Hospital Says Employee Intentionally Destroyed Moderna Vaccines

NPR reports that an employee at Aurora Medical Center in Wisconsin intentionally destroyed almost 500 doses of the Moderna vaccine that were stored at the hospital. It looks like the employee was fired or resigned, but it’s not clear from the story what motivated the person to engage in such a senseless act of destruction.

A now-former employee at a Wisconsin medical center “intentionally removed” 57 vials of a coronavirus vaccine from refrigeration, forcing officials to throw out nearly 500 doses, according to an internal investigation.

Aurora Medical Center officials had initially suspected the Moderna vaccines, which must be kept between 36 and 46 degrees Fahrenheit, had inadvertently been left out at the Grafton hospital on Dec. 26. But an investigation found the individual “acknowledged that they intentionally removed the vaccine from refrigeration,” officials said Wednesday.

Ralph Nader’s Censorious View of the State

Ralph Nader thinks the state should punish NPR and other radio stations for interrupting or failing to broadcast Donald Trump’s November 5 election speech. In his speech, Trump repeatedly lied about the election results.

This sort of censorship is the inevitable outcome of the regulatory overreach that Nader has advocated for all his life.

Why I Hate Dick Meyer

National Public Radio’s editorial director of digital media, Dick Meyer, has written a book called Why We Hate Us which apparently is one long screed against the rise of individualism in America (did I mention he works for NPR?)

Anyway, NPR interviews him about his book and this comes out,

“The 1960s was a symbolic turning point,” Meyer said, citing the decade as a time when personal choice became more important than following tradition.

“It became much more important to make all these choices as a witting, conscious consumer of life,” Meyer said of formerly tradition-bound elements like religion, where people live, whether they decide to get married.

“And deeper than that, there was a sense that if you did follow a traditional route,” Meyer said, “you were an existential weakling.”

The realm of personal choice has only expanded since then.

“Now, it means choosing your breast size. It might mean choosing the way your nose looks. Almost every discrete element of our lives now can be looked at as a consumer choice,” Meyer said.

It’s enough to make Meyer nostalgic for the days when a sense of community and belonging, he says, were not so rare as they are now.

“We accepted, naively, a bill of goods about how one forges an identity and happiness in life. And it doesn’t come in a vacuum — it comes in a community with the help of others.”

Oh my god — Americans put their own personal choices above tradition! I see his point. If we don’t put a stop to that, pretty soon we’ll be seeing gay people getting married and black men running for President. After that it’s downhill to a hellish world where people chose religions different from their communities or — don’t tell Dick — choose not to be religious at all. OMG.

NPR has an excerpt of the book up, but frankly rather than Why We Hate Us it looks like the book should have been called Why Dick Meyer Hates You. For example, there’s this nugget,

I don’t like people who go to the Holocaust Memorial Museum wearing t-shirts that say “Eat Me.” True story.

Exactly. People who wear t-shirts saying “Eat Me” but never bother to visit the Holocaust Memorial Museum are much better people than their museum-visiting counterparts. Better ignorant than irritating. At least that’s what Dick’s grandma always used to say.

It’s clear Meyer is trying to be amusing with some of this stuff, but it reads more like the ultimate Internet troll finally got a book deal. I hate it when that happens.

Ronald Reagan, Dead at 93

I called my wife from the car telling her I think Ronald Reagan died today — National Public Radio was running some sort of program about him, and I can’t imagine them doing that unless he had died. Sure enough, Reagan died today at his Los Angeles home. He was 93.

Reagan was clearly far and away the most important Western political figure in the post-WW II era, and his two terms as president completely altered the political landscape in the United States.

One of the things that always fascinates me about Reagan is that his views and policies are portrayed as having been radically right wing, but in many ways he was simply retaking ideological ground that his opponents had chosen to give up.

Take Reagan’s vehement anti-Communism. His description of the Soviet Union as an “evil empire” and similar statements were widely ridiculed by the press and his opponents as, at best, oversimplistic sloganeering and, at worst, dangerously destabilizing ideas that could bring the U.S. into direct military conflict with the Soviet Union.

But if you actually read the speeches and statements he gave, they are not all that different than statements and speeches given by another great American president and anti-communist, John F. Kennedy. Like others born well after Kennedy’s death, I learned about the “ask not what you can do for your country . . .”, the Bay of Pigs fiasco, and of course his assassination, but it’s amazing to go back and read Kennedy’s speeches and realize just what a hawk and critic of Communism and champion of freedom Kennedy was.

