Good broadside here from Eric Boehlert:
Veteran Fox News host Neil Cavuto returned to the network this week after an unexplained, month-long absence to tell viewers he not only got Covid for the second time, but he nearly died. “It really was touch and go,” he said, while describing his lengthy stay in intensive care. “Doctors say had I not been vaccinated at all, I wouldn’t be here,” he added.
The miraculously safe and effective Covid vaccine saved Cavuto’s life, but that won’t change Fox News’ programming as it remains committed to pandemic nihilism and aggressively spreading lies about America’s public health crisis. Even if the immunocompromised Cavuto had died, Rupert Murdoch’s network wouldn’t have spent ten minutes reflecting on its role in the carnage that surrounds the pandemic of the unvaccinated in 2022, where nearly 2,000 people are still dying everyday simply because they refuse to get the jab.
Incredibly, Cavuto continues to be part of Murdoch’s morbid machine, even after the virus nearly took his life. Rather than deciding enough is enough, and that he can no longer be a willing accomplice to Fox News’ relentless vaccine lies, Cavuto rather meekly addressed the issue on his show. “I’m not here to debate vaccinations for you,” he announced, stressing that, “my opinions don’t matter.”
Cavuto’s weak-kneed response might have been because last year when he more forcefully urged viewers to “stop the politics” and “get vaccinated,” the host became the target of an aggressive right-wing smear campaign. “I know we live in this hyper-politicised age. I get that, I appreciate that, but I’d like to urge people of all sorts, please get vaccinated,” Cavuto announced last October. “In the end, if you can get vaccinated and think of someone else and think of what that could mean to them and their survivability from something like this, we’ll all be better off.”
In speaking honestly and passionately about the vaccine, Cavuto had crossed the line. “I want you gone. Dead. Caput. Fini. Get it?” one angry viewer wrote the host. “Now, take your two-bit advice and deep-six it, and you!”
After his second, nearly-deadly bout of Covid, as he recovered in the hospital and realized that Trump voters in Trump counties who refused to get vaccinated were dying in record numbers, Cavuto could have followed the lead of Chris Wallace, Shep Smith, and other longtime Fox News staffers who have decided to walk away from their cable TV home. Instead, after checking out of intensive care, Cavuto rejoined the network, while it eradicates more of its viewers. . . .
No other country in the world faces as powerful, deep-pocketed, and well-organized anti-vaccine propaganda campaign as the one now crippling portions of the United States.
Murdoch owns right-wing media properties and enjoys immense political leverage in other countries, such as Britain and Australia. But there’s been a conscious decision to unleash on America a special kind of anti-science, anti-vaccine campaign. Fox News is not only encouraging millions of viewers not to get vaccinated, but claims the inoculation might kill them, the government cannot be trusted, and that the vaccine poses a grave danger to pregnant women.
Pretending that American school children for nearly 70 years haven’t been forced to get vaccinated for lots of serious viruses, Fox has embraced a wholesale anti-vax conspiracy approach, portraying Covid jabs in the arms as signs of encroaching totalitarianism, condemning the shots in the most hysterical terms.
Today, the network remains perfectly aligned with the GOP, which is clearly pro-Covid. Republican politicians and commentators, who are fully vaccinated themselves, want the virus to spread in order to extend the deadly pandemic so it inflicts political damage on Democrats. There’s a reason every single Republican member of the House and Senate voted against the historic, $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill —they didn’t want newly-elected President Joe Biden to secure a legislative win.
We know for a fact Fox doesn’t care its viewers are dying. Last month when a Washington state trooper died of Covid, the network made no mention of the fact even though the trooper had appeared on Fox several times last October to brag about his decision to quit his job rather than getting vaccinated. The network touted him as a hero, until Covid claimed his life.
That’s why nothing at Fox will change, even if its hosts fall victim to the virus.
If we take July 1, 2021 as a reasonable date for when all American adults with the exception of some immunocompromised people could have been vaccinated against COVID if not for the right wing disinformation campaign led by FOX, then we can estimate that around 320,000 Americans have died as a result of that campaign. (340,000 Americans have died from COVID since then, and conservatively speaking 95% of those deaths wouldn’t have happened if COVID vaccination had been universal by that point).
It’s possible, though still pretty unlikely, that these death totals could hurt Republicans electorally, since the disproportionate COVID deaths among the deluded unvaccinated are also disproportionately located in Deep Red America, plus thanks to the Republican party and its sicarios on the Supreme Court future elections in this country are increasingly likely to not turn on considerations such as which candidate actually had more support in the electorate.
Nevertheless Rupert Murdoch is a mass murderer, and the hopefully soon day when he dies will be one that warrants genuine celebration by all decent people.