Yesterday, after Twitter removed a tweet from Donald Trump hyping a quack who claims doctors make medicine from aliens’ DNA – but who also called hydroxychloroquine a “cure” for coronavirus and claimed masks are unnecessary – Trump’s prime time Fox News squad presented Twitter’s “censorship” as the real problem.
Dr. Stella Immanuel claims that “sexual visitations by demons and alien DNA are at the root of Americans’ common health concerns,” as The Daily Beast’s Will Sommer reported. But, as I wrote in a post for Crooks and Liars yesterday, when challenged on his retweet of a video with this quack, Trump petulantly claimed that she was “very impressive” in the video and that he didn’t know much about her. Then he stalked out of yesterday's "coronavirus briefing."
It proves that Trump really doesn’t care whether he promotes sound medical advice to Americans in the middle of a pandemic and that his real priority is promoting his own anti-medical and unscientific views.
That’s awful enough. But with a choice of providing life-saving information to viewers or backing Trump’s dangerous propaganda, Fox “News” prime time went with Trump and his quack.
Media Matters explained how each of the three prime time hosts painted Trump and Immanuel as the victims, rather than purveyors of potentially life-threatening disinformation:
On Tuesday night, Carlson suggested that while he could not “endorse” Immanuel’s claim about hydroxychloroquine being a “cure” for coronavirus, the real problem was that she had been censored by tech companies and media outlets working to benefit the Democratic Party. He savaged the platforms that removed the video, calling them “toadies” who “did the clean up work” in order to protect Dr. Anthony Fauci, who he described as “a hypocritical buffoon.” He also lashed out at the Daily Beast, falsely claiming the outlet had “attacked Dr. Immanuel for the crime of getting her medical degree in Africa and then suggested she believed in witchcraft because, you know, Africans do that, right?” (For her part, Immanuel praised the Beast report for doing “a great job summarizing our deliverance ministry and exposing incubus and succubus.”)
On Tuesday night, Hannity criticized Twitter for temporarily suspending the account of Donald Trump Jr. after he shared the Immanuel video -- or, as Hannity put it, “he reposted a story touting the benefits of hydroxychloroquine.” The Fox host went on to say, “I think people should decide themselves [whether] they want to believe things or not, and hear and decide -- hear all sides.”
On Tuesday, Ingraham slammed Twitter and Facebook for “censoring anyone now who dares tout potential benefits of hydroxychloroquine,” suggesting that they are “costing lives.” She then hosted Dr. Simone Gold, the leader of the “America’s Frontline Doctors” organization that held the press conference, who told her audience, “The American people have been told that this is just something they need to have a lot of fear and a lot of panic over. And it's simply not true. There's a cure, there's treatment for early COVID disease, and that is hydroxychloroquine and zinc. It's very straightforward. It's easy.” She added that social media platforms have taken down the video because “somebody is really afraid of getting the truth.”
Media Matters noted that Rush Limbaugh "extensively defended" Immanuel.
Tucker Carlson’s assault on medical science, while Americans are sick and dying from the pandemic, follows at least two on-air attempts to endanger Americans. You can watch his latest effort below, from the July 28, 2020 Tucker Carlson Tonight, via Media Matters.
The late, much lamented Mel Brooks would have been green with envy: he’d never have been able to invent such black comedy.