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Monday, December 09, 2019

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'Fox & Friends' Just Couldn't Handle That Huge February Jobs Report

A strong monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) beat expectations last week, but Fox & Friends struggled to characterize it, absurdly claiming that the numbers reported by the government had missed expectations while arguing with no evidence that the data were unreliable.

On March 4, the BLS released its initial jobs report for February 2022, which showed the economy creating 678,000 jobs last month as the national unemployment rate fell slightly to 3.8 percent. The report also included substantial positive revisions to the jobs estimates for December 2021 and January 2022, showing job creation over that period to be “92,000 higher than previously reported.” The topline job creation number for February easily exceeded expectations reported by MarketWatch and Reuters, which forecast 400,000-440,000 jobs created last month.

None of these facts were good enough for the team at Fox News, which honestly seemed almost unprepared to discuss the breaking news. The Fox & Friends studio at first struggled with audio issues when returning from commercial break, and then flashed a red upward arrow on screen seeming to indicate that the unemployment rate had climbed last month (the rate actually fell 0.1 points). After correspondent Carley Shimkus finished reporting the numbers, noting twice that the monthly jobs report beat expert expectations, all three co-hosts — Pete Hegseth, Brian Kilmeade, and Ainsley Earhardt — fumbled their transition to discussing the jobs report with Fox Business host Charles Payne.

The absurdity continued during Payne’s supposedly expert commentary, as he claimed without any evidence or reasoning that he “thought it was going to be a higher number,” saying the report was “really weird.” When pressed by co-host Pete Hegseth about the fact that the report actually beat expectations, Payne doubled down, falsely claiming “everyone thought it was going to be higher.” As Payne listed off made-up expectations and unnamed sources who thought the economy would add 770,000 or more jobs last month, a graphic again flashed on-screen demonstrating that the 678,000 jobs added last month were more than the 400,000 “predicted” by economists.


PETE HEGSETH (CO-HOST): Charles Payne is here, host of Making Money on Fox Business, who is going to help us break down these numbers. Your reaction, Charles?

CHARLES PAYNE (FOX BUSINESS HOST): I thought it was going to be a higher number, I really did. Now, this is not unusual that they missed, and this is really weird. Let me just explain to the audience.

HEGSETH: Okay now, higher number – this is a higher number than expected?

PAYNE: Than consensus, right. But, everyone thought it was going to be higher. I saw some folks on Wall Street at 770, and some even higher than that. Just so you understand how this consensus things [sic] works. Last month, it was 300,000 better, but the month before that they missed it by 200,000, the month before that they missed it by 340,000. In August of last year, they missed it by 515,000. Forget about it, go back to April 2020, and they missed it by 2.2 million. You know, so, the consensus thing, let's look past that for a moment.

We’ve got almost 11 million job openings, we’re still not at the participation rate we were at just before the pandemic. So, this is a good number, but it could have been even better than this. For me, what’s more important is participation, I don’t know what that is just yet, because we want people coming back to the labor force, right. Also, wages. Now, wages were expected to go up 5.8 percent. Normally that’s good, but we’re going to find out next week that inflation, during this same time period, probably up more than 8 percent. So that means any raise you got was evaporated.


Throughout Payne’s commentary, he seemed confused about how the BLS reporting process works, and he ignored a key component of the entire process by which numbers are revised over time. For example, Payne said that the previous jobs report for August 2021 had missed its expectations by 515,000 jobs, totally ignoring the fact that subsequent revisions had made up for half that gap.

Payne also struggled to explain how economic forecasters form “consensus” expectations, and complained about low labor force participation rates, even though the report he held in his hand showed an increase in that rate from month-to-month.

Eventually, the Fox & Friends team got their footing and returned to the bread and butter misinformation we’ve come to expect from Fox News. Unable to coherently describe the economic data in front of their eyes, the team pivoted to complaining about President Joe Biden’s energy policies and mocking teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg for somehow contributing to both increased gas prices and Russian aggression in Ukraine.

