Joy Reid and Eric Boehlert dissect Fox News' pivot from COVID-19-as-hoax to COVID-19-as-serious concern, while still blaming China.
March 15, 2020

(Note: The video above was edited for brevity and clarity. It eliminates a 3-minute segment in the middle with former RNC Chairman Michael Steele)

Media critic Eric Boehlert explained why Fox News is such a menace to the country and especially to its own viewers on AM Joy Sunday morning.

After Joy Reid played an extended segment showing how Fox News began by declaring COVID-19 to be a "hoax" and a Democrat-led plot to smear Donald Trump and harm his "presidency," she then showed how they have now pivoted to calling it a serious concern while also blaming China. That supercut should be shown to every Fox News viewer before gently telling them they need to put the remote down and at least change channels to something more objective. BBC if they really can't handle CNN, for example.

At least Fox News has benched Trish Regan after her ridiculous rant, along with "Kennedy." It's a start. But they're still downplaying the severity of the threat the virus presents, while turning it into an opportunity for racism and xenophobia. All of which led the Washington Post to pen an op-ed calling on Rupert Murdoch to force Fox News to treat this as the threat that it is.

But every moment still counts. Lives can be saved by prudent practices and aggressive government action — and lost by their absence.

But it takes leadership from the top. And so, let’s acknowledge the obvious: There is no more important player in influencing Trump than Fox News. And no more powerful figure at Fox than its patriarch.

Murdoch might consider, too, that with the median age of Fox’s viewers around 65, they are among the most vulnerable to the virus’s threats.

For Fox News, a late-breaking change of heart might finally combine a wise business decision with what’s good for the world.

Reid asked Boehlert about that: "Do you see any possibility that Fox may want to try to save its own viewers by forcing the narrative to change?"

Try to stifle your laughter. I know, I know. It's absurd to imagine Fox News actually leading when they're content to rake in the bucks by propping up Dear Leader. As Eric Boehlert observed, "Anyone waiting for Rupert Murdoch to do the honorable thing will wait a very, very long time."

"Fox News has been getting people killed for years," he continued. "Just look at their crusade against affordable health care and expanding Medicaid. This is not unusual for them. It is far more dire. I mean, I've been watching and documenting Fox News for 15 years."

"I mean, they are a cancer on this country, there's no question about it," he said. "Their programming is to vilify and stir hatred and paranoia. The pandemic is the backdrop and they're going to do it. "

Warning that people underestimate what Fox News actually is, Boehlert warned, "It it is clearly morphing into something far more sinister and it is brainwashing. People say you shouldn't use that rhetoric, that is an exaggeration. But this is textbook brainwashing."

" So when people watch Fox News, the hard core viewer, they don't pick and choose which topics they think they believe or maybe they are not going to believe. They are all in. They believe everything," he explained. "And so even during a pandemic, people say why would you believe misinformation about a pandemic. They believe misinformation about everything."

"And that is the danger of Fox News," he concluded.

Yes, yes it is. We've been documenting it here since 2004 and Boehlert has it 100 percent right. They use classic brainwashing techniques visually and through their rhetoric, they poison their viewers and in the process, the country. The best thing that could happen to this country is an end to Fox News and the wannabes like OANN as a consequence of their anti-American dishonest behavior.

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