Back when I was in public school, I had a teacher that encouraged his students to keep up with current affairs and read the local Toronto newspapers. He also suggested that we aim to read the news as reported in The Globe & Mail, as in his opinion, provided a reading level that was higher than the other newspapers while being more “balanced” and objective in its approach to reporting and commenting on the news.
The teacher, Mr. Sandham, did not recommend the Toronto Sun for expanding vocabulary and thinking skills as it was, in his opinion at the time, at a low reading level. The Toronto Star was in between the Globe and the Sun. He was not suggesting that we don’t read the Toronto Sun, rather that if we wanted to increase our reading comprehension, The Globe and Mail would be a newspaper for us in Grade 5 to strive to read while learning about current affairs.
Mr. Sandham also taught us about history, the importance of a “free press,” and took us through some of the basics in regard to the history and struggle of people to achieve liberty and rights throughout the centuries.
My goodness, how things have changed over the past almost five decades. Not only do we have a large segment of our media in Canada clamouring for government money (which essentially makes them potentially mouthpieces of the government), the lack of “balance” at The Globe & Mail has been eroded, while opinion is often from the premises of absolute garbage.
Let’s take a recent opinion piece by a “Lawrence Martin” that appeared in The Globe & Mail on May 22nd, 2020. I have never read anything by Lawrence previously, but this opinion piece had a catchy (to me) title: “Yet again, the master of political diversion leaves Democrats dizzy.” When I read that headline, I was curious about the latest political diversion that was leaving the Democrats dizzy. Was Joe Biden’s antics in telling black people that if they didn’t vote for Joe Biden, they weren’t black? To me, that seemed to be a major story of the day, and that it must be leaving Democrats a bit dizzy, while diverting from other issues going on including the COVID-19 pandemic.
When I clicked through, I realized obviously that the opinion piece was about Donald Trump. As I continued to read, I realized that Martin is just another asshat progressive media type that bullshits his way through his writing, and even goes so far as to write utter and complete falsehoods.
I have no clue what it is about some of these asinine opinion writers and reporters today, that are obviously both lazy and despicable in their writing. Let’s go through Lawrence’s column to show his laziness and his outright lies that he writes. What person of good moral character and with any values in regard to honesty could write such utter nonsense? Even if you don’t like a person such as Donald Trump, what overtakes a person to put their own character at risk in writing utter nonsense that is easily fact-checked?
Martin Lawrence Lies About How Donald Trump Announced Taking Hydroxychloroquine
Compared to some of the other nonsense that Lawrence writes, this is perhaps one of the “smaller” lies, but a lie nonetheless. Often, reporters and opinion writers will use weasel words that change the circumstances slightly, around an event or in this case, how Donald Trump announced that he was taking hydroxychloroquine. Let’s look exactly at how Lawrence puts it:
He announced, unprompted, that he was taking the controversial anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine…
That right there shows us that Lawrence is willing to sacrifice his credibility as an opinion writer, and truly, not give a hoot about his integrity, while hoping to fool his readers. He claims that Trump announced this, “unprompted.”
Maybe Lawrence likes to use words that he has no clue of the meaning, but he is apparently a “Harvard Man,” and I’m told they are supposed to be pretty well educated people if they actually graduated from Harvard. Surely he knows the meaning of “unprompted.”
I’m grateful I had a public school teacher such as Mr. Sandham, who taught us about the meanings of words. Something said or done that was described as “unprompted” would generally carry the idea that it was an act or statement given out of any encouragement or context. Is this actually true? Well, instead of reading Lawrence’s words, let’s go right back to the actual announcement by Trump, and you tell me if you would consider this “unprompted.” We’ll use the CSPAN recording, available on YouTube:
You don’t need to watch the whole thing. Trump starts out talking about someone (I’m not sure who and haven’t looked it up) that approved and signed a paper in relation to hydroxychloroquine. He then goes on to discuss around the 0:50 mark of the video, how front line workers are taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventative. As an aside, it is it is true that there are front line workers who are taking this drug as a preventative (so they hope) to the symptoms they potentially experience if they were to be infected by COVID-19.
It is after this discussion that Trump announces that he also is taking the drug.
How the hell can any honest opinion writer claim this is an “unprompted” announcement?
Well, an unscrupulous writer who is trying to show that Trump is sending reporters on “a detour” might try to claim it was “unprompted.” In other words, an asshole that is trying to twist what really happened to support his own thesis. Is that what they teach you to do at Harvard?
But there’s a lot more nonsense in Lawrence’s piece that gets even worse:
Lawrence Lies About Trump Recommending Bleach
Another example of how some opinion writers, even those at what used to be the esteemed Globe & Mail, will write utter lies to promote their thesis. Lawrence, either willingly lies, or is an example of how absolutely lazy some are, writes:
Recall from a month ago his monumental embarrassment in recommending bleach be ingested to fight COVID-19.
This is absolute bullshit and in fact, defamatory. But in the end, it is Lawrence’s character that is the most besmirched by this libelous claim. What’s even worse, Lawrence links to an article in the Globe & Mail, that quotes exactly what Donald Trump said (and you can go and look up the video and hear the full thing as well) and it says nothing about recommending the ingestion of bleach.
Here’s what Donald Trump actually, quoted from the article that Lawrence linked to:
“And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning,” Mr. Trump said. “Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that. So, that, you’re going to have to use medical doctors with. But it sounds – it sounds interesting to me.”
