Fox News has been on a campaign to assure that as many Americans as possible get sick and die from COVID-19 for the better part of a year. They have devotedly supported Donald Trump’s aggressively idiotic positions, including the promotion of fake cures like hydroxychloroquine and bleach. They have downplayed the severity of the illness as being comparable to the common flu. (See also RAGE, by Bob Woodward). And, sadly, they have had some success at persuading their pitifully gullible viewers that the pandemic is a hoax.
As a result, studies have shown that watching Fox News actually increases coronavirus fatalities. And no one on Fox has contributed more to the deliberate harm than the network’s Senior Pro-COVID Correspondent, Tucker Carlson. Among his recent oral atrocities are conspiratorial assertions that the vaccine “doesn’t work and they’re simply not telling you that.” He also commanded his dimwitted viewers to call the police to report parents who made their children wear face masks as child abusers.
On Monday night Carlson escalated the crazy in a tirade against vaccines and anyone who advocated getting them. What triggered Carlson this time was new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) making everyone 16 years and older eligible for vaccinations. Responsible media and public figures conveyed that message to the nation. And that was something that Carlson just couldn’t tolerate:
“NBC News is now running – you may have seen these PSAs – public service announcements with its on-air talent – demanding that everyone in the country get the shot. Barack Obama just released this creepy little video telling small children to get the shot.
‘Hi everybody. It’s Barack. Now that every American over the age of 16 is eligible to get the vaccine, I want to talk about you getting your. The vaccine is safe, it’s effective, it’s free. I got one. Michelle got one.. People you know got one.. And now you can got one too. It’s the only way we can get back to all the things we love. From safely spending time with grandparents, to going to concerts and watching live sports. So get the vaccine as soon as you can.’
“Some creepy old guy telling your children, your little kids to take medicine whose effects we do not fully understand. Totally normal. Yeah, that happens every day. Don’t ask questions. Just do it. As CNN explained just recently, ‘We’re not getting our freedom back until you do.'”
— MeidasTouch.com (@MeidasTouch) May 4, 2021
First of all, nobody is “demanding that everyone in the country get the shot.” That’s Carlson’s patently dishonest way of fostering irrational fears of tyrannical overlords. Certainly Obama didn’t demand anything. He calmly presented his personal advice about a vaccine that is safe, effective, and will save lives.
So naturally Carlson jumped into a vat of angry bombast to malign Obama as a “creepy old guy,” purposely insinuating the mental image of a child molester. And he repeated his scare mongering that a vaccine that more than 100 million Americans have already received is dangerous and untested.
Later in the segment Carlson complained that The View’s Sunny Hostin had made race an issue when she noted correctly that 45% of white evangelicals and nearly 50% of Republicans were resistant to vaccines. Carlson, as Fox’s most prominent white nationalist, routinely makes race an issue no matter what the subject might be (see his advocacy of the “white replacement theory“).
Whenever Carlson unleashes his bitter, hateful, and ignorant harangues, we must remember that Fox News defended him in a defamation lawsuit by arguing – successfully – that he couldn’t possibly be guilty because “no reasonable person” would take him seriously. The problem is that his viewers are not reasonable and they take his word as gospel. And in matters involving the mitigation of a deadly pandemic, that makes life more perilous for everybody.
For that reason – as well as his rancid racism – Carlson should be banished from TV and public life. Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch are ultimately responsible for perpetuating this horror show. And they must be held accountable if they fail to act.
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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.