Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy is pretending not to know that his own network politicized facemasks before becoming pro-facemask.
On this morning’s Fox & Friends, Doocy promoted mask wearing with guest and medical contributor Dr. Janette Nesheiwat. In his opening for the discussion, Doocy said, “For some reason, over the last couple of weeks, a month, masks have become political. But the science of masks is not.”
Not even Doocy can be so stupid that he didn’t notice how his own network has politicized them. As The Daily Beast pointed out,
Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., Fox News hosts and guests have repeatedly criticized face coverings—either by openly mocking them or by claiming mandated mask-wearing is an infringement on personal freedom, particularly by Democratic officials eager to control the population.
Here are some examples from our own coverage:
On May 18, Doocy’s own Fox & Friends presented two gym owners defying New Jersey’s shutdown order as heroes for freedom. One of the proprietors told Fox’s Pete Hegseth, “I don’t think that anybody should have to wear a mask if they don’t choose to do so, just as if you don’t have to come to our gym or go to any other small business. If you want to go get your hair cut you, as an American, should have the right to do that.” A crowd cheered its approval.
A maskless Hegseth signaled his approval, too. “It’s all about freedom, it’s about choice,” he said.
When White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany visited the show, on June 18, Doocy expressed apprehension about Donald Trump’s upcoming Tulsa rally being “pretty much packed” indoors without saying a word about the fact that masks would not be required.
On April 15, Tucker Carlson aired footage of a Michigan shutdown protest that showed many going maskless. Carlson thanked one of the organizers, saying, “Thank you for coming on tonight, and thank you for exercising your constitutionally protected rights as an American. Bless you.” In that same protest, the unmasked mob stormed the capitol, disregarded social distancing and got in the faces of security workers, thus potentially threatening the lives of everyone involved, without any concern from Carlson.
When Joe Biden wore a mask, Brit Hume ridiculed him: Biden, “like anybody else wearing a mask, looked ridiculous,” Hume told host Martha MacCallum. “He didn’t really need to wear a mask.” Hume also signaled his approval of Trump going mask-free: “I don’t think it makes much of an example to wear a mask where, in a situation where nearly all the data we have indicated that it’s not necessary. And on top of that, it looks absurd.”
The Daily Beast has more:
During an April 24 broadcast of Hannity, for instance, guest host Mike Huckabee and Fox News contributor Trey Gowdy—both former Republican elected officials—groused about a then-new Houston mandate that would fine residents up to $1,000 if they didn’t wear a mask in public, calling it an example of local government “trampling the constitutional rights of American citizens.”
“Is this a threat to the long-term life and liberty of the United States and its people?” Huckabee wondered aloud about state and local coronavirus restrictions, prompting Gowdy to make an over-the-top observation about such fines.
“So, if I'm going to imprison you or fine you for not wearing a mask, why can’t I hold you down and vaccinate you against the flu this fall?” Gowdy grumbled. “I mean, you don’t want the flu and COVID-19, so can I involuntarily vaccinate you?”
The former congressman went on to compare the possibility of a fine to states giving prisoners early releases due to the pandemic, claiming that you could “go to jail for not wearing a mask but if you kill four dozen women, because of COVID-19, we might let you out.”
I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that Doocy’s change of heart, echoed by others at Fox, comes after a Fox poll showed the overwhelming majority of Americans, including Trump fans, support wearing facemasks.
Doocy closed out the discussion with Nesheiwat by saying, “I think what I've learned in this particular segment, Doctor, is wear a mask.”
If Doocy just learned that, he’s either stupider than I thought or more dishonest – or both.
You can watch Doocy whitewash Fox News history below, from the July 3, 2020 Fox & Friends, via Media Matters.
(H/T reader Eric Jefferson)