Fox News host Tucker Carlson is being accused of promoting coronavirus vaccine skepticism and anti-vaxxer talking points when he posed questions Monday night as if they were unanswered and legitimate – questions that have been very publicly answered for months.
“So all of this should prompt some pretty tough questions for our public health experts in this country,” Carlson insisted to several hundred thousand viewers. “And one of those questions is, how effective is this coronavirus vaccine? How necessary is it to take the vaccine? Don’t dismiss those questions from ‘anti-vaxxers,'” he said scornfully.
“Don’t kick people off social media for asking them, answer the questions.”
“The administration would like you to take this vaccine. Joe Biden told you last week if you don’t you can’t celebrate the Fourth of July. But it turns out there are things we don’t know about the effects of this vaccine — and all vaccines by the way.”
Americans generally agree that the job of a journalist is to inform, to deliver news and information, not to ask basic questions that are easily answered because – in this case – the federal government and the vaccine manufacturers have already answered them.
These are not state secrets, but as many on social media noted, when you posed them as if they were, you’re promoting anti-vaxx skepticism, and during a pandemic, that is potentially deadly.
Watch Carlson from his Monday night show:
These questions Tucker thinks you aren’t allowed to ask are literally just a google search away, theres so many answers to these questions available on the computer you keep in your pocket pic.twitter.com/kcnTVciA6O
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) March 16, 2021
Last year CNN reported Carlson makes $10 million a year. And while the combined annual salaries of everyone I know don’t reach that staggering umber, let’s do Tucker’s job for him.
Just going to Google and entering “how e” literally gave me the answer:
But Carlson thinks the government is hiding this information. It’s not.
Media Matters has a longer clip here.
Here’s how some are reacting:
The vaccines are hugely effective that’s why Rupert Murdoch got it as soon as he possibly could. You’ll remember Rupert Murdoch, he’s Tuckers boss.
— Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@MollyJongFast) March 16, 2021
No hyperbole: Tucker Carlson is assuming responsibility for the deaths of thousands who are watching this and deciding to forego a vaccine or the folks coming into contact with them. Understand the gravity of this moment. Carlson is sending people to their deaths. https://t.co/Xln7Qi2TvC
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) March 16, 2021
Tucker Carlson is leading his show undermining public confidence in the Covid vaccines, saying public health experts need to face questions about them: “One of those questions is: ‘How effective is this coronavirus vaccine? How necessary is it to take the vaccine?'”
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) March 16, 2021
Tucker Carlson is pushing anti-vaxxer talking points pic.twitter.com/rh3AzoTrGM
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 16, 2021
I can’t stand Rupar but gotta agree with him on this. That was one of the worst Tucker Carlson episodes in memory. On top of the overt vaccine skepticism and alarmism…he followed that segment with a visit from Tusli Gabbard, who is not exactly pro-vaccine.
— Don Quixotic (@DonQuixotic7) March 16, 2021
Tucker is on his show right now pushing vaccine skepticism, so he’s prob out…🤦♀️
— kdenn98 (@kdenn98) March 16, 2021
Your reminder that Rupert Murdoch, who controls Fox, immediately got himself a Covid vaccine when he was able to in December. Yet he pays for his top host to go on TV and undermine the public's confidence in them. https://t.co/KOLI0skXuR
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) March 16, 2021
Tonight on Fox Propaganda, white supremacist rape apologist Tucker Carlson did a segment to criticize the effectiveness of the Covid vaccine.
His evil employer Rupert Murdoch went to the UK to get a vaccine once they had it ready way before the US, that’s how effective, dirtbag.
— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) March 16, 2021
Tucker asks, “How effective is this coronavirus vaccine?”
Answer: 100% effective against hospitalization and death.
Tucker asks, “How necessary is it to take the vaccine?”
Answer: The lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans depend on it. https://t.co/35WvClHCPM
— Jonathan Reiner (@JReinerMD) March 16, 2021
Anybody airing Tucker Carlson: @comcast @CoxComm @Verizon @ATT needs to be boycotted if they don’t demand his removal from the fox network. Spreading false information about the covid vaccine is going to literally kill Americans. The death toll rises every day.
