MacIntyre: Media acceptance of lab-leak theory is the turning of the COVID ratchet

 The mainstream media is attempting to reconstitute its COVID narrative after multiple government agencies confirmed that a Chinese laboratory in Wuhan was the likely origin of the virus.

On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal dropped a report based on classified evidence from the Department of Energy revealing that the agency believed the lab-leak hypothesis was the most likely explanation for COVID-19. Even as progressive media outlets like NPR and alleged comedians like Stephen Colbert voiced opposition to government confirmation of a theory of origin that they had already attacked, FBI Director Christopher Wray reinforced the finding, stating that his own agency also identified the Wuhan lab as the likely source of the COVID pandemic.

It is clear that, for whatever reason, the regime has decided that now is the time to acknowledge the truth about the pandemic’s origin.

A tsunami of leftist sophistry formed as the progressive commentariat attempted to process its latest software update. These media outlets and talking heads had spent years calling the lab-leak theory a racist right-wing conspiracy theory. Senator Tom Cotton was relentlessly attacked by news organizations from the New York Times to the Washington Post as a dangerous and radical purveyor of misinformation for suggesting the possibility. Many experts, not to mention countless members of the general public, had been discredited, discarded, and deplatformed for doubting the wet market narrative.

How could the regime’s rabid attack dogs pivot away from a storyline that had been so aggressively enforced?

If you thought that this monumental collapse of credibility, this sudden implosion of the certainty of the science, would give the media a moment’s hesitation, you were sadly mistaken. The progressive chattering class spend their days forcing the American public to pretend that men can become women at cultural gunpoint. Science was never their lodestone of truth; they are not undergoing some kind of dramatic epistemological crisis.

While some would expect a little more coordination between the regime and its media arm to create a smoother narrative transition, this trailing dialectic serves its own purpose.

Our ruling elites secure power through a constant invocation of the state of exception. In theory, we live in a democracy, where the power of the government is constrained through both the structure of the Constitution and the will of the people. In practice, however, both limiting factors can be removed in the case of an emergency.

No constitution can plan for everything, and as presidents like Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt have proven, Americans will allow their leaders an incredible degree of latitude during an emergency. By invoking the state of exception during an emergency, the ruling elite can grasp large quantities of power that they would never otherwise be granted. A cunning leader knows that power, once granted, is rarely returned, and it is very difficult for the public to hold anyone accountable after the fact.

When an emergency presents the opportunity to achieve power under the state of exception, it is always best to manufacture the narrative to secure that power as quickly as possible, then make necessary adjustments later, after that power is firmly in hand.

The pandemic allowed for the creation of an indefinite state of exception, during which the regime could lock down its political opponents and unleash its own supporters to punish those who opposed them. Churches and gyms were shuttered; abortion clinics and Walmarts were deemed essential. Leftist corporate allies like Amazon acquired a near-monopoly on commerce, while their local retail competition was driven into bankruptcy. Trump supporters were forced to attend the funerals of their loved ones on Zoom, while Joe Biden voters drank champagne in the streets to celebrate his election. Politics is, after all, about rewarding your friends and punishing your enemies.

During the early pandemic, the most important priority was discrediting Donald Trump and any GOP allies who might be able to contend for the power that the state of exception would produce. This is not a defense of Trump’s actions during the crisis. He was largely played like a fiddle and conceded power to hostile functionaries like Anthony Fauci, but the left immediately understood the pandemic as an opportunity to unseat an opposing president with a wildly successful economy who was likely heading toward re-election.

Anything Trump said about the pandemic, from its origin to the effectiveness of possible treatments, had to be immediately attacked and discredited. Once the threat of Trump had been removed and the desired power had been consolidated during the state of exception, the regime could always slowly acknowledge the truth bit by bit, using its media apparatus to retroactively bury the most divisive lies in order to smooth out the transition.

The hosts of "The View" have already joined several liberal journalists in blaming Trump’s racist xenophobia for poisoning the well on the lab-leak theory. According to the new storyline, it was only Trump’s evil racism that kept the media from embracing scientific truth, and he is ultimately to blame for whatever consequences followed.

What we are now observing is the process by which our ruling elite consolidate the power they gained while reconciling their narrative to something that more closely resembles observable reality. Bit by bit, the powers that be have admitted the truth behind most of the “conspiracy theories” they so violently attacked. From the efficacy of the vaccine, to the possible side effects of the injection, to the superiority of natural immunity, and now the origin of the pandemic itself, each admission is made after the desired power has been obtained and in a manner that would diffuse responsibility.

This slow drip of truth is not some admission of failure or culpability; it is instead designed to turn the political ratchet. Conservatives and COVID skeptics get to feel vindicated, getting to utter a well-earned “I told you so” and feel victorious.

While understandably cathartic, this gesture is ultimately meaningless, as those who lied for the sake of power, and used that power to punish their enemies face no consequences. Vast amounts of wealth and power were transferred under false pretenses during the pandemic-induced state of exception, but no one is held accountable; no one admits failure.

Instead, the regime gets to consolidate its gains by letting conservatives feel like they secured some form of win. Unless a political cost is paid for the deception, abuse, and tyranny exercised during the pandemic, the left will simply watch and wait for the next emergency under which they can invoked the state of exception and start the whole process over again.

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