Feb 23

Neil Cavuto almost died of Covid — Fox still won’t stop killing viewers

Murdoch death toll

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Veteran Fox News host Neil Cavuto returned to the network this week after an unexplained, month-long absence to tell viewers he not only got Covid for the second time, but he nearly died. “It really was touch and go,” he said, while describing his lengthy stay in intensive care. “Doctors say had I not been vaccinated at all, I wouldn’t be here,” he added.

The miraculously safe and effective Covid vaccine saved Cavuto’s life, but that won’t change Fox News’ programming as it remains committed to pandemic nihilism and aggressively spreading lies about America’s public health crisis. Even if the immunocompromised Cavuto had died, Rupert Murdoch’s network wouldn’t have spent ten minutes reflecting on its role in the carnage that surrounds the pandemic of the unvaccinated in 2022, where nearly 2,000 people are still dying everyday simply because they refuse to get the jab.

Incredibly, Cavuto continues to be part of Murdoch’s morbid machine, even after the virus nearly took his life. Rather than deciding enough is enough, and that he can no longer be a willing accomplice to Fox News’ relentless vaccine lies, Cavuto rather meekly addressed the issue on his show. “I’m not here to debate vaccinations for you,” he announced, stressing that, “my opinions don’t matter.”

Cavuto’s weak-kneed response might have been because last year when he more forcefully urged viewers to “stop the politics” and “get vaccinated,” the host became the target of an aggressive right-wing smear campaign. “I know we live in this hyper-politicised age. I get that, I appreciate that, but I’d like to urge people of all sorts, please get vaccinated,” Cavuto announced last October. “In the end, if you can get vaccinated and think of someone else and think of what that could mean to them and their survivability from something like this, we’ll all be better off.”

In speaking honestly and passionately about the vaccine, Cavuto had crossed the line. “I want you gone. Dead. Caput. Fini. Get it?” one angry viewer wrote the host.  “Now, take your two-bit advice and deep-six it, and you!”

After his second, nearly-deadly bout of Covid, as he recovered in the hospital and realized that Trump voters in Trump counties who refused to get vaccinated were dying in record numbers, Cavuto could have followed the lead of Chris Wallace, Shep Smith, and other longtime Fox News staffers who have decided to walk away from their cable TV home. Instead, after checking out of intensive care, Cavuto rejoined the network, while it eradicates more of its viewers.

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Fox News is never going to stop killing its audience in the blind pursuit of ratings and its love of trolling liberals. We’re watching a slow-motion, political mass suicide as millions refuse the vaccine and hundreds of thousands have died since the arrival of the inoculation one year ago. Clinging to political identity over personal health and safety, the Fox audience pledges its allegiance, making it more difficult for everyone else to get past the pandemic.  

“A new study by four Harvard epidemiologists estimates that 135,000 unvaccinated Americans died unnecessarily in the last six months of last year,” the New York Times reports. Meanwhile, unvaccinated people are 20 times more likely to die of the virus, according to an ABC News analysis.

No other country in the world faces as powerful, deep-pocketed, and well-organized anti-vaccine propaganda campaign as the one now crippling portions of the United States.   

Murdoch owns right-wing media properties and enjoys immense political leverage in other countries, such as Britain and Australia. But there’s been a conscious decision to unleash on America a special kind of anti-science, anti-vaccine campaign. Fox News is not only encouraging millions of viewers not to get vaccinated, but claims the inoculation might kill them, the government cannot be trusted, and that the vaccine poses a grave danger to pregnant women.

Pretending that American school children for nearly 70 years haven’t been forced to get vaccinated for lots of serious viruses, Fox has embraced a wholesale anti-vax conspiracy approach, portraying Covid jabs in the arms as signs of encroaching totalitarianism, condemning the shots in the most hysterical terms.

Today, the network remains perfectly aligned with the GOP, which is clearly pro-Covid. Republican politicians and commentators, who are fully vaccinated themselves, want the virus to spread in order to extend the deadly pandemic so it inflicts political damage on Democrats. There’s a reason every single Republican member of the House and Senate voted against the historic, $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill —they didn’t want newly-elected President Joe Biden to secure a legislative win.

We know for a fact Fox doesn’t care its viewers are dying. Last month when a Washington state trooper died of Covid, the network made no mention of the fact even though the trooper had appeared on Fox several times last October to brag about his decision to quit his job rather than getting vaccinated. The network touted him as a hero, until Covid claimed his life.

That’s why nothing at Fox will change, even if its hosts fall victim to the virus.

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📰 GOOD STUFF:

Veteran media watcher James Fallows agrees that the New York Times needs to bring back its public editor in order to restore reader trust. From his Breaking News piece, “Journalism Needs to Engage With Its Critics”:

For 14 years, the Times had a partial answer to this problem, by creating the Public Editor position. (That move itself, in 2003, was itself part of the Times’s reckoning with a previous coverage failure.) Some of the public editors were very good; some were not. But simply by their presence they represented the expectation that the paper’s leaders should engage, respond to, and explain serious questions about its coverage and framing. (For instance, as a current question rather than a provocation: Why has the Times decided not to cover this Amnesty International report?) Rather than wave questions off or say they “could care less.” Having a public editor did not solve all problems, but it was a step.

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🌖 FUN STUFF — BECAUSE WE ALL NEED A BREAK

The Brothers Comatose (featuring AJ Lee), “Harvest Moon”

You can’t go wrong covering Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon,” the wistful single from the singer’s landmark 1992 album of the same name.

Here the Brothers Comatose, a five-piece outfit from San Fransisco, deliver a warm, new interpretation. AJ Lee, from the bluegrass band Blue Summit, gives the song its welcome twist by putting a female vocal of Young’s unhurried, contemplative track.

But there's a full moon risin'
Let's go dancin' in the light
We know where the music's playin'
Let's go out and feel the night

🎙 Click here to listen to the music that’s been featured on PRESS RUN, via Apple Music.