Sulzberger: Disinformation is the “Most Existential Problem” Facing the Planet Today

There has been much coverage over the resurfacing of former CNN host Brian Stelter as the host for a panel at the World Economic Forum on alleged disinformation and “hate speech.” Stelter previously called for censorship under a “harm reduction model” and led a panel at a conference where Democrats discussed how to shape the news. He was confronted over his own dissemination for false stories targeting Republicans on CNN. Yet, I was most struck by a statement from New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger who described “disinformation” as the “most existential” problem the world is facing today. Sulzberger insisted that disinformation is the reason why there is a loss of “trust” today. He ignores his own history in eroding that trust in the media through flagrantly biased decisions at the New York Times.

Former  NYT editor Jill Abramson also slammed the participation of Sulzberger and the New York Times at Davos, denouncing it as a “corrupt circle-jerk” between media and business. She said that “the coverage was a sweetener to flatter the CEOs by seeing their names in the NYT.”

The panel was titled, “Clear & Present Danger of Disinformation” included panelists: New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger, Vice-President of the European Commission
Vera Jourová, CEO of Internews Jeanne Bourgault, and Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass. The entire conference was notable in its omission of free speech advocates while inviting long advocates for censorship like Stelter.

Stelter asked his panel, “How does this discussion of disinformation relate to everything else happening today in Davos?”

Sulzberger responded:

“Well, first, thanks for having me is as part of this conversation. As you can imagine, this is something I really care deeply about. So, I think if you look at this question of disinformation, I think it maps basically to every other major challenge that we are grappling with as a society, and particularly the most existential among them. So, disinformation and in the broader set of misinformation, conspiracy, propaganda, clickbait, you know, the broader mix of bad information that’s corrupting information ecosystem, what it attacks is trust. And once you see, trust decline, what you then see is a society start to fracture, and so you see people fracture along tribal lines and, you know, that immediately undermines pluralism. And the undermining of pluralism is probably the most dangerous thing that can happen to a democracy. So I really — I think if if you’re spending this week thinking about the health of democracies and democratic erosion, I think it’s really import to work your way back up to where this starts.”

It was a telling statement. Sulzberger suggested that allowing some opposing views undermines “trust.” Indeed, allowing opposing views on Covid or election or global warming does erode trust in the media and the government. Society would be so less “fractured” if information is controlled and consistent.

There is a perfectly Orwellian element to Sulzberger’s words. Democracy is being threatened because there is too much “disinformation,” “misinformation,” “bad information,” and other harmful views being expressed.  After all, without such views, there was be less “fracture” and more “trust.”

That was precisely the point of the earlier conference.

What is most notable about the comment, however, was the date. This is after many of those censored and blacklisted in the media and social media have been seemingly vindicated in raising questions over masks or vaccines.

Among the suspended were the doctors who co-authored the Great Barrington Declaration, which advocated for a more focused Covid response that targeted the most vulnerable population rather than widespread lockdowns and mandates. Many are now questioning the efficacy and cost of the massive lockdowns as well as the real value of masks or the rejection of natural immunities as an alternative to vaccination.  Yet, these experts and others were attacked for such views just a year ago. Some found themselves censored on social media for challenging claims of Dr. Fauci and others.

Likewise, the New York Times was one of those newspapers suppressing stories like the Hunter Biden laptop. It only admitted that the laptop was authentic roughly two years after the election.

Some of us have been raising concerns over the emergence of a “shadow state” where corporations carry out censorship the Constitution bars the government from doing. Leading Democrats have been open about precisely this type of corporate manipulation of political speech on social media. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called upon these companies to use enlightened algorithms to protect users from their own bad reading choices.

Even President Joe Biden called for such regulation of speech and discussions by wise editors. Without such censorship and manipulation, Biden asked, “How do people know the truth?

The last year has shown how media censorship resisted scientific debate and buried legitimate stories. Yet, Sulzberger is still unrepentant and views disinformation rather than censorship to be the problem…Indeed the world’s most existential problem.

Sulzberger’s position is nothing if not consistent. He was involved in one of the lowest moments in modern media when the newspaper turned not only on a U.S. senator but its own editor to yield to the mob.

Former New York Times editorial page editor James Bennet recently said Sulzberger “set me on fire and threw me in the garbage” in the Cotton column controversy.

The treatment of the Cotton column shocked many of us. It was one of the lowest points in the history of modern American journalism. During the week of June 6, 2020, the Times forced out Bennet and apologized for publishing Cotton’s column calling for the use of the troops to restore order in Washington after days of rioting around the White House.

While Congress would “call in the troops” six months later to quell the rioting at the Capitol on January 6th, New York Times reporters and columnists denounced the column as historically inaccurate and politically inciteful. The column was in fact historically accurate, even if you disagreed with the underlying proposal (as I did).

Reporters insisted that Cotton was endangering them by suggesting the use of troops and insisted that the newspaper should not feature people who advocate political violence. Writers Taylor Lorenz, Caity Weaver, Sheera Frankel, Jacey Fortin, and others also said that such columns put black reporters in danger and condemned publishing Cotton’s viewpoint.

