As virus deaths in the United States near 3,500, some Republicans who previously dismissed the threat posed by the virus—repeatedly calling it a media hoax—are now railing against the media for accurately reporting the death toll from the pandemic.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) attacked the media in an ill-advised Sunday tweet that took things too far.
The Senator accused the media of taking "glee [and] delight" in reporting the mounting number of deaths due to the virus.
Some in our media can’t contain their glee & delight in reporting that the U.S. has more #CoronaVirus cases than… https://t.co/AdjVVD5KlG— Marco Rubio (@Marco Rubio)1585494305.0
It's not unusual for Republican lawmakers to accuse the media of bias. Sowing a mistrust of the media among its base is one of the main reasons President Donald Trump and the Republican party have such dedicated voters, no matter how much evidence of corruption amasses.
But claiming that journalists take joy in reporting the deaths of Americans was widely derided as disgusting.
Journalists didn't hesitate to defend themselves.
.@marcorubio since you address “us” the media, I’ll respond by saying back off. We are all doing our best to stop t… https://t.co/WXInhdP2yG— Mika Brzezinski (@Mika Brzezinski)1585517174.0
Don’t know a single person, in media or otherwise, who feels anything remotely positive about this crisis. People w… https://t.co/zsGCa9eCzP— Kyle Cheney (@Kyle Cheney)1585499325.0
Zero evidence of this. Zero. Just good old fashioned media bashing for its own sake by a member of the US senate. https://t.co/Ecb2mwQDJ7— Michael Barbaro (@Michael Barbaro)1585504555.0
Can confirm that it delights no one to report on a lot of people — family members, friends, friends of friends, col… https://t.co/GrQUQhkSDo— Jacqueline Alemany (@Jacqueline Alemany)1585503025.0
What a petty, petulant post based on manufactured straw-men and offering nothing productive. Also, Senator, you do… https://t.co/730vU8EXHH— Scott Maxwell (@Scott Maxwell)1585512345.0
Though Marco Rubio and his ilk may have forgotten this in their haste to parrot presidential smears, members of the media are people, and they're just as susceptible to the virus as any other American.
In fact, their dedication to covering the virus from the front lines often makes them more susceptible.
We have colleagues who have died. https://t.co/h36kWayxpQ— Katy Tur (@Katy Tur)1585504316.0
CBS News employees literally just found out today that one of our colleagues had died from the virus. Journalists a… https://t.co/y41UnGCwKd— Grace Segers (@Grace Segers)1585502561.0
Journalists living in NYC, I can tell you, are not gleeful. We hear sirens more all the time. We know our hospitals… https://t.co/fF0VKPRwHU— Michael Calderone (@Michael Calderone)1585498378.0
With all due respect, Senator, there is no glee here. I’m worried about my family, including my 93-year-old grandpa… https://t.co/OqPNmGlH1L— Matt Baker (@Matt Baker)1585505395.0
Rubio has yet to apologize.