Hypocritical GQ warns about same health misinformation it helped spread

August 24, 2023

By Tim Worstall

In a new piece, GQ tells its readers that misinformation is harmful, especially regarding health matters. 

The problem is that GQ has swallowed the most awful dose of propaganda. Journalism should be better than this – truth to power, right, not repeating the lies of power?  

“The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study showing 52 doctors—out of 1 million Americans who hold a medical license—spread COVID-19 misinformation on social media between January 2021 and December 2022. “

Some people may have spread misinformation about covid. Some probably did. Some humans will say anything. But as we’ve been saying for some time now, who gets to decide what misinformation people cannot be allowed to say? Because anyone who controls that definition – of mis- or dis- information – now has power over the entire society. This is why the Founding Fathers did that First Amendment thing. Everyone gets to say anything so that no one can gain that power by banning inconvenient information.

Which is where GQ goes wrong. Badly wrong because they are journalists are both protected by and should protect that First. The scientific paper is here. And here’s the problem. What they are defining as misinformation is precisely what the government at the time was saying was misinformation – but wasn’t. At least some of it wasn’t, that is.

This is controversial: “So it is ridiculous to make any issue of a physician prescribing ivermectin as an off-label use. Especially given the data from India….” It’s controversial because we don’t want to get into that debate. However, back then, when this was said, results from poor parts of the world showed that ivermectin did work. But – as far as we know right now – it worked because poor people (no, really poor people, like we’ve not had in the U.S. for two centuries now) often have worms, ivermectin kills worms, people who had worms and currently do not deal with covid better. Science at the time showed that ivermectin worked in some circumstances. That’s not a disinformation view; it’s not misinformation either. It might even be wrong in light of later evidence, but that’s different.

This is also described as misinformation: “One of the most heartbreaking things about the pandemic has been what’s happening to the social interactions, the non-verbal cues…masks are not a natural thing for babies to have to interface with,” and that one has proven to be true. There are myriad reports of children growing up at that time who now have terrible problems reading facial expressions and socializing problems. 

 “[T]hey knew full well that the lab leak was a real possibility,” which, of course, was and is. General scientific opinion now is that it’s somewhere between possible and likely. Of course, it’s not proven either way, but it’s possible. But this is misinformation. 

And then we get to the biggie: “Government actors across a dozen fed agencies were in contact with Twitter, with social media, telling these social media companies what to censor and in many cases who to censor regarding COVID information.”

And, you know, the Twitter Files’ recent Facebook revelations show this was true. The Feds were telling social media who to throttle and whom to ban. But this is being used in a “scientific” paper as proof of misinformation about COVID-19? That a gullible press then repeats?

This is the problem we’re complaining about. When anyone has the power to decide what is true, that can be said in the public square; those who want to control us will be working to determine what we’re allowed to hear.

At this point, consider the richness of this claim here. Misinformation is now declared to be the true statement that the Feds were censoring social media, which is a much more significant threat to our freedoms and liberties – to the Republic – than anything about ivermectin or masks.


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