Critics never explained what was historically false (or outside the range of permissible interpretation) in the column.

In a breathtaking surrender, the newspaper apologized and not only promised an investigation into how such an opposing view could find itself on its pages but promised to reduce the number of editorials in the future:

“We’ve examined the piece and the process leading up to its publication. This review made clear that a rushed editorial process led to the publication of an Op-Ed that did not meet our standards. As a result, we’re planning to examine both short term and long term changes, to include expanding our fact-checking operation and reduction the number of op-eds we publish.”

Bennet reportedly made an apology to the staff.  That however was not enough. He was later compelled to resign for publishing a column that advocates an option used previously in history with rioting.

Bennet recently told the new media outlet Semafor that Sulzberger

“blew the opportunity to make clear that the New York Times doesn’t exist just to tell progressives how progressives should view reality. That was a huge mistake and a missed opportunity for him to show real strength. He still could have fired me…I actually knew what it meant to have a target on your back when you’re reporting for the New York Times.

None of that mattered, and none of it mattered to AG. When push came to shove at the end, he set me on fire and threw me in the garbage and used my reverence for the institution against me,. This is why I was so bewildered for so long after I had what felt like all my colleagues treating me like an incompetent fascist.”

These controversies are the reason why trust in the media is at an all-time low. However, figures like Sulzberger still blame too much free speech as opposed to his own role in biased coverage that has undermined that trust.

That is why, in 2023, it is so glaring to see Sulzberger is being interviewed by Stelter on how disinformation is the greatest existential threat to the planet. Not nuclear proliferation, over-population, war, famine. It is the danger of allowing too much free speech that undermines “trust.”

The key however is that there was no “fracturing” at the World Economic Forum. It was the same figures voicing the same criticism of free speech as the scourge of our time. The problem is the vast global unwashed who fail to put their trust in the right people and sources. Fortunately, all the right people are gathered at Davos to show the way.

90 thoughts on “Sulzberger: Disinformation is the “Most Existential Problem” Facing the Planet Today”

  1. My pet peeve on this subject is about Democratic Party misinformation (I prefer looney lefty lies) about Medicare. It was only when I joined Medicare 15 years ago (and had time to read about it and anything else I wanted to read about) and saw the Democrats’ lies about Medicare first hand that I realized “Wait, this means they are lying about everything else too.”

    If you are under 65, tell me almost anything you think you know about Medicare and it’ll turn out that the truth is the opposite because what you think you know has been fed to you through the media from Democrats. Look at some examples
    1. Medicare is “run by” the government, not for profit insurance companies
    (in fact, five for profit insurance companies form an oligopoly that runs all of Original LBJ Medicare Parts A and B)
    2. Medicare is paid for by payroll taxes
    (only Part A, the smaller of the two Original Parts, is funded by payroll taxes)
    3. Medicare is solvent
    (it’s a total unadulterated Ponzi scheme and has $80,000,000,000,000+ in unfunded liabilities)
    4. Medicare buys drugs and therefore the government should negotiate prices
    (in fact we the beneficiaries – not Medicare – buy drugs; our pharmacies spend much more on drugs than the VA and Medicaid and do a much better negotiating job for we seniors than the $1200 toilet seat swamp dwellers do for the VA and Medicaid)
    5. George W. Bush “privatized” Medicare (a program, called Medicare Part C, was formalized before Bush was president to give seniors on both Parts A and B the Choice — that was its initial name — to get their A and B fee for service coverage through an HMO or PPO instead; it was “invented” by two Ted Kennedy staffers and signed into law by Bill Clinton. Bush did make it better and — by mistake — Obama made it even better so that as of this year, in just one generation more than half of the people on Medicare choose Part C over Original LBJ Medicare. Since it was formalized Part C has been selected three to one over the other four options combined. The Part C program provides far superior coverage at a much lower cost to the Trust Funds per person than equivalent beneficiaries on Original LBJ Medicare)
    6. Medicare is single payer (by law there are two payers — the Trust Funds and the beneficiary; in reality Original LBJ Medicare is so bad that there are four or five payers in practice for most seniors.)

    I have a list of another 95 looney lefty lies about Medicare

  2. Speaking of misinformation, the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Gutteres spoke at Davos yesterday.
    His first few sentences were ominous and should make all Americans very concerned.
    The left wing misinformation propagandists legacy media spun his message to their preferred talking points:

    Secretary-General’s remarks at the World Economic Forum…..
    I am not here to sugar-coat the scale of that challenge – or the sorry state of our world.
    We can’t confront problems unless we look them squarely in the eye.
    And we are looking into the eye of a Category 5 hurricane.
    Our world is plagued by a perfect storm on a number of fronts.
    Start with the short-term, a global economic crisis.
    The outlook, as we all know, is bleak.

    The headlines by the leftist legacy media:

    * UPI News: U.N. Secretary General condemns oil, gas industry for continuing to fuel climate crisis

    * NYT: In Davos, a Skirmish Over the Role of Oil States at Climate Talks

    * Reuters: Davos 2023: UN chief urges ‘credible’ net-zero pledges or risk greenwashing


    Short-term global economic global crisis vs Big Oil to blame for “climate crisis”.

