A new euphemism has been coined to describe the palpable panic that reporters have toward conservative Republicans, especially the Christians. They are merely being “imaginative contrarians.” Not imaginative atheists.
New York Times banking reporter Emily Flitter recently displayed on Twitter her flagrant fear of Gov. Tate Reeves of Mississippi, citing a story from Bill Fries at the Daily Memphian in Tennessee, headlined:
Miss. Gov.: South’s response to COVID impacted by belief in ‘eternal life’
Gov. Reeves offered some remarks to “several dozen” Republicans at a fundraiser about how faith affects the local reaction to the coronavirus:
“I’m often asked by some of my friends on the other side of the aisle about COVID … and why does it seem like folks in Mississippi and maybe in the Mid-South are a little less scared, shall we say,” Reeves said.
“When you believe in eternal life — when you believe that living on this earth is but a blip on the screen, then you don’t have to be so scared of things,” he said, but added: “Now, God also tells us to take necessary precautions.
“And we all have opportunities and abilities to do that and we should all do that. I encourage everyone to do so. But the reality is that working together, we can get beyond this. We can move forward. We can move on.”
Flitter, who worked for years at Reuters before joining the Times, imagined like a contrarian that somehow, Reeves could be cartooned as crazy and not caring at all about COVID because God will sort it out:
To perform our roles as public watchdogs, reporters have to be imaginative contrarians. We have to think: ‘What if this person in power really IS crazy enough to do something that most people think is out of the question?’ And then we have to summon the courage to ask about it— Emily Flitter (@FlitterOnFraud) August 29, 2021
It’s scary! It often makes people mad at us, they think we’re just scaremongering, sensationalizing an issue for our own purposes. No!Someone really needs to put a hand up & say ‘hey, do you truly not care that your constituents are dying because of your belief in an afterlife?’— Emily Flitter (@FlitterOnFraud) August 29, 2021
Does someone really need to suggest that believing an an afterlife equates to "you do not truly care that your constituents are dying"? Gov. Reeves was clearly quoted as being for precautions against COVID, and he openly encouraged people to take precautions. So yes, Emily, you're scaremongering and sensationalizing...and panicking in an ignorant way.
This is the same kind of anti-Christian bigotry we've been criticizing for years, going back to The Washington Post reporting on the front page in 1993 on the televangelists Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. "Their followers are largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command."
PS: Flitter also boasted of the media's role in an anti-Trump thread on January 6 that concluded:
Our job is to hold powerful people accountable. We need to be able to do that job for democracy to function. You might think we’re annoying, but you need us. So please, open your ears and eyes to us. Let us show you what’s going on. Don’t ignore us. Together, we can learn so much— Emily Flitter (@FlitterOnFraud) January 7, 2021
[Hat tip: @KenShepherd]