Last year, we caught Newsmax TV White House correspondent Emerald Robinson -- whose scant resume before joining Newsmax as dominated by work at the even-further-right One American News Network -- spouting coronavirus conspiracy theories on Twitter, for which she apparently faced no discipline. Now, she's gotten busted for pushing a conspiracy about COViD vaccines. Tell us all about it, Washington Post media writer Erik Wemple:
Right-wing media outlet Newsmax had no choice on Tuesday but to issue two statements. One came from Elliot Jacobson, Newsmax’s executive vice president and chief content officer:Newsmax is a strong proponent that Covid 19 vaccines are overarchingly safe and effective. while at the same time raising concerns that mandates infringe on personal liberty and privacy. We have seen no evidence to suggest LUCIFERASE or LUCIFERIN are present in any vaccines or that they are used as any sort bioluminescent marker.
And here’s the other, from parent company Newsmax Media:Newsmax strongly believes and has reported that the Covid 19 vaccines are safe and effective. We do not believe the vaccines contain any toxic materials or tracking markers, and such false claims have never been reported on Newsmax. The many medical experts appearing on Newsmax have supported the use of the vaccine.
What on earth could have prompted these bizarre statements? A tweet from Emerald Robinson, Newsmax’s White House correspondent:
And that statement was: "Dear Christians: the vaccines contain a bioluminescent marker called LUCIFERASE so you can be tracked. Read the last book of the New Testament to see how this ends."
In fact, the vaccines do not contain luciferase (though it was used in some vaccine trials because it is an enzyme that can produce light and helped to analyze how the vaccines work, working in a similar way to what make fireflies glow). Wemple added: "Which is to say, the two-thirds of Americans who’ve taken at least one vaccine dose needn’t worry about acquiring a subcutaneous glow."
Wemple added that Robinson has been placed on a tepid kind of quasi-suspension, according to a Newsmax statement: “Newsmax is currently reviewing the posts and during that period Ms. Robinson will not be on air but continue with duties for the network.”
Having a vocal anti-vaxxer as your White House correspondent is not the way a "news" organization builds credibility -- and neither does having to make public statements distancing yourself from those anti-vaxxer sentiments. Newsmax doesn't seem to have figured that out yet.
(Copy of Robinson's tweet via Justin Baragona)