This time last year, the mainstream media largely dismissed the Wuhan coronavirus lab leak theory as a “fringe” or “conspiracy” theory but with Dr. Anthony Fauci becoming the latest leading figure to question the origins of COVID-19, outlets are increasingly treating it as a serious possibility.
A few examples of how the media were reporting on the lab leak theory a year ago, when Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., suggested it had emerged from a lab known for bat coronavirus experiments:
“Sen. Tom Cotton Repeats Fringe Theory of Coronavirus Origins,” the New York Times wrote.
“Trump says US investigating whether coronavirus spread after China lab mishap but cites no evidence,” a USA Today article read.
“New research explores how conservative media misinformation may have intensified the severity of the pandemic,” the Washington Post wrote.
There were more where those came from, noted conservative writer Drew Holden in a lengthy thread about the media’s fluctuating tone.
Politico referred to the lab leak as a “conspiracy theory” before wondering why more research hadn’t been done on lab experiments, an editorial phenomenon that Holden described as “amnesia.”
CNN’s headline from May 5, 2020 was perhaps most bold, declaring Fauci “crushed” then-President Trump’s theory on the lab leak.
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