The folks over at Fox News absolutely despise the fact that failed, one-term former President Donald Trump was accused of being a Russian puppet, in the bag for Russian President Vladimir Putin, even though a great deal of evidence suggests the Donald does indeed seem to owe some bizarre loyalty to Russia.
But perhaps the real reason Fox is defensive about the Russia connection is because they seem to take some of their talking points directly from Russian state television.
How else can you explain what Fox host Tucker Carlson did Monday on his show, allowing discredited former “reporter” Alex Berenson to say on the air that the COVID vaccines being used in the United States aren’t nearly as effective as advertised?
Berenson and Carlson both began spouting outright falsehoods, with Berenson breathlessly declaring:
Is Alex Berenson an expert on scientific matters? No. Is he a doctor? No. A virologist. Nope. He’s just a hack who wrote a book entitled Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness and Violence, an anti-pot screed devoid of any facts and filled with lies about the “dangers” of smoking weed.
More recently, Berenson has appeared on right-wing networks and proclaimed that masks are ineffective in stopping the spread of conronavirus (also a lie) and that COVID-19 isn’t really much of a threat at all. (Tell that to the families of the 526,000 Americans who have died as a result of the disease.)
Where did such an absurd talking point come from? Russia, according to the Wall Street Journal:
“Russian intelligence agencies have mounted a campaign to undermine confidence in Pfizer Inc.’s and other Western vaccines, using online publications that in recent months have questioned the vaccines’ development and safety, U.S. officials said.
“An official with the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, which monitors foreign disinformation efforts, identified four publications that he said have served as fronts for Russian intelligence.
“The websites played up the vaccines’ risk of side effects, questioned their efficacy, and said the U.S. had rushed the Pfizer vaccine through the approval process, among other false or misleading claims.”
By the way, Berenson’s reference to what happened in Israel is also a lie, as Biospace revealed:
“Israel’s Health Ministry announced results of a study in the country that showed that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was 98.9% effective at preventing COVID-19 deaths. In the study it was 99.2% effective in preventing serious disease, decreased morbidity by 95.8% and decreased the likelihood of hospitalization by 98.9%.”
So not only is the Pfizer vaccine 95 percent effective, it turns out it’s actually 98.9 percent effective. It exceeds the expected results!
For their lies and misinformation, Carlson and Berenson were pilloried online:
Fox News has never and will never be in the news business. They’re just purveyors of conspiracy theories and lies. And they’re also an existential threat to the United States.