Feb 26, 2021

After Helping To Cancel 500,000 Lives With Coronavirus Misinformation, Fox News Conservatives Go On TV To Complain About Cancel Culture

Media Matters:Fox prime time marks the 500,000th U.S. pandemic death with the same lies that helped get us there - Fox spent 2020 recklessly minimizing the danger posed by the pandemic. Led by its prime-time team, the network denounced social distancing measures, face masks, and the public health officials who supported them, championed purported miracle cures that didn’t work, and propped up kooks and charlatans, Read More.

Saluting the Heroes of the Coronavirus Pandumbic | The Daily Show - Hannity. Rush. Dobbs. Ingraham. Pirro. Nunes. Tammy. Geraldo. Doocy. Hegseth. Schlapp. Siegel. Watters. Dr. Drew. Henry. Ainsley. Gaetz. Inhofe. Pence. Kudlow. Conway. Trump. We salute the Heroes of the Pandumbic.

US Hits 500K COVID Deaths & People Will Do Anything for a Vaccine | The Daily Social Distancing Show The U.S. surpasses 500,000 coronavirus deaths, a 90-year-old Seattle woman walks six miles in the snow for her vaccine, and two Florida women dress up as grannies to cut the vaccination line. 

Media Matters: Right-wing media helped usher in the age of “cancel culture,” but now pretend it's an invention of the leftFrom Roger Ailes to Andrew Breitbart to James O'Keefe to Donald Trump, right-wing media has been built on cancel culture for decades

In an op-ed plastered across Monday’s New York Post front page, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) calls for an end to the “muzzling of America.” Despite getting a spot on the front page of the fourth-largest newspaper in the U.S., coverage across the entire Fox News lineup, a new book deal, an audience of more than half a million followers on Twitter, and a lengthy list of credits on IMDB, Hawley would like you to believe that he is a man without a voice.

Hawley’s essay makes a now-familiar argument against so-called “cancel culture,” which naturally, came for him all because he tried to invalidate the votes of millions of Americans and maybe, sorta, kinda helped incite a deadly mob to attack the U.S. Capitol. Who among us hasn’t had a brush with insurrection at one point or another?

That same morning, former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced her bid to become the next governor of Arkansas. In her announcement, she played on the same theme as Hawley, saying, “I took on the media, the radical left, and their cancel culture, and I won. As governor, I will be your voice and never let them silence you.”

“Cancel culture,” like “identity politics” and “political correctness,” is an ill-defined concept that has been weaponized to shut down criticism of conservatives.

Are Hawley, Sanders, and the many other politicians and people in conservative media who regularly denounce “cancel culture” actually the steadfast supporters of radical free speech they make themselves out to be? No, of course not. They’re mostly just raging hypocrites. After all, this week News Corp. Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch bemoaned “awful woke orthodoxy” just days after purging Fox News of employees who correctly called the presidential election.


The successful branding of “cancel culture” as the invention of the left is both sad and remarkable -- as well as factually incorrect.

What was the purpose of the House Un-American Activities Committee or of the Army-McCarthy hearings if not to root out and “cancel” Communists? And what of the so-called “Lavender Scare” purge of gay employees within the federal government? The idea that “cancel culture” is new or limited to any particular political ideology is patently false.

Right-wing media try to portray this move as being driven primarily by the left, but just look at this (admittedly incomplete) list of conservative cancellation targets: ABCACORNThe Beatles, TV host Samantha BeeCampbell’s SoupThe Chicks (then known as the Dixie Chicks), New York Times reporter Sopan DebFranceGillette razors, comedian Kathy GriffinGuinness, director James GunnHallmark, CNN commentator Marc Lamont HillThe Hunt, tech reporter Sarah Jeong, then-NFL quarterback Colin KaepernickKellogg’sKeurigKitKatMatch.comMexicoThe MuppetsThe New York TimesNikePepsiRachael Ray (and Dunkin Donuts), left-leaning college professors, a series of words that include “science-based” and “evidence-based,” progressive commentator Sam Seder, former Department of Agriculture employee Shirley SherrodStarbucksTargettransgender people, Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel (on more than one occasion), and even the White House Easter Egg roll.

Just last week, The New York Times canceled freelance editor Lauren Wolfe’s contract after she tweeted that she had “chills” watching then-President-elect Joe Biden’s plane touch down ahead of the inauguration. 

