On Monday afternoon, as parts of the United States planned to shut down due to the unique coronavirus, the conservative website Entrance Expert provided a message: It was misinformation.
“The Coronavirus Death Rate Reported by the Media Is COMPLETELY INACCURATE,” the pro-Trump site said. “The Actual Rate Is LESS THAN THE FLU – MEDIA LYING AGAIN!”
The claim that the “liberal media” created a coronavirus panic followed a pattern that has took place in hyperpartisan media from the beginning of the crisis: downplaying its significance, blaming the mainstream media for overhyping it, and hammering Democrats for trying to capitalize on it. All this has had an effect: Only 40% of Republicans now say the coronavirus is a real hazard, down from 72% last month.
“Don’t think what the media is informing you,” the Gateway Pundit said.
But, in their efforts to protect the president (who finally appears to have understood the infection’s full threats), the Gateway Expert, One America News Network, and Fox News run a risk.
Unlike previous difficulties for the Trump administration, consisting of impeachment, Russian election disturbance, and payments to Stormy Daniels, the coronavirus might eliminate large numbers of audiences or readers. If it did, it may be difficult to rebuild trust.
“It’s absolutely a risk,” Mohamad Bazzi, an associate professor of journalism at NYU, told BuzzFeed News. “This feels like a culmination of the risk-taking, where it’s now putting tens and hundreds of thousands of American lives at risk, as opposed to some other threats that may have actually impacted other parts of the world.”
“What’s various about this crisis, compared to consistent cascading of crises the Trump administration has either caused or made worse, is that individuals can actually see what’s happening,” Eric Alterman, identified professor of English and journalism at Brooklyn College and author of Lying in State, informed BuzzFeed News. “They couldn’t really see what was happening at the border. They couldn’t really see what was occurring in Puerto Rico. They couldn’t truly see whatever the hell he did with Russia and Ukraine. But this one individuals can see.”
Still, a numeration for the pro-Trump media is not ensured. “It seems to have been definitely right when Trump stated he might shoot someone on 5th Opportunity and his individuals wouldn’t offer a shit,” Alterman said. “So it’s rather possible that as long as they have somebody to blame — the liberal media, immigrants, China — he can keep it up. Nobody understands how long. I’m not making a prediction.”
Bazzi felt likewise. “I think we’re already seeing the signs of a shift from Trump and from his advocates to generally pretend that the last 2 months didn’t happen,” he said. “To state he’d been planning for this and preparing for this all along.”
Many on Fox News are just now caution of the infection’s risks, after weeks of shrugging it off, as the fast-moving pandemic has altered individuals’ lives — and minds. Jesse Watters, a personality on Fox News’ The Five, stated Monday he’s taking social distancing seriously, after declaring earlier this month that he wasn’t scared of the infection. Last Friday, Fox Business put Trish Regan’s show on hiatus after she said the coronavirus was “another attempt to impeach the president.” And Fox News’ Tucker Carlson’s caution about the threats of the coronavirus last Monday — a break with his network’s more comprehensive tone — resonated with the president.
But while Fox News appeared to be coming around to the expert agreement on the seriousness of the pandemic, late on Tuesday, the Entrance Pundit released a story declaring the World Health Company had “severely overstated the fatality rate” of the outbreak.