An article by The Daily Beast includes the startling admission that Fox’s attacks on COVID public safety measures are “great for ratings” and get viewers “more excited or engaged” than just about any other topic.
The revelation appears in an article called, “GOP Launches Fundraising Frenzy Off Biden Vax Mandates.” Several paragraphs in, authors Roger Sollenberger and Asawin Suebsaeng let drop that Fox is doing its own fundraising off the matter. I'm sure it doesn't hurt that Fox sees it as good for their politics, too.
One Fox News insider succinctly described the anti-COVID-mandate segments and vaccine-resistant commentary as “great for ratings.” Another current Fox employee said the numbers clearly demonstrated that there are vanishingly fewer subjects these days that get “our viewers more excited or engaged than” those kinds of segments.
As for the campaign trail, four different longtime Republican strategists told The Daily Beast that they have encouraged various 2022 GOP candidates who they’re each advising to lean heavily into anti-COVID-mandate messaging, viewing it as perhaps the winning issue with the conservative and Trump base of voters.
This would not be quite so heinous if the network was walking its walk but it’s doing the exact opposite in real life. Fox Corp.’s HR chief, Kevin Lord, recently announced that employees are required to report their vaccination status and that the unvaccinated will have to submit to daily testing. Funny how none of the hosts have quit over this “authoritarianism.”
In fact, the same Lord memo also announced, “We are pleased to share that more than 90% of our full-time employees reported that they are fully vaccinated.” That number almost certainly includes Fox’s anti-vaxxer-in-chief, Tucker Carlson.
And speaking of killer hypocrisy, Fox honcho Rupert Murdoch not only got the vaccine, he personally endorsed it. Why should he worry about his customers' lives when he's raking in the dough risking their lives?
But while Murdoch and his son and co-honcho, Lachlan Murdoch, bask in the ratings and the moolah their propaganda is bringing in, real people are dying as a result of those “great ratings.” As The New York Times’ David Leonhardt reported (via Media Matters) “The political divide over vaccinations is so large that almost every reliably blue state now has a higher vaccination rate than almost every reliably red state.” Also, “the worst forms of it are increasingly concentrated in red America.” Where do you think those red state patients have been getting their news?
In a recent post about a 45-year-old unvaccinated father who died from COVID, I wrote that it’s long overdue for people to start suing Fox News over its potentially deadly disinformation. The Murdochs and their minions obviously think money trumps truth, morality, science and the basic human decency of caring whether their viewers live or die. But I’ll bet the Murdochs change their tune quicker than you can say, “Big Lie lawsuits” if this latest set of lies hit them in their pocketbooks.