A stunning case of double-standards
As businesses across the USA reopen, most are trying to balance employee welfare and safety with the ongoing risk of breakthrough COVID cases. Many businesses are mandating that employees get vaccinated as a means of reducing the risk of further outbreaks and business closures.
Bloomberg reported on September 30 that 1 in 4 US businesses has now mandated vaccines for their employees.
As might be expected, vaccine mandates have remained a partisan issue and Fox News has followed the right-wing Republican line by generally being against companies who mandate vaccines for their staff.
The credibility of that message may well be reduced since news anchors on 'Fox and Friends' on October 20th revealed that the network has put such controls in place for its staff:
During the show, co-host Steve Doocy explained on the air that Fox News has a policy for its own workforce of requiring vaccination or daily COVID-19 testing. Co-host Brian Kilmeade added that Fox News control room staffers also have to wear masks. Co-host Ainsley Earhardt added:
“Yeah, they have to wear masks, because they’re very close to one another.”
It seems hypocritical that an organization that clearly believes in vaccines, masks and testing enough to mandate them for its own staff is happy to send out conflicting messages to the wider public who consider the network a credible source of information.
A study carried out by Media Matters for America confirmed that Fox News had broadcast messages undermining vaccine effectiveness on all but two days between April and September of 2021.
Earlier this year, in September a CNN Media Reporter, Oliver Darcy found that a Fox Media Group report confirmed that 90% of its employees had been vaccinated:
Media and politicians playing games with lives
Southwest Airlines are among many high-profile corporations that have enacted vaccine mandates for staff, in spite of backlash from many state leaders (including those in Texas) who want to ban businesses from making such requirements of their staff.
At the same time, hardened right-wing Republican politicians like Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene are going all-in against businesses that mandate vaccines - describing them as unpatriotic and a violation of freedoms.
It's no small wonder then that in many Republican states the vaccine uptake is still well behind the US average of 57% and much lower than many states that are 70% vaccinated or more. Texas is 53% vaccinated and Georgia is among the lowest with just 47% of people vaccinated.
It seems clear that the messages broadcast by media outlets and politicians could play an important part in determining vaccine uptake - it's a shame then that their message is potentially misleading and disingenuous.
What do you think about broadcasters like Fox demonstrating such double standards? Would it change your perspective on getting a vaccine to know that what people say and what they do are two different things? Let me know in the comments section below.