Topic: Media Research Center
Last fall, we documented how the Media Research Center tried to falsely paint Kamala Harris as an "anti-vaxxer" because she said she would take recommendations on a coronavirus from medical professionals but not President Trump, who was promising a vaccine as a re-election ploy. Now that there is an actual vaccine, the MRC is trying to rewrite history. Scott Whitlock huffed in a Dec. 11 post:
Oh, NOW CBS is concerned with vaccine skepticism? This Morning hosts and reporters on Friday fretted that Americans, particularly African Americans and Hispanics, might be resistant to taking the newly-approved COVID vaccine. Yet nowhere in the segment did Gayle King or reporter Adriana Diaz remind viewers that Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris indulged in anti-science, anti-vaccine propaganda during the campaign.
But Whitlock buried what Biden actually said -- "I trust vaccines, I trust the scientists, but I don't trust Donald Trump" -- in the 11th paragraph of his article, and he completely censored what Harris said at the time: that she "would not trust Donald Trump" given his reputation for muzzling health officials who spoke publicly about inconvenient facts, and that she would require "a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and the reliability" of a vaccine.
Kristine Marsh complained the same day, "Democrats like [Rep. Katie] Porter and Kamala Harris led the media in putting politics about public safety in casting doubt about the safety of this vaccine before the election, and now they want to reverse course and avoid taking responsibility for their damaging actions." She too censored what Harris actually said. As proof of Porter allegedly "casting doubt about the safety of this vaccine before the election," she linked to an article in which she questioned that Trump put a former pharmaceutical executive in charge of the Operation Warp Speed vaccine initiative -- never mind that the MRC would likely have done the exact same thing if the president was a Democrat.
Marsh returned to rant on Dec. 15:
Now that there’s hope on the horizon with the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine being distributed here in this country, the morning networks have been singing a different tune about how safe this vaccine is. After spreading anti-vaccine quackery on Good Morning America leading up to the November election, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos urged Americans to “trust” Dr. Fauci that this vaccine is safe to take, on Tuesday’s GMA.
But GMA wasn't trying to convince Americans of the vaccine's safety leading up to the election. In September, ABC, along with the other networks, spread dangerous conspiracies about the vaccine...that came straight from Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s mouths. George Stephanopoulos and Cecilia Vega in particular repeatedly questioned if Americans should take any vaccine developed while Trump was in office.
And those "dangerous conspiracies" were ... just pointing out that Trump's word can't be trusted, which is just common sense. She again censored what Biden and Harris actually said.
Marsh continued her dishonest attack the next day: "As we’ve documented at NewsBusters, Harris told Americans in September not to trust President Trump on the coronavirus vaccine. ABC used Harris and Biden’s own words to spread mistrust about a COVID vaccine, and now they have the audacity to question why there’s mistrust, and ask Harris how to combat that mistrust, when they themselves were part of the problem?"
On Dec. 22, Marsh again falsely accused Harris of "spreading anti-vaccine misinformation before the election, only to flip the script after she and Biden won."
It's important to note that at no point in any of these posts did MRC writers offer evidence to back up their implicit claim that Trump's word on a vaccine -- or anything else, for that matter -- should be trusted without question.