• Fox News’ Bret Baier Rejects Trump’s Claim Disinfectant Comment Was Sarcasm: ‘That’s Not How It Looked’
    The Wrap

    Fox News’ Bret Baier Rejects Trump’s Claim Disinfectant Comment Was Sarcasm: ‘That’s Not How It Looked’

    Fox News’ Bret Baier isn’t convinced by President Donald Trump’s Friday claim that he was being sarcastic when he suggested ingesting or injecting disinfectants to treat COVID-19.“Well, that’s not how it looked in the briefing and not how it came across in the briefing,” Baier said of Trump’s Thursday night statements, which he made to Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, during a press conference.“What’s problematic for this president is that sometimes he goes on these riffs and when you’re dealing with medical things, statements — when you are riffing from a podium — sometimes that works great on other topics when politics comes into play,” Baier continued. “But when riffing about possible cures or treatments, it didn’t seem like it was coming off as sarcastic when he was talking and turning to Dr. Birx on the side.”Also Read: White House Press Secretary Blames Media for 'Negative Headlines' About Trump Suggesting Disinfectant InjectionsThe network’s chief political anchor noted Trump’s comments “spurred all kinds of coverage,” which is true: Trending topics on Twitter Thursday night into Friday afternoon included the words “Clorox,” “Lysol” and “bleach.” Lysol released a statement urging consumers not to ingest their products. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany blamed all that on the media Friday.“President Trump has repeatedly said that Americans should consult with medical doctors regarding coronavirus treatment, a point that he emphasized again during yesterday’s briefing,” McEnany said in a statement. “Leave it to the media to irresponsibly take President Trump out of context and run with negative headlines.”“Obviously, this is his answer to that criticism,” said Baier of Trump’s walk-back, noting the president “does get himself into these issues.”Fox Business Network’s Neil Cavuto, too, hit Trump on his own show Friday, saying, “From a lot of medical people with whom I chat, that was a dangerous, crossing-the-line kind of signal that worried them because people could die as a result. Now, he might have said he was sarcastic and flippant and making the comment; I quoted directly from his full remarks. Nothing was taken out of context. I am not part of some fake news media or what-have-you. I want to be very very clear on that. Whether it cuts to the left or the right, I am not here to carry any party’s political water. I am here to help you folks out with what is real and what progress is being made, what is a legitimate issue and what is not. That’s to take nothing away from the president’s health care task force and doing yeoman’s work in trying to get this thing under control, but saying remarks like that really don’t help the matter any.”Read original story Fox News’ Bret Baier Rejects Trump’s Claim Disinfectant Comment Was Sarcasm: ‘That’s Not How It Looked’ At TheWrap

  • Millions of People Get Coronavirus Updates From Fox News – This Lawsuit Says the Network Gave Them False Information
    The Wrap

    Millions of People Get Coronavirus Updates From Fox News – This Lawsuit Says the Network Gave Them False Information

    Fox News is facing intense scrutiny for its initial coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and a lawsuit filed in Washington is asking a state court to bar the network from sharing false information about the pandemic.The top-rated network was sued Thursday by the Washington League for Increased Transparency and Ethics. TheWrap has reviewed the ten-page document, in which Fox News Corp., owner Rupert Murdoch, AT&T TV and Comcast were named as defendants.The organization is seeking an injunction to prevent Fox News from “interfering with reasonable and necessary measures to contain the virus by publishing further false and deceptive content.” Fox News, the suit says, violates the Consumer Protection Act, which ” declares unlawful and prohibits deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce.”Responding to Thursday’s lawsuit, general counsel for Fox News Media Lily Fu Claffee said, “Wrong on the facts, frivolous on the law. We will defend vigorously and seek sanctions as appropriate.”Also Read: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Fox News' Laura Ingraham: 'Why Are You on TV Again?'In the last month, Fox News’ on-air talent has been criticized for what they have shared about the virus, both on-air and through their social media accounts. (At the time of this article’s publication, FoxNewsLiedAsPeopleDied is a trending hashtag on Twitter.)Much of the criticism stems from the New York Times’ opinion section, which has published some scathing pieces recently that attack Fox News’ coverage and what the authors say are the effects of that coverage. Kara Swisher, the veteran tech journalist who co-founded the site ReCode, wrote in an op-ed this week that she blamed Fox News for her aging mother’s initial lack of concern about the coronavirus pandemic.Swisher wrote that her mother’s “primary source of news” is Fox News, and the older woman initially did not take the coronavirus threat seriously because of what she watched.Also Read: 74 Journalism Professors Sign Letter Calling Fox News' Coronavirus Coverage a 'Danger to Public Health'“But she was not concerned — and it was clear why. … In those days she was telling me that the COVID-19 threat was overblown by the mainstream news media (note, her daughter is in the media). She told me that it wasn’t going to be that big a deal. She told me that it was just like the flu,” Swisher wrote of her mother, who continued to go out to eat with friends for some time and went as far as to threaten to block Swisher’s number if she kept talking about the seriousness of the pandemic.That characterization earned Swisher a two-day fight with Fox News’ ratings behemoth and primetime host Sean Hannity.“You got one far-left media mob maniac over at ‘The New York Times’ using the virus to attack her least favorite network, oh, and yours truly,” Hannity said during his show Wednesday. “Yes, she’s accusing Fox News of putting her mother and the elderly people at risk.”Also Read: Sean Hannity Insists He 'Never Called the Virus a Hoax' One Week After Doing Just That (Video)“In order to help the media mob out, we put it all together for them [in a timeline] so they can’t plead ignorance when I think about suing them,” said Hannity, who had already unleashed a series of tweets about Fisher earlier in the day. He referenced his Jan. 27 interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci, a now-recognizable figure in the fight against the virus, and noted the conversation took place “six days after the first confirmed case of the United States.”In a different New York Times piece, writer-at-large Charlie Warzel pointed not necessarily to Fox News hosts’ on-air coverage but their online behavior. He described a Medium post by Aaron Ginn, a Silicon Valley product manager and “growth hacker,” that argued the true severity of the virus. Fox News’ Brit Hume tweeted a link to the post on March 21 to his over one million followers. By the next day, eight of his Fox colleagues had also shared the post, including Bret Baier, Laura Ingraham and Sebastian Gorka, who together have over five million followers. (Baier did tweet the Medium article, but also asked his followers to read a thread of information on the site that offered a “strong counter-argument to the medium article.”) Medium later removed Ginn’s post.“Within hours, the blog post was amplified across conservative media,” Warzel wrote.Some Fox News Media opinion hosts have been dismissive of the dangers of the coronavirus, especially in the virus’ earlier days in America. Former Fox Business host Trish Regan, for instance, described it as another effort to impeach President Donald Trump. She and her network parted ways at the end of March.Fox News — which Thursday gave $1 million to Feeding America in a joint donation with Facebook designed to ease the strain of the pandemic — began implementing work-from-home strategies for employees in mid-March, ramping up efforts to keep employees home as the virus spread. Hosts who still appeared in the studio started sitting six feet apart and the tone of coverage started to change as Fox News added two additional doctors to its roster of contributors.Fox News sent out an internal memo Friday stating that the earliest date staffers could expect to be back in their offices is May 4.Read original story Millions of People Get Coronavirus Updates From Fox News – This Lawsuit Says the Network Gave Them False Information At TheWrap

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