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They didn't care about Biden victory parties, BLM protests — yet now mainstream media outlets are fretting over 'superspreader' Super Bowl celebrations

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Selective outrage

Eva Marie Uzcategui Trinkl/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A host of mainstream media outlets published articles over the last few days criticizing football fans for celebrating in Tampa, Florida during this year's Super Bowl, warning that by doing so they risked making the game a coronavirus "superspreader" event.

However, those same outlets had comparatively little to say about the large gatherings that took place after President Joe Biden's election win or over the course of the last year during Black Lives Matter protests.

Selective outrage

One glaring example of the double standard was exhibited by the New York Times, which published a story early Monday morning, headlined, "In Tampa, Super Bowl Celebrations Bring Superspreader Concerns."

In the story, Times writer Neil Vigdor complained about how the streets of Tampa "teemed with boozy revelers into the wee hours of Monday, many of them ignoring pleas by medical experts to social distance and wear masks," following the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' rout of the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night.

"The scene of thousands of fans tightly packed into the city's streets and outside Raymond James Stadium represented an alternate universe from the steady warnings by the nation's top health officials about the risks of the Super Bowl becoming a superspreader event," added Vigdor.

Yet, in a story published in early November, headlined, "A Rollicking N.Y.C. Celebration for Biden's Win, Well Into the Night," the Times made no mention of the coronavirus risks, even as it noted how "thousands of people poured into Times Square" to cheer Trump's ousting.

More examples

The Washington Post similarly fretted over the "antics" that ensued Sunday night following the game, in which "thousands of maskless fans flooded the street ... risking a superspreader event."

Yet as the pandemic raged on last summer, the outlet stayed mum on the risks of large Black Lives Matter gatherings and even defended them against suggestions that they contributed to a surge in infections.

The Huffington Post also covered the superspreader "revelry" which occurred in postgame celebrations, noting that the more contagious coronavirus variant, B.1.1.7, is "spreading rapidly in Florida."

Yet again, the outlet had nothing but positive things to say about Black Lives Matter protests last year as it celebrated the protests' achievements and dispelled "myths" about the movement. No mention of the coronavirus needed.

CNN was peddling the narrative before the game even happened, noting in a story yesterday that while coronavirus numbers are improving, "infections could grow exponentially with Super Bowl gatherings." Earlier in the week, CNN reported on the concerns health officials had that the game would be a "superspreader" event, as did the Associated Press.

But one might recall how CNN maintained that packed Black Lives Matter protests were much safer than Trump rallies. The same logic must apply to Super Bowl parties, too.

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