    For the Left it has always been their dogmatic, paternalistic pronouncements or face excommunication, vilification, and condemnation for not obeying

  3. There goes a conservative ignoring the elephant in the room again. While it is easy to agree with Turley’s overly lofty rhetoric, the biggest problem is conservatives, because of their long history, decades upon decades — no, centuries, were happy with censorship, and thought it as necessary as old Sulzberger there (himself no “progressive” or “communist” or whatever unrealistic bucket the traditional conservative “enemy du jour” is being lumped into right now). It’s only now in this historically unique moment where the shoe is on the other foot that conservatives put up a hew and cry and attempt to strike poses as the great defenders of free speech. Since conservatives have always had a weakness with being honest with themselves, I will point out the obvious to them: you are only interested in overturning censorship of yourselves, and the moment you are able to do that you will not hesitate returning the the historical mean. You, the fine, upstanding, virtuous will again set about censoring the “lower orders” however you deem necessary. It’s as plain and simple as night turning into day. You are only interested in combating censorship as far as it affects yourselves. Heck, even when braying about how unfair censoring you is, you cannot help but wield censorship against others: “don’t say gay,” book bannings left and right: face it, censorship is one of Conservativism’s main fortes. You are no more likely to give it up than give up Conservativism itself. So in that way, all of this hotheadedness and bouts of the vapors emanating from your quarters rings completely hollow. You don’t want to end censorship, you just want back your waning authority and political power, period.

    1. Sam writes “the biggest problem is conservatives, because of their long history, decades upon decades — no, centuries, were happy with censorship.”

      Just one example would have been useful Sam but please keep it to this century, which after all is now more than 20% complete so you should have many instances given this problem you see is so pervasive

  4. In April 2018, the New York Times won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting a series of false stories alleging that Trump and Russia colluded in 2016 so that Trump could get elected president of the United States. We now know it was Hillary Clinton, not Trump, who colluded with Russia to get elected in 2016, unsuccessfully it turned out. The New York Times, of course, has a long history of crooked journalism. In the 1930s, the Times refused to report the mass starvation of millions of Ukranians due to the failure of farming under communism as orchestrated by Joseph Stalin and the communist party

  5. He’s partially right, but his conclusion is wrong, meaning the existential threat comes from him and those like him claiming any opposing opinion, contradiction, or exposure of their illegal, immoral or anti-constitutional goals is disinformation. Those claims are disinformation personified and need full exposure.

  6. “New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger who described “disinformation” as the “most existential” problem the world is facing today.” (JT)

    The Left is like arsonists warning people about the dangers of lighters. “Look over there. That guy’s got a lighter.” And while you’re looking over there, they’re torching free speech.

    An interesting question is this: Do they sincerely believe this garbage? Or are they they consciously shoveling garbage? Either way they are destroyers.

    1. Are there now multiple Sams on these comments threads like there are multiple Anonymi? Another Sam later comments exactly the opposite of this

      1. “Are there now multiple Sams . . .”

        Different icon, and obviously a different ideology. And that one blathers; this one doesn’t.

  7. Jonathan: When it comes to “misinformation” and “disinformation” Rep. George Santos is, next to Donald Trump, the reigning King–at least in the House. And that’s saying a lot considering Marjorie Taylor Greene is right up there with both of them. Kevin McCarthy just appointed Santos to the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. McCarthy is over the moon if he thinks Santos knows anything about the three subjects. In a tweet retired NASA astronaut Scott Kelly had this to say: “Awesome to have former NASA astronaut and moon walker, Rep. George Santos on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. To infinity and beyond!”

    McCarthy also appointed Santos to the Small Business Committee. Now that is something Santos really knows something about. In 2008 Santos went into a small business establishment outside Rio and, using a stolen checkbook to forge a check, purchased clothes and shoes valued at about $1,313.63. Brazilian authorities have re-opened their investigation into this crime. No doubt, Santos will be able to inform the other members of the Committee about how to prevent check fraud at small businesses.

    1. Dennis – how much do most freshmen Congressmen know about the committees to which they are assigned? What was AOC an expert on? Whether Santos learns anything about those subjects depends on how attentive he is to the work. And why take a swipe at MJG? She did not invent her past. If you have an objection to fabulists, you should be talking about Joe Biden who reinvents himself everytime he speaks.

  8. Jonathan: Speaking of the Davos conference did you see Elon Musk’s tweet on 12/22?: “My reason for declining the Davos invitation was not because I thought they were engaged in diabolical scheming, but because it sounded boring af lol”. FACK CHECK: Forum spokesman Yann Zopf says: “Musk never registered for any annual meeting in Davos”. So much for Musk’s credibility. Twitter is littered with misinformation these days. That’s why 500 advertisers have taken a pass on Twitter.

    Say what you will about the NY Times the real purveyor of misinformation is right under your nose. It’s Fox News, your employer. Regarding the classified docs found at Biden’s former office and home, Fox has falsely tried to compare it with the top secret docs found at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago. Fox had a headline story (1/12) captioned: “This clown show is going to need a bigger tent” followed by the statement: “Biden did NOT have the authority to declassify documents that were classified in his position of Vice President during the Obama administration. Only the President can declassify…” FACT CHECK; The story was false. According to Ken Clarvahan, who also teaches law with you at GWU, under a 2009 executive order by Obama the VP is included in a list of “original classification authorities”. This was confirmed by the NY Times after consulting with other legal authorities.

    Fox is almost unique in spreading misinformation. Recall that at the height of Covid-19 pandemic, Trump was pushing all sorts of quack remedies. Fox helped to amplify the idea that ivermectin was an effective treatment–despite all the medical evidence to the contrary. Even now you want us to believe in the false narrative that the pandemic restrictions should have focused only on the “most vulnerable population”. You question the value of masks and bizarrely claim “natural immunities as an alternative to vaccination”. So there is a lot of misinformation out there–even in your columns.

    So, yes, Sulzberger is right. Democracy is being threatened by “misinformation” and “disinformation”. Perhaps, you should be advised to follow the old admonition: Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones!

    1. Musk’s credibility is just fine. By declining an invitation to the meeting, he is of course not going to register for it. It seems you may have misinformed your readers about Musk’s actual intention.

    2. The NYT is truly the most powerful vehicle of misinformation of any legacy news organization in the US. It has a record of deceit and coverup of sheer evil. It downplayed the holocaust, it covered up for Stalin’s genocide of the Ukrainian peasants; it shilled for Fidel Castro, and supported the USSR against the US throughout the 1980s on every major defense issue. It makes me physically ill now knowing I subscribed to the paper for more than 30 years. But at least then the paper had editors such as A.M Rosenthal who had an appreciation for the English language and who put some constraints on the editorializing in the news section. The coverage of serious arts and music scene in NY was more than respectable. Now it is a despicable rag advocating aggressive suppression of speech beyond its own fortified walls. It regularly publishes screeds by anti-Semitic Islamists, supports Iran, denigrates Israel, and holds a world view that Amerika is a force for evil. It is a hateful piece of propaganda. Far worse than the Washington Post , because no one with an IQ over 50 and who lives outside of Georgetown cares what is written in the Post. The NYT is a far more dangerous source of propaganda; witness its evil 1619 document!

      1. I beg to disagree with your WaPo-NYT comparison.
        I once got the $1 a week NYT 6-mos subscription but found it overpriced and dropped it after three months (I agree with you re NY arts scene but it was during Covid and I’m four hours away so that info was not useful to me).
        On the other hand, I bought a Kindle and got WaPo for free for six months. I dropped it after a month is was so overpriced

    3. Dennis, it would be easier to list things that are NOT a threat to Democracy. Sultzberger is WRONG! There is no such thing as ” disinformation” or misinformation” . As I stated before, if you disagree with something said or written, you are free to do your own research. It is apparent that you have no problem posting your ” opinions”. If I construe a supposition that you put forth to be ” misinformation” I would never call for you to be censored.
      And I would certainly never call what you said ” a threat to Democracy”.
      Again, I know I am beating a dead horse here but, if someone wants to say aliens built the pyramids, SO WHAT?
      If someone wants to say Elvis is still alive, SO WHAT?
      And to use your example, if someone wants to say natural immunities are an alternative to vaccination, SO WHAT?
      It is not the job of the media and certainly not the government to protect you from yourself. People have the right to be stupid. The alternative is the other term of projection that some like to use along with ” threat to democracy” . Fascism.
      I agree, those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

      1. Emotional Italian: It’s hard to believe you don’t think there is such a thing as “misinformation” and “disinformation”. The terms are clearly defined in any dictionary you care to source. And the cases I cited in my comment were not based on a “supposition” which is defined as a “”belief, surmise, conjecture or speculation”. They were based on FACTS. Here is another case that illustrates my point. In 1996 David Irving, the Holocaust denier, sued Penguin Books and author Deborah Lipstadt for defamation over her book “Denying the Holocaust”. The case went to trial in an English court before a single judge. There was expert testimony showing Irving’s many misrepresentations, including evidence he had knowingly used forged documents as source material (i.e., “disinformation”).For example, Irving tried to prove there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz. Justice Gray wrote a 349 page decision ruling for the defendants detailing how Irving systematically distorted the historical record of the Holocaust and Hitler’s role in it.

        The point here is that misinformation and disinformation are out there in abundance. And while Irving has lost his credibility as a “historian” there are still Holocaust deniers here and abroad. On Thanksgiving Donald Trump hosted 2 of them at Mar-a-Lago–Nick Fuentes and Kanye West. There are real life harmful consequences from this kind of misinformation and disinformation. In 2018 another Holocaust denier, Robert Bowers, went to a Pittsburgh synagogue and murdered 11 worshippers. Bowers made anti-Semitic comments during his murder spree and indicated he was motivated by anti-Semitic misinformation he saw online.

