Former Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland said on Tuesday that it does not matter that the mainstream media finally admitted to dismissing the Wuhan lab leak theory because the “damage has already been done” and “China has gotten away with it.”
“Sure, but it doesn’t really matter at this point, Lawrence, because the damage has been done, you know, by the mainstream media, social media, the tech titans, the Democrats, by all of those people refusing to allow the stories to come out about China. The damage is being done; China has gotten away with it,” McFarland told “Fox & Friends.”
She called it the “Blame America First lobby,” arguing that the media’s actions were motivated by a “hatred” of then-President Donald Trump, who had been calling attention to the origins of the virus in Wuhan.
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Journalists continued to acknowledge over the weeekend that the media’s longstanding dismissal of the Wuhan “lab-leak” theory was in part due to Republicans pitching it.
Once widely cast aside as a racist “conspiracy theory” and “fringe” nonsense, the possibility that the coronavirus accidentally leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology has gained increasing credence in recent weeks. The saga has led to yet another reckoning for mainstream media journalists about groupthink and bias in the industry. Faced with criticism that they blasted the theory last year for political reasons, some reporters have admitted its Republican origins with figures like Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., former President Donald Trump, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo played into why they disparaged it.
ABC News Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl suggested on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday that figures like Trump and Pompeo were not taken seriously by members of the media, saying “now serious people are saying it needs a serious inquiry.”
“Yes, I think a lot of people have egg on their face,” Karl said. “This was an idea that was first put forward by Mike Pompeo, secretary of state, Donald Trump, and look some things may be true even if Donald Trump said them. Because Trump was saying so much else, that was just out of control, and because he was, you know, making a frankly racist appeal talking about Kung Flu, and the China virus, he said flatly this came from that lab, and it was widely dismissed … but now serious people are saying it needs a serious inquiry.”
New York Times reporter David Leonhardt also conceded Sunday many journalists dismissed the lab-leak theory solely because Cotton, a Trump ally and longtime critic of China, proposed it.
“I think people made this mistake. I think a lot of people on the political left and a lot of people in the media made the mistake. They said, ‘wow if Tom Cotton is saying something, it can’t be true.’ Or they assumed that. And that’s not right,” he said on CNN.
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McFarland suggested it would be difficult for authorities to investigate the Wuhan lab leak theory after most U.S. institutions dismissed it and China has “had a year to cover their tracks.”
“You know, we may have investigations now into the origins, but do you think the Chinese are going to let us in that lab? Absolutely not,” McFarland said.
“They’ve had a year to cover their tracks. They’ve had a year to push their agenda. And their agenda is to take over the world to replace the United States as the dominant world power and to be seen as deserving to do it. They’re not going to take the rap for what they’ve done, which I think is to unleash, perhaps unwittingly, but to unleash a pandemic on the world that is more devastating than a world war has done.”