During an interview with Joy Reid on MSNBC’s AM Joy on Sunday, Vanity Fair’s Gabe Sherman, who authored the Fox News exposé, The Loudest Voice in the Room, claims that the conservative network is concerned about facing legal action for its coronavirus coverage, which has been accused of misleading viewers.
As reported by Media Matters for America, Sherman pointed to Fox News’ original dismissal of the danger of COVID-19 and the narrative some of its personalities pushed — that concern around the virus was a “partisan attempt” put forth by Democrats to undermine Trump.
“Fox News is a very powerful media organization, but it cannot stop people from dropping dead,” Sherman said after noting that the network could not outrun the reality of the inevitable pandemic.
Later in the interview, Sherman touched on alleged fears within Fox News.
“When I’ve been talking to Fox insiders over the last few days, there’s a real concern inside the network that their early downplaying of the coronavirus actually exposes Fox News to potential legal action by viewers who maybe were misled and actually have died from this.”
As The Inquisitr previously reported, a recent poll from Survey 160 and Gradient Metrics showed that Republican Fox News viewers are most skeptical of the threat of the coronavirus. Specifically, more than 60 percent of this group — which is distinct from Republicans that don’t watch Fox News — believed the media is exaggerating the crisis.
Sherman pointed to reporting from The New York Times that suggested the Murdoch family, which owns Fox News, was privately taking the pandemic seriously — a stark contrast to the network’s earlier coverage of the crisis.
“So, they were taken personal steps to protect themselves while anchors like Trish Regan and Sean Hannity were telling viewers that it’s a hoax and putting themselves in potentially mortal danger. “
According to Sherman, if the Fox News coverage can be proven to have led to deaths, it’s “new terrain” in terms of possible legal action against the network.
As reported by CNN, Fox News parted ways with Regan after backlash for her dismissal of the COVID-19 pandemic, which she claimed was a conspiracy aimed at removing Trump from office.
“This is impeachment all over again,” Regan said at the time.
Per Salon, Michael Bromwich, a former federal prosecutor and Justice Department inspector general, said Fox News should be worried about being held liable for its purportedly misleading coronavirus coverage.
“Fox is right to be concerned,” he said. “Very concerned. This could be a legal bloodbath.”