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The Federal Government Paid Media Outlets to Promote the Covid Vaccine

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11 minute read

From the Brownstone Institute

BY Rav AroraRAV ARORA

After releasing my three-part series earlier this year showing how multiple media outlets refused to platform dissent on the Covid vaccine, I was asked on multiple podcasts why this was the case. Ideological groupthink, fear of exacerbating institutional distrust, and financial motives were on my list of potential explanations, but I did not have concrete evidence.

As I highlighted in my first piece, the responses I got from editors claiming their publication’s “pro-vaccine” allegiance was quite jarring. More than anything else, a publication should be “pro-truth” — whether that means highlighting the astounding benefits of a therapeutic or exposing its serious side effects. The idea that a whole media corporation would take a firm stance on a novel, experimental product is antithetical to the core purpose of journalism.

As I’ve said many times before, we are a pro-vaccination newspaper, and personally I just wish everyone would get vaccinated already.

Editor response to Rav Arora’s story proposals on vaccine risks

As it turns out, mainstream media’s nearly monolithic coverage of mRNA vaccines and other Covid measures can be at least partially explained by a clear financial interest. Recently, independent journalist Breanna Morello — who left Fox News because of draconian vaccine mandates in New York City — alerted me to a FOIA request filed by the conservative media company TheBlaze, which found a number of major media outlets were paid to promote the Covid vaccine.

Such venues included the Washington PostLos Angeles Times, NBC, CNN, Fox News, and several others. TheBlaze’s report received little coverage — even in conservative media (perhaps because some of those outlets were also paid by HHS) ideologically predisposed to criticize government-fuelled narratives on the pandemic. As The Blaze reports:

Hundreds of news organizations were paid by the federal government to advertise for the vaccines as part of a “comprehensive media campaign,” according to documents TheBlaze obtained from the Department of Health and Human Services. The Biden administration purchased ads on TV, radio, in print, and on social media to build vaccine confidence, timing this effort with the increasing availability of the vaccines.

During the vaccine rollout, the Biden administration made a number of efforts to bolster vaccination rates. The US Department of Health and Human Services’ COVID-19 Public Education Campaign states they employed “both paid advertising and media interviews, presentations, radio/TV tours, and other public events to educate people about the importance of vaccination.”

The L.A Times – an outlet funded by HHS to promote Covid vaccines – runs a morally reprehensible column justifying mockery of ‘anti-vaxxer’ deaths.

The HHS website contains public access to all vaccine campaign advertisements for media outlets and beyond. One past advertisement promotes Covid vaccination in children, featuring a montage of selected medical doctors stating in unison,

We can all agree on this: you can trust the Covid vaccine for yourself, or your kids, or your grandkids….I mean it from the heart.

In another ad directed to parents, HHS’ selection of doctors state,

We want you to know, Covid vaccines are ‘safe and effective’.’ My grandkids are vaccinated…what’s not safe is getting Covid.

Is it ethical for the government to dubiously claim Covid vaccines are uniformly beneficial for kids, and contracting Covid is far less “safe” than getting your child double-vaccinated? No such randomized clinical evidence exists suggesting the benefits of the Covid vaccine outweigh the harms in young cohorts with a nearly zero risk of serious outcomes. The concentrated risk of myocarditis in boys and menstrual irregularities in girls suggest the Covid vaccine may be harmful on net. Moreover, is it ethical (for either party) for the federal government to advertise such medical misinformation on platforms allegedly committed to investigating the truth and holding the powerful accountable?

HHS advertisement on the updated Covid booster

A new government ad on the HHS website now promotes the updated Covid vaccine. It falsely claims the new booster shot prevents long Covid and hospitalization when the only available evidence from Pfizer and Moderna are rat studies and a 50-person trial (with an unexplained 2% rate of serious adverse events).

Rather than critically covering such propagandistic attempts to promote a longitudinally ineffective therapeutic with a 1 in 800 serious adverse event rate, major media outlets allowed the federal government to freely spread its misinformation on their platform. The New York Times’ reporting on vaccine-induced myocarditis, for example, downplayed the side effect at every sight and compared it to misleadingly higher rates of Covid-induced myocarditis:

For over two years, the media and government officials have been peddling dangerous misinformation — the very sin they accuse of the conspiracy web of committing — about COVID-19 posing a higher risk to young people than the vaccine. Instead of examining age, gender, and health-stratified risk-benefit ratios, they elementarily look at aggregate data and cherry-pick seemingly beneficial outcomes to justify their “Everyone should get vaccinated!” campaign. A few of umpteen examples:

CNBC: “Myocarditis risk higher after Covid infection than Pfizer or Moderna vaccination, CDC finds

Reuters: “Higher risk of heart complications from COVID-19 than vaccines -study”

CNN: “Pediatric cardiologists explain myocarditis and why your teen should still get a Covid-19 vaccine

The Conversation: “Myocarditis: COVID-19 is a much bigger risk to the heart than vaccination

As an admittedly biased Zoomer, one of the most discrediting media assault campaigns grew in opposition to Joe Rogan’s claim in a June 2021 podcast that healthy 21-year-olds didn’t need the vaccine. Over two years later, Rogan’s judgment has been vindicated — as it was at the time — given the 0.003% mortality risk among 20-year-olds and unusually high rates of myocardial and menstrual-related vaccine adverse events. However, the mainstream media ecosystem conducted a fierce reputational decapitation in response to Rogan’s impermissible dissent from the CDC and Pfizer’s edicts:

The Washington PostJoe Rogan is using his wildly popular podcast to question vaccines. Experts are fighting back.

The AtlanticJoe Rogan’s Show May Be Dumb. But Is It Actually Deadly?

Today: Dr. Fauci says Joe Rogan ‘incorrect’ to tell young people not to get vaccinated

NBC: Joe Rogan’s Covid vaccine misinfo matters

The United States wasn’t alone in spending large sums of taxpayer dollars to promote its agenda. The Trudeau government invested over $600,000 in hiring social media influencers to advance federal directives, including the push for Canadians to get vaccinated and boosted.

As CTV reports, Health Canada spent the most on hiring influencers to promote government information; $130,600 was spent towards an “influencer campaign in support of the COVID-19 vaccination marketing and advertising campaign.”

None of this is to mention Pfizer’s vaccine campaigns paying celebrities to rhapsodize about marvellously ‘safe and effective’ mRNA inoculation. Travis Kelce — a professional football player watched and revered by many young American men in particular — promoted getting the updated booster shot and flu vaccine in the same visit.

The journalists I grew up admiring — such as Megyn Kelly, Glenn Greenwald, Alex Berenson (Unreported Truths), and Matt Taibbi (Racket News) — were known for challenging consensus and providing novel perspectives on complex sociopolitical topics. I relied on select journalistic outlets and individual commentators for an honest, independent evaluation of the facts.

The heavily biased coverage of race relations and criminal justice issues in 2020 following the tragic death of George Floyd was self-discrediting but hardly surprising given the dominance of identity politics in elite liberal discourse.

The deterioration of journalistic standards during the vaccine rollout beginning in 2021, however, was particularly disorienting. The Washington Post, NBC, and the New York Times should have held the Biden administration’s feet to the fire for promoting experimental vaccines in all Americans irrespective of risk and continued revelations regarding concerning side effects.

They miserably failed to do so.

The last standing bulwark against government propaganda and censorship is crumbling before our eyes, losing relevance by the month. Perhaps a solution for media institutions to earn back credibility is to critically cover federal agencies misinforming the public rather than take funds to promote their agendas.

Just a thought.

Republished from the author’s Substack

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  • Rav Arora

    Rav Arora is an independent journalist based in Vancouver, Canada.

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COVID-19

Freedom Convoy organizer sues Trudeau gov’t for freezing his bank account

Published on

From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

the day the EA was invoked, Canadian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland mandated certain bank accounts be frozen under the EA. In total, close to $8 million in funds from 267 people were locked. Additionally, 170 Bitcoin wallets were frozen.

Chris Barber, one of the leaders of the 2022 Freedom Convoy protests against COVID mandates, is suing the federal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for freezing his bank account and hundreds of others involved with the demonstrations after a recent court ruling declared the Emergencies Act (EA) was unconstitutional and unreasonable.

Barber’s lawsuit comes shortly after a Canadian federal court last month ruled that the Trudeau government’s use of the EA to quash the Freedom Convoy in 2022 was unconstitutional. The court ruled that the use of the EA was a direct violation of the Charter and thus “not justified.”

A trucker from Saskatchewan, Barber was heavily involved in the Freedom Convoy, which saw thousands make their way to Ottawa in protest of COVID vaccine mandates and lockdowns. His lawsuit claims that his Charter rights were violated through the dictates of the federal government.

The lawsuit was filed two weeks ago in the Court of King’s Bench in Saskatoon. Among its claims is a section alleging that the federal government abused its power to go after the truckers.

The EA controversially allowed the government to freeze the bank accounts of protesters, conscript tow truck drivers, and arrest people for participating in assemblies the government deemed illegal.

On February 14, 2022, the day the EA was invoked, Canadian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland mandated certain bank accounts be frozen under the EA. In total, close to $8 million in funds from 267 people were locked. Additionally, 170 Bitcoin wallets were frozen.

The freezing of bank accounts by Freeland without a court order was an unprecedented action in Canadian history and was only allowed through the Liberal government’s invocation of the never-before-used EA.

As a result of Freeland’s order, Barber’s bank account was frozen. He owns a trucking company, and according to the lawsuit, the frozen bank account resulted in missed payments as well as defaulting on loans, which negatively impacted his credit rating.

“This disruption deprived (Barber and his wife) of the ability to conduct basic financial transactions and live normal lives, leading to severe inconvenience, hardship, embarrassment, exclusion from modern society, and damaged personal and business relationships,” a portion of the lawsuit reads.

 As for the freezing of bank accounts, Barber’s lawsuit alleges that the Trudeau government’s decision to do this was for the “improper purpose of dissuading and punishing” Freedom Convoy protesters who were exercising their Charter rights.

The lawsuit also lists Barber’s wife along with his trucking business as lead plaintiffs.

At this point, no statement of defense has been filed by the Trudeau government, Global News reported.

According to the lawsuit statement, Barber’s bank personal and business bank accounts were frozen only a day after the Trudeau government enacted the EA. He was not able to withdraw or deposit money or use his credit cards, and even his automatic bill payments were stopped.

According to the lawsuit, Barber “suffered and experienced fear and anxiety due to the anticipated loss of income.”

Barber and Freedom Convoy leader Tamara Lich have been involved in a lengthy trial after being charged and taken to court by the government. The trial has been put on hold, with its resumption date uncertain. It is also not yet clear how the recent court ruling will affect the trial.

LifeSiteNews reported just over a week ago that Lich, Barber and a host of others filed a $2 million lawsuit against the government.

Freedom Convoy lawyer Keith Wilson said Section 24 of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms “gives Canadians the right to sue their government for damages when Charter rights are violated.”

“Doing so affirms the seriousness of respecting Charter rights and is intended to deter future governments from breaching Canadians’ fundamental rights,” he said.

An investigation into the use of the EA, as per Canadian law, was launched by Trudeau. However, it was headed by Liberal-friendly Judge Paul Rouleau, who led the Public Order Emergency Commission. Unsurprisingly, the commission exonerated Trudeau.

Federal and provincial politicians have come out in support of the truckers. Last week, LifeSiteNews reported that newly elected Conservative Legislative Assembly of Alberta (MLA) member Eric Bouchard praised the Freedom Convoy protesters for doing what “was right” in opposing to COVID mandates.

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COVID-19

Australian court rules COVID jab mandate for first responders violated Human Rights Act

Published on

From LifeSiteNews

By David James

Mining billionaire Clive Palmer, founder of the United Australia Party, funded the action and said afterwards that he was willing to back other class actions by affected workers. He called for the presidents and executives of the Queensland Police and Ambulance unions to “do the honourable thing and resign from their roles

In another blow to the legitimacy of Australian governments’ anti-COVID-19 measures, among the most severe in the world, a judge in the Queensland Supreme Court has ruled that the COVID shot mandates for police and ambulance staff were unlawful.

The judge, Glenn Martin, found that there was a breach under the Human Rights Act: specifically the right not to be subjected to non-consensual medical treatment. He ruled there was a failure “to give proper consideration to a human right relevant to the decision,” rendering the mandate unlawful.

The judge ordered that the police commissioner no longer take steps to enforce the mandates or continue any disciplinary proceedings. He ordered that the director general of Queensland Health also be restrained from any enforcement of the vaccine direction, and that no disciplinary proceedings could be taken against those applicants.

READ: South Australian court rules employers who mandated COVID jabs can be held liable for injuries

Although on the face of it the decision has potentially far reaching consequences for the many Australian workers who refused to comply with mandates, the finding was based on a technicality, rather than a matter of ethical or legal principle.

Health Minister Shannon Fentiman said the ruling was made “in relation to how the directives were made, not the directives themselves.” She said the judge found that limiting people’s human rights in having healthcare imposed upon them without consent was “justified because of the pandemic.”

It indicates that Australian judges continue to work on the basis that COVID-19 was a deadly pandemic, which justified suppressing individuals’ right to make decisions about their own health. Contrary to that assumption, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), which compiles its records from death certificates, found that 2020 and 2021 had the lowest level of deaths from respiratory diseases since records have been kept.

So where was the pandemic? The answer is in computer modelling that turned out to be totally wrong. An example of this irresponsible use of modelling, rather than actual evidence, was referenced in the case. The police service claimed that “modelling” indicated that Queensland Police Service (QPS) personnel would have over two million contacts with the community every year. The judge criticized this, noting that it was for 2019/20 and “did not provide any predictions of the effect of the pandemic on the QPS.” Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll resigned the day before the decision was handed down.

All Australian state governments relied on deeply flawed modelling, especially the former premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews.

  1. The PCR test used to identify COVID “cases” was not suitable as a diagnostic tool, as the inventor Kary Mullis noted.
  2. Because the specifics of the Sars-CoV-2 virus were not available in the early stages due to Chinese reluctance to provide details, the PCR test was based on an old flu virus. The FDA admitted that the test was developed not with actual samples of COVID-19, but with what appears to be genetic material from a common cold virus. Tellingly, in 2019 the ABS recorded 4,124 deaths from flu. In 2021 it recorded only two.
  3. According to the Worldometer, 80 percent of people in Australia who tested positive to COVID-19 experienced no symptoms. This meant either that the test was flawed or their immune systems had dealt with it.
  4. Mortality from respiratory disease in the period when there was supposed to be a pandemic was unusually low. According to the ABS deaths from COVID-19 in 2020-21 were under 2,000 – far lower than the 4,124 in 2019 from flu.
  5. The epidemiological modelling was based on “cases,” following positive testing from the PCR or lateral flow tests. This resulted in an absurdly inflated picture of the risks.

Even if it is accepted that these were understandable mistakes, the fact remains that the Australian authorities got it completely wrong; that should have legal implications for the people who lost their livelihoods. Courts, after all, typically focus on evidence, not speculation, even when that guessing comes from complex computer modelling.

Mining billionaire Clive Palmer, founder of the United Australia Party, funded the action and said afterwards that he was willing to back other class actions by affected workers. He called for the presidents and executives of the Queensland Police and Ambulance unions to “do the honourable thing and resign from their roles in supporting the decisions to have officers vaccinate against their wishes.”

If there is to be widespread justice, however, it would seem to be necessary to go beyond just the wording of the vaccine mandate directives and expose how wrong the authorities were when they imposed savage restrictions on the Australian work force and community.

Until judges realise that their assumptions about the “pandemic” are wrong they will continue to put a false idea of the common good above respect for individual rights.

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