During the past two years, the American government and other popular news outlets have come under increased scrutiny for a potential act of censorship following the publication of a leak that claims the COVID-19 virus originated not in nature but instead in a lab in Wuhan, China. Ted Galen Carpenter, a reporter for the American Conservative, begins his discussion of the Wuhan lab leak with the impacts that have reverberated from it, including, most importantly, an increase in tension between the United States and China.
Reports of the leak, first published by the Wall Street Journal at the end of February, have also managed to damage the reputations of those currently in office who helped cover up the leak. Establishment press critics regarded allegations of the virus originating in a Chinese lab as a racist conspiracy theory, linked to President Donald Trump’s opinions and stance on the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e. “Kung flu”). Such discourse was swiftly dismissed by many mainstream news outlets and the American government. In part because of current US President Biden’s investigation on the origins of the pandemic, despite once denouncing a similar intelligence investigation issued by Trump, and the mass circulation of the leak by other corporate news outlets, the government has faced massive backlash from the general public about what Carpenter views as an act of censorship.
Carpenter also includes information from an interview conducted by Wall Street Journal columnist Holman W. Jenkins Jr. with an unnamed member of the American press. “We in the press dismissed the lab theory because of an appeal to authority: When anti-Donald Trump spokespeople ridiculed it, that was good enough for us,” said Jenkins Jr.’s source. This, as Carpenter would argue, is a clear and eminent case of censorship by the press used to subvert possible key facts relating to the issue of what really happened with the origin of the virus.
Although the story has recently been broken and covered by the same well-known corporate media outlets that tried to subvert and downplay the leak, such as the New York Times, USA Today, and Washington Post, the story of the corporate media’s failure to report meaningfully on the original Wall Street Journal analysis has received little to no attention aside from Carpenter. Carpenter even goes further to state, “An issue involving such uncertainty obviously should have been a legitimate subject of public debate. However, the self-anointed guardians against disinformation smothered that debate.”
Additionally, the story has been looked at by other corporate news outlets, such as the Wall Street Journal and FOX News. Both of these resources provide thought-provoking, in-depth research and information directly from sources involved in covering up the allegations.
Source: Ted Galen Carpenter, “Disinformation and the Wuhan Lab Leak Thesis,” The American Conservative, March 6, 2023.
Student Researcher: Giovanni DeGiglio (Drew University)
Faculty Researcher: Lisa Lynch (Drew University)