Science surrounding COVID-19 has been undermined by personalities on Fox News some 547 times in the last 13 weeks alone, according to new research conducted by progressive media watchdog group Media Matters for America.
Laura Ingraham’s “Ingraham Angle” show was the worst offender with 59 cases since Jan. 25, the group said in a report released this week.
Widely watched morning show “Fox & Friends” accounted for 57 instances, “Fox News Primetime” for 44 and Tucker Carlson’s prime-time “Tucker Carlson Tonight” slot recorded 34 cases.
The watchdog group said some 325 segments on Fox’s news and opinion shows saw the politicization or dismissal of health measures or coronavirus data; the unfair criticism of health officials; the undermining of the vaccines; or the misrepresentation of basic facts about the virus.
Only last week, Carlson called former President Barack Obama a “creepy old guy” for releasing a video encouraging over 16s to receive the jab. Carlson, 51, is just eight years younger than Obama.
They are also at odds with Rupert Murdoch, the 90-year-old owner of Fox News who not only received the vaccine but has also encouraged others to get it and has lavished praise on “the amazing scientists” who developed the shot.
Ingraham, meanwhile, in March urged viewers to ditch face masks and “move on” from the pandemic — even as it was still killing hundreds of Americans every day.
Sean Hannity was not mentioned in the report. But he too has faced criticism for his public dithering and on-air declaration that he was “beginning to have doubts” about getting the shot.
“Fox’s misinformation campaign against coronavirus science is not just a disservice to its viewership,” the watchdog said in its report, noting how “months of misleading coverage and outright false statements” serves “to dissuade Americans from getting immunized and following basic CDC guidance, such as wearing masks, social distancing, and limiting gatherings ― all measures necessary to get the country out of this pandemic.”
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