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The Idiot of the Week: Rolling Stone

El Idiota de la Semana: Rolling Stone

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This time the Idiot of the Week award from El American goes to the music magazine Rolling Stone, which issued a completely fake article related to the coronavirus.

On September 3, Rolling Stone published a story echoing an interview for Oklahoma’s KFOR by Dr. Jason McElyea of NHS-Sequoya Hospital. In it, Dr. McElyea stated that the emergency rooms of some Oklahoma hospitals, such as his own, were no longer seeing patients —even those with gunshot wounds — due to the overcrowding caused by many COVID patients who were overdosing by self-medicating with ivermectin, a “horse dewormer.”

“Gunshot victims left waiting as horse dewormer overdoses overwhelm Oklahoma hospitals, doctor says,” wrote the misleading Rolling Stone, initiating a wildfire of an ill-founded narrative that spread faster than the delta, lambda, and omega variants combined. What followed is obvious: Dozens of leftist media outlets began to spread the news, intoxicated by the sweet nectar of being able to blame all negative stories on “anti-vaccine and COVID denialism,” who to these journalists are all dangerous far-right terrorists.

After all, for the left, anyone who is skeptical of this vaccine is a dangerous right-winger, so they are called “denialist”, “anti-vaccine”, or even “Taliban“; and anyone who wants to exercise their freedom of choice to seek alternative treatments to the most publicized injections in history will be ridiculed and accused of believing in “charlatans” and “creepy salesmen”, coming to be treated like junkies who overdose from taking “horse pills.”

This “horse drug” is the derogatory name coined by the left to denote ivermectin, a drug for which William C. Campbell received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2015 and which, according to Science, “is one of the most extraordinary drugs ever discovered for the treatment and control of parasitic diseases. Today it has become a fundamental part of international public health programs.”

Despite the fact that multiple human applications are still being researched and discovered, for Democrats and other “faucists” this potential alternative to the coronavirus vaccine is a mere “horse pill.” For some strange reason, they are extremely afraid of ivermectin. So much so that they censor everything related to it, or mount discrediting campaigns when people like Joe Rogan say that it has helped them overcome the disease.

It is curious how the political rhetoric surrounding the pandemic has changed the way “science” is interpreted. Before, the scientific and reasonable thing to do was to test treatments on animals first, and then on humans. Now it seems that the rational thing to do is to do the experiments directly on humans. What a thing!

The pandemic has not only changed the conception of science, but also that of journalism. In the past, journalists had to first verify their sources — preferably several — and then publish them. But this also seems to have changed, and not only Rolling Stone, but also dozens of media outlets have happily spread this news, such as MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Newsweek, Business Insider, The Guardian, and so many others, including dozens of “blue checkmarks” on Twitter—but do not expect Twitter to label these stories as “fake news.”

The Rolling Stone story was false

The news of the ER collapsing due to an overdose of ivermectin was false. And very easy to prove. It turns out that Northeastern Health System – Sequoya has issued a statement clarifying that Dr. Jason McElya is not an employee of the hospital, but of an outside company that provides services to them, and points out that this doctor has not worked for them for two months.

idiot of the week
NHS – Sequoya release, which appears as a pop-up on their website.

In addition, they assure that the information given by the doctor and spread by Rolling Stone —and repeated like parrots by many media outlets— is false. Not only have they not had to deal with a plague of ivermectin overdoses, but they have not treated a single patient for this reason. And they stress that obviously not a single emergency patient has been left unattended, or shot, or anything else.

In short, Rolling Stone and the rest of the media took as true the extraordinary accusations of one person, without making the slightest inquiry. And all because apparently, those statements fit with their political ideology.

In reality, Rolling Stone‘s idiocy is similar to that of the rest of the media that acted as a loudspeaker for this news, but the Idiot of the Week award definitely goes to Rolling Stone, because after the hospital’s statement, not only have they not retracted or apologized, but they have made a flight forward.

Rolling Stone changed the headline to “A hospital denies an Oklahoma doctor’s story about ivermectin overdoses causing delays in the ER for gunshot victims,” as if to say that just because one hospital denied it doesn’t mean it’s not happening in other hospitals. Even though it was just the hospital the doctor interviewed claimed to work for. Nice try.

They then included a simple update —not a retraction, not an apology, nor have they retracted the original news story— saying that they tried to contact the doctor, but he has not responded. That they tried to contact other hospitals, but they have not responded, and that they have looked at the ivermectin poisoning data and, while it is national in scope, it does not appear significant enough to overwhelm emergency care in Oklahoma.

Way to go Rolling Stone! For the update paragraph you did do journalism. But late. You’re already in El American’s Idiot of the Week Hall of Fame.

Ignacio Manuel García Medina, Business Management teacher. Artist and lecturer specialized in Popular Culture for various platforms. Presenter of the program "Pop Libertario" for the Juan de Mariana Institute. Lives in the Canary Islands, Spain // Ignacio M. García Medina es profesor de Gestión de Empresas. Es miembro del Instituto Juan de Mariana y conferenciante especializado en Cultura Popular e ideas de la Libertad.

Social Networks: @ignaciomgm

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