Tag: coronavirus

Background Briefing: April 2, 2020

 

A Signatory of the Letter to the Owners of Fox to Stop Spreading Lies and Misinformation

We begin as we approach the peak of the COVID-!9 caseload in New York with the appalling news that New York is about to run out of ventilators just when they are needed most and will soon be needed a lot more. Instead of rising to the challenge, our disgraceful excuse for a leader is dissing our healthcare professionals (one of whom, an emergency room doctor in New Jersey, died from Covid today) of being “complainers” who “are never satisfied”, charging without evidence, they are selling hospital equipment out the back door. But as true and real as this growing crisis is and as derelict the leadership from Washington appears, you would never know it if you watched Fox News. But a reckoning of sorts is underway as the nation’s death toll reaches 5,000 so far, holding the Trump propaganda machine responsible for spreading lies and disinformation to Fox viewers who, if they follow Trump and the Murdoch network’s advice, will start dying in increasing numbers. One of 74 signatories of an open letter to Rupert Murdoch and Lauchlan Murdoch about Fox News’s irresponsible coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mark Feldstein, joins us.  A professor and the Chair of Broadcast Journalism at the University of Maryland, he is a two-time George Foster Peabody award-winning investigative correspondent formerly with CNN, ABC and NBC and we discuss the irony that the median age of Fox News viewers is 65, the very group most vulnerable to the virus. The letter attempts to hold to account a faux populist bilious billionaire tending his vineyard in Bel Air while Murdoch’s hirelings assure Fox viewers the pandemic is a “Democratic hoax” perpetrated by “our ruling class and their TV mouthpieces – whipping up fear over this virus”.

 

Dr. Fauci Gives the White House Cover, Forcing the Press to Broadcast Trump’s Daily Political Rallies

Then we examine the role of Dr. Fauci in the daily White House briefings who has just had the DOJ and U.S. Marshall Service assign 9 special agents to protect him from death threats coming from the Q-Anon right wing lunatic fringe egged on by Fox’s Lou Dobbs who accuses Dr. Fauci of trying to undermine his dear leader Donald Trump. Angelo Carusone, the President of Media Matters for America, joins us to discuss how, contrary to speculation that Trump is peeved at being contradicted by Fauci, the much-loved truth-teller is the best thing that is happening to Trump because he provides him with cover and is the reason why the mainstream press is forced to broadcast Trump’s political rallies dressed up as briefings.

6.65 Million Apply for Benefits in a Week and Unemployment Could Reach 32.1%

Then finally with 6.65 million Americans applying for unemployment benefits this week with a total of 10 million having lost their jobs over the past two weeks, we speak with an historian Robert McElvaine, whose books include The Great Depression: America 1929-1941Down and Out in the Great Depression: Letters From the “Forgotten Man” and The Encyclopedia of the Great Depression.  He joins us to discuss projections by the Federal Reserve that unemployment could soon reach as high as 32.1%, higher than anything witnessed in the great depression.