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Journalism Profs Sign Letter Claiming FOX News Spreads Coronavirus ‘Misinformation’

Journalism Profs Sign Letter Claiming FOX News Spreads Coronavirus ‘Misinformation’

“viewers of Fox News, including the president of the United States, have been regularly subjected to misinformation”

Have you noticed a recent surge in the left’s efforts to discredit FOX News? It’s related to the effort to get networks to stop airing Trump’s pressers.

The College Fix reports:

Journalism profs sign letter claiming Fox News is spreading ‘misinformation’ about COVID-19

In a letter signed by over 70 journalism professors, journalists, and other academics, Fox News stands accused of being a “danger to public health” due to its dissemination of “misinformation” about the coronavirus.

Led by Columbia journalism and sociology professor Todd Gitlin, The Hill reports the signatories claim “viewers of Fox News, including the president of the United States, have been regularly subjected to misinformation relayed by the network—false statements downplaying the prevalence of COVID-19 and its harms.”

The letter notes FNC made “casual recommendations of untested drugs,” likely an allusion to hydroxychloroquine, which has shown promise in battling the coronavirus. After President Trump touted the potential of the drug, an Arizona man ingested some fish tank cleaner — because hydroxychloroquine was listed as one of its ingredients. Ironically (and naturally), the mainstream media quickly linked the man’s stupidity to the president’s comments.

The academics worry Fox News’s popularity adds to the magnitude of the problem: Older Americans make up the largest segment of FNC’s audience, and they’re also the most vulnerable to the virus. The signatories also are concerned that some 79 percent of FNC viewers believe “the media had overstated the potency of the virus.”

Now, why would that be?

From the letter:

Fox News does not clearly distinguish between the authority that should accrue to trained experts, on the one hand, and the authority viewers grant to pundits and politicians for reasons of ideological loyalty. There is a tendency to accept (or reject) them all indiscriminately, for after all, they are talking heads who appear on Fox News, a trusted source of news. When the statements of knowledgeable experts are surrounded by false claims made by pundits and politicians, including President Trump — claims that are not rebutted by knowledgeable people in real time — the overall effect is to mislead a vulnerable public about risks and harms.


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SeekingRationalThought | April 4, 2020 at 3:42 pm

I’m sure Fox has made mistakes and committed errors. However, CNN, MSNBC and the broadcast networks, as well as the NYT, the WP and other local papers, have intentionally misled their viewers and readers. While one cannot read their minds, only those who are naive or stupid can overlook their history of lies and retractions. Would that they would have retracted all their lies not just some. That these journalism professors, who, as someone pointed out about journalism majors, chose their fields because gender studies was too tough and challenging, feel that they have any credibility only highlights that they are unfit to report on missing pets, let alone something serious like this pandemic. I’d tell them to prove me wrong, but they are incapable of marshaling facts, even if the necessary facts existed. Which they don’t. 🙂 Intellectual scum.

Richard Aubrey | April 4, 2020 at 5:05 pm

These guys are so dumb they think identifying themselves as journalism professors gives them more rather than less clout. It’s like somebody from the DoJ asking you to trust them.

He lost me at “journalism.”

Jack Klompus | April 4, 2020 at 7:18 pm

Todd Gitlin? Who the hell takes that warmed over hippie retread seriously about anything. What a pathetic attempt to will himself back into relevance.

This letter is addressed to FOX Chairman Rupert Murdoch and CEO Lachlan Murdock. So it has about the same significance as a nasty letter to somebody’s neighbor complaining that his lawn has grown too long.

“Journalism and sociology professor.” What’s the odds this guy can add 2+2 and get 4; 500-1?