Fox & Other Right-Wing Media Outlets are Undermining Efforts to Get Americans Vaccinated
Only 45% of Republicans are willing to receive a Covid vaccine compared to 83% of Democrats, according to a recent Gallup poll. There are a variety of reasons for the substantial disparity. Studies have consistently found that Republicans are less trusting of science, the media, and government than Democrats and Independents, and the larger anti-vax movement started gravitating toward the GOP in the last decade. Moreover, Republicans were fed a constant diet of conspiracy theories during the Trump administration and QAnon has jumped on the anti-vax bandwagon in recent months. So, the Gallup poll results are not that surprising.
One might think that conservative media outlets would feel that they have a responsibility to educate their viewers about the importance of getting vaccinated. Think again. Media Matters published an interesting article yesterday concerning Fox News and their "pandering to anti-vaxxers." Their most popular prime-time hosts are undermining efforts to get Americans vaccinated so that we can reopen the economy safely.
Media Matters: "Tucker Carlson regularly dabbles in anti-anti-anti-vaccine commentary, snarling at the “too slick” pro-vaccination campaign as an effort in “social control” by would-be dictators practicing “eugenics.” Laura Ingraham has claimed that vaccination might not be necessary in some places and hosted a guest who warned her audience the drugs were “downright dangerous” and will send you “to your doom.” And Sean Hannity recently opined that he is “beginning to have doubts” about whether he will personally get the vaccine because half of his friends “wouldn’t take it in a million years” and he doesn’t “know who to listen to.”
Of course, Fox isn't the only media outlet helping to spread disinformation. Donald Trump's new favorite, One America News, has "portrayed the coronavirus and its vaccine as part of a “population control” conspiracy by global elites," and Alex Jones's of Infowars recently inferred that the vaccine might cause infertility in women.
Fox News, however, portrays itself as a responsible conservative news outlet. If it wants to be taken seriously, it has a duty to rein in its "opinion journalists" like Hannity and Carlson. Disinformation about the vaccines will cost some Americans their lives and those that spread unfounded rumors will have blood on their hands.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content