Media meltdown over Trump’s suicide warning shows the press can’t let its hatred go
“People get tremendous anxiety and depression, and you have suicides over things like this when you have terrible economies,” Trump noted at a briefing, adding that he believes the isolation many Americans face thanks to social distancing will also lead to more mental-health issues.
There’s nothing incorrect — or even controversial — in those remarks. (Though Trump, sigh, went on to be more dramatic.) But media outlets that would normally echo any concern about higher mental-health risks proceed to be outraged.
The New York Times ran multiple pieces that called Trump’s claims “baseless” — despite its own past coverage.
“Increase Seen in U.S. Suicide Rate Since Recession” the paper reported in November 2012, summarizing a study from the medical journal Lancet that found the suicide rate rose four times faster from 2008 to 2010 than in the eight years before the Great Recession. “The finding was not unexpected. Suicide rates often spike during economic downturns,” the story noted.
The year before, in “Study Ties Suicide Rate in Work Force to Economy,” the paper cited similar statistics, noting the rate “has generally ridden the tide of the economy since the Great Depression, rising in bad times and falling in good ones, according to a comprehensive government analysis.”
The Times wasn’t alone in “debunking” Trump. ABC News reported: “Experts also say that there’s no evidence to suggest that the suicide rate will rise dramatically because people are stressed from losing their jobs” — near the top of
An Associated Press fact-check called Trump’s claim “baseless” and insisted suicide rates might “diminish”: “The even higher suicide rate seen during the Great Depression of the 1930s fell sharply with the onset of World War II.” Non-sequitur much, AP?
Back in the real world, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline has reportedly seen incoming calls triple.
Much of the media would rush to contradict Trump if he announced that the sun will rise in the east tomorrow. At a time of national crisis, it’s beyond pathetic.