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Analysis: Biden calls on anti-fax liars to promote “dangerous misinformation”. But don’t expect anything to change

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When President Joe Biden appeared in the state dining hall on Tuesday to deliver a nationally televised speech on the Omicron variant, he spoke with two groups of Americans: the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. But Biden also delivered a brief (and compelling) message to a third group of Americans: those who are benefiting by promoting lies about the pandemic and vaccines.

“Look, the unvaccinated are responsible for their own choices,” Biden said. “But these elections have been fueled by dangerous misinformation on cable TV and social media. You know, these companies and personalities are making money by selling lies and allowing misinformation that can kill their own customers and their own followers. “.

“It’s wrong, it’s immoral and I ask the providers of these lies and misinformation to stop it,” Biden added. “Stop it now.”

Although Biden did not name any particular person or media organization, it was fairly clear who he was talking about. As a Fox News presenter, Dagen McDowell he remarked, “We know who he is trying to insult.” In fact, we certainly do.

This is not the first time Biden has called in the wrong information. In his inaugural address, he vowed to work for “defending the truth and defeating the lies.” And his administration has repeatedly warned of the dangers of misinformation ever since. But identifying a problem is one thing, solving it is another. And Biden’s requests for dishonest people to act in good faith have not yielded any significant results …

The needle does not move

As the hours of programming on Fox that followed the speech showed, Biden’s words had no effect. Tucker Carlson opened his trafficking program with more vaccine rhetoric and mocked the threat posed by the Omicron variant. And elsewhere in the right-wing media, Biden’s demand that outlets stop pushing anti-fax rhetoric was ridiculed and used to generate more eyeballs and therefore more profits. I noticed that the stories about Biden calling for the right-wing media were at the top of right-wing media sites like The Pundit Gateway.

>> It should be noted: even Biden’s gesture of goodwill towards Trump supporters was largely ignored by the MAGA media. While accrediting the Trump administration to help develop vaccines, a move that gave rise to breaking stories of many news organizations, the “Fox News Primetime” chyron on Tuesday night said, “DEMS REFUSE TO CREDIT TRUMMP FOR VACCINE EFFORT.”

Fox laughs at Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday morning made news in “New Day” saying he believed Jesse Watters should be “fired right away” for using a “kill shot” metaphor while encouraging attendees to conduct ambush interviews aimed at him. In doing so, Fauci predicted that it was “very likely” that Watters would be “incomprehensible” to Fox News because of the “horrible comments.”
Fauci was right. Fox made a statement shortly after claiming that Watters’ words had been “completely out of context.” And in “The Five,” Watters criticized Fauci again. Greg Gutfeld even he mocked Fauci, saying he is the one who should be “fired at the place.” This made the co-presenters laugh …

A failure of imagination?

Outgoing NIH leader Dr. Francis Collins when PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff asked if there was anything the NIH could have done otherwise about the pandemic response. “Perhaps we have invested little in research into human behavior,” he said. Collins explained, “I never imagined a year ago, when these vaccines were just proving to be fantastically safe and effective, that we would still have 60 million people who didn’t take advantage of misinformation and misinformation” that “somehow dominated” the information. space. Many types of social scientists responded to Twitter with exasperation as they did did imagine this problem …

The marketing campaign is not great

Speaking of a failure of imagination: one thing that has caught my attention is how bad the marketing of vaccines has been. Most messages seem to be aimed at people who are already attentive to the news and have decided in one way or another. Whether it’s Biden giving an address to the White House or Fauci doing the cable news round, it’s hard to see how these efforts are reaching persuasive, non-informative audiences.

I may not be reasonable, but it baffles me that I can sign in to an app like Instagram and not be immediately bombarded with athletes, musicians, actors, and other influencers by encouraging their followers to get vaccinated and empowered. And it baffles me why public vaccine PSAs are boring and lack a drop of creativity. These ads could be powerful and evoke all sorts of emotions, but at least here in New York, they simply present the health commissioner reading dry a script to encourage people to get vaccinated.

The pro-vaccine message, for lack of better words, is boring! This is not to say that there were no exceptions to this rule. But overall, the marketing has not been impressive. And I can’t imagine these local PSAs, another Biden speech, or Fauci appearing on a Sunday show for the umpteenth time being effective at convincing anyone to come along. It’s really time for government officials to think outside the box about how to reach new audiences …

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