The Risk to Fox News Viewers

On Fox News, suddenly a very different tune about the coronavirus

Source: Washington Post




What a difference a month makes.

Watch the video above, and this conclusion becomes inescapable: Fox News is a relentless propaganda outlet, more similar to North Korean State-run media than to the traditional CBS Walter Cronkite school in America. It was created by Roger Ailes, who recognized that the free press played a major role in the turn of public opinion against Richard Nixon, leading to his impeachment. Ailes was a media advisor to that soon to be disgraced president.

When he created Fox News, Ailes was determined to not let that happen again. He realized that the key to insulating political allies from free press scrutiny would be to create an alternative news world of spin, partisan support, and outright propaganda. Fox News is the fulfillment of Ailes’ vision. He insulated whoever is President from the meddling of the media. It is as if he believed the press were those pesky kids from Scooby Doo.

Which brings us to the global pandemic.

Fox hosts all downplayed the risks of Covid-19, calling it a “hoax,” a “media frenzy,” and a “new attempt to impeach” the president. All the while, the contagion was spreading throughout the nation. It is now in all 50 states, and is likely to affect millions of Americans. World Health Organization (WHO) declared this to be a pandemic; some estimates are for a 40-70% infection rate. Countries that downplayed it like Italy and the USA are likely to see higher infection rates; More pro-active countries like South Korea — they have been aggressively testing the population — will be on the lower end of the scale.

Tucker Carlson — not usually the voice of reason — recognized before the rest of his network that they were creating a “Clear & Present Danger” to their own viewers. He apparently convinced President Trump to recognize this as the national emergency a few days ago:

“It has been a complicated dance for a network whose hosts are among Trump’s most ardent boosters and defenders — an increasingly challenging position to take as the crisis grew in magnitude. Trump, meanwhile, has long looked to Fox News and its personalities for guidance and approval, a dynamic that may have been pivotal this week after host Tucker Carlson reportedly visited with the president in person to urge him to take the coronavirus seriously.”

That is nothing short of astonishing.

When historians look back at this decades from now, some aspiring grad student will pull together a study with epidemiologists, statisticians medial analysts and social scientists, to figure out exactly what the impact was from a weeks and weeks of reckless, irresponsible propaganda was on the Fox audience — that skews older, less informed (misinformed) with a lower degree of education, than the country at large. Don’t be surprised if they determine that Fox News viewers have very different Covid-19 infection and mortality rates than non-viewers.

It is so important that you consume news & information from trustworthy sources.  Avoiding misinformation today is literally matter of life and death. Only rely on experienced, trusted, valid sources.

Fox News has never been one of them.




UPDATE: March 23, 2020

The Lincoln Project has a new video pointing out Fox News consistently reports lies and reports unverified information as fact. Their “coverage” of Covid19 has revealed just how low they are willing to go to remain in Trump’s good graces. They likely ended up killing some of their own viewers.


On Fox News, suddenly a very different tune about the coronavirus
By Paul Farhi and Sarah Ellison
March 16, 2020


America’s Fox News Problem (July 4, 2018)

Re-Engineer Your Media Diet (February 2, 2017)

More Noise & Less Signal (November 9, 2013)

More Signal, Less Noise (October 25, 2013)

News, Media and Investing


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