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Thursday, July 22, 2021
MRC Tries To Deflect Blame From Conservatives, Fox News For Vaccine Hesitancy
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has tried various strategies to deflect from the fact that refusal to get the coronavirus vaccine is largely the domain of conservative white people -- from blaming Kamala Harris (whom white conservatives are unlikely to turn to for health advice) to blaming the unreliability of polls noting that fact (even though the MRC has touted other work by the pollster). But as that fact gets more exposure in the media, the MRC has gone on defense.

When CBS late-night host James Corden's show argued that those who refuse to get vaccinated should be excluded from events, Charlotte Hazard played the celebrity card in a June 8 post: "It’s so interesting watching elite celebrities lecturing Americans about how they have to get a vaccine to do normal things in life."

When CNN noted a poll showing Republicans' vaccine hesitancy, Brad Wilmouth -- who wrote the above-noted poll-releated piece -- used a June 22 post to attack the poll again instead of acknowledging the truth: "Here again, the pollsters didn't make any distinction among the unvaccinated: What if you've already had an infection and have natural antibodies? Wouldn't it make sense that those people could feel less concerned about masks and social distancing? But for CNN, all's fair in love and coronavirus—when it comes to ripping Republicans."

On July 9, Kevin Tober complained that "former Missouri Democrat [sic] Senator turned MSNBC political analyst Claire McCaskill used her appearance on Thursday night’s All In with Chris Hayes to blame Republicans for the low vaccination rates in rural areas of the country," adding that "Instead of giving real reasons, she decided to play politics and blame Republicans." But Tober gave no real reasons to defend Republican deniers, other than to argue that "The real solution is to expand access to the vaccine in rural areas." But he still stayed on the attack: "Instead of thumbing her nose at rural Americans, McCaskill should advise the Biden administration to do just that. But she would rather hate on people in the flyover states."

After the New York Times pointed out Fox News' role in scaring its viewers into avoiding vaccines, Clay Waters huffed in a July 14 post: "Speaking of 'amplifying vaccine hesitancy,' it wasn’t Fox News but the Biden Administration that actually cancelled vaccinations, when the Centers for Disease Control recommended pausing the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in mid-April over rare occurrences of blood clots, which marked the start of the decline in America’s daily vaccination rate." Waters offered no evidence there was any link between the brief pause in the J&J vaccine and "start of the decline in America’s daily vaccination rate," and he conveniently omitted the fact that the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines continued to be available.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:08 PM EDT

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