It wasn’t Reagan who necessarily lurched right in his anticommunism views, but the Democratic Party which lurched left with Jimmy Carter and others who mistook the American fiasco in Vietnam as delegitimizing anti-Communism.

Certainly Reagan’s foreign policy included its fair share of problems and fiascos, but I couldn’t disagree more with an NPR reporter’s observation this afternoon that his foreign policy had mixed results. The man presided over the rapid decline and eventual dismantling of the Communist empire, for Christ’s sake, after every elitist politician and journalist said his policies would never work and would likely result in a stronger, not weaker, Soviet Union. Yes, you could point to Iran-Contra or the Lebanon disaster, but that’s like saying that Winston Churchill’s efforts during World War II were “mixed” because of the Operation Market Garden defeat.

Greg Palast is Lying about Cynthia McKinney

Alternet.Org is featuring an article by Greg Palast, The Screwing of Cynthia McKinney, which engages in outright lies and distortions about what McKinney did or did not say about the Bush administration’s prior knowledge about the 9/11 attacks.

Palast cites several media accounts in which McKinney is described as having implied that the Bush administration knew about the 9/11 attacks ahead of time. But Palast says that such claims were simply fabricated. For example, Palast writes of NPR,

Have you heard about Cynthia McKinney, former U.S. Congresswoman?

According to those quoted on National Public Radio, McKinney’s “a loose cannon” (media expert) who “the people of Atlanta are embarrassed and disgusted” (politician) by, and she is also “loony” and “dangerous” (senator from her own party).

Yow! And why is McKinney dangerous/loony/disgusting? According to NPR, “McKinney implied that the [Bush] Administration knew in advance about September 11 and deliberately held back the information.”

. . .

Problem is, McKinney never said it.

That’s right. The “quote” from McKinney is a complete fabrication. A whopper, a fabulous fib, a fake, a flim-flam. Just freakin’ made up.

The first bizarre thing about this is that Palast never actually cites any direct quotes attributed to McKinney, but then turns around and says that this quote that was not attributed to her is fabricated. Huh? If someone fabricated a quote and put it into McKinney’s mouth, it’s odd that Palast doesn’t once describe exactly what that fabricated quote was.

Second, that’s because Palast is a liar who is really the one playing games with quotes here. Notice that the only direct quote from the NPR broadcast about McKinney’s views on 9/11 is the paraphrase, “McKinney implied that the [Bush] Administration knew in advance about September 11 and deliberately held back the information.” But here’s the transcript of the start of that June 16, 2002 broadcast,

JOSHUA LEVS reporting:

A couple of months ago, Congresswoman McKinney was on radio station KPFA in Berkeley, California. She said people close to President Bush, such as his father, could profit from the new war on terrorism. The senior George Bush sits on the board of The Carlyle Group, an investment firm that does hundreds of millions of dollars in defense-related business with the government.

(Soundbite of KPFA broadcast)

Representative CYNTHIA McKINNEY (Democrat, Georgia): And so we get this presidency of questionable legitimacy requesting a nearly unprecedented amount of money to go into a defense budget for defense spending that will directly benefit his father. Where are the brakes on transparency and corruption?

LEVS: McKinney implied that the administration knew in advance about September 11th and deliberately held back information.

(Soundbite of KPFA broadcast)

Rep. McKINNEY: What did this administration know and when did it know it about the events of September 11th? Who else knew, and why did they not warn the innocent people of New York who were needlessly murdered?

NPR did not fabricate anything — they included two soundbites that let McKinney speak for herself. Of course, those quotes from McKinney are nowhere to be found in Palast’s article. Why let the facts get in the way of a smear campaign?

Palast does a similarly deceitful hack job on the New York Times coverage of McKinney,

The New York Times’ Lynette Clemetson revealed her comments went even further over the edge: “Ms. McKinney suggest[ed] that President Bush might have known about the September 11 attacks but did nothing so his supporters could make money in a war.”

That’s loony, all right.

Palast then includes a transcript of an interview he did with Clemetson in which Clemetson is unable to cite a direct quote of McKinney back up her reporting. Palast then claims that this quote doesn’t exist “. . . in the Congressional Record, nor in any recorded talk, nor on her Website, nor in any of her radio talks.” In fact, here’s what McKinney said in a press release put out by her office and posted to her House web site shortly after her KPFA interview (emphasis added),

I am not aware of any evidence showing that President Bush or members of his administration have personally profited from the attacks of 9-11. A complete investigation might reveal that to be the case. For example, it is known that President Bush’s father, through the Carlyle Group had – at the time of the attacks – joint business interests with the bin Laden construction company and many defense industry holdings, the stocks of which, have soared since September 11.

