Despite being warned about their reckless coverage of COVID-19, the majority of Fox News pundits continued to make light of the threat, putting their own audiences at risk. Now, even as the network is fearing the possibility of numerous lawsuits and while executives are rightfully growing concerned about the ramifications, host Laura Ingraham decided to try a different approach. It’s not enough that her show has actively encouraged the protesters who want to re-open America prematurely, she decided to spend her Wednesday night show attacking CNN anchors not simply because of their political views, but because they were diagnosed with COVID-19.
Chris Cuomo, who continued to stay on the air while sick and whose wife and son were subsequently diagnosed, faced Ingraham’s ridicule, as did his fellow anchors Brooke Baldwin and Richard Quest. Her guest that night, Raymond Arroyo, somehow saw this as CNN’s way of boosting their ratings – making their anchors part of the pandemic story. Ingraham somehow thought the idea that multiple people on the staff of a major network, with headquarters in several large U.S. cities could contract a highly contagious and dangerous disease was too close to being a reality show – one that could be called, “Are You Sicker Than A CNN Anchor?”
This is beyond the pale, even for Fox News, which polluted the national conversation by making news stories all about ratings well before Donald Trump arrived on the scene. It’s hard to say what they’re trying to accomplish by airing a segment like this – if it’s to further whip up a frenzy among Trump’s base because they sense the ship is going down and intimidating their rivals is all they have left? Their derogatory comments followed a montage of CNN anchors condemning Fox for hyping hydroxychloroquine treatments – suggesting the network got what it deserved. The worst traits that we find in Donald Trump – preference of ratings over human lives, can just as easily be found in the pundits of Fox.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making