Will Wilkinson, a New York Times contributing opinion writer who was the vice president for research at the Niskanen Center, lost his job at the moderate think tank this week after conservatives willfully misinterpreted a joke he made by riffing on the “hang Mike Pence” chant of members of the Trump-incited January 6 riot.

Part of the reason the idea of “cancel culture” may seem like it comes more from the left than from the right is that conservative media outlets simply will not stop talking about it. The New York Post has an extensive list of stories tagged “cancel culture.” The same is true of Breitbart, the Daily Caller, and the Daily Wire.

Cancel culture isn’t real, but probably not for the reason you think.

In short, the world is far more complicated than can be contained in a two-word catchphrase. Conservatives have tried to stretch the meaning of “cancel culture” to include pretty much everything. Was it cancel culture for Amazon to cut ties with Parler after Parler refused to comply with requests to remove certain content? If anything, it seems more oppressive to suggest that people or companies should be compelled to continue working with a company that hosts potentially illegal content. 

Is it cancel culture to use your First Amendment right to free speech to boycott a business because it took a public stand you disagreed with? If it is, wouldn’t it also be cancel culture to say that someone shouldn’t use their First Amendment right to free speech to encourage that boycott? 

Is it cancel culture to express disappointment when a popular author comes out against legal protections for a marginalized group? And if it is, how is it not also cancel culture for the author to advocate for their position in the first place, as, after all, they are trying to curtail someone else’s freedoms?

There’s a nuanced discussion to be had about who gets held accountable for their speech and actions, who doesn't, and why. Unfortunately, we’re now at a point where Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is calling the impeachment of Trump over his role in inciting violence at the Capitol on January 6 “the zenith of cancel culture.” That probably does not bode well for anybody hoping for nuance.

Read more.

Media Matters: Fox prime time marks the 500,000th U.S. pandemic death with the same lies that helped get us there

Fox spent 2020 recklessly minimizing the danger posed by the pandemic. Led by its prime-time team, the network denounced social distancing measures, face masks, and the public health officials who supported them, championed purported miracle cures that didn’t work, and propped up kooks and charlatans, all in service of then-President Donald Trump’s political standing. Their coverage influenced Fox’s audience -- but the impact was much greater than that. The Fox-obsessed Trump altered federal pandemic policy to align with the network’s programming, even hiring regular guest radiologist Scott Atlas to help lead the White House coronavirus task force. The results were catastrophic.

Fox defended its coverage of the pandemic in a statement to Insider’s Tom Porter for a story published Tuesday morning. “FOX News Media has continuously provided viewers with the latest news on the global pandemic over the past year,” a Fox PR representative said. “Both FOX News Channel and FOX Business Network hosted over a dozen pandemic-related town halls over the last 11 months, while extensively promoting the use of mask-wearing and vaccinations to our audience via public service announcements across all of our key platforms.”

But the network’s coverage Monday night alone puts the lie to Fox’s claim to being a credible source for information about the pandemic. 

In spite of Fox’s claimed support for mask wearing, Ingraham used her show to once again falsely suggest there is no evidence of their effectiveness. She described Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health, as an “ancient medical bureaucrat with a fancy title  spewing lies or unprovable accusations,” as an on-screen graphic described him and Dr. Anthony Fauci as “Liars in Labcoats.” 

Collins’ sin? He argued in an interview that masks are a “life-saving medical device” that could have saved tens of thousands of Americans if properly utilized. Ingraham went on to issue questions for Collins which called into question the efficacy of face masks, concluding, “The answers to these questions go directly to exposing some of the big COVID lies that our press — they’re either too stupid or too biased to uncover for themselves."

Later in the program, Ingraham hosted Atlas, who also took a shot at mask usage.

Contra Fox’s purported support for vaccination, Carlson once again used his show on Monday to promote a cowardly and pathetic brand of anti-anti-anti-vaccine commentary. “Since COVID, Bill Gates has gained extraordinary powers over what you can and cannot do to your own body,” Carlson warned, in a nod to conspiracy theories about the Microsoft founder. “Bill Gates would like you to take the coronavirus vaccine, and it’s not a request.”

Read More.

Some Fox News hosts have accused other media outlets of politicizing coronavirus and creating unnecessary panic. 


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