On the other hand, what is undeniable is that corporations close to the Administration, have directly benefited from the increased defense spending arising from the aftermath of September 11. The Carlyle Group, DynCorp, and Halliburton certainly stand out as companies close to this Administration. Secretary Rumsfeld maintained in a hearing before Congress that we can afford the new spending, even though the request for more defense spending is the highest increase in twenty years and the Pentagon has lost $2.3 trillion.

It is Clemetson who is correct and Palast who is doing a lousy job of reporting here. Doesn’t Alternet have anyone doing any fact checking or do they simply run any Left wing conspiracy theory that comes along?

Update: Palast apparently repeats this bogus claim in his book See No Evil. TomPaine.Com ran an excerpt from the book which included this,

She [McKinney] was labeled a traitor, a freak, a conspiracy nut and “a looney” — the latter by her state’s Democratic Senator, who led the mob in the political lynching of the uppity Black woman. The New York Times wrote, “She angered some Black voters by suggesting that President Bush might have known in advance about the September 11 attacks but had done nothing so his supporters could make money in war.” The fact that she said no such thing doesn’t matter; the Times is always more influential than the truth. Dan Rather had warned her, shut up, don’t ask questions, and you can avoid the neck-lacing. She didn’t and it cost her her seat in Congress.

Is Palast using Michael Moore as a ghostwriter by any chance?

Update #2: In his extensive research for his book, Palast also apparently missed this article by McKinney published in Counterpunch,

We know there were numerous warnings of the events to come on September 11. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, delivered one such warning. Those engaged in unusual stock trades immediately before September 11 knew enough to make millions of dollars from United and American airlines, certain insurance and brokerage firms’ stocks. What did this Administration know, and when did it know it about the events of September 11? Who else knew and why did they not warn the innocent people of New York who were needlessly murdered?


Weekend All Things Considered. NPR, June 16, 2002.

The Screwing of Cynthia McKinney. Greg Palast, AlterNet, June 18, 2003.

Statement of Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. April 12, 2002.

Andrea Levin’s Analysis of National Palestinian Radio

Okay, maybe saying that National Public Radio has an anti-Israeli bias is a bit like saying that fish swim, but I was still a bit surprised by Andrea Levin’s analysis of NPR’s coverage of Palestinian terrorism for the Jersualem Post. According to Levin,

In a period of six days, from March 27 through April 2, when 53 Israelis were slain, not one of the victims was mentioned by name, not one bereaved family was interviewed, not one injured survivor was the focus of a story.

The attacks were reported briefly with some references to the gruesome details, but almost invariably with emphasis on how such events might harm political developments.

March 27, of course, was the date of the Netanya bombing. Now maybe NPR is just too busy to interview the victims of violence in the Middle East. Maybe it has its correspondents deployed in Egypt or Lebanon and could not get them to interview victims in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Not quite. After listing a series of terrorist attacks that killed 53 Israelis over the week in question, Levin notes that NPR carried plenty of interviews with civilians — provided they were Palestinian civilians,

Although none of these people or any other of the March terror victims was mentioned on NPR, there were human interest stories about Palestinians. The day after the Haifa slaughter [where 14 Israelis were killed in a suicide bomb attack at a restaurant], the network aired a segment devoted entirely to the discomforts of a woman in Ramallah whose large house was temporarily requisitioned by Israeli soldiers. The woman, who admitted the soldiers did not mistreat her family, declared that “terrorism is every time a human life is being threatened, is being terrorized and humiliated.”

Levin also notes that on April 2, Linda Gradstein (*gag*) did a long piece about Israeli’s stopping ambulances at checkpoints. Only a couple sentences at the end of the long piece hinted that the reason the Israeli’s were stopping ambulances was that Palestinians had been caught using them to smuggle explosives.

Levin concludes,

The depth of NPR’s ideological favoritism for the Palestinians is singularly underscored when, in a week that saw multiple massacres of Israelis, the network could not bring itself to offer even a glimpse at the personal side of the losses suffered.

Maybe they should rename it, National Palestinian Radio.


NPR Ignores Israeli Terror Victims. Andrea Levin, Jerusalem Post, May 20, 2002.