Fmr Fox News Contributor Rips Network Hosts for Repeated Dismissals of the Coronavirus: ‘They Need to Stop’
Democratic strategist and former Fox News contributor Julie Roginsky slammed her former network for their part in circulating misinformation and disregard for the severity of the coronavirus.
Roginsky joined CNN’s Brian Stelter on Sunday for a conversation on how several of Fox News’ most prominent figures downplayed the virus to protect President Donald Trump before covering it as a serious matter. Roginsky called this “worse than malpractice” several days ago, and she decried multiple network figures for continuing to suggest that the coronavirus pandemonium has been over-exaggerated.
“The Fox News viewership is on average 65 years old. They’re people who are much more susceptible than the average person as a result of their age to the virus, and they’re doing a disservice to their own viewers,” Roginsky said. “That’s the biggest problem of all in this quest to protect the president, in this quest to make it look like the president is doing everything right.”
Roginsky continued to argue against the idea that Fox is on course correction, referring to a post on Medium that was deleted after it was already circulated by several of Fox’s news and opinion personalities.
Fox “news” and “opinion” side folks are credulously sharing a tech guy’s Medium post theorizing that the dangers of coronavirus are overstated and schools and businesses should be reopened. pic.twitter.com/cbnvIjLY3u
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) March 21, 2020
Roginsky argued that Fox “continues to put people at risk” by giving their audiences bad information, and she urged them to “stop spinning this as a political attack on the president.”
“Stop trying to downplay this. This is not a joke. I’ve heard from people on social media, former Fox viewers who are still in touch with me, who for months have said that this is no big deal, this is a Democratic hoax to try to take down the president. And instead of saying ‘look, we have to do the right thing by our own audience, our vulnerable-aged audience,’ they continue to equivocate and say, ‘well maybe this is a big deal, but maybe not as big a deal as other people have said. Maybe it’s just political.’ That’s not right. It not right toward their own audience. They need to stop.”
As coronavirus fears have continued to spread throughout the country, Fox News and Fox Business Network have greatly expanded their coverage, practiced social distancing on the air and in the workplace, and been holding special edition shows with medical experts answering viewer questions about their personal concerns. As networks have focused on pretty much this one topic 24/7, Fox News has continued leading in the cable news ratings.
The Medium piece was written by Aaron Ginn, who scoffed at the “hysteria” over the coronavirus while saying that “You don’t need a special degree to understand what the data says and doesn’t say.” The post faced tremendous scrutiny both before and after deletion, with many arguing that Ginn’s stats were incorrect, that his data interpretations were flawed, and that the conclusions he reached are missing critical nuance.
That stupid Medium post is going mainstream. Okay, fine, let's go through some data. Why listen to me? Two weeks ago I was at Johns Hopkins for a deposition of one of their bio-statisticians. Critically reviewing medical research data and communicating it is part of what I do. /1 https://t.co/Ku7adMV4EK
— Max Kennerly (@MaxKennerly) March 22, 2020
1. I hate to invest precious time on taking apart the atrocious @aginnt article pictured below, but it is getting too much traction here and even in traditional media.
This thread could be far longer than it is, but I'm doing my best to only discuss the most glaring flaws. pic.twitter.com/EFA7ATQRbX
— Carl T. Bergstrom (@CT_Bergstrom) March 22, 2020
I hope everyone who shared the Medium article on coronavirus is prepared to apologize for pushing false information and faulty conclusions on their audiences, downplaying the seriousness of what’s just starting come to America.
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) March 22, 2020
Best tweet in long takedown of yesterday’s favorite piece. This is why journalists ought not to provide assessments but ask questions of scientists on air, try and read and point —I pointed to offending article— and then rinse, repeat. (And I never want @CT_Bergstrom mad at me.) https://t.co/iud7FB8gx4
— Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) March 22, 2020
“I am an expert in viruses because I understand internet vitality” should from here on out be the default example of the Dunning-Kruger effect.
— Philip Bump (@pbump) March 22, 2020
Watch above, via CNN.
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