— Tim (@brainboygenius) March 16, 2021
I came here to say that exact thing. Tucker Carlson spewing lies about the vaccine while his employer Rupert Murdoch couldn’t get it fast enough. Smh
— Virginia Buysse (@VirginiaBuysse) March 16, 2021
Well I guess Tucker is into eliminating half his audience by scaring them into avoiding vaccines. There’s going to be a massive Darwin Awards hand out later this year. https://t.co/hgsDQ0x5Jb
— Alice aka Moon Cat (@mooncat_alice) March 16, 2021
Well tucker, a man of your intelligence has the ability to read the data and studies. And wouldn’t you know it, they’re easily accessible. Either commit them to memory so you don’t sound stupid or better prepare for your next segment when talking about vaccines and their safety https://t.co/1gQlgPI0J9
— matt (@Arthur85Matt) March 16, 2021
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COVID Disinformation Purveyor Sen. Ron Johnson Urges FDA to Not Grant Full Approval to Coronavirus Vaccine
Senator Ron Johnson has written a letter to the FDA criticizing the Biden Administration for “rushing the approval process” for political reasons, reports the conservative Washington Times.
Johnson has repeatedly earned his “Ron Anon” nickname throughout the pandemic as an opponent of vaccines (while denying he’s an anti-vaxxer) and other COVID-19 mitigation efforts. The most recent spike in cases and deaths caused by the Delta variant haven’t slowed his roll.
The Washington Times reported on the contents of his letter, which it said it had obtained exclusively:
“The Wisconsin Republican warned against the Food and Drug Administration’s pending approval of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, which is expected Monday.
“He said the fast-track decision appeared more political than scientific since it skipped the usual formal advisory committee meeting and did not fully account for the reports of deaths and disabilities suffered by people after being vaccinated.
“‘I see no need to rush the FDA approval process for any of the three COVID-19 vaccines. Expediting the process appears to only serve the political purpose of imposing and enforcing vaccine mandates.'”
In the letter, Johnson also charged that “over the last year and a half, the decisions of federal health agencies have dramatically affected the lives of all Americans. The impact of these decisions has been felt in Americans’ treatment options, employment, schools, housing and travel, and in countless other ways. The human toll of the social restrictions and economic devastation is incalculable.”
The Washington Times did report this from the Biden administration:
“U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy told “Fox News Sunday” that moving the Pfizer vaccine from “emergency” to “full approval” would make mandates more appealing.” There are universities and businesses that have been considering putting in vaccine requirements in order to create a safer, a workplace, a learning environment,” he said. “I think this announcement from the FDA would likely encourage them and make them feel more comfortable in putting some requirements in place.”
Johnson’s stature as a de facto spokesperson for the virus has long been documented. Last month, Washington Post fact checkers gave Johnson four Pinocchios for his campaign of vaccine misinformation. It quoted this bizarre claim from Johnson in a July 14 interview on Fox News’ “Hannity.”
“The fact of the matter is it looks like natural immunity is as strong if not stronger than vaccinated immunity. … There is a risk to the vaccine. Again, it’s very small, but there are some pretty serious side effects, including death. We are already over 5,200 deaths reported on the VAERS system. That’s a CDC, FDA’s early warning system.”
“Johnson has emerged as the leading vaccine skeptic in Congress this year,” the Post reported. “For months, the senator has been peddling misinformation about coronavirus vaccines, undeterred by fact checkers, federal health agencies, medical experts and a growing body of scientific research. We previously dug into two Johnson claims that resurfaced in this interview on Fox News, a network whose right-wing personalities consistently bash the Biden administration’s vaccination efforts.”
A month earlier, in June, there was this from CNN: “YouTube suspended Johnson’s account after it posted a video of the senator making dubious claims about treatments for the coronavirus. In the video, Johnson voiced support for using hydroxychloroquine against the virus, the same drug Donald Trump enthusiastically endorsed and used as a preventative treatment for coronavirus last year.”
It has all been part of a pandemic-long quest for Johnson to stoke support from the Trump base. Among his most notable strange moments, Johnson brought forth a parade of dubious doctors at a December Senate hearing on the pandemic for the purpose of “elevating fringe theories,” in the polite words of the New York Times. Johnson was so repulsive that he even bridged the partisan divide on the subject. Here’s more from newspaper:
“Mr. Johnson’s inflammatory public statements and his decision to give a platform to an assortment of contrarian doctors promoting alternative treatments have also irked some fellow Republicans, who have privately groused that he is acting irresponsibly.”
‘#TrumpIsALaughingStock’ Trends as Americans Mock Right Wingers’ Belief Today Would Be #TrumpReinstatement Day
According to the QAnon crowd, the far right fanatics, the MyPillow cultists, and MAGA maniacs, August 13 is the day Donald Trump would be “reinstated” as president. And while the day is not over yet, there is exactly zero chance “the former guy” is going to be back in the White House any time soon.
Americans will not see a shadow “cabinet” or anyone else declaring “martial law” and bringing Donald Trump back into power. There will be no Supreme Court decision kicking President Joe Biden to the curb. And Democrats will not be rounded up as “traitors” and jailed – or worse.
