The George Floyd protests mostly have died down, so some news outlets have returned to peddling that most twisted flavor of pandemic panic porn: Shaming dead coronavirus victims for not taking more seriously the social distance guidelines that practically everyone in the press ignored for the anti-police demonstrations.
The Miami Herald, for example, published a particularly grotesque news report Friday titled, “‘The price of denial’: Teenager died after attending church party as Florida reopened.”
The story’s opening paragraphs read, “Sixteen-year-old Carsyn Davis was a dedicated student at the Fort Myers youth ministry, her family said. She loved Jesus. So, naturally, Carsyn was among the hundred or so kids to attend the church’s reopening event on June 10.”
The report continues, revealing faster and faster the authors’ overwhelming sense of smug satisfaction:
Less than two weeks later, on June 23, the teen died of pneumonia brought on by COVID-19. She had turned 17 on June 21, in the hospital. Carsyn was the youngest person in Florida to die from the disease at the time. Her persistent health issues contributed to her death, according to the medical examiner report.
The article then moves on to highlight that the dead girl’s mother, a registered nurse, believes in certain fringe right-wing conspiracy theories.
“If Carsyn contracted the virus at the party — and it’s not proven that she did — one thing might have protected her: a mask,” the report reads.
It adds, “But her mother, a registered nurse, did not believe in children wearing masks, according to a Facebook post Carole Davis made that linked to a website called ‘Don’t Mask our Kids.’”
If you have the feeling that the Miami Herald report is not only shaming a dead COVID-19 victim for attending a church party but also implicitly blaming the Christian teen’s mother for her death, you are correct. That is absolutely what the article is doing.
“Instead of science, Davis seemed to subscribe to conspiracy theories,” the story reads.
And the Miami Herald report just keeps getting worse and worse [emphases added]:
Carole Davis did not respond to requests for comment. Kenneth Miller, Carsyn’s stepfather, declined to comment.
Even after Carsyn got sick, Carole Davis didn’t think masks were important for keeping children safe. On June 18, she posted anti-mask content to Facebook, calling it a “useful” resource,
according to screenshots of her account obtained by the Herald.
The link she posted, which lobbied against mandatory mask wearing in school, put the burden on personal risk assessment for families with children in higher-risk categories like Carsyn.
You read that correctly: As two parents found themselves faced with the excruciating pain of putting their 17-year-old daughter into the ground, the Miami Herald was harassing them with questions about why they killed their daughter and spelunking through the mother’s social media account for evidence of un-scientific thought.
Vultures. I would be ashamed if my byline were on a piece like this one.
For what it is worth, the Miami Herald story eventually includes the following line: “Ultimately, it wasn’t Carole Davis’ scientifically questionable decisions regarding her daughter’s treatment that caused the teen to succumb to the disease, according to health experts.”
Gee, thanks — that would feel a lot better if you hadn’t just spend the last 10 paragraphs making this a story about how the mother’s personal beliefs and social media activity are to blame.
This news article is, for a lack of a better word, disgusting. Also, it is about what I have come to expect from news media that seem to derive an obscene pleasure from hoisting themselves atop the corpses of the dead. Where do they get off shaming ordinary people for not scrupulously obeying the same so-called experts who said earlier this year that you shouldn’t wear a mask at all?