At some point the high priests of cancel culture likely thought they were doing the world a favor, exposing as frauds, phonies, and hypocrites people who asserted higher ideals but skated away when it came to living them.
Now, however, the practitioners of this dark art have exposed themselves, not just the same as the phonies they claim to police, but also as busybodies, tattletales, snitches.
The national media is the worst at this because they claim the moral authority over the rest of us and have the mass communication platform to disseminate the bad behavior of others.
Florida in recent days has seen prime examples of this. And it’s enough to make one wonder whatever happened to those state troopers Gov. Ron DeSantis posted at the state line in the pandemic’s early days.
Last week CNBC’s Shepard Smith launched into a tirade with a “shocking” video of people in a niche grocery store in Naples going about their business not wearing masks.
Said Smith, “Many customers and employees are not wearing face masks. Florida does not have a mask mandate, but the CDC has said that wearing masks can help control the Covid pandemic.”
He then added, “We all fantasize about a time when we won’t have to wear the masks anymore,” said Smith. “It’s not now.”
“But some at a supermarket in Florida appear to have decided that the time is now.”
Smith is in New York City. Someone should invite hm to look at the COVID data between relatively free Florida, and locked-down, masked up New York.
According to the CDC’s most recent seven-day averages, New York City posted 50.3 new cases per 100,000 residents, and 1 death per 100,000. And Florida? A new-case rate of 37.3 and a death ratio of 0.8.
Which prompted Fox News’s Tucker Carlson to jab the histrionic Smith as “overheated news guy.”
The Super Bowl also robbed the mask police of their mirth.
At the game, someone took a picture of a maskless DeSantis in a skybox chatting up fellow fans, and, of course, posted it to social media.
DeSantis then told a Politico reporter, “Someone said, ‘Hey, you were at the Super Bowl without a mask’ … but how the hell am I going to be able to drink a beer with a mask on? Come on. I had to watch the Bucs win.”
That prompted another “overheated news guy,” CNN’s Chris Cilizza, to take to his keyboard and pronounce DeSantis guilty of going “against the science.”
“One of the best — and only — ways we have to combat the virus until we reach herd immunity via the vaccine is to wear a mask,” wrote Cillizza.
“And yet, DeSantis not only didn’t wear a mask — at least for some of the game — but also celebrated his move by somehow suggesting you can’t drink a beer and wear a mask. Fun fact: You can! Take mask down. Sip beer. Put mask back on. Repeat.”
Cilizza, with his comments, acknowledged that he, too, has utterly disregarded the trends, based on CDC data, that show states with strict masking and lockdown policies are marginally better if not actually worse off than those that have tried to manage the virus while allowing their citizens to live relatively normal lives.
Yet the most dramatic of the recently “overheated” news folk was another CNN star, Randi Kaye.
Kaye happened to be in Ybor City, Tampa’s popular clubbing district on Sunday, when she became absolutely aghast at people not wearing masks.
“There’s a lot of concern here, … hence my double mask that I’m wearing,” she said. “I gave a call to Tampa police to ask them what’s going on with all these people that are out and about and not wearing masks because there is a mask mandate in the city of Tampa while this pandemic is underway and during this time of the game there.”
“You’re supposed to be wearing a mask if you’re anywhere near Raymond James Stadium, if you’re in a bar or a restaurant or anywhere in one of these event or entertainment areas. And you can see from the pictures and the video that we have that people are just not paying much attention to that mask mandate. They are supposed to be fined up to $500. So I asked the Tampa Police, how many citations have been issued? What do you want to say in response to this? What’s being done about it? Because a lot of people are upset about it. And they have not gotten back to me yet.”
Hopefully, they still haven’t. Perhaps one day one of these intrepid reporters will not only analyze COVID data, but census data as well, and “circle back” to us, as the top White House briefer likes to say, with an explanation why virus laissez-faire states like Florida and Texas welcomed tens of thousands of newcomers despite the pandemic while they fled the Fort COVIDs in California, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois.