As part of a segment slamming Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) as part of how the right writ large rejects safety and vaccines, CNN Newsroom guest host Erica Hill and The Atlantic's Ron Brownstein boasted of Paul's one week suspension from YouTube for having questioned the effectiveness of cloth masks. What was lose on the two was that former Biden advisor Dr. Michael Osterholm said the exact same thing on CNN the previous week.
Talk of Paul's suspension came on the heals of Hill and congressional correspondent Manu Raju talking about the news that Paul only recently disclosed his wife invested in Gilead Sciences, which produces drugs such as Remdesivir.
That aside, Hill still wondered, "There's that admission from Senator Paul. We also have him just being suspended on YouTube for pushing misinformation, telling people not to follow the CDC's guidance. What do you make of all this Rand Paul drama?"
Speaking of misinformation, Hill was not entirely fair in describing what Paul said that got him banned. What Paul said was, "Most of the masks you get over the counter don’t work. They don’t prevent infection."
That is practically identical to what Osterholm told Hill's colleague and Inside Politics host John King on August 2: "We know today that many of the face cloth coverings that people wear are not very effective in reducing any of the virus movement in or out."
So, if a CNN-approved guest says something, no problem. If you asked, they'd likely cite the fact that Osterholm is an author, college professor, former Biden Covid advisory board member, and frequent broadcast and cable network news guest. In fact, they get posted on YouTube.
But the moment a Republican says it? Oh, they deserve whatever censorship comes their way.
Brownstein spent most of his response talking about the alleged conflict of interest surrounding Paul's wife's investment, but claimed the two fit a pattern of behavior, "And whether this was inadvertently left off his form or not, this kind of investment when contrasted against the backdrop of his kind of language about this and the kind of language that got him suspended from YouTube I think is what makes it especially striking."
If CNN wants to argue Paul is wrong, that's par for the course in Zuckerville. But hyping him being banned from YouTube for agreeing what a former Biden advisor said on CNN just ten days ago is not "following the science."
This segment was sponsored by Lincoln. Their contact information is linked
Here is a transcript for the August 12 show:
CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto
August 12, 2021
9:34 a.m. Eastern
ERICA HILL: Joining me now to discuss, Ron Brownstein, CNN political analyst and a senior editor at The Atlantic. And so there's -- good morning. There's that admission from Senator Paul. We also have him being -- just being suspended on YouTube for, you know -- for pushing misinformation, telling people not to follow the CDC's guidance. What do you make of all this Rand Paul drama?
RON BROWNSTEIN: Well, that's -- that's really what makes this so striking. I mean, look, there have been no shortage of accusations of hypocrisy on both sides in responding to the pandemic. As Manu noted there have been accusations against both David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, the former Republican senators from Georgia about -- about their stock trading during the early stages. And there -- look, there have been regular charges against the Democrats, that they -- that they are flouting the mask guidance that they offer to others. I think what makes this especially egregious is Paul has been such a relentless kind of opponent of any -- taking this seriously in terms of public health measures, masking, vaccination requirements, just the overall severity of it. And whether this was inadvertently left off his form or not, this kind of investment when contrasted against the backdrop of his kind of language about this and the kind of language that got him suspended from YouTube I think is what makes it especially striking.