Todd McKinley
Todd McKinley is a retired Army Paratrooper, Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge and Presidential Service Badge recipient. He’s served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as serving two Presidential Administrations as a member of the White House Communications Agency and has served as an Advance Representative for the Trump Administration. Todd was a 2018 Republican Candidate in TN-01, he’s earned a Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security from American Military University where he was subsequently invited to join The National Criminal Justice Honor Society Alpha Phi Sigma as a lifetime member. He received a Master of Science in Leadership with a Major Concentration in Global Leadership from Duquesne University, a Certificate in Executive Leadership from Cornell University and a Certificate in Leaders of Learning from Harvard University.

To begin with, yes that’s me in the cover photo, it was taken on August 4th, 2007 as I was giving one of my many West Wing tours. I feel using it is appropriate given the number of White House press briefings we’ve witnessed over the past couple of weeks. In the photo, I was, in fact taking questions, albeit exaggerating a bit.

Ideology Isn’t News

Much of the national media has come to be known as “fake news,” the “mainstream liberal media” or the “fake news liberal media” and many other names that I can’t write here. These monikers have been well earned, as they’ve been increasingly focused for decades on pushing a flawed, destructive and evil ideology that’s nowhere near reality. Since before Donald Trump became the frontrunner during the 2016 Republican Presidential Primary, the media coverage of his campaign was more than a little biased.

I certainly understand the media holding a Candidate and especially the President (every President hopefully) to account for their actions and words, in fact, that’s why the Founding Fathers thought to protect the Press in the 1st Amendment. But, I’m not for the media creating stories out of nothing, misquoting or selectively editing video and audio in order to score a point or push their ideology on society. We have enough ideology pushing from Hollywood and out of touch celebrities, certain athletes and reality stars who are famous for no good reason, but I repeat myself.

However, this article isn’t about defending, praising or calling out President Trump’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic or as President Trump put it the “Chinese Virus.” Mind you his response along with Vice President Pence’s has been on point. That aside, in this article, I’ll point out instances in which the media have been more focused on creating outrage rather than reporting on the facts. This type of reporting has done the public who’s starved for real information a true disservice and put everyone on edge and in danger. Unlike Medical Professionals who take an oath to “do no harm” our media takes no such oath.

The Mass Media

In a recent article, RealClear Politics posed a question “To what degree do the media deserve scrutiny for the role their wall-to-wall, end-of-days coverage may have played in fomenting this sort of panic?” To me, legitimate coverage of this pandemic isn’t an issue, it’s the media types that instead of reporting facts and informing the public, would rather focus on gotcha journalism or doing all they can to report stories that distract from the work being done to fight this pandemic because doing so would mean they would have to give the Trump Administration some level of praise. After all, what’s more important, informing concerned Americans on how to best protect themselves and others or bringing down the President!?

The initial outbreak and the rapid spread across China sparked little interest in the US media, that is until it reached the United States around January 21st as the same article pointed out. However, it wasn’t until a month later that the media really upped their coverage when the virus hit the U.S. The majority of the major media stories regarding the Coronavirus since this time, has centered around the Trump Administration’s response to the pandemic and focused more on painting the President as failing the American public or on identity politics as evidenced by their initial response to the Administration instituting temporary travel bans. The “Fake News” outlets began by saying this move was “Xenophobic,” “Anti-Immigrant,” “Racist” and more, but the travel ban was supported by many pandemic experts and a number of prominent Democrats, namely Governor Cuomo of New York and Governor Newsom of California, this, of course, took this particular narrative away from them. But, nonetheless, they wouldn’t be deterred from looking for their next opportunity to strike.

Fast forward a few weeks, and we began seeing more manufactured outrage and very testy briefings over the President calling the virus the “Chinese Virus.” Instead of focusing more on educating the public and quieting their fears and calming the out of control panic buying, it’s been more important to work to ensure the President isn’t re-elected in November. Think about it, they cover for Joe Biden and the fact he’s likely (and sadly mind you) suffering early dementia, all while peddling trivial stories instead of giving in-depth reports that could counter the misinformation coming from unknown and unreliable sources which have been guiding the publics’ opinion and reactions in recent months. The refusal to focus mainly on reporting the facts have done Americans a true disservice, to say the least.

The Misinformation

To be clear, the misinformation, by and large, has been exacerbated by the media’s slow reaction to report on the pandemic and their incessant need to play gotcha with the President. However, even though they may have been slow and often report on trivial things, the “fake news” types aren’t to be blamed for most of the misinformation that’s floating around, especially on social media. In fact, as with most false stories that are shared all around social media, disseminated through email, text messages and discussed offline, the blame lays squarely on the shoulders of many in the general public.

Folks, I realize the COVID-19 “Coronavirus” is scary, especially the unknowns that are out there. However, sending out or posting things that usually start by saying something like “A friend whose husband works in healthcare just got called into an emergency meeting…” or “A friend of mine who’s in the National Guard said, they’re about to implement Marshall Law” or something similar doesn’t help anyone. This information isn’t true and is coming from those who love chaos or the trolls out there, they’re certainly not coming from any real or reliable source.

If you can, stay at home, practice good hygiene, cover your cough, avoid human contact with those who are vulnerable if possible, seek out reliable sources to get your information, it’s certain that vague social media posts or clickbait websites aren’t reliable nor are they real sources. You can get through this, you’re an “Ameri-CAN”, not an “Ameri-CAN’T,” we’re bread from the stock of winners, not losers.

Bottom line, let’s use this time to reassess ourselves, the state of our families, our nation and the crazy world we live in. Let’s realize we can be more self-reliant and especially realize that socialism and big government isn’t the answer. Let’s help our families and do our part in our local communities and especially let’s stop spreading misinformation, if not it could prove to do more damage than the pandemic.

Here’s a recent article I wrote entitled: COVID-19 Virus: A Real Pandemic with Out of Control Panic

https://ivotetennessee.com/covid-19-virus-a-real-pandemic-with-out-of-control-panic/?fbclid=IwAR0O6WcYUHHZzhDEUQBT8nLfVZ71gt7Zi4tihciuKUZrk5aX4iGJ2iuVDDs

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