Fox News Warns Their Employees About COVID-19, While Lying to Their Viewers

After nearly two months of rapidly growing infection rates, anxiety, and fatalities, Donald Trump has finally declared a national emergency due to COVID-19 (the coronavirus). This declaration is both an acknowledgement that the problem is far more serious than he has previously let on, and an inadvertent confession that he was wrong to trivialize the all too apparent risks in the first place.

Donald Trump, Fox News, Fake

However, Trump’s press conference continued to paint an unrealistically rosy scenario wherein everything would soon be fine due to the “perfectly” implemented response by his administration. Trump spent much of the presser praising himself and falsely smearing his predecessor, President Obama. Never mind that the Obama administration quickly declared a health emergency at the outset of the H1N1 (swine Flu) virus, and tested a million Americans the first month. It’s been two months since the first reported case of COVID-19, but Trump just got around to declaring an emergency and only about 10,000 Americans have been tested.

RELATED: Trump’s Flagrant Coronavirus Lies Are Turning His Supporters Into Carriers

The coverage of Trump’s declaration by his State TV news outlet (aka Fox News) was predictably sparkling with unflinching adoration and praise. This required a significant turnabout in their editorial stance considering that Fox News had been staunchly supporting Trump’s prior insistence that the coronavirus wasn’t a really a problem at all. For weeks Trump lied (video below) about there being only a handful of cases and that the number was going down. He assured the public that the whole thing would miraculously disappear in short order. And Fox News backed him up a hundred percent. But now that Trump has conceded that this situation requires an emergency declaration, Fox News has flipped their position in tandem with the President’s.

That position, however, is confusing, and perhaps deliberately so. While Trump did declare a national emergency, he continued to speak optimistically about how quickly his “flawless” management of the crisis would result in its timely conclusion. In other words, there is still nothing to worry about. Naturally, Fox News parroted that positivity. On many of its programs the slant was toward how confident the American people should be that Trump would would guide us all to safety. There was little of the caution that the rest of the media is encouraging.

For instance, Fox and Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt told viewers that “It’s actually the safest time to fly.” This, while medical experts are advising people to avoid non-essential travel such as long plane trips. And that’s especially true for those over 65, which is the bulk of Fox’s audience. Additionally, Trish Regan said that it’s all a Democratic hoax to impeach the President. That’s similar to Trump’s “shadow” chief of staff Sean Hannity’s take that pegged Democrats as the real threat, rather than the virus:

“Since the beginning, all they’ve done is use the virus, politicize the virus to bludgeon President Trump. All the same people who have done the same thing for three straight years. … Russia, Russia. Ukraine, Ukraine. And impeach, impeach. Now, corona, corona.”

What’s most disturbing about this is that, while Fox News is virtually encouraging risky behavior for their viewers, they are giving completely different advice to their employees. A memo that was sent by Fox’s CEO Suzanne Scott and president Jay Wallace told staffers to…

“…cut back on studio bookings and to expect possible programming changes as a result of precautions being taken against the spread of coronavirus.”

And furthermore…

“Fox News told producers and bookers to rely more on remote interviews or interviews conducted via Skype; to cancel all in-person meetings; and to limit vendors for entering the building. Earlier this week, Fox News canceled the in-studio audience for its ‘Greg Gutfeld Show’ on Saturday nights and said it would stop doing a live-audience show for ‘Fox & Friends’ that had been taking place about once every month.”

That’s good advice that is consistent with the guidance given by medical experts. Many companies are instituting similar precautions. But while that’s good enough for the Fox staffers, it isn’t what Fox is telling their own viewers. And that isn’t just the view of outsiders and critics of the network. A Fox producer told CNN’s Brian Stelter that…

“The attempt to deflect and blame the media and Democrats from Trish Regan, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Lou Dobbs, Jesse Watters, and Greg Gutfeld — instead of addressing the coronavirus — is really irresponsible and hazardous to our viewers.”

The stark difference between Fox’s internal personnel guidance and their editorial policy is indicative of their political biases. It also demonstrates that their concerns for their audience (which is largely made up of vulnerable seniors) is focused more on pro-Trump propaganda and advancing his reelection prospects, than on protecting their health and welfare. Which, not surprisingly, is exactly what Trump himself is focused on. That’s why he has failed to implement broad-based testing and continues to understate the still very serious risks.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.