Instead, many Americans will have – and already are having – a field day reveling in mocking the insanity that has come to represent the Republican Party, as #TrumpIsALaughingStock, #TrumpReinstatement, and other amusing hashtags trend on social media.
Trump’s spokesperson, still allowed to tweet out his press releases, posted one on Friday that appeared to acknowledge the conspiracy theory he would be reinstated. After blasting President Joe Biden, it asks, “DO YOU MISS ME YET?”
For many the answer is “no.”
Here are some of the best takes:
Oh look at that, they lied again. Biden is still the President.
— tiredTexan (@tired_in_texas) August 13, 2021
— Liberal15 ⭐⭐ (@Liberal151) August 13, 2021
I was up all night practicing my dance for #ReinstatementDay. I think I finally got it.
— Mel the Enforcer (@Fah_Lo_Me) August 13, 2021
— Garland John Gates (@garlandgates) August 13, 2021
I assume since the price of bleach hasn’t gone up today and the stores still have lots of toilet paper, Trump has yet again failed to assume power. lol😁#TrumpIsALaughingStock
— Leigh (@LeighCBrandt) August 13, 2021
Congratulations to all #Qanons who are finally realizing that you’ve been duped again. #ReinstatementDay is a joke and the #TrumpReinstatement joke’s on you. You’ve finally caught up with what every country at the UN knew in 2018: #TrumpIsALaughingStock pic.twitter.com/Un4N8TJnJj
— Richard Hine (@richardhine) August 13, 2021
Trump Reinstatement Day is like April Fools’ Day but for actual fools.#TrumpIsALaughingStock
— Juan Rivera (@BoricuaEnMaui) August 13, 2021
— NoDogma13 (@NoDogma13) August 13, 2021
— Michael Essentially (@Essentialworker) August 13, 2021
— ✌🏻 The Dude ✌🏻 (@TheDudeTrader1) August 13, 2021
Trumpist Terrorism Is Becoming Normalized: Signorile
In the past three weeks we learned of two violent domestic terror plots by Trump supporters to overthrow the government
This article first appeared in Michelangelo Signorile’s Substack newsletter. To see the article in its original location or to subscribe, click here.
A very particular, cultish and dangerous brand of domestic terrorism has been honed, and we should call it what it is: Trumpist terrorism.
We’ve rarely if ever experienced domestic terrorism organized not only in the service an ideology — white supremacy — but in the name of one person, a cult figure for whom people will kill and die, devoted to his cause and taking perceived orders from him.
But that is what is happening now.
Last week the news broke that two California men were arrested for plotting to bomb Sacramento’s Democratic headquarters in the name of Donald Trump, inspired by the Big Lie that the election was stolen by Joe Biden. One of the men is alleged to have had five live pipe bombs in his home and “between 45 and 50 firearms, including at least three fully automatic weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition.”
That man, Ian Rogers, also wrote in text messages, before the January 20th inauguration of President Biden, which one agent said showed an attempt to try to stop the inauguration from proceeding:
I hope 45 goes to war if he doesn’t I will…
…I want to blow up a Democrat building bad…
…Sad it’s come to this but I’m not going down without a fight…
…These commies need to be told what’s up…
The men were organizing both before and after the January 6th Capitol assault, and discussed other targets including California’s governors mansion, the corporate offices of Facebook and Twitter and Democratic donor George Soros.
In a different time this would be wall to wall media coverage, with strong condemnations coming from the former president himself, and from the leaders of his party. But for much of the media, though they covered it, this was just another story in the blur of insurrection-related stories — including the story of a Virginia insurrectionist group exposed the week before, planning for a “revolution”and led by a man who stormed the Capitol on January 6th and now had the components for 50 homemade bombs.
Needless to say, there was no condemnation statement by the former president — who likely revels in these stories — nor from any Republican Party leader. Even Democratic leaders seemed too busy dealing with all the other assaults on democracy by Republicans to speak out forcefully about these cases.
Trumpist terrorism is becoming normalized.
It’s now expected that people will engage in violence in the name of a former president of the United States. That’s a blood-curdling reality, but in America right now it’s not very shocking, nor surprising. And the greater danger is that if the outcry isn’t loud enough — if we don’t express outrage no matter how commonplace it now may appear — then it will not only be expected; it will be accepted. More and more extremists will be inspired to take up arms, to organize plots to cause massive violence in the name of Trump, hoping for bigger, more disruptive events to break through.
Read the entire article and subscribe at The Signorile Report.
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