The COVID pandemic in America is surging again thanks to the Omicron variant that began circulating a few weeks ago. And the Omicron variant began circulating thanks, in large part, to Fox News. The network has been the most significant purveyor of coronavirus disinformation which has resulted in studies showing that viewers of Fox News, along with supporters of Donald Trump, “have seen much lower vaccination rates and much higher death rates from COVID.”
The fact that watching Fox News is decidedly more life threatening than watching other news networks has not gone unnoticed at Fox. Unfortunately, they just regard it as a liberal media hoax and whine when they are righteously called out on it. Last week Fox News did a segment seething with hostility toward MSNBC's Joy Reid because she accurately reported that Fox is killing off their own audience. This week it's Rachel Maddow's turn to be the victim of Fox's misplaced fury. They posted an article on their website asserting that…
“Social media users demanded apologies from Rachel Maddow and MSNBC over the liberal host's insistence in March that the COVID-19 vaccine stops the virus dead in its tracks and prevents further transmission.
“'Now we know that the vaccines work well enough that the virus stops with every vaccinated person,' Maddow said on her show the evening of March 29, 2021. […] 'The vaccines,” she said, 'will get us to the end of this.'”
The gist of the article was a specious criticism that Maddow was mistaken when she reported that getting vaccinated was the best protection from the virus and would eventually lead to a return to normalcy. But she was right. And in her unedited commentary Maddow correctly noted that if enough of the population were vaccinated, the pandemic could be brought under control:
“Instead of the virus being able to hop from person to person to person, potentially mutating and becoming more drug resistant along the way, now we know that the vaccines work well enough that the virus stops with every vaccinated person. A vaccinated person gets exposed to the virus, the virus does not infect them. The virus cannot then use that person to go anywhere else. It cannot use a vaccinated person as a host to go get more people. That means the vaccines will get us to the end of this, if we just go fast enough.”
Naturally, Fox News deliberately misinterpreted Maddow's remarks. Their dishonest spin contends that she was saying that merely the existence of the vaccines would eradicate the virus. But she clearly stated that in order for the virus to be defeated, people would have to avail themselves of the vaccine, and to do so quickly. Only then would the virus be prevented from spreading and mutating.
These comments, which Maddow made nine months ago, prior to the emergence of the Omicron variant, have proved to be impressively accurate. As noted above, Fox News was instrumental in discouraging people from getting vaccinated. So they are directly responsible for creating an environment within which the virus could evolve into a form that is better able to evade the protection of the vaccines. In short, the reason we haven't gotten past this is the purposeful lies and misguidance of Fox News.
That makes this article attacking Maddow all the more despicable. It's Fox News battering Maddow for their own fatally bad conduct. And even the article's principle claim that “Social media users demanded apologies from Rachel Maddow and MSNBC,” is brazenly biased and dishonest. They would have been more correct had they referred to “right-wing social media,” because every example they posted was a tweet by a conservative media figure:
- Clay Travis, right-wing radio host who replaced Rush Limbaugh said…
“It’s wild how there are no consequences for all these vaccine lies. If you wonder why many are skeptical of the covid “vaccine” it’s because they remember what they were told about how effective the vaccine was. All that Rachel Maddow says here is untrue.”
- Dave Rubin, right-wing YouTuber said…
“But she was so sure of it as she read the script off the teleprompter!”
- Rachel Campos-Duffy, Fox News host said…
“Will she retract her statement and apologize?”
- Matt Birk, retired football player who thinks the CEO of Delta is more qualified than Dr. Fauci to shape public health policy said…
“I’m sure she’s admitted that she was 100% wrong. After all, she’s part of the media and they have an obligation to the truth.”
- John Dennis, Republican politician who unsuccessfully challenged Nancy Pelosi said…
“@maddow, you owe an update to this video, don't you think?”
- Moms for Liberty, right-wing Twitter trolls said…
“Declared with such certainty. Our children have suffered because of the hubris of media. #UNMASKOURCHILDREN.”
As usual, Fox News provides only one side of the story – the moronic side. It's what they do. And don't expect them to apologize for maligning Maddow and MSNBC, because that would require that they have some some integrity and journalistic ethics.
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