Do you read anywhere that Trump recommended bleach be ingested to fight COVID-19? No, I don’t either. Only a moron could form a belief that Trump was recommending to American citizens that they go and ingest bleach. I’m sure Lawrence is not a moron, so what possible reason would he have for outright lying about what Trump said?
Go watch for yourself, in full context, of what Donald Trump said (I doubt Lawrence actually bothered to check, himself):
As an aside, please note that at the beginning, Trump alludes to some cutting-edge research which indeed is ongoing, involving ulra-violet light. Reporters and opinion writers scoffed at Trump for suggesting it and YouTube even went so far as to remove a channel of a legitimate medical research company investigating using ultra-violet light inside the human body, because of the scoffing that went on about the idea, and YouTube administrators just assumed it was “fake.” It’s not fake.
But most definitely, Trump never ever ever suggested ingesting bleach. Martin Lawrence writes atrocious lies.
Now, I’m not going to defend Trump’s discussion about doing “something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning,” but he did not even claim specifically to inject disinfectants, if you take his words precisely. We all have moments where we might say things due to thoughts that come into our heads, and they do not come out clearly – perhaps Trump has heard about some who are suggesting Vitamin C therapy by “infusion” might be a treatment.
Martin Lawrence Lies About The Conclusions Of A Lancet Paper
Surely they taught some basic reading comprehension at Harvard, if you managed to enter the school without that skill? In reading Lawrence’s opinion piece, one would wonder. Or perhaps Lawrence was just too lazy to read the actual paper that he linked to. Lawrence writes, mischaracterizing the paper:
In the case of hydroxychloroquine, he will likely be having second thoughts about his decision to announce that he’s been taking the drug. A study released Friday in the medical journal The Lancet showed that those who take it are more likely to develop abnormal heart rhythms and are more likely to die.
Here’s what the Lancet paper concluded:
Our study has several limitations. The association of decreased survival with hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine treatment regimens should be interpreted cautiously. Due to the observational study design, we cannot exclude the possibility of unmeasured confounding factors, although we have reassuringly noted consistency between the primary analysis and the propensity score matched analyses. Nevertheless, a cause-and-effect relationship between drug therapy and survival should not be inferred. These data do not apply to the use of any treatment regimen used in the ambulatory, out-of-hospital setting. Randomised clinical trials will be required before any conclusion can be reached regarding benefit or harm of these agents in COVID-19 patients. We also note that although we evaluated the relationship of the drug treatment regimens with the occurrence of ventricular arrhythmias, we did not measure QT intervals, nor did we stratify the arrhythmia pattern (such as torsade de pointes). We also did not establish if the association of increased risk of in-hospital death with use of the drug regimens is linked directly to their cardiovascular risk, nor did we conduct a drug dose-response analysis of the observed risks. Even if these limitations suggest a conservative interpretation of the findings, we believe that the absence of any observed benefit could still represent a reasonable explanation.
The conclusions go further and also say:
In summary, this multinational, observational, real-world study of patients with COVID-19 requiring hospitalisation found that the use of a regimen containing hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine (with or without a macrolide) was associated with no evidence of benefit, but instead was associated with an increase in the risk of ventricular arrhythmias and a greater hazard for in-hospital death with COVID-19.
Note that this study was conducted in regard to patients and that who had received chloroquine or it’s derivative hydroxychloroquine in the context of treatment for a diagnosis of COVID-19. What the study did not investigate are the effects or efficacy of taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventative to symptoms. This is really important to understand in the context of Lawrence’s writing.
Donald Trump has not (as far as we know) been diagnosed with COVID-19, and therefore this study does not apply whatsoever.
Additionally, the drug has been around since 1955 and presently, it is actually described by the CDC as a medicine for rheumatoid arthritis (see discussion in this article). In 2017, over 5 million prescriptions were filled for hydroxychloroquine.
But these are the sorts of things trashy opinion writers will do; lie, make false statements, and without fully researching, use logical fallacies in order to persuade their readers of their thesis, regardless of what university they graduated from.
It’s pretty disgusting, really.
What’s really interesting though, is to look at Lawrence’s column in light of The Globe & Mail’s “Editorial Code of Conduct:”
- It is unacceptable to invent or falsify a quote, source, anecdote, detail or anything else pertaining to the news
Lawrence Martin has both falsified and invented details.
Update – June 2nd, 2020
The Lancet paper referred to above has generated some controversy with over 100 signatories including doctors and medical professionals of a letter outlining some major concerns. Additionally, medical professionals in India where hydroxychloroquine along with a macrolide has been successfully used, are also concerned about the paper’s findings and believe the paper is flawed. Read here for more information – Dental Tribune (India).
Also – please see this review from “Free Range Stats.”
I doubt Lawrence Martin will be research these links and add his own follow-up to his original article. But if he has some integrity, perhaps he will.
Update – June 7th, 2020
The paper that was linked to in The Lancet has now been retracted. Will Lawrence Martin reflect this in his column, which of course will change some of the meaning he was attempting to express in regard to Donald Trump? I doubt it. Any person that would invent an outright lie that Trump recommended “bleach be ingested” has zero integrity as any kind of journalist and deserves, at best, a couple of column inches in a fake news tabloid.