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Open Letter to Rupert Murdoch

Dear Rupert 
(or Lachlan, or whoever’s in charge of FOX these days):

Please help us understand the upside of undermining vaccines. What’s in it for you? What do you gain by giving your viewers information so bad, it literally kills them?

Where’s the profit in overloading the entire healthcare system to the point of catastrophic failure? Who benefits from that?

Are your advertisers on board with this? Are Ford, Progressive, Bayer, ADT, Sandals — to name but a few — really that eager to kill off their customers? To be sure, they’ve all sheepishly looked the other way while your avatars — Tucker, Sean, Laura — spread their venom through the population.

We know they all love reaching the FOX audience — Ford no doubt sells millions of F150s to Trump voters — but how much do they enjoy the aggressive propagation of malignant fictions, aimed at gullible rubes? Especially when those fictions keep their workers out sick and their supply chains in chaos.

Which of your advertisers wants to be associated with that? And what do their stockholders think of them standing by and letting it happen?

Don’t these companies have any leverage here, Rupert? Don’t they ever lean on you to slip in just a little bit of truth once in a while? Do they even hint at it privately? Or do they just sit on their hands while you disseminate dangerous, potentially life-threatening lies to the very people they need to buy their products?

Is there some opportunity we're missing here? Do dead people represent some under-served market?

We get that there’s big money in an all-lies-all-the-time news format. And we’re not begrudging you your racism, your precious misogyny, or even your eagerness to flush democracy down the toilet. We get that these things are now core to your business model.

But Rupert, this is Covid we're talking about. It's not a minority. Or an immigrant. Or even a Democrat. It’s a disease, and it’s screwing up everything in the world. 

Even huge multinational companies — yours, for instance — are hurting from it, one way or another. Yet you're investing in it, putting serious resources into keeping it going indefinitely. How does that fit anyone’s business plan, let alone yours? Isn’t the future uncertain enough without stretching this pandemic out for years?

Why wouldn’t you do everything in your considerable power to take Covid off the table? Even if only in your own self-interest? Wouldn’t that be better for earnings than seeing it spin off variants forever?

As it is, you’re getting off easy with Omicron. Or at least that’s how it looks this week. Yes, Omicron is insanely contagious, but as a killer of humans it’s apparently pretty tame. Even so, most of the benefits of that tameness will accrue to those of us who are vaxxed and boosted. The unvaxxed are evidently just as vulnerable as ever.

But what about next year, when we get a new variant that’s more contagious than Omicron and more lethal than Delta? What then?

It’s not like you couldn’t turn this anti-vaxx ship around. It is, after all, what you’re good at.  Propaganda, brainwashing, constant repetition — all perfect tools for the job. All we ask is that, just this once, you use them to reprogram your viewers. Scam them into getting vaxxed.

Vaccination would be such an easy thing for them to love, if only FOX, their trusted source of misinformation, would nudge them in that direction.

There’s no shortage of ways you could do it, scenarios you could write. Starting with the most obvious: Follow Trump’s lead. Make him the vaccine hero.

Trump is now signaling that he wants to go down in history as the wise leader who whipped the forces of science into inventing all the vaccines currently in use. He's aggrieved that he doesn’t get the credit due him, but he’s being cautious. He has taken flak from his followers on several occasions, just for hinting that vaccination might offer something positive for society. 

Just last week, at a poorly-attended rally, he dared to encourage his followers to get vaccinated. He and Bill O’Reilly — the wingnut dream team — admitted to being not just vaxxed, but boosted as well. Not only were they heckled and booed, but they managed to alienate no less a thug than Alex Jones.

Remember, Rupert, Trump got you into this mess. Let him get you out. You all could’ve been vaccine heroes. You could’ve been the guys who crushed the pandemic. But somehow Trump conned you into taking a stance that never worked for him, that hasn’t worked for anybody, and that makes you and your avatars look stupid, foolish, and malicious all at once. It’s what Trump does.

But still, he’s somehow pointed you in the right direction. All you have to do is run with it. Spin it like you spin all things Trump-ish: put out some absurd conspiracy theory.

Your people could write it in their sleep. How Trump is the secret genius behind the vaccines. How he stopped Bill Gates from loading them with microchips that turn people gay. How Democrats tried to kill the whole idea of vaccines. How the Squad used mRNA technology to steal the election. How all the evidence was on Hunter Biden’s laptop. Or something.

We get that it might not work. It might just be too late. Those brains might be washed too clean. And it’s not clear that Trump has the throw weight he once had.

But it’s got to be worth a try. Even without Trump, you could make it work. Plus, you’ll figure out a way to make money from it. You always do.

We know, this isn’t a priority for you. A mere global pandemic can’t hope to compete with critical race theory or the War on Christmas or how January 6 was a tourist outing. We all know you have facts to cherry-pick, rumors to weaponize, anger to whip up, Democrats to demonize, climate change to deny, criminal behavior to condone, abortion to gloat about, white supremacists to celebrate, and Congressional hearings to pretend aren’t happening.

And that’s just scratching the surface of things higher on your list than little old Covid.

Surely lies are much more in keeping with the FOX brand, but would it hurt to let a few science-based truths into the broadcasts? Couldn’t you just disguise them as lies?

It’s in your interest to keep your viewers alive and buying. Since you know they’ll believe anything you tell them, how about — just this one time — you get them to believe something real?

Yours truly,

Everyone

 

 

Comments

  1. Republicans and Fox News, when you have nothing else to hold a large portion of the population in your clutches you will lie, cheat, kill and even die to hold on to that power. They are like a wild animal backed into the corner. They have nothing else to offer.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think you may have just developed a new writing style. You can point this style of pleading and reason to all kinds of politicians as well as CEOs. Why don’t you start with Joe Manchin, if it’s not too late? He’s probably still got all kinds of ways to damage the party up his sleeve. As someone put it to me, he’s a Republican in a Democrat suit.

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