Fox’s almost comical hot takes on the routine data release stand as a reminder that the Fox News propaganda machine will never miss an opportunity to cast the economy in a negative light, so long as it reflects poorly on Democrats.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

‘Local Parent’ On Fox News Is Professional GOP And Trump Flack

Fox News has avidly promoted former Trump administration officials as seemingly being just concerned local parents in the network's coverage of the upcoming Virginia gubernatorial election. And in the case of one guest who has frequently appeared or been cited by the network's hosts, his political connections go far and wide through both political campaigns and even Fox News itself.

Ian Prior is one of many Republican activists, political staffers, and Trump administration alumni who have appeared on Fox News as part of its campaign against "critical race theory." The network has used the term as a "catch-all" phrase for any right-wing culture war grievances, especially over racial diversity and civil rights, in an effort to mobilize Republican voters for this year's Virginia elections and the midterms next year.

Prior now leads Fight for Schools, a political action committee launched this year to support "common sense candidates" who oppose "critical race theory." In addition to his many years in communications for Republican campaigns, he has his own political communications consulting firm and political newsletter. He also worked in the Trump administration from 2017 to 2018, as deputy director of public affairs at the Justice Department under then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

And the world of both conservative media and Republican political operatives is a small one indeed. During Prior's time as deputy director of the DOJ's Office of Public Affairs under Sessions, his coworkers in public affairs included media affairs coordinator Devin O'Malley — who is now the campaign spokesman for Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin. In addition, two other colleagues were media affairs specialist Kerri Kupec, who this year became Fox News' Washington, D.C., editor after serving the rest of former President Donald Trump's term at DOJ under both Sessions and his successor, Bill Barr; and press assistant Kelly Laco, who is now a news and politics editor for Fox News digital content — and who has quoted Prior in at least one article. (The article noted Prior's DOJ experience, but not the fact that he and Laco were former colleagues.)


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On Wednesday's edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy read a statement from Prior, responding to former President Barack Obama's recent campaign rally for former Virginia governor and current Democratic nominee Terry McAullife — while presenting Prior as simply a concerned local parent who has come to prominence recently.

"Ian Prior, who's been on this program, he's one of the parents who's very concerned about what's going on out in Loudoun County," Doocy said, before reading a statement that concluded with the accusation: "It is clear that all the star power coming in for Terry McAuliffe is reading off the same deceptive page of sheet music with talking points designed to deceive people as to what's really happening in Virginia public schools."

Co-host Brian Kilmeade then added: "This is real, this is organic, this is not scripted. These are people standing up, Democrats and Republicans standing up for what's happening in their schools."


Prior also appeared last Thursday with Fox News host Sean Hannity, during which his background as a Trump administration staffer was also not disclosed. By contrast, Prior had also appeared twice this month on The Story with Martha MacCallum, during which both MacCallum and guest anchor Trace Gallagher cited his experience in the Trump administration. (Though earlier this year, MacCallum had also failed to disclose Prior's background.)

So it appears that as the Virginia election gets closer, Prior has become less and less of a former Trump DOJ official and more of being just a concerned local parent whose attacks on Democrats are "organic" and "not scripted."

Flattened By Vote, Recall Activists Wanly Claim 'Success'

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

On Wednesday, after the GOP effort to recall California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom officially came to an end in a resounding loss, Fox News hosted a roundtable of anti-Newsom activists who claimed they had achieved "success."

The recall results were not close. The ballot against recalling Newsom received 64 percent of the vote and held a lead of over 2.5 million votes, with 70 percent of the total counted.

However, Fox & Friends invited several guests who were a part of the recall movement to react to the results of the election, and many of them declared successes.

"I do think this was a huge success because a small group of people did put some fear into the governor to the point that he actually had to fly out the vice president and the president," Erica Kious, the former owner of a San Francisco hair salon, said, after saying she was "devastated" by the recall results.

In September 2020, Kious had released a video of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visiting her salon despite COVID restrictions.

"It was a huge grassroots effort," guest Aaron Bergh said. "It was great to see this revolution of small business owners and dissatisfied parents and just ordinary Californians to put their foot down and say we need change here."

