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Idaho Statesman: Megaphone for the Establishment Narrative in Idaho

Americans’ trust of the mainstream media has dropped significantly over the past several years. Many Americans think outlets like CNN promote the liberal narrative on issues surrounding race, climate change, Pres.Trump's supposed Russia collaboration, and other issues.

Just as national mainstream media is the megaphone for establishment Washington's issues, the Idaho Statesman is the megaphone for Idaho's establishment narrative.

Nothing illustrates this better than the Statesman’s COVID-19 coverage.

The Statesman dedicated itself to promoting COVID hysteria while hounding Idahoans for distrusting science. The Statesman added a coronavirus tab to its homepage. Story after story promotes the dominant narrative. The disease is worse than the Black Plague. Its effects linger forever in the lungs and souls of its victims. Hospitals are overflowing with patients. Masks work. So-called vaccines are fool-proof mechanisms for halting the virus and they have no side-effects. No mention is ever made of real risk factors that exacerbate the disease.. Everyone is always equally vulnerable, according to the Statesman.

The Statesman's fear-driven narrative is the liberal narrative. Anyone could die of COVID at any moment. Headlines include: “Man who ‘loved with all he had’ dies of COVID minutes after wife in North Carolina” (February 16);“‘Please take care of my son.’ Dad dies of COVID after ‘regret’ for skipping vaccine” (January 25); “Republican official who mocked COVID in final Facebook post dies of virus in Texas” (August 6, 2021); “17-year old girl who ‘felt indestructible’ dies from COVID in California, family says” (February 21); “Anti-mask rally organizer Caleb Wallace dies of COVID in Texas, his pregnant wife says” (August 30, 2021); “Unvaccinated dad shares ‘deathbed plea’ before dying of COVID, Nebraska family says” (August 31, 2021).

Mask wearers are moral and good; mask skeptics bad and stupid: “What to do when fellow shoppers don’t wear required masks” (August 10, 2020); “We are done listening to wrong message from Idaho’s anti-mask, pro-virus protesters” (December 8, 2020).

No amount of skepticism of so-called vaccines is acceptable. There are no negative side effects. People should not be able to assess their own risk factors. Vaccines are popular, efficacious, and moral. Again a sample of headlines: “Vaccine shirt? People are busting out this trendy top to get vaccinated for COVID” (March 11, 2021); “‘Very disappointing’: Doctors lament Idaho’s weak COVID-19 vaccination rates for children” (June 14, 2021); “Want the pandemic to end? Don’t fight over COVID-19 vaccine like we did over masks” (December 18, 2020); “Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is approved, put politics aside and do what’s right” (August 24, 2021); “‘Light at the end of the tunnel’: After year apart, vaccinated Idahoans are reuniting” (April 8, 2021); “Get a shot, win $1 million? Other states are doing ‘vaccine lotteries.’ Idaho should, too” (June 4, 2021). Rinse, repeat.

Much the same is true when the Statesman covers Idaho’s public education system. Nothing is wrong with the education system that more money cannot fix. There are no poisonous ideologies like Critical Race Theory in Idaho’s public schools. And it is good that programs dedicated Critical Race Theory (CRT) are in Idaho’s public schools so someone can finally give an honest treatment of American race relations! (Consistency is not part of the narrative.)

Any attempt to assess whether and how much CRT being taught in Idaho schools leads to a rebuke. The Statesman sees any investigation as a “political witch hunt”: “Idaho task force on critical race theory indoctrination is an attack on teachers” (August 8, 2021). Asking questions scares our education heroes: “‘I’m terrified.’ Idaho students fear repercussions of McGeachin’s indoctrination task force” (June 24, 2021). Such articles are all over the paper. “Opinion: Idaho legislature is misguided in bill that aims to ban critical race theory” (May 4, 2021); “Black legislator’s speech on Idaho House floor was just what some people need to hear” (May 3, 2021); “When it comes to social justice and racism, who is indoctrinating whom in Idaho?” (May 9, 2021); “We dodged a bullet this time, but Idaho legislators need to take politics out of Common Core process” (Feb 13, 2020).

The Idaho Statesman peddles the establishment’s dominant narrative. Acting as an agent for Idaho's political elite, its journalists are partisans with bylines (to borrow a phrase). The paper is increasingly ignored. It should be.