For a network that has been bleeding viewers for the past four months, you might think that Fox News wouldn’t want to see their audience shrink any further. Especially not due to viewers dying off from a deadly pandemic that they helped to exacerbate. But you would be wrong.
On Monday night the Chief Fox News Anti-Vaxxer and Pandemic Promoter, Tucker Carlson, demonstrated just how determined he is to kill off as many of his dimwitted viewers as possible. He ran another in his series of coronavirus disinformation segments whose only plausible purpose is to convince his audience to ignore common sense health guidelines that preserve life. But then, Fox News has been doing that for nearly a year now.
Carlson began by dismissing the settled science that social distancing effectively mitigates the opportunities for viral transmission. He attributed that advice to a 19th century biologist whose work has been validated repeatedly in the intervening years but, according to Carlson, should be rejected just because it’s old (aka time-tested). Then Carlson got to the meat of his mendacious monologue that aimed to cast doubts on the efficacy of COVID vaccinations:
“This should prompt some pretty tough questions for our public health experts in this country. And one of those questions is: How effective is this coronavirus vaccine? How necessary is it to take the vaccine? Don’t dismiss those questions from anti-vaxxers. Don’t kick people off social media for asking them. Answer the questions. Especially now that the administration would like you to take this vaccine. As Joe Biden told you last week, you can’t celebrate the Fourth of July if you don’t.”
These questions Tucker thinks you aren't allowed to ask are literally just a google search away, theres so many answers to these questions available on the computer you keep in your pocket pic.twitter.com/kcnTVciA6O
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) March 16, 2021
So Carlson is only “asking questions.” Never mind that these are questions that have been answered a thousand times by experts with far more credibility on the subject than a fatuous Fox Newser. All the evidence shows that the vaccines currently in use in the United States are safe and effective and critical to saving lives and returning to some degree of normality.
Still, in Carlson’s world the utterly disreputable, conspiracy-minded, anti-vaxxers must be paid attention to despite their having been exposed as crackpots long ago. What’s more, Carlson is joining his Fox confederates in distorting President Biden’s hopeful message of defeating the virus and safely enjoying gatherings with friends and family. The Foxies twisted that into an authoritarian dictate to submit to mandatory vaccination.
That ludicrous interpretation, however, exists only in the biases of right-wing deceivers like Carlson. It’s just another purposeful misstatement of fact that poisons the minds of his viewers. The result of those lies has produced a subculture of ignorance. Carlson noted that…
“When you look at the vaccination rates in certain states, it’s pretty clear that some people are not taking the vaccine on purpose.”
What Carlson isn’t mentioning is that the people he’s talking about are his own viewers who he has been lying to for months, along with others on Fox News and Donald Trump. Of course they’re skeptical. And their skepticism is fueling dangerous behavior that will surely result in more fatalities. According to a recent poll…
“Nearly half of Republican men — 49% — say they won’t choose to be vaccinated if a vaccine is available to them […] Among those who said they supported Trump in 2020, 47% said they wouldn’t choose to be vaccinated. […] In contrast, 6% of Democratic men and 10% of Biden supporters said they wouldn’t get the shot. 25% of Black respondents, 28% of white respondents and 37% of Latino respondents said the same.
UPDATE: Late Tuesday Trump finally recommended that people get vaccinated (two months after he did, secretly).
What’s peculiar is that the vaccines that Carlson is maligning and portraying as unexamined and unnecessary are the same ones that Trump is now trying to take credit for. They’re the same ones that his boss, Rupert Murdoch, was vaccinated with way back in December. So since Carlson is so fond of asking questions, here a few for him:
Are you disputing your employer who clearly isn’t worried about the vaccine? Are you contradicting Trump, your political Messiah? Do you disagree with the doctors who are universally supportive of the vaccines and the science validating them? Do you really think people and society will be better off refusing to get vaccinated? Or do you just not give a damn how many people you kill? I’m just asking.
UPDATE: MSNBC’s Ari Melber did a segment on this with a supercut of Fox News shills saying how great the vaccine was when Trump was still in office.
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How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.