NY Times: ‘Far-Right’ Conservatives In Michigan Protest As Blacks Suffer Virus

Posted on Mon 04/20/2020 by


By Clay Waters ~

New states’ rights fans at the New York Times? Reporters Trip Gabriel and Jonathan Martin praised Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer after her gross bureaucratic overreach in fighting the spread of the coronavirus led to protests at the state capitol. The online headline to the story that led Sunday’s National section print edition: “Gretchen Whitmer Isn’t Backing Down — Right-wing protesters, Republican lawmakers and President Trump are attacking the Michigan governor, a possible vice-presidential pick. ‘I’m not thinking about politics,’ she says.”

She is a first-term governor and rising star in the Democratic Party, a frequent critic of the Trump administration for its handling of the coronavirus health crisis and a prominent foil of the president’s in the heated debate over when to reopen the nation for business.


Ms. Whitmer, a potential vice-presidential pick, has stirred Republican fears that her growing popularity will help Democrats carry the battleground state of Michigan in November, whether or not she is on the ticket….

One clue these were conservative protests: The Times complained about traffic problems, the whole point of many left-wing protests.

The traffic-snarling protest on Wednesday that drew a few thousand people to Lansing, Mich., including many flying Tea Party flags and Trump 2020 flags, was nominally called to oppose Ms. Whitmer’s latest stay-at-home order, one of the strictest in the nation….


The protests at state capitals in recent days had the feel of early Tea Party rallies in 2009, with far-right conservatives taking a lead role and more cautious elected Republicans keeping their distance. While polling shows that overwhelming majorities of voters are chiefly concerned about the public health threat, it also indicates that the most conservative Americans are more likely to be irked by the idea that their local economy might stay closed for a long time.


In Michigan, the state with the third-highest number of deaths from Covid-19, Ms. Whitmer imposed some of the country’s most severe restrictions on April 9, including a ban on travel to vacation homes and the sale in large stores of paint, garden supplies and furniture.

The reporters leveraged exaggerated social media reports to dismiss concerns of government overreach as “misinformation.”

Her order was mocked on social media with posts of seed aisles cordoned off, criticisms that morphed into misinformation that was amplified by national Republican figures, including Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.


Her frequent appearances on national TV, including the “Daily Show” with Trevor Noah and the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC on Thursday, also set off conservatives. Mr. Daunt accused Ms. Whitmer of putting more “focus on the Biden veepstakes, as opposed to handling the crisis here in our own backyard.”

This was a shameless play to race concerns:

And the images of nearly all-white protesters demanding the governor relax restrictions while hoisting Trump signs and Confederate battle flags, as the virus disproportionately impacts Michigan’s black residents, will only further cleave the state.

How many Confederate battle flags were there? Well, NBC found at least...two.

Clay Waters was the director of Times Watch a former project of the Media Research Center .

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