The GOP effort to oust Newsom lost despite national support and fundraising campaigns.

While Newsom outraised his opponents, there were millions raised in favor of the recall campaign. The Los Angeles Times reported that pro-recall efforts received over $45.2 million in donations.

The recall campaign also had the support of the national Republican Party and the California Republican Party.

"Gavin Newsom has had three years to solve California's problems. He has only made them worse. His time in office is up," Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel wrote in an op-ed column on FoxNews.com on Tuesday.

Jessica Millan Patterson, chair of the California Republican Party, wrote a few hours before the election, "@CAGOP has grown to 72,000 volunteers and made 18 million voter contacts to #RecallGavinNewsom - the excitement and enthusiasm is there, Californians are hungry for change."

And then there was Fox News. As polling began showing a likely Newsom win, Fox began to promote baseless conspiracy theories alleging that the election would be stolen.

"The only thing that will save Gavin Newsom is voter fraud," Fox host Tomi Lahren claimed on the September 7 edition of the program Outnumbered.

On August 22, Fox contributor Newt Gingrich similarly alleged that "this is going to be an election where they go all-out to steal the referendum."

And on August 25, Fox host Tucker Carlson claimed that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris campaigning for Newsom was a threat to democracy: "Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are now set to campaign against the recall — 'No more democracy for you!' You've got to wonder, will the state survive this? Will there be a free and fair election?"

Despite the efforts of the state and national Republicans and their allies at Fox, the leading Republican candidate in the recall, Larry Elder, conceded on Tuesday night.

"Let's be gracious in defeat. By the way, we may have lost the battle, but we are going to win the war," Elder said.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

As Major Defeat Loomed, McCarthy Said Recall Is ‘Pretty Big Victory’

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday claimed that even if the Republican-led campaign to recall Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in California fails, it will still be a "pretty big victory" for his party. McCarthy represents California's 23rd Congressional District in Congress.

In an appearance on Fox News' Fox and Friends, he was asked what his expectations were for the outcome of the recall attempt, with polls set to close in California at 8 p.m. PT on Tuesday.

"Gavin Newsom has all the money, we just have the issues on our side," said McCarthy, adding, "Just getting it to a recall is a pretty big victory in itself."

California has some of the most lenient laws in the country as far as recalling a governor or other statewide official. The state requires that a petition collect signatures amounting to 12 percent of the votes cast in the last election for the office, the smallest percentage of signatures needed of all states. And due to the pandemic, recall hopefuls were granted an additional 120 days to gather signatures.

In spite of these advantages favoring the Republican-backed recall, polling has consistently shown opposition to the effort. In FiveThirtyEight's average of recall polls, 57.8 percent of respondents support keeping Newsom in office, while support for removal is at 41.5 percent.

The 12 most recent polls listed on the FiveThirtyEight site show the option to retain Newsom with a double-digit lead, ranging from 10 to 19 points.

From the September 14 edition of Fox & Friends:

AINSLEY EARHARDT, Fox News: What do you expect in California today, your state, with this recall?

KEVIN MCCARTHY: It's going to be interesting. Because here we are in California, Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one, but you're going to have to really watch what turns out today.

If Republicans are – independents are voting to remove Gavin Newsom, because think about it for one moment, if you travel California, there's homelessness in every place of it. Crime rising. There's not one national park in California open because there's mismanagement of forest that comes every single year. And do you want to reward that?

He's been in Sacramento for more than a decade and he has no plan to turn it around. All he does is bring in Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, and others to say, "Keep me, otherwise a Republican will win."

This is an opportunity to change the course. If we have a deficit going into election day, of a million or less, there's an opportunity that we can be successful here. But, you know, Gavin Newsom has all the money, we just have the issues on our side. Just getting it to a recall is a pretty big victory in itself.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Fox & Friends Lied About Successful Afghan Rescue Mission

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

On Tuesday, Fox News host Brian Kilmeade claimed "the government" played no role in the rescue of an Afghan police officer who assisted the U.S. military, but the inaccurate statement was immediately shot down by his guest, a retired Army Special Forces commander who was a part of the mission.

On Fox & Friends, Kilmeade was discussing the rescue, named Operation Promises Kept, which successfully evacuated Mohammad Khalid Wardak and his family. His guest was Ryan Brummond, who served in the military from 2003 to 2017, in both the Army Special Forces and in the Marines.

"Ryan, so glad you put this operation together. You're doing something our government can't," Kilmeade said at the beginning of the exchange.

"Really, this was a huge effort. It was a combined effort of both folks that are in and out of government," Brummond replied. "This did involve our government, in some ways, I mean... We had the help of senators, representatives, folks at the State Department, and it was just kind of a huge effort of those that are both in and out of government in order to make it happen."

In recent days, Fox News has been promoting a narrative that the Biden administration is abandoning allies and American citizens in Afghanistan, despite the ongoing rescue operations being executed on President Joe Biden's orders.

The Associated Press reported on Friday that Wardak and his family were hiding from the Taliban in Kabul because Wardak was well known for assisting the U.S. military during the war there and publicly spoke out against the Taliban.

They were taken out of the region by helicopter on August 18. Former George W. Bush administration official Robert McCreary told the AP that the family was "carried out under cover of darkness by the U.S. military and its allies."

McCreary said Wardak and his family are in an undisclosed location "under the protection of the United States."

On Monday, the Biden administration said that approximately 48,000 people had been evacuated from Afghanistan since August 14.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Fox News Attacks Biden For Implementing Fox’s Own Vaccine Policy

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

Fox News is turning the White House's upcoming push for COVID-19 vaccinations among the federal workforce into just another front in its right-wing culture war and campaign to undermine public health — even though Biden's upcoming policy will be seemingly identical to Fox's practices in its own offices.

To be exact, federal workers would reportedly be given the choice of either showing proof of vaccination or instead submitting to regular testing. This policy will in fact be very similar to what is already going on at Fox News' own offices, under a program called the "Fox Clear Pass" in which employees who provide their vaccine information are allowed to bypass daily health screenings. But Fox hosts have railed against the possibility of vaccine passports as "segregation," "medical Jim Crow," and "East German-style 'show me your papers.'"

And in Fox's telling, the upcoming policy is an insult to regular people across America — who are now being dubbed "unvaccinated Americans" — and an effort to dominate them. (Just to be clear, over 60 percent of the adult U.S. population has been fully vaccinated by now.)

Fox's Opinion Hosts Attack Vaccine Policy For "Dividing Americans"

On Tuesday night, Fox prime-time host Tucker Carlson declared that the Biden administration "has decided to use this virus to cement its control of the country."

"Democrats rode COVID to victory last November through fear and blame and brand new methods of voting," Carlson said. "And they plan to keep power through next year's midterm in the very same way, by dividing Americans against one another, vaccinated versus unvaccinated."

Carlson further compared required vaccinations for federal employees to a host of medical atrocities: "Government should never require people to submit to any medical procedure, whether that procedure is sterilization or frontal lobotomies or COVID vaccinations." He then denounced "professional Republicans" for not opposing the vaccination requirements, saying they're trying to prove "they're not anything like those morons in rural America who vote for them."

On Wednesday morning's edition of Fox & Friends, co-hosts Brian Kilmeade and Rachel Campos-Duffy highlighted what they called Biden's "insulting message to unvaccinated Americans" (when he bluntly stated on Tuesday: "If you're not vaccinated, you're not nearly as smart as I thought you were"), as if such a category represented an ethnic group or other community that should be treated more respectfully.

Meanwhile, co-host Steve Doocy tied the increased push for masking and vaccination to the midterm elections — tying the Democrats' fortunes to the effort to beat the virus — thus almost seeming to acknowledge the campaign of right-wing sabotage of public health for partisan reasons.

STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): All right, so what you've got going on is — and we've been talking about this — the president's polling numbers regarding COVID are actually inching down. And the whole idea for the midterms was, the Democrats were going to run on, "Hey, listen, look, we got COVID completely under control." Brian, you accurately portrayed the fact that 99 percent of the people who are getting sick and winding up in the hospital are the unvaccinated.

So essentially, the White House realizes that it — COVID is running around the country right now with the unvaccinated, but that still makes them look bad. They're trying to get people vaccinated, so what are they doing? They are making everybody wear a mask — even though the people who, for the most part, got the shot don't need it — simply to control the people who have not been vaccinated.

Fox's 'News Side' Complains Biden Is 'Scolding' Vaccine-Hesitant

In a rare exception to the general tone of coverage, Fox News host Trey Gowdy explained the basic legalities involved during a segment on America's Newsroom. "You don't have a constitutional right to work for the federal government," he said, and the federal government can act as an employer, while state governments might even have the power to simply mandate the vaccines for their own citizens.

But later in the morning, news anchor Harris Faulkner accused Democrats of "talking down to vaccine-hesitant Americans," employing much of the same culture-war language that Carlson had used the night before.

DR. MARC SIEGEL (FOX NEWS MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT): Listen, Harris. We've said this before, and I want to say it a little differently. You need to ask somebody why they're not being vaccinated — not bludgeon them, not bully them, not shame them. You say, "What's your issue?" Well, maybe they had a side effect to a previous vaccine. … Maybe it's a religious issue. And by the way, I would counter that religious issue by talking the way you and I talk — privately and on the air — by saying, you know, religious, Judeo-Christian heritage, we want to protect our families. I's family. So talk about it in terms of family, but not mandates, not bludgeoning, not shaming, not putting people down. People are not stupid. People can be talked to.

FAULKNER: You know, I wonder if they don't just think that about us sometimes. Just as Americans in general. We're good people. You know, this is the same group that would have you believe that we're systemically racist here, too. I don't want to muddle it. I'm just saying, what do they really think of us? Because you can talk to us. I can tell you why I got it. Somebody else might tell you why they are worried about getting it, but it's an open conversation.

And later in the afternoon, news anchor John Roberts complained that "there seems to be a certain scolding characteristic coming from political leaders about vaccination," including from Biden and Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Instead, Roberts proffered, "I think you give them the information, and you say, 'Look, it's in your interest to do it, and it's in everybody else's interest. Why don't you come along to the party?'" On the other hand, maybe Roberts ought to try watching the rest of his network, to see how much outright resistance to vaccination has actually been encouraged, now making a bit of tough love actually necessary.

For example, later that afternoon Fox News contributor and law professor Jonathan Turley said the Biden administration had moved to a "coerced consent" model of vaccination, with private companies becoming a "shadow state" to implement government policy on vaccines — without noting the very company he was appearing on had already implemented the same policy.

And that night, Fox host Sean Hannity — who last week made clear that he was not encouraging vaccination following a right-wing backlash over a widely misinterpreted video clip, asked in a concerned tone: "And is the next thing a vaccine passport, which eliminates medical privacy and doctor-patient confidentiality?"

So while John Roberts really ought to watch the rest of his own network, maybe Sean Hannity needs to talk to the company's human resources department.

Research contributions from Jane Lee and Rebecca Martin

Right-Wing Propaganda Outlets Intensify Schizoid Vaccine Scare

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

The White House has been stepping up its community outreach efforts for the coronavirus vaccines, with President Joe Biden announcing an effort to get ahead of emerging variants in a speech on July 6. But at the same time as many public health experts say there should be even more stringent requirements for people to get vaccinated, right-wing media outlets are instead waging their own scare campaign against even the community outreach, continuing their shameful record of undermining the vaccination campaigns.

Polling data has shown that Republican voters are far less likely than Democrats to even want to get the vaccines, seriously contributing to the country having missed Biden's goal for 70 percent of adults to have been vaccinated by July 4. (Most of the states that fell short were won by former President Donald Trump in 2020, while the states that have surpassed the goal were all won by Biden.)

But conservative media figures have quickly seized on one particular line from Biden's speech on Tuesday, in which he appealed to people to get vaccinated as "a patriotic thing to do."

"Now we need to go to community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood, and oftentimes, door to door — literally knocking on doors — to get help to the remaining people protected from the virus," Biden said. "Look, equity, equality — it remains at the heart of our responsibility of ensuring that communities that are the hardest hit by the virus have the information and the access to get vaccinated."

Now, right-wing media is engaged in a dishonest and irresponsible spin operation, warning people that the government is coming to get them with the vaccine.

Saving Lives With Vaccine Is 'Worse Than The Iraq War'

Fox News prime-time host Tucker Carlson, who has led a propaganda campaign in concert with anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists and with Fox's full corporate support, fear-mongered about Biden's speech during his program on Tuesday night.

Following a segment in which he claimed the pandemic had been "overhyped "because most deaths occurred in the elderly — though this argument also disregarded other adverse effects associated with "long COVID" — Carlson warned anyone who might come knocking to promote the vaccine to "stay the hell out of my house, for real." Carlson then claimed that a door-to-door vaccine promotion campaign was a "much bigger" scandal than even the Iraq War.

TUCKER CARLSON (HOST): So, because this disease -- the median age in Ohio of death is 80, your 15-year-old needs to have Joe Biden's health authority show up at your house with a needle. I mean, I don't — this is the — I think — I honestly think it's the greatest scandal in my lifetime by far. I thought the Iraq War was, it seems much bigger than that.

The idea that you would force people to take medicine they don't want or need, is there a precedent for that in our lifetimes?

BRIT HUME (FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST): Well, look to be fair, it seems to me that what they're doing is — what their argument would be, Tucker, that what they're trying to do is make it as easy as possible for people to get the vaccine and, for people who are hesitant, to perhaps encourage them that they have nothing to fear. However, you know, vaccines do have side effects.

This after all is not yet an FDA-approved medicine. This is operating under a temporary use — a temporary emergency-use authorization. Perhaps it will in the future be authorized, fully authorized by the FDA, fully approved. But it's not yet, and if people — it seems to me, if people are hesitant to take it, particularly if they're not in the vulnerable category, it seems to me that's not an unreasonable thing and should be respected.

So that's what I would have to say about that.

CARLSON: Yeah, not letting kids get education if they're not vaccinated. Pretty amazing.

Fox's far-right competitors were not to be outdone Tuesday night, either. One America News warned its viewers that "the Biden administration is threatening to send political operatives to the homes of people who refuse to take an experimental COVID vaccine." Newsmax host Grant Stinchfield declared, "Hey, Joe, how about no — and I'm the guy that steps out onto my porch and calmly asks you to get off my lawn," even as Stinchfield capped off a defense of people refusing the "vaccine Kool-Aid" being pushed by both government agencies and businesses.

Shouldn't We Give Trump Credit For The Vaccine?

During a Wednesday morning panel discussion, however, it was disgraced former MSNBC analyst and Newsmax contributor Mark Halperin who reminded other conservative commentators that they ought to be promoting the vaccines on behalf of former President Trump.

"I think this is the depth of partisan lunacy," Halperin told former Trump administration staffer Hogan Gidley, who had been denouncing the "government overreach" of the vaccination campaigns and defending people for not trusting the expert advice.

"With all due respect to Hogan — Hogan, who developed the vaccine?" asked Halperin. "Your former boss, President Trump doesn't get nearly enough credit for what he did to unshackle the administration and the regulation and allowed these private-sector companies to go forward. The vaccines are, by historical standards, effective and safe, and everybody should get them. If people don't want to get them, it's their choice, but everybody should get them."

People "Up In Arms" — According To Fox & Friends

Meanwhile, the manufactured outrage continued on Fox & Friends, with co-host Ainsley Earhardt declaring: "People are up in arms about this, because we as Americans can make our own choices for our own families, for our own bodies. And when someone's knocking at your door with a vaccine — are they going to have the shot in their hand? Or are they going to encourage you to go, ask you questions like the Census Bureau does?"

Co-host Brian Kilmeade also warned of negative side effects from the vaccines.

"More and more people are saying — I'm not saying it's an epidemic and a problem — but no one addresses the fact that there are some people having negative reactions," Kilmeade said, discussing worries about vaccine requirements being imposed for sports at his own daughters' schools.

"How scary is that for you as a parent," Earhardt said, "because you're hearing all these kids that are having heart problems, inflammation."

Despite what Kilmeade and Earhardt said, media outlets and experts are indeed addressing these questions: The New York Times reported in late June that researchers had "estimated that out of a million second doses given to boys ages 12 to 17, the vaccines might cause a maximum of 70 myocarditis cases, but would prevent 5,700 infections, 215 hospitalizations and two deaths."

In a later segment, Fox News medical correspondent Dr. Marc Siegel — who had previously downplayed the pandemic and publicly supported various missteps by Trump — attempted to play a political game of gotcha: "I don't think we have to allow Biden on our door with a syringe yet and say here's a vaccine — after he doubted the vaccine to begin with." (Siegel appeared to be referring to statements Biden made during the 2020 campaign, saying he would trust scientists on the vaccine but not Trump's promises to have a vaccine distributed in time before the election.)

Knocking On Doors "Goes To The Core Of Our Country"

And during America's Newsroom on Wednesday, co-anchor Dana Perino spoke with Fox medical contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier, with the two actually talking about the importance of educating the public about vaccines — but Saphier argued that the appearance of compulsion and being "confrontational" about it would go against "the core of our country."

DANA PERINO (CO-ANCHOR): I also noted today, in The Washington Post it said in Maryland, 100 people died of COVID in June in Maryland — and 100% of them were unvaccinated. And that was one of the things that the president was trying to say yesterday, I suppose.

DR. NICOLE SAPHIER (FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR): Well, and that's not just Maryland, that's many states across the country, and other countries are seeing that as well. Yes, the deaths that are still occurring from SARS-Cov2 tend to be those that are unvaccinated. So, the best way to protect people is to get vaccinated.

But again, this is a freedom of choice, and that is what is very important. It goes to the core of our country. When you turn on other media outlets, you actually hear people calling for requiring them -- and mandates. And if — you can't declare independence and the freedom to choose vaccination and then require them as well and say we're going to be sending government officials. These are conversations that need to be had between physicians and patients and not by low-level grassroots people knocking on doors.

Mollie Hemingway: Just Stop Trying — And Declare It A "Win"

Co-anchor Bill Hemmer spoke later in the program with Fox News contributor Mollie Hemingway, who has spent much of the pandemic era undermining public efforts around mask-wearing and previously denounced Biden's July 4 goal as "just so un-American." So it might seem odd that Hemingway was brought on by a purported "news side" program to discuss the matter at all.

This time around, Hemingway's advice was for Biden to essentially "take the win" by moving his own goalposts.

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY (FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR): More importantly, vaccine — vaccination rates among the vulnerable populations, older people and people with comorbidities, is really high. And so, President Biden needs to just take the win. I know he missed his own personal goal for vaccination rates, but we've done a good job, and he should accept that and keep going forward.

BILL HEMMER (CO-ANCHOR): We can still get there, probably get there pretty soon actually.

Of course, the strategy of simply trying to do nothing and declare victory goes back a long way during the pandemic — and it kept failing.

Fox's "Straight News" And Opinion Hosts Push Same Scare Campaign

On Wednesday's edition of The Story with Martha MacCallum, guest anchor Trace Gallagher opened a segment by likening "door-to-door vaccine pushers" to door-to-door salesmen. Gallagher then ended a discussion with Fox & Friends Weekend co-host Will Cain by quoting an old line from Ronald Reagan about being afraid of the government — sounding remarkably similar to a tweet sent by a right-wing U.S. representative about an hour-and-a-half earlier.

TRACE GALLAGHER (FOX NEWS ANCHOR): Yup. Ronald Reagan once said, "The government's at your door saying, 'We're here to help.' And that's when —

(CROSSTALK)

WILL CAIN (CO-HOST, Fox & Friends Weekend): The scariest thing you could hear. Right?

GALLAGHER: Right.

CAIN: That's right.

Things only got worse that night. In a segment titled "Power Grabs & Needle Jabs," Laura Ingraham connected the vaccination campaign to the conspiracy theory of "global resetters" purportedly involved in COVID-19 public health protocols, and praised Americans for "wising up" by refusing the vaccines. (The monologue also featured a cartoonish visual of Biden holding a needle to a crying baby. Just to be clear, the COVID-19 vaccines have thus far been recommended for children ages 12 and up, not for infants.)

LAURA INGRAHAM (HOST): Every day, the barbarity of the left's COVID lockdowns and school closures becomes more apparent. The great global resetters, who love seeing us shut in and shut up, who were fine with seeing our economy destroyed, and even turning kids into screen zombies. The political forces that exploited health fears, the medical officials who became stars by helping them, and the media that covered for them all. All of them should be held accountable.

Now, it took a while, but Americans are wising up to this charade. Yet, despite everything the experts either got wrong or lied about, they still think that parents should trust them and inject their kids with an experimental drug to prevent a disease almost none of those kids will ever get sick from.



Going door-to-door? This is creepy stuff. You know, someone comes up to your door, outside wearing a mask, showing up at your house, claiming to work for the government, asking you personal medical questions. What could possibly go wrong there?

By the way, are these government vaccine ambassadors going to ask people about their vaccine status? What sort of notes will they take on each door-to-door encounter? And what will be done with those notes? How will this information be used? These are all important questions that bear directly on matters of personal medical privacy.

And on Fox & Friends, Kilmeade warned again: "They're going to be knocking on your doors, I guess with a cotton ball and a needle, and they're going to look to put a needle into your deltoid — stop asking questions."

Kilmeade then responded to a video of Dr. Anthony Fauci the night before on MSNBC's All In with Chris Hayes, urging people to "get over this political statement" of not taking the vaccine, and instead to "try and save the lives of yourself and your family."

Kilmeade then got nearly to the same point that Halperin did the day before: "How about saying, 'I just have to underline the fact that this vaccine was driven by the Trump administration, and conducted by and pushed forward by Operation Warp Speed. It was put together by the previous administration, and implemented by this one.' As much as they want you vaccinated, they are determined not to let you know who came up with it."

In response, though, Earhardt continued to warn of harmful side effects from the vaccines, and then Hegseth cued up a video clip from Ingraham's show the night before, in which a guest claimed that "no one under age of 30" should get the vaccines.

So it appears that right-wing media have arrived at a new resolution of competing ideas: The vaccines are one of the great accomplishments of the Trump administration, for which Trump is being denied his personal credit — and they are also very dangerous, and people shouldn't take them.

Fox News Hires Lara Trump Despite Dog Charity Scandal

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Fox News has hired yet another person extremely close to former President Donald Trump, Lara Trump, despite saying last week she "absolutely" is considering a U.S. Senate run that her father-in-law himself has been promoting.

The Fox & Friends crew welcomed Lara Trump to the "family" Monday morning as a new Fox News contributor, with two of the three co-hosts applauding her.

"I'm so excited to be joining the Fox family," Lara Trump told viewers. "I sort of feel like I've been an unofficial member of the team for so long."

Trump, a former TV producer, worked on both the Trump 2016 and 2020 campaigns in various roles including fundraising.

Trump is fresh off a public relations disaster after news broke she reportedly has been funneling nearly $2 million from a dog rescue non-profit into the Trump resorts, most recently via a fundraiser that may have been the catalyst for shutting parts of Mar-a-Lago down after a coronavirus outbreak.

News organizations and media outlets, even including Fox News, usually immediately part ways with employees who publicly acknowledge they are considering entering politics. It is a stark departure for Fox News to hire someone who just confirmed they are considering a run for the U.S. Senate.

Media Matters' Director of Media Intelligence, Lis Power, weighed in

Watch the announcement: