Denialism of the coronavirus can take many forms. The main way I’m seeing right now, through pro-Trump talk shows and blogs and webcasts, is invisible to the naked eye. They just aren’t covering the virus much.
Fox News Sunday moderator Chris Wallace ran his Sunday show in what he called a “dangerous new phase of the pandemic.” The news hours on Fox News also focused on the pandemic. But the channel’s top-rated hours on Sunday, such as “Fox & Friends” in the morning and “Life, Liberty and Levin” at night, led with “law and order” stories and reflected Trump’s talking points.
I am not arguing that every program on every network should be the same. Of course, no! But Fox’s MAGA talk shows have a unique influence on a swath of Americans who constantly say they don’t trust other sources. Often times they don’t even trust the Fox news. Talk shows haven’t taken this new Covid-19 spike seriously enough.
>> My search for TVEyes for mentions of “masks” in June returned 1,345 results on CNN, 970 results on MSNBC and only 485 results on Fox …
>> And here is another example: the producer Marina di Marzo analyzed the Trump-Sean Hannity city council and discovered that only three minutes of the hour were dedicated to the coronavirus …
Hammering home the basics
Oliver Darcy writes: Those of us who work in the news industry are very familiar with the basics of the virus and the preventive measures that can be taken to curb its spread. But it is important to remember that most people are not as connected to the news cycle as we are, and as a result are more likely to believe in the spin and misinformation. So what should journalists do? Hammer home the basics.
For example, a popular WH conversation topic in recent days is that increased access to evidence is the reason the United States is seeing an increase in cases. People I know have made this argument to me as well. But while increased testing is probably a contributing factor to more positive cases, it certainly doesn’t tell the whole story. The media should explain this, showing charts of higher hospitalization rates to take home the point that more people in certain areas of the country are getting sick.