At the top of Politico Playbook this morning, there's a clip of Sean Hannity having a real heart-to-heart with his Fox News viewers last night.

"Please take COVID seriously. I can't say it enough," says Hannity, who just can't say it enough. "We don't need any more death," he says, like a guy who cares. "I believe in the science of vaccination." It definitely deserves to be at the top of Playbook, if you're not very good at contextualizing the news and have paid zero attention to anything else Fox News has said about the COVID vaccine one million times in the past two weeks.

Playbook calls it the "MONOLOGUE OF THE NIGHT." You bet.


Journalist Jan Wolfe noted on Twitter that just before Hannity made love to the COVID vaccine for 30 seconds, Hannity had been complaining about some university's vaccine mandate. (Without putting ourselves through looking up the clip, we're guessing it was Indiana University, whose vaccine mandate was just upheld by a Trump-appointed federal judge.) After Hannity's paean to vaccines, Wolfe notes that "he interviewed a young woman who lost feeling in her legs for a month in 2019 after getting a different type of vaccine."

So that's just quite a turnaround. Wow, Fox News must be having a total road to fuckin' Damascus moment, and will surely change its ways!

Playbook quotes The Dispatch's Andrew Egger, who tweeted, "If Fox decides to turn on a dime on this and suddenly go hardcore pro-vaccine the number of literal lives saved will not be small." Egger clarified later that "while I very much hope the unsettling turnaround in cases sparks some significant unease at Fox that leads to more of this stuff, I'm very much with @MattGertz that this is far from a done deal."

And what had Matt Gertz from Media Matters said that Egger was agreeing with, while trying to give some context to the tweet Playbook pulled from his feed out of context? Oh, Gertz just noted that Fox News also said the following things about COVID yesterday:

Uhhhh yeah. Let's not get our hopes up.

On "Fox & Friends" yesterday, Steve Doocy did try to explain to the rest of the idiot couch that "99 percent of people who are dying are unvaccinated," and that maybe mask mandates are a good thing. But he was having to fight back against absolute moron Brian Kilmeade, who loudly protested that it's the "choice" of those 99 percent of dying people to die unvaccinated, and whining that it's not the government's job to "protect anybody."

Later yesterday, Kilmeade continued on his petulant little tirade, bellyaching about California "unscientifically mandating masks indoors for vaccinated and unvaccinated people," and asking with that confused cross-eyed toddler look he gets on his face, "why does it matter how many COVID cases we have in this country?" Because people can just choose to get a vaccine if they don't want to die, because it's their choice!

Actual quote:

KILMEADE: But let's get this straight. Ninety-seven percent of COVID hospitalizations are unvaccinated people who, by the way, made their own choice not to be vaccinated. And if you need a reason to get vaccinated, I guess you just got one. But, since when do we count on the president of the United States for healthcare advice? Let me answer that, we do not, but that isn't stopping him from offering up his unsolicited unscientific input.

Yeah, we definitely shouldn't be taking healthcare advice from presidents unless they recommend bleach drinking and delusionally still think they won Arizona.

Kilmeade is of course vaccinated, like most Fox News people. Fox News has a vaccine passport program for its staffers and everything. But they don't like to tell their viewers that very often. Tucker Carlson won't even cop to his vaccination status. He's too busy saying vaccine passports are "medical Jim Crow" against the unvaccinated, and telling your Nana that COVID vaccines kill.

As Gertz noted, yesterday, Laura Ingraham questioned "the efficacy of the vaccine itself among adults." Federalist idiot and Meghan McCain's personal husband Ben Domenech went on Fox yesterday and called vaccines an "experimental treatment."

Last night, Tucker just asked questions about science he doesn't understand, wondering if the vaccines are even effective now that several Texas Democrats who traveled to DC — vaccinated, all — have now tested positive for COVID. He said the idea that this is now largely a "pandemic of the vaccinated" is A LIE. Nobody ever said there aren't breakthrough cases, and we're still learning about this new Delta variant, but Tucker's not one for discussing the nuance with his brain-wizard viewers.

It's not that Tucker is saying vaccines are bad, of course. He's just asking questions! Last night, he said, "We're not saying there's no benefit to the vaccine, there may well be profound benefits to the vaccine. Our mind is open and has been from the first day. We never encourage anyone to take or not take the vaccine." His mind is open! No encouraging or not encouraging here!

Then he said nobody should listen to medical advice from anybody on TV. We guess that includes the conversation broadcast by Fox News earlier in the day between John Roberts and Dr. Marc Siegel where they said people should get vaccinated.

Media Matters has a deep dive investigation into the actual numbers of what Fox News has been saying, finding that in a two-week period ending July 11, fully 57 percent of Fox News segments related to the COVID vaccine "included claims that either undermined or downplayed immunization efforts." The worst offenders in that period were Kilmeade and Ingraham.

But sure, let's all have starbursts down our pant-legs because Hannity spent 30 seconds being serious about vaccines. Surely Fox News has turned over a new leaf.

[Media Matters]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the managing editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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