It doesn’t help anyone to act as if “you should get vaccinated” and “you don’t need to get vaccinated” are arguments that need to be treated as equal because of the archaic journalistic construct of giving equal weight to all sides of a story. Some stories have a clear right and wrong. YOU SHOULD GET VACCINATED.
That said, you should not be getting your health advice from players on the Chicago Cubs. The CDC is leaving a bit to be desired with its mask guidance these days, but the messaging on getting vaccinated is still very clear: YOU SHOULD GET VACCINATED.
So, sure, the CDC, the entire scientific community, and just about anyone who hasn’t had their brain rotted by the InfoWars wing of the fourth estate will tell you, YOU SHOULD GET VACCINATED. But, hey, Jake Arrieta pitched six innings of solid ball to beat the Tigers on Friday, and he’s thrown two no-hitters, so his opinion is probably just as valid, right?
How many no-hitters has Dr. Anthony Fauci thrown? Zero. He hasn’t won a World Series, or a Cy Young, or even a Silver Slugger. Nerd.
Arrieta may have a rather valid point about not needing the vaccine “as long as people follow guidelines.” But then, HAVE YOU BEEN TO AMERICA LATELY, JAKE? Has a day gone by in the last year where there hasn’t been a video of some entitled prick heaping abuse on a service worker because they can’t be bothered to wear a facemask at Walmart or Starbucks or Home Depot? A ceremony to introduce a Supreme Court justice turned into a superspreader event because the previous administration turned mask-wearing, the simplest and least life-altering guideline of all, into a political wedge issue.
“As long as people follow guidelines.” Buddy, if people actually followed guidelines, maybe we could’ve been done with this pandemic by now.
But the problem here isn’t Arrieta being a lunkhead with less of a grip on reality than on his slider. The problem is acting as if what Arrieta thinks about the vaccine is meaningful and worth amplifying uncritically. That’s not journalism, it’s stenography.