I haven’t written about Oliver Darcy much lately because honestly it just seems cruel at this point to keep pointing out all the myriad ways he and fellow CNN media hall monitor Brian Stelter are stuck on stupid. But sometimes things just need to be said, and this is one of those times.
In the Tuesday night Reliable Sources newsletter, Darcy just couldn’t stop himself from taking a swipe at Fox News host Tucker Carlson for having the nerve to ask questions about the coronavirus vaccine during recent segments. In Darcy’s view, it was the fault of right-wing commentators like Carlson that there was so much vaccine hesitancy in America:
Often when I read stories about vaccine hesitancy, I wonder: What if the forces in right-wing media would have enthusiastically encouraged their audiences to get vaccinated? Where would we be as a country if folks like Tucker Carlson accurately explained the science behind the shots to their viewers? What if, instead of fear mongering, they showed themselves getting the shot, demonstrating their safety? What if Fox News threw its actual full weight behind telling its audience what Rupert Murdoch clearly knows about the vaccines? Would we have hit the 70% mark by now? How many lives might have been saved?
Yes, these outlets have separate stories that point this out. But it’s important to tie such stories to the main bar coverage! The misinfo and fear mongering and conspiracy theories disseminated by certain people and outlets is key to understanding why so many people are opting not to get a shot. News orgs that don’t point this out in larger stories about vaccines — such as Tuesday stories about the US missing the 70% goal — are denying their audiences the full picture of what is going on. Vaccine hesitancy isn’t occurring in a vacuum and news orgs shouldn’t pretend that’s the case.
Stelter made sure to highlight Darcy’s attack in a tweet promoting the newsletter because of course he did:
>> @oliverdarcy >> "Often when I read stories about vaccine hesitancy, I wonder: What if the forces in right-wing media would have enthusiastically encouraged their audiences to get vaccinated?" https://t.co/kFCcuJOy43
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) June 23, 2021
The big problem with Darcy’s rant is how it totally (and predictably) ignored the fact that the two biggest contributors to vaccine hesitancy before it was even made available were the people at the head of the Democratic presidential ticket: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris (something then-President Trump called out back in September):
Of course, @oliverdarcy doesn't admit that it was Kamala Harris and Joe Biden who contributed a great deal to undermining the vaccine last year because Orange Man Bad. Funny how their tunes changed after the election. https://t.co/JzTbtqmFPC
— Sister Toldjah 😁 (@sistertoldjah) June 23, 2021
Let’s also not forget Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s mistrust of the vaccine because Orange Man Bad, even announcing late last year that because New York supposedly could “no longer trust the federal government” that they reserved the right to review the vaccines before they were distributed for safety purposes:
I believe Gov Cuomo was saying he wouldn’t allow the vaccine to be distributed until his own medical experts tested it. I think that would take like months for them to do any king of meaningful test, so that didn’t pan out. But that didn’t help build confidence in the science.
— johnny dollar (@johnnydollar01) June 23, 2021
It’s also those same two idiots who wore or are still wearing masks near 6 months after being vaccinated. They are a big part of the reason people have hesitancy. They are or were showing nothing changes after getting the shot. They are the anti-vaxxers.
— Joe (@JoeC1776) June 23, 2021
In a nutshell, the mixed messages from this administration on the vaccine have been nothing short of astonishing coming from the people who have proclaimed over and over again how people need to take it so the country can get back to normal.
Medical arguments for or against the vaccine aside, the biggest contributors to undermining the vaccine (and other treatments, for that matter) have been Democrats including the current President and Vice President, governors like Andrew Cuomo, and “news” outlets like CNN who amplified the doubts expressed by Biden, Harris, and the supposed “medical experts” who kept claiming the vaccine couldn’t be ready by the end of the year and that if it was we shouldn’t trust it.
These are also the same people who dogged Trump relentlessly for his promotion of hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for the coronavirus, even as some Democrats who had been given the drug to help treat their cases of COVID went on the record and said it saved their lives. Most recently, a study showed that the drug used in combination with zinc supplements was even more effective than previously thought.
Darcy, Stelter, and other broken records making right-wing media a scapegoat for vaccine hesitancy are cute, but they couldn’t be any further off the mark. While that’s not exactly a surprise, it’s worth pointing out all the same as the left’s/media’s continued blame games continue.