        I agree that “people have a right to be stupid”. They can believe Elvis is still alive and that aliens built the pyramids. But such beliefs don’t have deadly consequences. What Holocaust deniers are peddling does. Joseph Goebbels infamously said if you repeat a lie often enough people will begin to believe it. Goebbels told the German people over and over again that Jews were the “enemy”. That ended in the Holocaust and the murder of millions of Jews and other “undesirables”.

        Believe what you want. My view is that when misinformation and disinformation blames the Jews, Blacks other minorities, migrants and “leftist ideology” and violence is justified to protect “white Christian civilization” we have a serious threat to our Democracy on our hands.

    4. FACT CHECK; The story was false. According to Ken Clarvahan, who also teaches law with you at GWU, under a 2009 executive order by Obama the VP is included in a list of “original classification authorities”

      Classification authority is not the power to declassify.
      Declassification can only be done by the agent person that classified the document. OR The President of the United Statew

      Embarrassing swing for the fence, a miss, and landed on you face

      1. Iowan2: I just love it when you don’t know what you are talking about. Just for the record Section 1.3 of Obama’s Executive Order 13526 provides the “president and vice president [have] original classification authority..” Section 3.1 provides that any such classified material can be declassified by “the authority who authorized the original classification,…”. Since you appear to not understand the clear language of the EO it means if the VP classifies any material he can declassify it. Plain enough for you now? Declassification is not restricted just to the president.

        So you and Fox are both wrong. When are you going to listen to me not Fox and Trump–who made the same erroneous claim? Looks like I hit another one out of the park–and you have landed on YOUR face by trying to catch it! I just love baseball metaphors!

    5. Dennis – Re: classification. Obama’s 2009 EO allows a VP to declassify only those documents that the VP has earlier classified. As to Ivermectin, in the recent Dark Horse podcast #156 (“Ivermectin can reverse the clumping of red blood cells”) Brett Weinstein and Heather Heying discuss a recent study in The International Journal of Molecular Sciences that shows that Ivermectin is effective against resisting the blood clotting (“hemaggluttination”) effect of COVID-19. Hemaggluttination causes oxygen deprivation in small blood vessels, sometimes leading to death. I recommend this podcast series to anyone interested in the truth. John Campbell in the UK is also an invaluable source of COVID science, based on medical studies not government or MSM propaganda.

      1. One of the things that is near absolutely true of Most of the supressed covid “misinformation” is that it was harmless – probably even less dangerous than what the CDC offered.

        The initial Wuhan Transimission rate was 2.8-3.4 – we have never never never stopped a respitaroty virus with a transmission rate of 1.4 (typical Flu) it should have been self evident to all in the medical community this was unstoppable.

        The fight over mask has been ludicrous from the start – We KNEW that cloth masks were useless. That surgical masks were useless – 11RCT’s between 2000-2020. It should have been obvious that social distancing, hand sanitizer, and lockdowns were NOT going to work.

        It is NOW evident to nearly everyone that we destroyed a pretty decent global economy for NOTHING.
        We spent Trillions greated inflation and all kinds of other problems. F’d up our elections so no one trusts them.
        And burned thge credibility of our institutions for NOTHING – for WORSE THAN NOTHING.

        Does Ivarmectin work – I do not know – lots of studies – some great some not. But what is absolutely true is that it is not harmful and direct cheap.
        Same is true of HCQ.

        Why exactly have parts of the medical community waged a holy war against people pushing solutions that meet the hypocratic oaths requirment of FIRST DO NO HARM ?

        Isn’t the way to find out of something works – especially when your in the midst of an epidemic and do not have time for carefully construcred rigorous studies -to TRY IT ?

        And hey – if you want to mask, drown in hand sanitizer, and lock yourself at home – I am OK with that.
        Just do not force me to. If you want me to make to come into Your home – that is fine too – it is YOUR home.

        I think what we did with the Vaccine is a miracle. 8 Months to an approved vaccine.

        For the nay sayers – the Vaccine works – just not well enough Current estimates are the half life of immunity is 10 weeks and the peak boosted immunity is about 54%. That is far far far short of what is needed to stop a disease with an R0 of 2.8. It is meaningless against a virus with a transmission rate of 30 (XBB 1.5).

        I think the mRNA is an incredible medical technology that will inevitably save untold lives in the future.
        We rushed to market a newe medical technology that would have taken atleast a decade to get approved otherwise.

        Should everyone get vaccinated ? Absolutely not. My reading of the data and risks is that if you are under 50 and in normal health you would be stupid to get vaccinated. Over 50 ? Depends. The vaccine is clearly riskier than we were told. How much riskier is not fully understood.
        I got Jabbed 4 times. Based on what I knew then I think I made the right choice. Now I am less sure. Do I regret it ? NO.

        Would I force someone else to get vaccinated – not a chance.

        Frankly one of the problems with the vaccine is that it is so ineffective that it is only useful if Most people DO NOT get vaccinated.

        There is not any measure that we have against Covid that even combined with all others changes how many people overall get infected – only how long it takes for the disease to burn through everyone.