6 thoughts on “Fox News Warns Their Employees About COVID-19, While Lying to Their Viewers

  1. “The attempt to deflect and blame the media and Democrats from Trish Regan, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Lou Dobbs, Jesse Watters, and Greg Gutfeld — instead of addressing the coronavirus — is really irresponsible and hazardous to our viewers.”

    Never mind, of course, that “deflect and blame the media and Democrats” perfectly describes Fucks Spews policy….

    • “Kali!”? You’re here! Missed your wit & wisdom…? Was afraid you may be ill – hope not! I’ve been staying 5 dys each week at a place where my phone doesn’t have service, so try to play quick catch-up on my best news sites on the 2 days week I am home. This site being 1st one I always check to see what I missed during each week. (Thanx Mark!?)
      Smiled to see your name here today. ??

      • My smile faces show up as “??” instead…oops!

  2. “What’s most disturbing about this is that, while Fox News is virtually encouraging risky behavior for their viewers, they are giving completely different advice to their employees. ”

    That IS most disturbing! So is the fact that they are allowed to call themselves a “news channel” & yet, bear ZERO responsibility to actually report real & truthful news! They are no more than a propaganda talk show for the very right-wing element in politics & far too often LIE to their viewers, claiming to report real & actual news, when that’s not the truth at all & they know it. But, their viewers DON’T know that & most think they are getting the day’s news. Now, that’s normal for despotic nations, like N. Korea. It’s NOT right, nor acceptable, in a free country with a “free press”! So, can anyone start a news channel & proceed to just outright lie about what is really happening in the USA & elsewhere? Have we NO rules, no laws, that say if you claim to be a “NEWS” channel then you must report factual news & save propaganda bullshit for opinion shows & label them as such? Apparently, we do not! And FauxNews takes it a step further — constantly claiming to be the ONLY honest news channel, when they’re actually the furthest thing from it!
    Maybe Bloomberg & Tom Steyer can pool their resources & buy a major news network that only reports FACTUAL NEWS — facts WITH THE EVIDENCE to back it up, right there in the news reports.
    (Or, can really piss off the far right spin machine of lies & liars by doing same kind of “news” that FauxNews spews 24/7? LOL – just watch how fast Fox & the far right wingers start squealing like stuck pigs about how Congress must put a stop to that!) Of course, I don’t advocate anyone lying! Used to be, that during an opinion piece on newscast there was disclaimer in corner of screen telling viewers it was “commentary” on the news.
    We need to re-define news … It’s dangerous to allow the 1 to be so biased & able to lie – to falsely pretend to be actual news, while calling fact-based news outlets ‘liars’. People trust that our news has rules/regs they must follow. (No.)
    When it comes to lying with forked tongue, accusing others of same, doing all kinds of dirty deeds to deceive people on matters of importance, there really is just 1 powerful party who does such things with impunity & w\o any moral compass. Same 1 always accusing others, w/o any proof to back it up. Truth can be proven. Lies, only bring more lies.
    With a president that lies about all things, big & small, it would take an entire news channel to dispute all the lies we’re fed daily by Trump & friends. News media not doing their job anymore, to hold officials accountable to the people. Us!
    As we can see, even when lives are at stake, we have a prez who does not care, & FauxNews to amplify & spread his lies, also not caring who dies from it. And for 1st time perhaps, there’s no one in charge brave enuff to stand up & holler, “They are lying to you! Don’t believe them!”
    And if there was, would anyone even listen??

  3. This is all quite sickening… In this day and age of the internet.. the fact that a ‘trusted’ “news” channel can spew such outrageous lies to their viewers as they themselves take every precaution that other news channels strongly advise!! How do the so called “reporters” sleep at night? Where is their passion for the truth? Where is their integrity? Where is their ‘sworn duty to report truth to the American public’… Does Fox News have a prerequisite in the employee handbook?…. To work at Fox News, you must be willing to lie to the American public’ at all times, while we will make sure that, you as an employee, will be protected, we expect you to lie to the Nation. You, as an employee, will be kept safe and be given all of the correct information, so long as you NEVER share the truth with the American public’, as we need them to believe the lies that our President spews… As a Fox News employee you must repeat to yourself 185 times a day, the words “Trump is always right, Trump will never truly ‘lie’ to the American people” and then once off air, do the exact opposite of what he says and what we as a ‘news channel’s reports”. But don’t worry, you will be paid a fuck ton of money to sell your soul, so you can all sleep soundly in your million dollar homes while the rest of America suffers from our inaptitude and complete disregard for a human life”…. Welcome to Fox News, you complete piece of shit.

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