Over the past 20 months, you likely found yourself discussing the pandemic and subsequent vaccine and lockdowns almost exclusively around the people with whom you agree. You've heard and read the stories -- society won't allow room for robust conversation.
So if you disagreed with the promoted perspective of the government's handling of the coronavirus, then you probably kept your mouth shut, hoping to avoid conflict that could later ruin your career.
The pandemic sadly further tribalized the country, which we now know was possible. Peers viewed each other as either one of us or one of them. In the public eye, the kooks are those who questioned the need for masks and vaccine mandates.
Ultimately, the people in power and their supporters determined that if you disagree with them, you are not qualified to have an opinion. And that's how they treated you: with shame, silence, and destructive labels. Tuesday's exchange between Jedediah Bila and the cast members of The View was emblematic of this phenomenon.
This week, Bila returned to her former stomping grounds to promote a new book, this time as an ex-Fox News employee. The segment quickly spiraled after Joy Behar, a hacky elitist with nothing ever of substance to say, claimed she must address the elephant in the room: that Bila appeared on the show remotely.
The View previously scheduled Bila to join the program in-studio weeks ago, but ABC changed its plans because Bila isn't vaccinated -- a requirement to enter the building in which the show tapes.
In short, Bila said an infectious disease specialist and three doctors had co-signed a rare medical exemption for her because they believe that the coronavirus vaccine is a risk to her health. Bila tested positive for COVID-19 in the spring of 2020 and said her "sky-high, multitiered, multifaceted natural immunity" has protected her from the virus. Take a look:
Just like that, the segment ends. But what did Bila say so incorrect that warranted the producers to pull the plug? We can't say for sure because the people most outraged by her comments, her former co-hosts, didn't tell us.
Even with a 3-1 advantage, Hostin, Joy Behar, and Whoopi Goldberg couldn't debunk Bila's argument. Therefore, they belittled her with words like selfish, misinformation, and Fox News. As always, please say the terms in a devious tone for effect.
Clearly, the conclusion that Bila and her four doctors drew was not easily disprovable. The View's crew would have torn down her argument had it been. See, Hostin, Behar, and Goldberg are no different than any other entitled television host. Once someone with power indirectly tells them what to think, they then pledge their allegiances to that view.
That someone, probably from the New York Times, informed them that they must shun the unvaccinated immediately and regularly. And they have. To remain in this exclusive class, you have to prove yourself repeatedly. The View's women never forget that requirement.
This dilemma precisely explains why liberal elites, who run point for the Left, have normalized not conversation but censorship. There's a sense of comfort in agreeing with establishment media members, celebrities, and corporate executives, all of whom follow the same messaging.
Behar and company painted Bila as a loon and signaled to viewers that she is someone they must never trust again. Further, The View's actions warned other talk programs of Bila's book tour. As a result, Bila likely jeopardized her book sales on Tuesday.
Interestingly, Bila is hardly the right-wing extremist that Behar suggests by saying, "you've been at Fox News too long." In fact, Bila's the opposite.
Bila alienated conservatives in her final months at Fox News for what they deemed as COVID hysteria. Namely, Bila worked remotely from home well past the months of her former Fox & Friends co-hosts out of fear of the coronavirus. Thus, if the talk industry won't allow Bila to debate the need for vaccine mandates, who will it permit? That's a question with a definitive answer: no one.
There's not an arena for open discussion anymore. That idea spans beyond COVID -- to race, education, and crime. While covering the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, Nancy Grace told OutKick that Rittenhouse's supporters saw him as a "hero, the poster boy for the Second Amendment." And his detractors viewed him as a "gun-nut enthusiast hell-bent on causing trouble, on shooting someone down, looking for a target."
Tragedies continue to push us further apart, with a once-in-a-century pandemic firmly atop the list. What happened on The View occurs in the workplace, classroom, online, and public all the time. And therein lies the expansion of echo chambers.
Few results are more unproductive than surrounding yourself with yes-men. It's hard to think of a more dangerous development than that. But where do you turn to find otherwise? How does this end in a way that does not permanently separate us based on vaccine statuses and stances?