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

  • 74 Journalism Professors Sign Letter Calling Fox News’ Coronavirus Coverage a ‘Danger to Public Health’
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    The Wrap

    74 Journalism Professors Sign Letter Calling Fox News’ Coronavirus Coverage a ‘Danger to Public Health’

    74 journalism professors and journalists signed an open letter addressed to Fox News’ Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch on Thursday, criticizing the network they oversee for its coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.The letter stated, in part, “The Viewers of Fox News, including the president of the United States, have been regularly subjected to misinformation relayed by the network — false statements downplaying the prevalence of COVID-19 and its harms; misleading recommendations of activities that people should undertake to protect themselves and others, including casual recommendations of untested drugs; false assessments of the value of measures urged upon the public by their elected political leadership and public health authorities.”It went on to declare Fox News’ coverage a “danger to public health,” citing various statistics. One survey cited, for instance, came from Pew Research and revealed that 79% of Fox News’ viewers felt the media was overstating the potency of COVID-19, or the coronavirus.Also Read: ReCode Co-Founder Blames Fox News for Aging Mother's Lack of Coronavirus ConcernLike other recent critics of the network’s coverage of the pandemic, the professors did point out that some Fox News reporters have done “solid” reporting, specifically singling out primetime host Tucker Carlson.“Urgently, therefore, in the name of both good journalism and public health, we call upon you to help protect the lives of all Americans — including your elderly viewers — by ensuring that the information you deliver is based on scientific facts,” the letter said.Primetime host Sean Hannity responded to the letter in an exclusive interview with Newsweek, saying, “They’re guilty of what they accuse me of. I said it in 2007: Journalism is dead.” Hannity then cited misreporting in the 2006 Duke lacrosse team rape case and Nicholas Sandmann, the Covington High student who sued CNN for defaming him.Fox News Media has been impacted both by some talent’s early coverage of the virus and by the illness itself: Fox Business Network parted ways with Trish Regan after she questioned whether coronavirus was a hoax designed to hurt President Donald Trump.Six confirmed cases in the New York offices have coincided with an overhaul of company procedure. All interviews are now down by Skype and the select few employees still working in the building instead of telecommuting are asked to take their temperature every morning.Earlier this week the network began airing a PSA across the channel where Fox News various on-air talents urge viewers to visit coronavirus.gov for the latest information to stay safe during the pandemic. Fox News and Facebook hosted a town hall Thursday night, making a joint $1 million donation Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund in the process.Among the signatories are Todd Gitlin of Columbia Journalism School, Mark Feldstein of University of Maryland and Adam Hoschchild of UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.Read original story 74 Journalism Professors Sign Letter Calling Fox News’ Coronavirus Coverage a ‘Danger to Public Health’ At TheWrap

  • ReCode Co-Founder Blames Fox News for Aging Mother’s Lack of Coronavirus Concern
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    The Wrap

    ReCode Co-Founder Blames Fox News for Aging Mother’s Lack of Coronavirus Concern

    In a scathing New York Times op-ed, Kara Swisher, the veteran tech journalist who co-founded the site ReCode, blamed Fox News — not Facebook or Google — for her aging mother’s initial lack of concern about the coronavirus pandemic.Swisher wrote her mother’s “primary source of news” is Fox News and initially didn’t take the coronavirus threat seriously because of that.“But she was not concerned — and it was clear why. Her primary source of news is Fox. 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 pestering her about the seriousness of the pandemic.Also Read: Fox News Coronavirus Town Hall Sets Record With 4.41 Million ViewersSwisher blamed “Fox, the whole Fox, and nothing but the Fox” for her mother’s attitude instead of Facebook or Google in the opinion piece, which was titled “Fox’s Fake News Contagion.” She added that “it sometimes feels like Fox News is eating my mother’s brain.”The writer did also note, “Thankfully, Mom had not gone as far as claiming the coronavirus is a plot to hurt President Trump — a theory pushed by some at Fox News heavily at first.”Fox Business Network parted ways with Trish Regan after she shared that exact talking point. While Swisher wrote that she was afraid for her mother in a way she has observed is familiar to other adult children of aging Americans who are becoming more interested in the right-leaning network, Fox News Media itself has also been hit by the coronavirus. Six confirmed cases in the New York offices have coincided with an overhaul of company procedure. All interviews are now down by Skype and the select few employees still working in the building instead of telecommuting are asked to take their temperature every morning.Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Primetime host Sean Hannity, however, confronted Swisher on Twitter, writing in a series of posts, “Hey Kara whoever u are. I’ll accept you are a pest, but you are also ignorant, lazy and a total hypocrite.”Read original story ReCode Co-Founder Blames Fox News for Aging Mother’s Lack of Coronavirus Concern At TheWrap

  • Was a Disheveled Judge Jeanine Pirro Tipsy After Fox News Show Delayed for ‘Technical Difficulties’?
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    The Wrap

    Was a Disheveled Judge Jeanine Pirro Tipsy After Fox News Show Delayed for ‘Technical Difficulties’?

