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Howard Kurtz Whitewashes His Network's Anti-Vax Propaganda

Media Buzz host Howard Kurtz did his best to pretend that his network isn't a cesspool full of anti-vax hysteria and propaganda while whining about criticism from other outlets.
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Media Buzz host Howard Kurtz did his best to pretend that his network isn't a cesspool full of anti-vax hysteria and propaganda while whining about criticism from other outlets.

As we've discussed here over and over again and as many others have criticized as well, it really does appear that Fox is just trying to kill off as many of their viewers as humanly possible by scaring them to death over getting vaccinated, although most of the hosts will never admit what they're doing.

KURTZ: It makes for a great liberal narrative. The stalled vaccination program is the fault of right wing media and Fox's rivals are in a frenzy about blaming this network. But there are a lot of voices on Fox News Channel, and many, including me, including the anchors who made a second pro-vaccination PSA, want the tens of millions of holdouts to get the COVID shots and that includes these conservative hosts.

After playing clips of Steve Doocy and Sean Hannity telling viewers to get vaccinated, Alisyn Camerota on CNN praising Hannity, and Ali Velshi on MSNBC saying not to give people like Hannity “too much credit” yet, and for good reason, Kurtz proceeded with this whine-fest over the criticisms of his network.

KURTZ: No, of course, we can't give them too much credit. Look, there are an lot of people, many on the right, who are either hesitant or outright refusing to get these life saving vaccines.

That would be true if Fox went off the air tomorrow. Overcoming their fears and doubts is a complicated problem for the Biden White House and the vitriolic finger pointing isn't helping one bit.

You know what's not helping Howie? Pretending that people like Tucker Carlson, and Laura Ingraham, and Brian Kilmeade who have been some of the worst with pushing this anti-vax propaganda don't exist.

John Culhane at Slate made the case this week for why Fox "news" could be sued for their anti-vax statements. Here's their rundown of some of the segments on Fox that could be used against them in court:

First, the plaintiff has to prove that the defendant made a misstatement of fact, knowing that it was false or with reckless disregard as to whether it was true or false. (“Reckless disregard” means that the defendant did no investigation at all, but just put the statements out there.) Examples of such misstatements on Fox are abundant. Here are a few clips (starting about 50 seconds in) where Carlson and Lara Trump, as a guest on Sean Hannity’s show, say that COVID is really about “social control,” and where Carlson calls the COVID response a “scandal.” Here’s Carlson questioning whether the vaccine works, since those who are vaccinated are still urged to take precautions: “Maybe it doesn’t work, and they’re simply not telling you that.” (This is not how vaccine efficacy works. No immunization is 100 percent effective, so there’s always a small chance of infection, a smaller chance of illness, and an infinitesimally small chance of death even among the fully vaccinated.) Here’s Carlson giving airtime to Alex Berenson, “The Pandemic’s Wrongest Man,” allowing him to spout more nonsense about the vaccine’s supposed lack of efficacy. Want more? Beyond Carlson, here (starting at about 3:21) are some Fox News personalities misrepresenting the door-to-door effort by the Biden administration to educate people and answer their questions about the vaccine. It’s the Taliban! It’s a violation of medical privacy! It’s to force you to take the vaccine! (No, no, and no. The vaccine educators are from the local community; they don’t even work for the government.) These purveyors of misinformation are either lying, or acting in reckless disregard of truth versus falsity by not doing even the most basic research to check out what they’re spewing. And it’s also considered a misrepresentation to state a half-truth, leaving out vital information needed to place a statement in context. That’s exactly the case with Carlson’s mock questioning of the vaccine’s efficacy; it paints a willfully incomplete picture.

Kurtz looks like he's doing preemptive damage control for the lawsuits they may fear are coming.

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