MSNBC host Chris Hayes on Tuesday tore into Fox News and one of its leading purveyors of disinformation, Tucker Carlson, for promoting mistrust of COVID-19 vaccines.
Referring to Carlson as “vaccine public enemy number one,” Hayes aired an excerpt from Carlson’s program Monday night in which he interviewed Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.). He falsely claimed that Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot was not approved by FDA, a senator who spreads anti-vaccine misinformation. Since August, it has been.
“I don’t know for sure if Ron Johnson is just confused and addled and can’t quite get there … or he’s just lying,” Hayes said. “But Tucker Carlson, who works in news, doesn’t seem to care one way or the other.”
“Do not underestimate how many lies are being pumped into people watching these shows,” Hayes continued, pointing to a new study by progressive watchdog Media Matters that found Fox News undermined the vaccine efforts at least once on 99% of the days over the past six months.
What makes this all so “aggressively cynical,” Hayes added, is the network and its executives’ hypocrisy.
Rupert Murdoch is an example. He was among the first to be given the coronavirus vaccine, in December. And he has publicly endorsed its efficacy. The network has its own policy that all employees must be tested or vaccinated daily. This mandate is stricter than President Joe Biden’s, which is constantly attacked by Fox News.
Hayes also pointed to footage from inside Fox News’ bureau in Washington, which showed most employees wearing masks at work.
“Inside Fox News, everyone takes this seriously. They’re in on the joke I guess?” Hayes said. “They understand the science is quite solid. They know the ways to avoid infection, serious illness, hospitalization, and death. The methods for maintaining a safe workplace are all pretty clear.”
“When they go on air, they undermine that exact message,” he added.