    Jeanine Pirro’s Fox News show got a late start on Saturday night due to “technical difficulties” — but when the former New York state judge did appear nearly 15 minutes into her show, her usually perfectly coifed hair appeared disheveled and she seemed to be tipsy in her verbal delivery.“We apologize for the technical difficulties,” Pirro said when she finally appeared about a quarter into the one-hour broadcast after anchor Jackie Ibanez covered for her initial absence.Pirro’s speaking was notably loose throughout the broadcast. “Just the other … day the president talked, or was hoping, about the possibility of reopening everything on Easter Sunday, uh, in a way where we could kind of come out of this quarantine, as loose as it may be, that we’re involved in,” Pirro said at one point.You can check out the short clip of the now edited out moment in the tweets below.Judge Jeanine missed the first segment of her show tonight because of “technical difficulties” and then hosted the rest of it in this condition pic.twitter.com/KxGGBXUkly— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 29, 2020Beyond parody. You can actually see Jeanine Pirro putting down her drink at the top of her show tonight…which was delayed due to “technical difficulties”. pic.twitter.com/5hOC11BFtM— ElElegante101 (@skolanach) March 29, 2020Also Read: Trish Regan Out at Fox Business After Coronavirus CommentsA rep for Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Left-leaning Twitterverse quickly had a field day with the episode of “Justice With Judge Jeanine,” with several noting similarities to Cecily Strong’s impression of a liquor-toting, drink-spilling Pirro on “Saturday Night Live.”“Has anyone noticed that a number of Trump’s most passionate fans (“Judge” Jeanine, Giuliani, Kudlow) often appear to be drunk as a skunk when they defend him on TV?” asked Jeet Heer, a correspondent for The Nation. New York Daily News columnist Mike Lupica suggested that the show could be retitled “Happy Hour With Judge Jeanine.”And actress Minnie Driver, using a vulgar British term for drunk, suggested Pirro was “the only fantastic side effect of COVID19 sublime content” on Fox News. Read more reactions here.Has anyone noticed that a number of Trump's most passionate fans ("Judge" Jeanine, Giuliani, Kudlow) often appear to be drunk as a skunk when they defend him on TV? https://t.co/mlKghFoKSB— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) March 29, 2020New name for show: Happy Hour with Judge Jeanine.— Mike Lupica (@MikeLupica) March 29, 2020Judge Jeanine might be joining Trish Reagan at an upstate farm tomorrow. https://t.co/R8msbxyLUZ— YS (@NYinLA2121) March 29, 2020Invented a new cocktail that involves chugging bourbon from the bottle and then recording angry videos to send to my exes. I'm calling it the Judge Jeanine.— Gary Legum (@GaryLegum) March 29, 2020Judge Jeanine, twatted, on-air is the only fantastic side effect of COVID19 sublime content FoxNews ! https://t.co/qJKnyGqmav— Minnie Driver (@driverminnie) March 29, 2020At one point a heavily inebriated Judge Jeanine is slowly nodding off while her guest talks. A quick-thinking producer gets her off screen by throwing up a graphic of "mental health tips." The first tip is "AVOID NAPS"!!!! pic.twitter.com/h16JkzldrH— John Teti (@johnteti) March 29, 2020And hello to Judge Jeanine's new sponsor: Vitameatavegamin "It's so tasty too!" pic.twitter.com/cuLxdGDatu— Joe Santi (@JoeAconite) March 29, 2020Judge Jeanine and her “technical difficulties” pic.twitter.com/eSU38WOMB2— bean the modest wizard (@RahBean85) March 29, 2020Read original story Judge Jeanine Pirro Appears Disheveled and Tipsy After Fox News Show Delayed for ‘Technical Difficulties’ At TheWrap