Here, from Germany, is a jaw-dropping example of the COVID-19-era double standard over protests.
First, check out DW.com’s bluntly hostile coverage of yesterday’s anti-masking protest in Berlin, “featur[ing] a mixture of hard left and right supporters, and conspiracy theorists.”Everything about this article—from its headline spotlighting the injuries sustained by 45 police officers (“frontline workers” every one, just trying to keep Germans “safe”), to its quote from SPD pol Saskia Esken calling the protesters “covidiots,” to its final paragraphs attributing the current “surge” in Germany to “more socializing, summer travel and the public becoming negligent on social distancing rules” (just like those rampaging extremists beating up the cops)—is meant to demonize the protesters as thugs and lunatics.
My favorite bit is this indignant line from DW correspondent Leonie von Hammerstein (doing her stander-upper in a scarlet mask), about the “verbal abuse” she says that endured in covering the protest, especially from “one man who shouted in her face”:
“He believed in conspiracy theories. He believed Bill Gates was behind the coronavirus and wants to forcefully vaccinate everybody and the German government is helping him to do that,” von Hammerstein said.
So Bill Gates is not “behind the coronavirus” (never mind Event 201), does not “want to forcefully [sic] vaccinate everybody” (never mind his many statements on the urgent need to do precisely that), and the German government is not “helping him to do that”? That those are all “conspiracy theories,” according to Leonie von Hammerstein, tells us that she would have done an aces job “reporting” for the German press in 1939, when it was shrieking about Poland’s plan to invade Germany, as Czechoslovakia had done to Germany the year before.
And, speaking of Gates and Germany, here is the full final paragraph of this DW piece:
The surge has been attributed to more socializing, summer travel and the public becoming negligent on social distancing rules, according to the Robert Koch Institute, the German government’s disease control and prevention agency.
If Ms. von Hammerstein were actually a journalist, employed by a genuine news outlet, she would have noted that the Robert Koch Institute has itself been funded by the Gates Foundation, and has (therefore) consistently exaggerated the true toll of COVID-19 in Germany.
Now, having read DW’s attack on all those reckless goons protesting Germany’s mask mandate yesterday, let’s take a retrospective gander at DW’s gushing coverage of the George Floyd protests throughout Europe almost two months ago—when “social distancing” was still required in Germany; and yet the nationwide convergences of those protesting multitudes were just way cool, according to DW:
Fresh anti-racism protests kicked off across Germany on Saturday, with demonstrators filling up city centers from Berlin to Dusseldorf.
Thousands gathered in Alexanderplatz in Berlin’s city center, holding signs that said “Black Lives Matter” and “No justice, no peace.” Demonstrators, many of whom were dressed in black and wearing facemasks, also held up placards with slogans such as”Be the change,” “I can’t breathe,” and “Germany is not innocent.”
Thus “many” of those protesters—not all—were wearing masks, as ordered, unlike those rampant Reds and Browns (and nutcase “conspiracy theorists”), none of whom (of course) were masked. And, while not all of them were masked, all those anti-racists congregating righteously all over Germany were as tightly packed together as sardines (“The #Alex is packed. No more people are being allowed in. Distancing is not possible,” tweeted one of the participants, with slight anxiety). Close study of the images of those Good Protests shows that, sure enough, many were not masked, or had their masks pulled down below their chins (presumably so they could breathe). And yet DW was strikingly blasé about those multitudes protesting cheek by jowl, and shouting slogans all together (a coronavirus no-no), as if COVID-19 had somehow gone on holiday in Germany, in memory of George Floyd.
So there in Germany, as here in the US, COVID-19 has always been a crisis more political than medical—as we were vividly reminded this past Friday, when Rep. Jim Jordan asked Dr. Fauci, several times, if mass protests should not also be banned, along with baseball games, church services and concerts: a question that the usually smooth-talking Dr. Fauci, rather weirdly, could not answer, though Rep. Jordan asked him several times.