Fox News’ Howard Kurtz Defends Network’s Vaccine Coverage Amid Criticism: ‘Fox’s Rivals Are in a Frenzy’


Fox News’ Howard Kurtz opened Sunday’s MediaBuzz by directly addressing the criticism Fox has gotten for its vaccine coverage.

Kurtz said “it makes for a great liberal narrative” to say that vaccine hesitancy “is the fault of right-wing media.”

“Fox’s rivals are in a frenzy about blaming this network,” he continued. “But there are a lot of voices on Fox News Channel and many, including me, including the anchors who just made a second pro-vaccination PSA, want the tens of millions of holdouts to get the covid shots, and that includes these conservative hosts.”

He showed clips of Steve Doocy and Sean Hannity making direct appeals to their viewers. Doocy — who has encouraged vaccines for the past few months — again implored viewers to get the shot this past week.

As for Hannity, the Fox primetime host received some plaudits for telling viewers to “take covid seriously” and consult with their doctors. During that same show he questioned universities mandating the vaccine “regardless of even whether [students] have natural immunity.” He followed up by saying, “I never told anyone to get a vaccine. I’ve been very clear. I am simply not qualified. I am not a medical doctor. I know nothing about your medical history or your current medical condition. I think it’s inappropriate for me to do so,” reiterating people should speak with their doctors.

There have, of course, been very notable anti-vaccine comments on Fox News, including from primetime hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham. Carlson continued raising questions about the vaccines last week after some of his colleagues strongly encouraged them.

“There are an awful lot of people, many on the right, who are either hesitant or outright refusing to get these life-saving vaccines,” Kurtz said. “That would be true if Fox went off the air tomorrow. Overcoming their fears and doubts is a complicated problem for the Biden White House and all the vitriolic finger-pointing isn’t helping one bit.”

During the panel discussion, Ben Domenech claimed that “what I see on the right is overwhelming unanimity among the political class and among the media class as well that these vaccines are good, and to the degree there’s skepticism, it tends to be about should children be vaccinated or is that something that’s necessary in order to go back to school and the like as opposed to doubting the vaccines or saying there’s some overwhelming danger from taking them.”

Fox Business anchor Liz Claman pushed back as she said, “I really have to disagree with Ben on what he said regarding unanimity within the Republican party or conservative voices.”

When Kurtz brought up vaccine opposition from people like Marjorie Taylor Greene, Domenech said, “When I say near-unanimity, I think it leaves out people like Marjorie Taylor Greene.”

At one point Claman emphasized the importance of vaccines, bringing up family members of hers who are medical professionals and saying, “I’m very pro-science here.”

You can watch above, via Fox News.

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac