GOP talk show host who expressed skepticism of Covid risk is "struggling to breathe"

It ‘seems’ even shittier that countless people got sick and/or will die because they listened to that fucking Know Nothing.

Again, no sympathy for him; all the sympathy goes to his unwitting victims.


It’s not gloating so much as pointing out that ideologically inspired denial of scientific reality can have serious personal consequences. An object lesson isn’t effective if it isn’t conveyed to those who need to hear it most.


I mean, I’m totally with you when it comes to people who know better and spread misinformation anyway for political/personal gain, but big picture this is just some random schmoe, right? How do we know he wasn’t the victim of misinformation himself? And if he was, where do you draw the line to decide who is and isn’t deserving of your sympathy? Or in this case, how do you decide who is and isn’t deserving to die?

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Wrong. He is a popular radio talk show host who used his platform to actively spread misinformation about the disease that now has him struggling to breathe.

From his Wikipedia entry (which also details his “skepticism” about climate change as well as his promotion of Objectivist nonsense):

Valentine is often listed in the Talkers Magazine “Heavy Hundred” as one of the 100 most influential talk show hosts in America and is listed by Talkers as one of the 100 most influential talk show hosts of all time. For 2015, he was ranked No. 32 on the Heavy Hundred list.[23]



‘Randoms’ don’t have an elevated platform to promote their ideas to millions of people.

Nice strawman, there; I will now ignore it.

To put it frankly, I don’t care if yet another old rich White man dies due to his own negligence and hubris - I save my concern for people who actually need it.

I cannot be ‘shamed’ into giving a damn about people who only care about themselves.


No, I agree. I hope that people see this and that it convinces them to get vaccinated. Based on the title, the platform, and the comments, it still feels to me like this post is mostly about gloating over someone being taught a hard lesson re: COVID.

Your concern about the tone you perceive is duly noted. Now back to the topic at hand before there’s a further de-rail.


How the fuck did this 61 year old man decide he wasn’t in a high risk category? I mean, even in the absence of any medical conditions, that alone makes him high risk.

I was just reading an article about the families of unvaccinated covid victims, who were urging people to get vaccinated. They were presenting their message as coming from the afflicted, and although the sick can’t speak for themselves (because breathing tubes, etc.), I’d believe it, for the most part. It takes someone who’s extremely in denial to not realize what a mistake they made and still reject the idea they have covid when they’re that sick. There are plenty of those people, too, but it doesn’t sound like he was that far gone. He acknowledged, in the abstract, that there was a problem with covid, even if his notion of relative risks was totally insane.

Yes. And public figures then subsequently dying of covid can go some way to reversing some of that harm. Given that the harm those public figures are causing involves, you know, people actually dying, and their deaths may reduce the number of other people dying, it’s hard to not feel good about the situation, frankly. I don’t feel good about this person dying, but given the choices they previously made and the harm they inflicted, this is the best possible outcome, overall.

He was a talk show host. He had a duty to make sure the information he was disseminating was correct. He obviously did not do so. At all. At best, he didn’t take his information from people who actually knew what they were talking about, at worst he just made some shit up and presented it as fact. Either way, he was an active danger, and now he’s not.


He isn’t a “random schmoe.” He is one of the media figures who was actively spreading the misinformation that is causing people to die needlessly.

Willful ignorance is no excuse here. When you are using your position as a public figure to share information with the public you have a responsibility to ensure that information is accurate. ESPECIALLY in matters of life or death like a global disease pandemic.


“Take politics out of it. It’s time for us to get together and fight this thing collectively”

Oh NOW is the time to take politics out of it? When it was other people dying, that was the time for the politics? Fuck you, you selfish piece of trash.


That’s a strawman if I ever saw one. I don’t see anyone claiming this man deserves to die; I see an acknowledgement that actions have consequences. If a person decides not to get the vaccine, they leave themselves open to infection and possible death. He made his choice, and must now deal with the result.

