Malicious rumors spreading like covid

Frank CagleFrank Talk

You say you don’t want to wear a mask. I know, you can find a dozen reasons on the internet not to do it. So, if you want to kill your grandmother it’s your business.


Chances are that if you won’t wear a mask you won’t be vaccinated either.

Frank Cagle

But there is one little thing you can do. It actually doesn’t involve you doing anything. Stop putting up on the internet misinformation that can get people killed. You saw a Facebook post about a nurse in Alabama who died after being vaccinated. The source is from someone who says the dead nurse was their aunt.

If you look it up you will find there have been no deaths in Alabama resulting from a vaccine. Somebody lied and you helped further the idea that the COVID-19 vaccine is dangerous. Because of you someone might not get a shot and that person could die. And you helped.

Even if you don’t want to get vaccinated, what useful purpose does it serve for you to spread your ideas on social media? You have no proof that the vaccination has harmed anybody. What you have are anecdotes, mostly from unknown origin. For all you know the stories were spread by Russian or Chinese disinformation departments.

I don’t think the government should require vaccinations. We still live in a free country. And any type of draconian mandate will spark even more widespread distrust of the government and government science. I don’t think any celebrity is going to change anyone’s mind.

The best we can hope for is to get people to stop forwarding unverified information. How about you quarantine crackpot ideas in your own computer but don’t pass along malicious rumors that are spreading as fast as COVID-19, and in many ways are just as dangerous.

Confirmed: The U.S. Senate has confirmed Beth Harwell to a seat on the board of the Tennessee Valley Authority. The retired Speaker of the House of the General Assembly was approved Saturday night. Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander rounded up a bipartisan group of senators in order to avoid time running out for this term of office. Brian Noland, president of East Tennessee State University, was also confirmed during a weekend session to pass a budget and a COVID-19 relief bill.

Doctor in the House? An opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal suggested that Jill Biden should drop the “Dr.” honorific and it immediately sparked outrage. I don’t have an opinion on the tempest in a teapot, except to point out that the Associated Press Stylebook, the usage bible of the press for decades, says the title “Dr.” is to only be used for a medical doctor. If a degree is germane to the story the form would be Jill Biden, Ed.D.

You heard it here first: You may have heard of Sidney Powell, the attorney for former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. But she is better known as a member of the Trump post-election legal team. Then she came up with her bombshell theory that Venezuela President Hugo Chavez, who has been dead for seven years, developed a computer program that could make Donald Trump voters turn into Joe Biden voters. The effort was funded by George Soros. Soros is a pure capitalist financier who somehow is also a socialist. Powell’s ideas are so nutty she got kicked off the legal team by Rudy Giuliani. My prediction is that Sidney Powell will run for Congress in 2021 and win.

Here we go again: It will be hard to fire UT Vol football coach Jeremy Pruitt. The school doesn’t have the $19 million it would cost to fire Pruitt and all his assistant coaches.

What I have never understood is why UT insists on paying a fortune to sign no-name coaches and give them buyouts worth millions. Is there anybody over there on campus that knows how to negotiate a contract?

Derek Dooley could have been hired for half what they paid him and likely without a buyout. He had a losing record at a podunk school somewhere in Louisiana. Butch Jones would have jumped at the chance to go from a small conference school to a marquee SEC program.

I remember a time when Alabama was criticized for paying Nick Saban $4 million a year. At the time UT also spent $4 million, except it went to pay three fired coaches.

Now we have discovered that Pruitt, a defensive coordinator hungry for a head coaching job, would be due $13 million to go away.

AD Phillip Fulmer, who got his own sweet deal to go away, ought to be fired for agreeing to this deal. You can make a mistake hiring a coach. It happens. But to guarantee an unproven head football coach an obscene salary and a buyout that will cripple the athletics department is bad management any way you look at it.

UT needs to take the checkbook away from Fulmer.

Frank Cagle is a veteran newspaper editor and columnist.

 

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