Bellafante linked Hannity’s using the term “hoax” over the media’s coverage of the Wuhan virus to 74-year-old Joe Joyce’s death after he took a cruise to Spain.
“He watched Fox, and believed it was under control,” Ballafante quoted one of the man’s children as saying.
Bellafante wrote: “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.”
Bellafante added: “Eventually, Fox changed course and took the virus more seriously, but the Joyces were long gone by then.” They returned from the cruise to Spain on March 14.
One Twitter user noted that “In this garbage article, @GiniaNYT and the New York Times are blaming Hannity for a man’s death because of a quote he made OVER A WEEK AFTER the man left on a cruise to Spain where he contracted the virus.”
RedState columnist Bonchie also noted the timeline: “The man had already been on the cruise for nine days when Hannity made the comment. The timeline they are attempting to draw doesn’t even work.”
The article cited Hannity as making the hoax comment in “early” March. “The absence of an actual date allows them to make it appear that Hannity’s comment played a role here. It clearly didn’t,” Bonchie noted.
According to the reported timeline, Joyce left on the cruise on March 1. The Hannity quote the article uses to pin the death on him is from March 9. Joyce returned on March 14 and went to work at his bar on March 15 (New York City hadn’t closed bars yet). He was hospitalized on March 27 and passed away on April 9. Other observers noted that, as the timeline shows, there is no evidence to prove Joyce got the virus on the cruise. He could have gotten it in New York City.
“Further, even if Hannity’s comment had been heard by this man before he went to Spain, there’s no logic to the idea that Fox News is somehow at fault for that decision being made. Hannity’s claim was targeting the media’s political machinations and the current situation within the United States. Nowhere does he say ‘everything’s good so you should go to a virus hot spot in Europe.’ To infantilize people to such an extent is ludicrous. Worse, to do so while then attempting to blame another party for someone’s death is plainly disgusting,” Bonchie wrote.
On Feb. 5, it was the New York Times which ran on op-ed by Rosie Spinks under the headline “Who says it’s not safe to travel to China?” It followed with the subhead “The coronavirus travel ban is unjust and doesn’t work anyway.”
Bonchie noted that “the Times itself pushed a story claiming it was safe to travel not just to Spain, but China itself. By their logic, they are now responsible for this man’s death.”
And there is one more kicker to this story. Bellafante herself had tweeted on Feb. 27: “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.”
Bonchie went on to write:
What’s currently occurring within the journalistic sphere concerning the Wuhan virus is incredibly dishonest and gross. Attempts to deflect from the failures that have occurred in their own backyards via their own Democrat politicians have led to now countless articles blaming everyone from Fox News to Florida. There’s a reason you aren’t seeing people rally around New York City right now. It’s not because people don’t care about their plight. It’s because the New York media and many New York residents on social media continue to spit in the faces of everyone else while ignoring that they have had the worst response to the virus by far.
The problem is not people going to the beach 1500 miles away or a pork processing plant in South Dakota. The problem is that their leaders screwed up. No amount of blaming Fox News or Republicans is going to change that. Every time they attempt to shift blame, they further isolate themselves.
In short, Hannity is not even close to responsible for this man’s death, nor is Fox News in more broad terms. Enough is enough with this awful attempt to play politics with something so serious.