President Donald Trump’s misinformation campaign around the coronavirus needs a critical ally to accomplish it: Fox News.
In a panel discussion, former Assistant Director for Counterintelligence at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Frank Figliuzzi explained that the pro-Trump propaganda used to come out of Russia, but now it’s deadly propaganda coming from inside the house.
“You know, it is interesting that we have become so attuned, as you said, to external disinformation, disinformation from outside sources like Russia and now more than ever before we have to be attuned to disinformation from within,” said Figliuzzi during the discussion with MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace. “That means outlets like Fox News. Karl Marx once famously wrote that ‘religion was the opiate of the masses.’ Marx was wrong because he never met Fox News.”
He went on to say that had Marx met Fox he would have said that the outlet’s “dangerously mutually dependent relationship” between the government and the media was the true opiate of the people.
“We are entering a period where the president is going to try to perpetuate this notion that we can quickly come out of this and reopen the economy without any major damage and needs a media outlet to perpetuate that fraud on us,” Figliuzzi said. “And to perpetuate the unpleasant notion that some people, more than ever before, will have to die and sacrifice the elderly in light of saving the economy.”
He quoted Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick of Texas, who said during an appearance that some people are going to be willing and need to die to save the economy.
“If we are headed in that direction, the president needs more than ever before a supportive media outlet that can spill that nonsense out to us,” he continued. He went on to say that Americans must fight back by demanding scientists give accurate information and not get medical facts from Fox News.
New York Times reporter Ben Smith wrote that Fox News has stood by as hosts knowingly mislead viewers about the coronavirus and put people’s lives at risk.
“There are a lot of theories about what went wrong at Fox: that the network’s dug-in hostility toward climate science spilled over to medicine, or that its executives cared about ratings above all else,” Smith wrote. “But interviews with 20 current and former Fox staff members and Murdoch family associates in recent days paint a different picture: The network is in thrall to the president and largely beyond the control of the family that owns it.”
Host Trish Regan was so over-the-top with her false information about the coronavirus that she was ultimately taken off the air.
Watch the panel discussion below: