After more than a year of anti-vax propaganda, some Fox News hosts want to make sure their viewers know that not all of them are vaccinated against COVID-19. They’ve been given a choice, they say — but they don’t mention that the alternative option the network put in place was stricter than the ‘mandate’ that Joe Biden ordered.
At Saturday night’s White House Correspondent’s Dinner, President Biden joked that anyone who wanted to know more about getting vaccinations and boosters should contact “your favorite Fox News host” since “they’re all here,” and everyone at the event had to show proof of vaccination and booster shots. (If you’d like to see the look on Peter Doocy’s face when the camera quickly cut to him, the whole speech is viewable here.)
Spoiler: the punch line wasn’t strictly accurate. Not all of the network’s media hosts were present. Rachel Campos-Duffy, for one, apparently didn’t attend, and she’s highly offended — either because no one noticed her absence, or because she’s worried that people will take Biden’s jibe at face value and mistakenly assume she follows the advice of public health officials.
Fox News' Rachel Campos-Duffy says she didn't go to the WHCD because she's unvaxxed.
"And [Biden] tried to call out Fox News and say Fox News is all vaccinated. That’s not true. Pete's not vaccinated. I’m not vaccinated…and so that’s the part that I thought was so ironic." pic.twitter.com/jSjae1NFVc
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) May 1, 2022
“The event said you had to be vaccinated in order to attend. I know, because I was invited. I didn’t go for many reasons, and that was one of them. They tried to call out Fox News and say, ‘well look, Fox News is all vaccinated.’ No, that’s not true…we allow people choice!”
Fair point, as the Washington Post acknowledged when Tucker Carlson made the same argument in November.
Like the mandate Biden tried to impose on large businesses, which SCOTUS overturned as unconstitutional in January, the policy that Fox put in place gave the option of regular testing (daily, compared to the overturned mandate’s weekly) for the virus, for those employees who were unwilling to be vaccinated. Notably, conservatives have indicated that they do not consider this pair of options to represent ‘choice.’
Don’t worry, though — Biden wasn’t exaggerating by much. According to The Wrap, the network’s own human resources officer said back in September that 90% of full-time employees had already been fully vaccinated, and that those who hadn’t submitted their proof of vaccination to the company would begin taking daily COVID tests. The White House cheered the right-wing news organization’s initiative and success.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com