Poisonous Lies: NYT Blames Fox News for Man’s Death from Coronavirus

April 20th, 2020 6:11 PM

In the repugnant, never-ending liberal media crusade to not only annihilate but mortally wound Fox News (thus putting thousands out of work), New York Times columnist Ginia Bellafante took the not only false but grotesque plunge in her April 18 column blaming FNC for the April 9 death of 74-year-old Brooklyn bar owner Joe Joyce from the coronavirus.

Before diving into their moronic falsehoods, here are the relevant highlights of the all-emotion and fact-free screed (click “expand”):

I have heard about Joe Joyce for as long as I have known his oldest son, Eddie, a neighbor and friend, a lawyer turned novelist who was at odds with his father politically but grateful for his contradictions. Joe Joyce was a Trump supporter who chose selectively from the menu of current Republican ideologies, freely rejecting what didn’t suit him. He didn’t want to hear how much you loved Hillary Clinton, as one regular at his bar put it to me, but he was not going to make the Syrian immigrant who came in to play darts feel as if he belonged anywhere else.

Last year, Vice Media went to JJ Bubbles and other bars in Bay Ridge to talk to supporters of the current president and landed on some of these ambiguities….Where these kinds of voters align is not in the right’s hatred of the marginalized but in its distrust of the news. If the “liberal” media was telling us that a plague was coming and that it would be devastating, why should anyone believe it? Joe Joyce had his skepticism.


On March 1, Joe Joyce and his wife, Jane, set sail for Spain on a cruise, flying first to Florida. His adult children — Kevin, Eddie and Kristen Mider — suggested that the impending doom of the coronavirus made this a bad idea. Joe Joyce was 74, a nonsmoker, healthy; four years after he opened his bar he stopped drinking completely. He didn’t see the problem.

“He watched Fox, and believed it was under control,’’ Kristen told me.

Early in March Sean Hannity went on air proclaiming that he didn’t like the way that the American people were getting scared “unnecessarily.’’ He saw it all, he said, “as like, let’s bludgeon Trump with this new hoax.”

Eventually, Fox changed course and took the virus more seriously, but the Joyces were long gone by then.


[A]nd on March 27, when Kristen got off the phone with her father, she called an ambulance. He was wheezing. His oxygen level turned out to be a dangerously low 70 percent. On April 9, he died of Covid-19.


But there was a way he might have avoided the trip, his daughter speculated. “If Trump had gone on TV with a mask on and said, ‘Hey this is serious,’ I don’t think he would have gone.”

It goes without saying that it’s a tragic story and Bellafante clearly feels pain for the Joyce family and served as a reminder that the over 41,000 deaths consist of real human beings.

But as the great Comfortably Smug tweeted, the Hannity quote came on March 8 and thus it was “OVER A WEEK AFTER” Joyce’s cruise left. The Washington Examiner’s Jerry Dunleavy added that Joyce returned March 14, and then his bar the following day as the city had yet to be shuttered (thanks to far-left Mayor Bill de Blasio), leaving almost three weeks between his return and his death.

Therefore, Hannity’s comments were not only a moot point, but it’s an outright falsehood to note them otherwise. In the excerpt above, Bellafante even admitted as much that “his comment….happened after the Joyces had left.” Then why even say it? Well, FNC must be destroyed at all costs.

Further, our friend Shelby Talcott at the Daily Caller pointed to Dr. Anthony Fauci stating on March 9 that “if you are a healthy young person, there is no reason if you want to go on a cruise ship, go on a cruise ship.”

Instead of blaming local New York City officials, New York state, or anyone else (or even chalking it up to fate), Bellafante decided to level allegations against FNC, Hannity, and the media writ large that’s reminiscent of the Covington Catholic High School students.

No one died at the Lincoln Memorial, but the two exhibit similarities in how liberal media lemmings settle on a narrative and march off the cliff, facts be damned.

Townhall’s Guy Benson and National Review’s Dan McLaughlin have terrific, must-read pieces featuring tweets from liberal media types such as Mother Jones writer/MSNBC analyst Davie Corn, CNN media hack Oliver Darcy, Vox’s Aaron Rupar, and most notably, New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait. Chait had tweeted about Bellafante’s “sad, loving….portrait of a man killed by Fox News.”

As Benson wrote, “it is literally impossible that Hannity’s quote informed Joyce’s decision.” If things weren’t already bad for Bellafante, they got worse when a February 27 of hers was unearthed that read: “I fundamentally don’t understand the panic: incidence of the disease is declining in China. Virus is not deadly in vast majority of cases. Production and so on will slow down and will obviously rebound.”

Now that, beloved NewsBusters readers, was what one could diagnose as a downplaying of the virus (alongside characters such as this and this).