Fox News has been spreading the dangerous idea that vaccines are linked to autism, which is completely false.
“If we had had the opposition for vaccinations that we’re seeing on some media, I don’t believe it would have been feasible to not just eliminate smallpox, but we definitely would still have smallpox and we probably would still have polio in this country,” Fauci said. “If we had the sort of misleading information that’s being disseminated today, if we had it back decades ago, I’m sure we’d still have polio in this country,” the nation’s top infectious disease expert said.
There’s little doubt that Fox News has been providing dangerously false information regarding the Covid vaccination and its implementation by the Biden administration to its audience, which includes almost 60% of the high-risk over-65 age group. According to a study published Friday by the leftist media watchdog organization Media Matters, the bulk of Fox News’ vaccine-related programs broadcast in the last two weeks “repeatedly fearmongering about and downplaying the necessity for ongoing vaccination efforts.”
According to Media Matters, “Fox News broadcast 129 programs on coronavirus vaccines between June 28 and July 11.” 57 percent of them contained statements that undercut or minimized vaccination efforts.
“Fourty-five percent of programs contained statements indicating that the vaccination push is coercive or that it reflects government overreach,” according to Media Matters. One of the numerous examples mentioned came from Tucker Carlson’s program on July 8th, when he said that if you don’t get the vaccination, “you’ll end up on a government list.” Even worse, on her July 12 program, ardent Trump supporter Jeanine Pirro claimed recklessly that the Biden administration’s door-to-door vaccination push was ultimately “about seizing your gun.”
Worse, according to Media Matters, “37% of programs contained statements indicating vaccinations are unneeded or harmful.” Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham, for example, promoted “natural immunity” over the Covid vaccination on her program last week.
Surprisingly, the misinformation campaign spearheaded by Fox News’ opinion presenters and guests is taking place at a time when our country is witnessing a worrisome increase of Covid cases, particularly among those who have not been vaccinated. “This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said on Friday. “We are seeing outbreaks of cases in areas of the country where vaccination coverage is poor because unvaccinated individuals are at danger,” she said, “while fully vaccinated populations are usually faring well.”
It’s difficult to imagine Fox News anchors are unaware of this. After all, they work for a “news” organization. However, as CNN has documented, Fox programs are a major source of anti-vaccine misinformation for their audience.
Only one question remains: Why?
The apparent reason is that many Fox News analysts think that undermining the Biden administration’s vaccination efforts would help Republicans win the 2022 midterm elections, and perhaps even Donald Trump if he runs in 2024. Biden may face electoral harm if the economy suffers or if companies are forced to shut again to control the infection.
Callers to my SiriusXM program this week had a resounding affirmation of this sentiment. It’s also my point of view. To be clear, no one is implying that the Fox news presenters are deliberately hoping that people would get sick or die as a result of Covid. Rather, they appear unconcerned about who gets ill in order to accomplish their objective of damaging Biden politically.
This approach is also in line with the network’s business model, which caters to a pro-GOP, pro-Trump demographic. The crowd enjoys slamming Biden on any and all issues.
As early as March 2020, Fox’s political attitude to the epidemic was evident. As the epidemic spread, Sean Hannity foolishly informed his Fox News viewers that the virus was just the Democrats’ method of “bludgeoning President Trump.” The same individuals that shouted were the ones who screamed, according to Hannity “Russia, Russia, Russia. Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine. “Impeach, impeach,” they’re yelling now, “and corona, corona.””
After a few weeks, the network made a public U-turn and started to take the infection seriously. So, why hasn’t Fox News’ senior brass put a halt to the current vaccination disinformation campaign? It’s difficult to see the quiet as anything other than a calculated political move.
There are a slew of other topics for Fox News to pursue against the Biden administration and Democrats that do not include deceiving Americans about a vaccination that may save their lives or the lives of their loved ones. And the news executives must be aware of this.
“Have you no shame?” Biden challenged Republicans last week in an emotional address against the GOP’s assault on our democracy, which Fox News was the only major cable news network not to broadcast live. While some Fox commentators recognize the benefits of vaccinations, Biden’s inquiry should be directed at Fox News presenters and executives who are actively promoting vaccine doubt. Their track record indicates that the answer is no, that they are solely interested in harming Democrats and assisting Republicans, even if it means more Americans are murdered by Covid.