On Monday’s episode of his Fox News present, Sean Hannity made headlines — as did a number of different Fox News personalities — when he appeared, briefly, to diverge from colleagues like Tucker Carlson and urge his viewers to take the COVID-19 vaccines.
But on Thursday, Hannity used his syndicated radio present as an opportunity to ship a follow-up message: Pssssych.
Hannity’s feedback on Monday made waves as a result of Fox has a number of hosts who categorical misgivings concerning the COVID vaccines or oppose the Biden administration’s efforts to encourage vaccination. And community famous person Tucker Carlson has repeatedly invited vaccine ‘skeptics’ spreading baseless conspiracy theories on as visitors.
We, like many publications wrote about Hannity’s feedback on the time, however we additionally rigorously identified how tepid that assertion really was, since he framed the entire thing as a matter of private selection and privateness slightly than public well being, He additionally bookended that assertion with what quantities to antivaxxer content material: One section in the identical episode railed towards vaccine mandates, one other overhyped potential vaccine unintended effects.
So reduce to Thursday, when Hannity insisted to listeners of his radio present that he completely didn’t imply to suggest he was making an attempt to encourage them to get vaccinated, and distanced himself from all of the optimistic press he obtained. You can take heed to audio of his radio present above, courtesy of Media Matters, however if you happen to can’t pay attention, right here’s what he mentioned (emphasis ours):
“For some purpose, me saying take COVID severely has lastly caught up with the mob and the — and the media. Now, I feel they’ve acquired ulterior motives. They monitor this present and TV each evening, and I feel it has to do with the truth that — you understand, there’s been this try and blame conservatives for the vaccine hesitancy.
And, you understand for instance, Yahoo News: ‘Suddenly Sean Hannity and other Fox hosts are urging their viewers to get COVID-19 vaccines.’ Suddenly? Well, initially, I’m not urging folks to get the COVID-19 vaccine, as a result of I’m not a health care provider. That just isn’t what I mentioned. I mentioned to take it severely, it may possibly kill you. I mentioned to do a number of analysis. If you have got a telephone, do your analysis. I mentioned to seek the advice of your physician and docs, and medical professionals you belief. I mentioned to contemplate your distinctive medical historical past that I do know nothing about. I mentioned to additionally have a look at your present medical situation and, in session along with your docs, take — don’t not do that. Do the analysis.”
So to sum up, sure he takes COVID-19 severely and sure, he says it may possibly kill you, however no he completely isn’t urging anybody to take the COVID-19 vaccine which has saved thousands and thousands of lives. Yes, we totally perceive the wiggle right here is that he’s telling folks “do the research” and advising “consultation with your doctors,” however the upshot is, unmistakably, that Sean Hannity has denied in unambiguous phrases that he’s even tepidly encouraging folks to take the vaccine.
Now, a few issues. First, Hannity’s radio present isn’t affiliated with Fox News — it’s syndicated by an iHeartworkMedia subsidiary.
And second, Fox News as a corporation has not formally taken a place towards the vaccine, and the information community has typically aired pro-vaccine content material. Also, regardless of superstars like Tucker outright refusing to say if he has been vaccinated and railing towards measures that would cut back the unfold of COVID, Fox News because it seems really has an inner vaccine passport protocol in place.
Also, not too long ago it additionally started directing viewers to vaccine sources in a re-aired PSA from earlier this 12 months telling them to get vaccinated “if they can.” Related tales from TheWrap:Fox News’ Cavuto Defends ‘Good Man’ Dr. Fauci (Video)MSNBC’s Joy Reid Accuses Fox News of Wanting ‘To Kill Their Own Viewers’ (Video)Fox News Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit With Britt McHenry