        But the measures we have are good enough that If and only If the duration of the epidemic can be made short, those measures would protect SOME of the most vulnerable. Vaccinating everyone slows without stopping the virus increasing the likely hood the most vulnerable get nailed.

        Regardless, our public health community owes all of us an apology. While they could not save us from Covid, they destroyed our prosperity, our economy, our jobs our schools, our lives in trying – accomplishing nothing.

        And so many STILL do not understand that.

        Dr. Campell is excellent as is Darkhorse, also Unherd.

          1. I have personally made a small number of mistakes regarding Covid.

            All have been reasonable and well founded in probability.

            The first is that I assumed from the start this was NOT a once every 100 years epidemic.
            Those are rare and the odds against them are 100:1 obviously.

            If you assume that you are not looking at a 100:1 short you are likely right 99 times out of 100.
            In this case I was wrong.

            Covid was a 100 year event.

            The next mistake I made was assuming that Covid would not infect more than 1/3 of the population.
            Few if any prior epidemics have. the 1918 Flu did not infect more than 1/3 of the population.
            I can not think of any disease ever that has infected more than 1/3 of people.
            I also assumed this among other reasons because the max infection rate on Cruise ships at the start of this was only about 1/3
            and that was with a vulnerable group and with optimal systems for spread.

            I was also half mistaken in rejecting the early Los Almos and Imperial College estimates are absurd.
            They have still proven absurd, but bot as absurd as they were at the start.

            I was slightly mistaken about the vaccine I had high hopes when early reports suggested that the vaccine was 98% effective. That was probably good enough to thwart Covid. But it became obvious very quickly that the effectiveness was not 98% and the half life of effectiveness was at best 6-8 months. The moment I realized the vaccine was less than 97% effective and that its effectiveness half life was short it was mathematically clear the vaccine would not work AND that vaccinating any beyond the vulnerable was a MISTAKE.

            The last error I sort of made was that I presumed that Covid would evolve to be more contagious and less dangerous.
            That did occur. But I was near 100% certain that Omicron was the end – that Covid could not get more contageous.
            That has proven False. XBB 1.5 which is about to obliterate the US is the least dangerous and most contagious COVID even.
            It is estimated that 80% of americans will get it. and very very few will be hospitalized and die. That the vaccine is near useless against it and even natural immunity from prior covid will not protect you. The good news is that it is little more than a head cold.

            Regardless, it is supposed to be exponentially harder to significantly increase the contageousness of a disease the more contageous it is.
            Omicron was to the best of my knowledge the most contageous disease in human existance. XBB 1.5 has a transmission rate of 30.
            Each person infected, infects 30 other people.

            The above are the mistakes I have made.
            One nearly everything Else I have been right.

            Masks do not work.
            Lockdowns do not work.
            Our public health efforts to thwart Covid likely caused more deaths directly and absolutely caused more deaths indirectly.
            We all know we are seeing spikes in suicides and drug overdoses, but we are also seeing increases in deadly cancer do to delays in treatment.
            We know that economic declines lead to higher death rates – and we chose to harm the economy to fight covid.

            As I said I was initially enthusiastic about the vaccine. But before I got the first jab, I was already aware that the math was not going to work.
            That we needed to focus the vaccine on those at high risk only.

        1. Good analysis of the vaccine. Only one quibble: there is no 54% “peaked boosted immunity” because there is no immunity. What the vaccines apparently-* do is lessen the chance that otherwise very vulnerable people will die or get seriously ill when they contract the virus, which — like everyone has or will — they contract the virus
          *Apparently in that, as you indicate, we are still 8 years away from having enough data to be sure what they do and how well and what if any side effects there are

          1. Lets assume I am correct and vaccine PEAK current immunity – this is from a source I trust, is 54%.

            With zero immunity and an Transmission rate of 30 XBB 1.5 will infect every person int he US Twice over in 6 iterations.
            At a 54% effectiveness and 100% vaccination it takes 8 iterations to reach 100% infection.

            The effectiveness of the vaccine can be 54% peak, and still not prevent you from getting Covid, doing little beyond buying a few weeks maybe.

            I want to be careful – because you NEVER get 100% infections. Some percent of people are never infected. Prtly though natural factors. partly just due to random chance.

            A 54% effective vaccine used ONLY on those at high risk WILL result in a vastly disproportionate portion of those who never get infected being the vaccinated.

            But that is NOT true the more people you vaccinate.

            This is BTW true – though to a lessor extent about the flu vaccine. One average it is 70% effective.
            That is not even close to effective enough to stop the flu.
            But it is effective enough that with a low transmission rate and low vaccination rate a large portion of the vaccinated will not get the flu.

            As to whether the vaccine reduces the severity – there was good data that was True with Delta. I have not seen good data with Omicron.
            Further as Omicron mutates. it si becoming more contageous and less deadly. XBB 1.5 appears to be little more than a mild head cold for most of those infected. It almost never gets past the throat and into the lungs. I beleive its morality rate is much LOWER than the flu. But the Flu is not going to infect 80% of the US vaccinated or not in the next few weeks.

            I am having problems with the fact that Covid keeps successfully mutating.
            Every single time a string mutates to be more contageous that mathematically exponentially decreases the odds of a successful mutation that is even more contageous.

            After Delta we should have seen ever fewer slightly more contageous mutations until Covid disappeared.
            But the rate of successful mutation appears constant, which should be mathematically impossible.

  9. “Sulzberger: Disinformation is the “Most Existential Problem” Facing the Planet Today”

    – Professor Turley



    If one is a Christian, salvation exists in the the Bible.

    If one is a citizen on the planet today, the global existential solution exists in the “truth” derived from the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    The “manifest tenor” of the Constitution and Bill of Rights provides maximal rights, freedoms, privileges and immunities under a severely limited and restricted government that has no “emergency powers” to nullify and void constitutional rights and freedoms, the limited suspension of habeas corpus notwithstanding, the power to tax limited to debt, defense and infrastructure, the power to regulate limited to the value of money, commerce among the States to preclude bias, and land and naval Forces, and a sworn-oath observing Supreme Court that fully supports the Constitution, the whole Constitution and nothing but the Constitution.

    The singular American/Global failure has been and remains the Supreme Court.

  10. The world has many problems, and all of them will be made worse by lies. Facts matter.

    It is no surprise that MAGAs think lying is no big deal.

    1. You see folks Sammy’s facts are the only facts that we should be allowed to see. The arbitrator of truth has spoken and your compliance is demanded. You must comply or else. This is a much to prevalent thought pattern encapsulated in the authoritarian mind. Certainly an example to consider and analyze.

    2. It is no surprise that MAGAs think lying is no big deal. Sammy meeting expectations set for a not so bright 3rd grader.

      I know the cure, is by orders of magnitude, more dangerous.

  11. Instead of World Economic Council they should change their name to the OWWWYTH Council. Only What We Want You To Hear Council. Limiting freedom to protect your freedom is freedom. And they said that 1984 was just a fictional story that could never happen here. The whole endeavor drips with their complete sense of superiority. They are the ordained of the woke religion. You can still hear the chanting if you care to listen.

  12. I don’t believe in ” misinformation” or ‘disinformation” . These are made up terms used by the intellectually weak. If someone puts forth a supposition that you disagree with, use a counterargument. Do your homework. And it is not the job of government to protect weak individuals from their own gullibility.
    I do believe in irony. And a NYT publisher coming out against ” falsehoods” is a perfect example of that. Hypocrisy also applies.

    1. What malarky…you were a child once, and all children instinctively lie to get out of trouble. Saying you don’t believe that humans often deceive each other is like believing in the tooth fairy.

      Are we starting into another “deny everything” form of discourse similar to anthropomorphic climate change? The truth is inconvenient — nobody wants to admit that they refuse to give up comforts and conveniences so that posterity can inhabit the planet as comfortably as we do 1000 years from now — that’s a selfish attitude which nobody wants to own. So, better to attack the very existence of the problem challenge.

      Deceptive infowarfare in the internet age is a daunting challenge. Consider the “first strike” advantages of the infowarrior pushing out a fabricated narrative:
      1) speed. A falsehood can circle the globe while the truth is still tying its shoes.
      2) drama. A made-up narrative is not burdened by complexities and ambiguities the way the truth is;
      it benefits from clear hero vs. villain definitions.
      3) cost. Investigative journalism requires shoe leather; the infowarrior never leaves the computer hutch.
      4) real-time decisionmaking. In the interim between the false narrative and the counter-narrative truth being revealed, decisions that cannot be delayed depend upon the only information at hand.

      Countering falsehoods with the truth would be a decent approach but for the above factors. The deceptive infowarrior has a clear advantage of varying duration over the truth-seeking reporter.

      Bottom line: Poor decisions are inevitable in infospaces polluted by deceits. Russia is currently pursuing a bungled policy which thrives on state-media-propaganda. The U.S. fought an unnecessary 8-year war in Iraq having been duped about WMDs by a small clique of Shiite Iraqi infowarriors intent on getting the Bush43 Admin to help overthrow Saddam and his Sunni regime….it worked.

      While I disagree with Stelter about “harm reduction” being the way to think about the problem, and his attribution of infowarfare is way too partisan, I agree we have an enormous problem to solve — if we are to avoid a repeating pattern of poor leadership and policy choices.

      1. pbinka, you are correct. Here’s what we need to do. We must now lower the ability for the people in poor nationals to make a living by limiting their consumption of fossil fuels today so that someone living 1000 years from now will be more prosperous. How selfish of these peons. They might even be burning regular gasoline in their motorbikes that carry three people to work. The horror of it. How utterly unthoughtful for the masses who will have to suffer 1000 years from now. They used their motorbike to get to work to manufacture the easy chair that you now sit in while submitting your oh so intelligent post. Thanks for sharing.