And I, for one, do see this as a tragedy, in the tiny corner of my heart that hasn’t gone totally cold and dark. Ideally no one should die of this virus, especially now when we have vaccines as a tool to prevent it. I feel for his family and friends, who shouldn’t have to be going through the pain of possibly losing a loved one-- something I know all too well myself.

This is exactly what he was-- he used his platform to set himself up as an authority on the virus, and is responsible for spreading misinformation which may well wind up killing people. I won’t say I have no sympathy, but knowing he took an active role in making the situation worse makes me feel less sympathy than I probably should. But where we give or withhold sympathy is very much a personal choice for each of us, and nobody has the right to dictate how anyone else should feel.

There’s this funny thing called technology these days, that lets us read newspaper articles, watch televised news, and look accurate information up on the internet. Most people have access to one or more of these sources of data, where they can do their own research and come to an informed conclusion. I can’t tell you how much misinformation I’ve seen, but I fact-check what I hear and make my own decisions… based on the science. I could wish he’d chosen to do his own fact-checking, or come to a better conclusion. The responsibility for that is his, and his alone.


I bet this group is also “right to lifers” too


At what point will somebody do a meta-analysis of Republican vs. Democratic ideas/predictions/models/theories to show conclusively that Republicans are almost comically rarely correct, and Democrats are rarely wrong?

COVID, trickle-down economics, CRT, trans issues, bathroom laws, voting rights, gerrymandering, etc., etc., etc., ad nauseum: at some point it should be possible to calibrate a pretty accurate rule-of-thumb model along the lines of, “If a Republican says it, the opposite is literally true.”

EDIT: I can’t believe I forgot GUN CONTROL.


Simple: COVID is a [insert group you don’t like] disease. Just like HIV/AIDS was a “homosexual” disease when it first appeared, people, especially conservatives, thought it wasn’t something they had to worry about. In fact, it was a disease that seemed to actively punish the people they didn’t like.

“I’m not gay, AIDS won’t get me. I’m not a city dwelling liberal, COVID won’t get me. I’m not an inter-city dweller, drug addiction won’t affect me.” It’s easy to ignore the beginning of a crisis if you don’t think it will affect you, until it is too late.

And because “Public Good” doesn’t seem to be in their lexicon, they never learn.

This guy reaped what he sowed. I do believe he deserves what he got; that’s schadenfreude for you. But I can’t decide who gets COVID or not.


I would argue that the Democrats are less wrong, and usually in a less harmful way, but that they are often still wrong. They are merely the lesser of two evils and far from perfect.

Yes, I still feel bitter about the way I was treated by Third Way social liberals 17 years ago when my life was falling apart. Am I supposed to feel grateful because when I ask for a cure to social problems they offer homeopathic solutions, because the alternative is that I would get nothing from Republicans/Tories?

To keep this on topic, the Democrats are mostly right on Covid issues but I’m not willing to extend that to other areas.


Yes… it’s always important to think about the feelings of people who contribute to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people… /s

BTW, Lack of sympathy is not the same thing as mocking someone.


They are the guy in the zombie movie who gets bit and hides that they were bit, convinced that they can handle it.


Sorry, I can’t summon up enough sympathy anymore. He is the reason why I’ve been on house arrest for a year and a half. He is the reason why my poor 5-year-old is developing an anxiety disorder and declining social skills due to being on house arrest for a year and a half. (She’s high risk) He’s the reason why some of my acquaintances died - either from listening to his lies or from being exposed to those who have. He’s the reason why countless of his listeners died - literally a killer.

He deserves every ounce of the suffering he is experiencing.


If I was told “hey, you can cross this street right here, but there’s a 1% chance you’ll die. Maybe even an 0.5% chance,” I wouldn’t take that risk.

Even at 0.5% the chance of survival drops below 50% at the 139th repetition. It’s not the sort of risk one can take routinely.