This week on CounterSpin: The coronavirus is highlighting existing faults and fissures in US society. Stark evidence of government priorities and their impact is coming fast and furious: $1.5 trillion is available instantly for loans to banks, but there’s no plan to protect incarcerated people, in jails, prisons or migrant detention centers. Congress can’t seem to act on assistance that reaches all the people who need it, and Jeff Bezos—the one with $111 billion—wants Whole Food workers to share their sick leave. Immediate tests for celebrities without symptoms—yes; reconsideration of devastating sanctions on Iran and Venezuela—absolutely not. It’s a crime scene that’s setting up social economic justice work for the next many years, and calling for dogged, humanistic reporting that doesn’t “ask what questions this all raises,” but instead demands better answers.
But first we have to get through it. And as we now sit, eyes glued to every media, journalists carry a great responsibility: to translate evolving information, projections and recommendations into accessible news that reflects appropriate gravity without being unhelpfully alarmist. No one asks reporters themselves to have all the answers, but what about the clarity and intelligence with which they conduct the conversation?
We’ll talk about coronavirus coverage with FAIR editor Jim Naureckas.
Also on the show: Among myriad issues Covid-19 has put a fine point on: Why does the United States value a private company’s ability to make millions off a drug so much more than the ability of sick people to get life saving medicine? Like many things, it doesn’t have to be that way. We talked about other ways to think about medicine last September with Dana Brown, who works on the intersection of health and economics as director of the Next System Project. We’ll hear that conversation today on the show.
Plus Janine Jackson takes a quick look at recent coverage of the coronavirus and retail workers.