          1. Jim22, I watched the video you provided. It truly does expose the thinking of climate wokesters. There are poor people suffering around the world and they only want them to suffer even more for the people living 1000 years from now. A solar panel is not going to get them to work today. Most of the woke have never experienced the grinding of an empty stomach or the weakness that is brought on by malnutrition. But of course they will tell you how much they care about people living 1000 years from now. They will happily show you the towels dripping wet with their tears due to their concern for the people living in the far distant future. Virtue signaling has become an art form without any real compassion. I hope that people will just not pass over your link. The sobriety that it calls for is much needed.

        1. Actually, I’m confident the greenhouse gas problem can be solved through technological invention, but unsure about what pace is needed (since nobody knows when a tipping point would be reached). Also, we need quantitative thinking to navigate the challenge. Superficial arguments and talking points are worthless — the Earth’s oceans, atmosphere and lifeforms don’t care about politics, only physics and chemistry. You have to define the problem clearly and correctly to have a ghost of a chance to solve something so complex. The disinformation is claiming there isn’t a problem, and then cherrypicking data to back it up. The honest truth is, atmospheric and ocean chemistry is changing extremely-rapidly compared to historical fluctuations — and, everyone is very uncomfortable about the implications.

          The good news is we have some success roadmaps with acid rain and the ozone hole to draw from.
          I remember those times, and what I can’t recall is anyone denying that those two problems existed.

          1. pbinca, you are correct in stating that we are experiencing global warming. Where we disagree is on how much of a catastrophe it really is. More and more of the predicted catastrophes are not coming to fruition. For now the people of the world are fed through the use of fossil fuels but the driving up of the cost of fossil fuels used by the poor is not a compassionate solution. The cost for people heating their homes in Germany has soared and it was happening before the Ukraine war. Now they are bringing nuclear power plants back on line. The use of nuclear power was also demonized by the environmentalist. In consequence the people of Germany are poorer today. The same problem exists in California were more people are leaving than entering. The cost of the governments green legislation is being left to be paid for through the taxation that will be required by the poor who must remain. There is no doubt that the poor in Germany and California are becoming poorer due to green legislation. Compassion for the poor who are living today is in order.

          2. pbinca,
            You are actually not wrong.
            The issue is, the life forms you speak of correctly, do not care about things like complex problems such as their carbon footprint.
            They exist within their own carbon footprint, not seeking to expand beyond their own boundaries. Note, I have seen octopus, green sea turtles, moray eels, lobsters, shrimp, and another hundreds of sea faring life forms in their natural environment.
            None of them are concerned about Wi-fi, high speed internet, cheap gas, cheap food, wokeism.

            All of those are man made issues.

            If we were truly serious about the environment, we would do everything we could to reduce our carbon footprint.
            Fore go 1,200 mile food chains (source: The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan). Use all natural, green, renewable sources for our transportation like grass, horses, human power.

            Pre-COVID, the BBC ran an article about how the IT industry consumed as much energy (namely streaming) as the entire world airline industry. With the advent of work from home paradigm, that number has become more.

            To paraphrase Weird Al Yankovic, “Living in a Amish Paradise.”
            Would you be willing to give up all of the modern conveniences, for a life like that?
            Pelosi? AOC? Biden? The Kardasians?
            Under Bidenflation, there are a number of Americans who are closer to that then them.

  13. This group brings to mind on what Climate Czar Kerry made in his speech this week about being a “select group” with an “almost extraterrestrial” plan to save …….. Well this group thinks they are a “select group” who get to save us peons from the need to look for the truth..
    Elizabeth Warren–wants to save us from making “bad reading choices”. Is that otherwise known as (book) banning
    Bryan Stelter (not a journalist)– how to “shape” the news.
    How about real journalists reporting the news. I believe it was who, what, when, where, why and how is the way a story should be created.
    It all brings to mind a young adult book The Giver by Lois Lowry. A “select” group took care of the community–supplied the right foods to eat daily (everyone had the same, no more, no less); created a family (just the right size family no more, no less), just the right home, just the right career– the future of each person (no choices, all predetermined); and decided what babies should be put to death (if they did not conform nicely in the nursery with all of the other babies) and when elders are no longer useful. It was all black and white.

  14. Freedom of the press has morphed into the freedom of the press to promote an agenda. The agenda is accomplished by stressing what they don’t like while stressing what they do like. Then there’s always the ploy of completely disregarding stories and events they don’t want the American citizen to know about. This my friends, is NOT what our founding fathers had in mind when the put in place “freedom of the press”!

  15. The American Medical Association #1 purveyor of misinformation, like this little gem: “Kids are great vectors”.
    Next they will advocate for eugenics which led to abortion on demand which… oh wait

    Why kids are “great little vectors” for COVID-19

    Good thing there were misinformation oracles back in the 1920s

    “It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind…
    Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”

    – Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes writing for the majority in “Buck vs Bell”

    1. Estovir – O. W. Holmes Jr. got a good press in his lifetime, esp. as a defender of free speech, but the sentiment in this opinion is not far from Hitler, who did in fact go on to kill many feeble-minded people, until public opinion, led by Catholic Bishop Clemens von Galen, forced Hitler to stop or at least hide what he was doing. A brave man, Galen remained a critic of Hitler throughout WW II.

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