Fox News is struggling to construct a new foundation for the their rightist propaganda network now that they have lost Donald Trump as the deified focus of their cult movement. Not only was Trump humiliated in his decisive loss to Joe Biden, but he is now inextricably bound to the violent insurrection in Washington, D.C. that he provoked through his purposefully inflammatory rhetoric.
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Consequently, Fox News has begun testing noxious strategies to maintain their media campaign of lies and hate in the post-Trump era. Most conspicuous among these trial strategies is their sharp shift from being a knee-jerk, pro-Trump network, to being an anti-Biden dispenser of contrived scandals. Unfortunately for Fox, the best they’ve been able to do so far is catching Biden wearing an expensive wrist watch (OMG!), and feigning offense to his opposition to white supremacy. Yo, Fox… If you’re offended by criticisms of racism, you’re a racist.
On Monday morning Fox News tried out a unique angle on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Host Bill Hemmer and Fox News medical analyst Marc Siegel discussed the subject in terms that typically downplayed the severity of the international health crisis that has already taken the lives of more than 420,000 Americans. Hemmer led off by brazenly lying about the recent surge in infections, hospitalizations, and fatalities (video below):
Hemmer: We were told at Christmas time everybody was gonna be getting together, we were gonna see a major spike. We were told at New Year’s we were gonna see a major spike. I check the New York Times website every morning to watch the number of cases. We’re down 33% on the 24th of January, which is yesterday. We were told it’s going the other way. Deaths are down 5%. Why were we told one thing and the opposite happened?
Siegal: Well, that happens a lot, doesn’t it, Bill? It’s because of fear mongering and we report only the scary news.
This is profoundly dishonest. What Fox News did was to wait until after the surge peaked to report numbers that have plateaued or begun to decline. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t a surge wherein thousands more people died. Fox News is insulting the memory of those souls.
The truth is clear that there was a severe post-holiday surge, and they know it. The increase in cases and deaths was documented and reported in real time by the New York Times that Hemmer claimed to check:
“The anticipated surge following holiday gatherings has now arrived, leading to a stunning number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths rising every day.
“On Tuesday alone, a record 4,327 people in the U.S. died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University. In just the past week, a New York Times tracker showed the seven-day average for deaths rose from about 2,600 per day to about 3,300. And the numbers keep climbing.”
What could be the incentive of Fox News to spread such blatant disinformation? They no longer have to back up Trump’s lies. There isn’t any ratings benefit to underreporting the statistics. There is no rational motivation for this deliberate misreporting. All it does is give their viewers a false sense of security that will lull them into complacency and make them more likely to contract the disease. is that what Fox News wants?
Well, let’s take a look at Fox’s history on this matter. Last June the Washington Post reported that three separate studies concluded that watching Fox News increased coronavirus fatalities:
“In recent weeks, three studies have focused on conservative media’s role in fostering confusion about the seriousness of the coronavirus. Taken together, they paint a picture of a media ecosystem that amplifies misinformation, entertains conspiracy theories and discourages audiences from taking concrete steps to protect themselves and others.”
Another study by the University of Chicago was more specific in naming Fox’s Sean Hannity as a COVID-19 super-spreader. It found that “Fox viewers who watched Hannity … had higher local rates of infection and death.”
This is a pattern of deception that suggests that Fox News either doesn’t care at all about the well being of their viewers, or that they have some sort of sick vendetta against. Why would Fox want to kill off their own audience? That same question could be asked of Trump with regard to killing off his supporters. None of it makes sense. It’s just the grotesque behavior of sociopaths with an agenda that is only known to them. But the rest of us need to steer clear of these wackos and work to shut down their lie factories.
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Fox News is pretending that there was no post-holiday coronavirus surge. Are they deliberately trying to kill more people? (spoiler: YES!)pic.twitter.com/s52iqyliSB
— Nooz Viktim (@noozvk) January 25, 2021
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.