Gov. Mike Parson, embarrassed by another spike in Missouri’s coronavirus infections, has resorted to shooting the messenger. Parson on Wednesday singled out the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Kansas City Star and Missouri Independent nonprofit news site for spreading “propaganda” about the delta variant that’s raging across the state.
It’s a curious allegation, given that the data these and other credible news organizations have reported comes from official figures about new coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths. That data for this supposed propaganda originates with Parson’s own government.
Missouri has among the lowest vaccination rates in America, and among the highest new infection rates. That’s not propaganda but a verifiable fact. It contrasts the irresponsible coverage by conservative media organs like Fox News, whose commentators have outright lied about vaccine-related fatalities and other issues.
Indeed, Parson’s speech began by bemoaning news agencies that engage in “propaganda,” putting out “misinformation, just simply to put fear into people’s minds and just cause chaos” — a perfect encapsulation of right-wing social and news media’s bizarre anti-vaccine campaign.