Yesterday, after The Washington Post hilariously exposed Fox News’ dishonest reporting on the coronavirus pandemic, top Trump administration officials went out of their way to praise the network’s coverage.
Media Matters caught the pattern (my emphases added):
“Let me just begin by saying thank you on the radio and airwaves all across America and on television,” Vice President Mike Pence told Fox host Sean Hannity during a Wednesday interview on Hannity’s radio show. “What you've been doing to broaden public understanding of the coronavirus, spreading the word, especially on the president's coronavirus guidelines Fifteen Days to Slow the Spread.”
“We're very very grateful that you're bringing this important, timely information to the American people,” Pence added.
Hannity is not the only Fox host to draw praise from the Trump administration. At the conclusion of a Wednesday night interview on her Fox show, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar told host Laura Ingraham, “Thanks for all you do also to keep us all informed.”
I’ve written extensively about Hannity’s misinformation but Ingraham has gotten short shrift on NewsHounds of late. But The Post video says it very nicely, so I’ll just urge anyone who hasn’t seen it to do so. It’s the third video below.
The Post video reveals more than just Fox’s skittering away from its misinforming “coronavirus is no biggie” coverage. It shows that they all did so in lockstep with Trump. The Post’s article that accompanied the video made that point more explicitly.
The praise from Trump officials for the misinformation proves that even in a time of pandemic, the administration cares more about loyalty than truth or, in this case, for the lives of Americans who may have believed the “no biggie” coverage and needlessly exposed themselves.
You can hear and see Trump administration officials praise Fox’s dishonest work below, from the March 18, 2020 The Sean Hannity Show and the March 18, 2020 The Ingraham Angle below, both via Media Matters. Underneath is the damning Post video that the propagandists should never be allowed to forget.
While it’s true is originated in China and China tried early on to cover-up the coronavirus outbreak, there’s little indication it would have made any difference in the Trump administration response. Trump and Fox News would have just spent more time decrying it as a Democratic hoax aimed at damaging Dear Leader’s reelection.
The damage of calling it a “Chinese virus” is widely documented as there are many cases of harassment and even violence against Asian-Americans that have been recorded as a result.
President-in-Waiting Biden and the Democrats generally are doing everything they can to limit the coming carnage, but voices like OAN, Fox and the despicable Limbaugh are still free to aid and abet the enemy far more effectively than Tokyo Rose and Lord Haw Haw (the British equivalent) could have ever dreamed. Lying lips sink ships – Congress and the White House should be using the War Powers Act to outlaw disinformation.