Former host of “The Daily Show” Jon Stewart sent shockwaves through all sides of the ideological dividing lines — for different reasons — when he appeared on CBS’ “The Late Show” last week and spoke openly about what he and many others believe is the origin of the Wuhan coronavirus. Stewart was excoriated by the left and widely praised on the right. But one former network anchor has taken up the mantle of the left and essentially deemed Stewart’s words as “dangerous.”
Enter former “CBS Evening News” anchor Dan Rather.
Rather sent out a tweet on Sunday pushing an article he wrote concerning the growing trend of people who “question the science” when it comes to talking about the Wuhan coronavirus.
Here’s the tweet:
Scientists, and the very ideals of science, are under attack on many fronts. This is dangerous and shortsighted. So I was dismayed to hear Jon Stewart add to the "questioning" when he went on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert this week. My thoughts here.https://t.co/p38C7zXvEX— Dan Rather (@DanRather) June 20, 2021
Keep in mind, Rather is the same man who told former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly in 2001, “I think that you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things.”
Now, Rather was disingenuously conflating what people consider little white lies with outright being dishonest — kind of like he “allegedly” was when he questioned former President George W. Bush’s military service by, again, “allegedly” using forged documents as evidence. Rather continued to stick to that story despite his firing, just so you know.
Back to present day, and Rather is taking Stewart to task for “questioning” the science by simply — and comedically — conveying his belief that COVID-19 originated in a Wuhan lab.
In the article that he wrote, Rather played defense for the scientific community that has been intensely scrutinized by some and given carte blanche by others.
What we have seen in this pandemic is the public witnessing scientific research in real time. Scientists will be the first to tell you that a lot of what they initially think, their hypotheses, turn out to be wrong. That is what experimentation is for. That is what data is for. We learn from our failures as well as our successes.
Rather’s take here is true…to an extent.
What Rather doesn’t take into account is that every step of the “science” taking place is being done publicly. When scientific theories are given — pretty much on daily basis — it confuses the average person because they feel that the “science, in the form of “guidelines,” should be solid once conveyed to the people. Unfortunately, they often are not, as evidenced by the constantly contradictory edicts the people receive from those in positions of power.
After Rather played zone defense for “science,” he took aim at Stewart. Specifically, Rather brought up a bit of comedic exaggeration and made it seem like it was Stewart absolute belief.
He extrapolated. “Can I say this about scientists?” he added. “I love them and they do such good work but they are going to kill us all.” Let that sink in. Scientists are going to “kill us all?” And he finished up by predicting how the world would end. “The last words man utters are somewhere in a lab a guy goes, ‘Huhuh! It worked.’”
Rather classified Stewart’s “line of thinking” as “dangerous” and continued to play defense for the “science” before fearing for those who may question it.
Stewart is playing into the trope of the mad scientist at a time when we need science more than ever to solve our more pressing problems — most notably climate change. The idea that science is the biggest threat to the planet is terribly irresponsible. It gives free license to all those who say, “forget what we have learned, forget knowledge, forget seeing reality.” And I fear this reasoning - or should I say “unreasoning” — has not only consumed the modern Republican party but is in danger of consuming an even broader swath of the American and global public.
It’s called common sense, Dan.
Rather is basically saying here that people who question the prevailing theories of the powers-that-be should shut up and just let the process control them. Well, people did allow that for over a year. And now, the people are sick of it.