At a time when Americans need as much information as possible in the midst of a pandemic, Fox News continues to spew so much misinformation and propaganda that the Washington Post is calling them out for being reckless.
The coronavirus is a highly contagious disease that has the ability to infect a large swath of the population and kill thousands. Thus far, there are 2,500 reported cases in the United States and 55 deaths.
President Donald Trump’s response to the pandemic has only made things worse, causing mass panic and an economic downturn as health professionals struggle to get the tools they need to slow the epidemic and defeat it.
Instead, Trump has claimed the virus is a “hoax” and that it’s not something to be taken seriously. He also silenced health officials so that he could more easily spread his propaganda about the virus.
And Fox News has repeatedly helped him do it, from lavishing him with praise he doesn’t deserve to trying to blame Democrats.
After weeks of this, the Washington Post‘s Eric Wemple slammed the network, taking particular aim at Sean Hannity in addition to several other hosts.
“Moments of actual news coverage relating to the coronavirus at Fox News don’t receive much attention these days,” he wrote. “The work of chief Trump propagandist Sean Hannity and other network opinion mongers speaks much louder.”
He also pointed out that the hard news parts of the network are being drowned out by opinion hosts who have nothing of value to offer and are more dangerous than ever.
“Such stupid and dangerous commentary often contradicts, upends or grinds against the reporting on many other hours at the network,” Wemple continued. “During Fox News’s so-called straight news hours — ‘so-called’ because they occasionally succumb to the network’s tilt — hosts and correspondents have been cycling through coronavirus updates with the sort of professionalism and thoroughness of a news network.”
He then warned that Fox News viewers are a public health threat.
“Every viewer who trusts the words of Earhardt or Hannity or Regan could well become a walking, breathing, droplet-spewing threat to the public,” Wemple concluded. “It’s a wonder that Fox News doesn’t erupt in a journalistic civil war, such is the discrepancy between its sane and insane programming.”
This is a strong condemnation of Fox News, which would rather spend its time defending and sucking up to Trump instead of informing viewers with accurate information so they can protect themselves and their loved ones from a nasty virus that should be taken seriously.
Only by reinstating the Fairness Doctrine can we reign in Fox News. Until then, we can only expect the network to keep pushing falsehoods and right-wing propaganda that makes people less safe. Coronavirus is a national security threat, so by misinforming people about it, that makes Fox News a national security threat as well.
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