Fox News reporter deletes tweet after being blasted for using Colin Powell’s death to promote vaccine disinformation
John Roberts, Fox News' co-anchor of "America Reports," and the right wing network's former White House correspondent under Presidents Trump, Bush, and Clinton, came under intense fire Monday morning for using the COVID-19 related death of former U.S. Secretary of State and Joint Chiefs Chairman Colin Powellto promote the network's position of vaccine disinformation.
Fox News has long suggested there was a wall between its daytime "straight news" reporters and their coverage, and its nighttime opinion hosts, but that wall over the past few months has largely disappeared. It is now common for Fox News daytime viewers to be served "reporting" on the opinions of Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham.
For that to happen Fox News reporters have had to become mirrors of the disinformation campaigns the network's nighttime personalities promote.
Like vaccine disinformation.
Vaccine disinformation is "a big reason behind low inoculation rates," the L.A. Times recently reported.
"Fox News aired claims that undermine COVID-19 vaccines on 99% of days in the last six months, according to research by progressive media watchdog group Media Matters for America," HuffPost reported earlier this month. "Only two days from April through September didn't feature the sowing of doubt about the safe and effective shots."
The news of the death of former U.S. Secretary of State and Joint Chiefs Chairman Colin Powell has hit many across the nation hard. Secretary Powell was 84 years old and died of complications from COVID-19, with his family noting he was fully vaccinated.
Powell was also battling "multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer that impacts the body's ability to fight infections," and Parkinson's.
ut according to Fox News' John Roberts, Secretary Powell's death "raises new concerns about how effective vaccines are long-term," which is both manipulative and false, given the facts surrounding his health – namely that he was 84 and battling a cancer that impacts the body's ability to fight infections.
Journalists and many others are blasting Roberts so mercilessly that he ultimately deleted the tweet with no apology or explanation, but here's a screenshot:
No. GEN Powell was successfully fighting multiple myeloma, a cancer of blood cells, and that fight compromised his immune system \u2014 which was a profound challenge when he contracted COVID. https://twitter.com/johnrobertsFox/status/1450089604040769536\u00a0\u2026— Jake Tapper (@Jake Tapper) 1634565606
Do you ever reflect about the fact that ignorant tweets like this literally lead to people dying avoidable deaths?— Brian Klaas (@Brian Klaas) 1634565813
The fact that you tweeted this without even mentioning he was an 84-year-old man with a kind of cancer that directly limits the body's ability to fight viruses raises new concerns about how utterly godawful you are as a journalist.— Kevin M. Kruse (@Kevin M. Kruse) 1634564867
Honest question: have any Fox employees talked about the human cost of their boosting vaccine hesitancy? Or is it something you know, but it's regarded as impolite to discuss it?https://twitter.com/donmoyn/status/1431700575582892040?s=20\u00a0\u2026— Don Moynihan (@Don Moynihan) 1634564873
Or that 84-year-olds are in a different risk category and it\u2019s hard to see how * fewer * vaccines makes it better. But hey whatever https://twitter.com/johnrobertsfox/status/1450089604040769536\u00a0\u2026— Maggie Haberman (@Maggie Haberman) 1634565860
Tough day for the people that claim that John Roberts is a serious journalist— Dan Pfeiffer (@Dan Pfeiffer) 1634566178
Thank you for this perfect tweet to send people when they claim that Fox News is a legitimate news organization because they have real reporters like John Roberts— Jason O. Gilbert (@Jason O. Gilbert) 1634565668
It's not just the clowns on Fox & Friends, Fox News anchors are doing the same thing\n\nHere's John Roberts making a fool of himselfpic.twitter.com/V5z8RGOTpl— Lis Power (@Lis Power) 1634565833
Here's the Tweet John Roberts deleted right before he blocked me. It's nothing less than journalistic malpractice. He should be fired.pic.twitter.com/Wjw5fVIUpG— Proud Navy Veteran \uea00 (@Proud Navy Veteran \uea00) 1634567035
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