In the last couple days, the not-totally-insane right-wing world has been “pivoting” on vaccines. Even moron Steve Scalise just announced that he’s gotten his first shot:
Scalise’s pivot to vaccine promotion after appearing reluctant to do so for months comes as right-wingers have also began trading in their vaccination skepticism for advocacy as hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 continue to rise. Recent polling has shown that Republicans, especially men, are significantly more resistant to getting vaccinated against the infectious disease that has killed more than 600,000 Americans thus far.
Fox News has notably in the last 24 hours gone from peddling vaccine skepticism rhetoric to some key hosts hyping the efficacy of the vaccine. The network’s human resource department reportedly encouraged employees recently to voluntarily report their vaccination status to the company in order to avoid daily, mandatory health screenings required to work in company offices.
Newsmax’s owner has also come around to hailing the Biden administration’s wartime effort to getting Americans vaccinated against the infectious disease.
Here’s the thing about convincing morons that vaccines will put chips in your blood and cause you to shed virus, and then taking it all back: your average white male idiot does not “pivot” on a dime. Someone waving a confederate flag because daddy and grandpappy did, is not the kind of guy who changes his beliefs quickly. And they’re certainly not going to run out and get vaccinated because some Fox personalities change their tune for 24 hours, especially when the vaccine “endorsements” from Hannity and Carlson are half-hearted at best.
Is this just a fig leaf that will be pulled out at a later date when every hospital in Foxland is full to the brim with unvaccinated COVID patients gasping to death? Is the benefit of vaccination so bloody obvious that even a network devoted to lies has to at least nod at the truth? I’m honestly perplexed about the timing of this “pivot”, which is the dumbest word in political journalism, yet aptly used here, because “pivots” are generally vacuous. Leopards don’t change their spots.
Too many MAGAts dying. You can’t not see that.
Not much of a pivot, but enough of a pivot to keep clear of wrongful death lawsuits.
It’s the economy, stupid. The only thing the donor class cares about is money, more and more money. They’re worried that the Delta surge will lead to lockdowns and things going back to like they were in 2020.
I am confused too. It is more than one source too so it has to be from one of those rightwing puppet master organizations. The ones that organize all those messaging campaigns on various issues where the tell is they all use the same language suddenly and together. Normally its about non gun control or antiwomen’s rights or democrats are bad. This is a surprise because I don’t see a reason.
@mmolleur: I no longer believe they are controlled by the money class. They always acted like it before but even before Trump, the money guys lost control of the populist so called conservatives. They all like money, but they aren’t controlled by business republicans anymore. I would argue that they have purified their party so much that they no longer have the brains to understand how finance works.
They don’t change their spots, no. On the other hand they do eat faces quite well.
The results of Miskatonic University’s ongoing study into the emerging Karma Variant leaked out, and once the chief megaphonies realised that it was 500% more infectious and targeted overweight, middle-aged white males suffering from erectile dysfunction… things took a turn.
I think these folks will come around amazingly quickly. There is no deeper principle or policy at play here. When Fing Fox and Facebook tell them that we have always been at war with Eastasia and they need to get vaccinated they will fall into line.
I’ve been joking that I did it!
Hey, the timing fits! Monday morning at 6:20am, I was saying this:
And within hours, FoxWorld goes into its pivot. I scared the bejesus out of them!
Yes, I am just kidding. But the timing is just so awesome!
Yahtzee. They don’t give a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut as to whether nor not their audience actually gets jabbed, they’re just airbrushing history. I’m already informed that Tucker Carlson has never been against the vaccine, and that we have always been at war with Eastasia.
I don’t know why the Foxbots changed their tune, but the response in their target audience will be that the “liebrals” got to Hannity et al., probably by injecting a chip in them.
Perhaps it’s dawning on them, after hearing endless versions of “deaths from COVID are occurring almost exclusively in states that voted for Trump,” that being the party too stupid to save its members from death is not a good look. Although you’d think that would have occurred to them long before now.
@Charluckles: The Orwell ref I thought of was Animal Farm, the change from”4 legs good,2 legs bad” to”4 legs good,2 legs better.”
It could be a calculation that a lot of unvaccinated red state COVID deaths will appall marginal voters. The stories coming out now are really ugly. It’s also possible that Murdoch Inc. is getting bad vibes from the mess in England.
Rupert Murdoch has decided that too much money will be lost if the country has to lock down again. It’s not like right wing apparatchiks have suddenly started giving a fiddler’s fuck about how many people die.
Provided it’s not them doing the dying, of course.
Four Seasons Total Landscaping mistermix
One thing I also wondered about was how this sorta kinda leaves people like Noem and DeSantis, who have staked their entire reputations in MAGA land as being the most COVID denying of them all, out in the rain. Couldn’t happen to a nicer set of people, of course, but perhaps those two will hide behind the “personal choice” bullshit rhetoric that all the other MAGAts use.
Yep, this. When you encourage people to believe in crazy conspiracy theories, you promote this kind of thinking. Their response to any Republican not mouthing the QAnon party line is that they have turned into RINOS and they quit listening to them.
Only MAGAts are dying. Or at least, that’s the public perception, which is kinda-sorta true. Republicans hate the public good and will gleefully die if it drags the Other down with them. Delta is moving in hard on unvaccinated Red areas, while Democrats are less and less having problems. The smarter media Republicans have realized they can’t beat this drum as ‘Ha ha watch the n- die’ anymore and mob mentality and stampedes are how they work. I think it’s too late. Conservative media didn’t teach their voters Cleek’s Law. Their voters demanded media that reinforced it.
Yep, see what I posted in the Covid thread today from my friend who had to go to the ER here in SWMO a couple of days ago. They’re saying our hospitals here will be completely full by the end of the week.
I wonder of the part of the reason is that they succeeded in keeping Biden from making his July 4th goal. With no new target set, there’s no spiteful reason to keep vaccinations low currently.
@gvg: Two days ago there was a big drop in the stock market attributed to delta variant fears. These people pivoting are wealthy, right?
One minor factor, I think, is that they already made Biden miss his vax goals for July 4. With that “mission accomplished”, there isn’t such an immediate need to throw sand in the gears other than the constant, habitual sand-gear-throwing that Republicans regularly engage in.
Fear of lawsuits is probably what is prompting Fox News personalities, about Scalise IDK.
For half of them (mostly the male half, but some females too) the total reason is to prove that liberals and the government aren’t the boss of them, and can’t make them take the Fauci vaccines.
It’s the dumbest thing imaginable to encourage your voters to voluntarily risk death to “own” the other side, but here we are.
Three words. Stock. Markets. Dive.
I don’t think that there’s any unnecessary and burdensome concern about human life. On the other hand, if it can be shown that the big COV harms fetuses………..
I think the sudden change will work for some of the listeners, but not all. You can pull a 180 if you control all the sources of information, but not if people can change their source of information to match what they want to hear. As long as there’s at least one right-wing news source that continues to say vaccines are evil, people who have become invested in that belief will switch news sources rather than switching beliefs. If you’re not careful, some of the people will switch to a crazy New Age anti-vax news source rather than a crazy right wing one.
Depends what racial and/or economic bracket those fetuses are in, doesn’t it?
I agree with a lot of the possible motivations proposed above. Additionally it may be they saw a change in Biden’s rhetoric. He functionally was giving them cover for their bad behavior by pretending that “vaccine hesitancy” was not being driven by rightwing hacks, press, and rich fucks. When he (and various people in his administration) began directly calling out the bad actors, they lost that cover. This in combination with the timing of the market drop (which as others have pointed out, don’t really vary due to much more than one bot communicating with the other bots in nanoseconds) put the wind up them.
@Four Seasons Total Landscaping mistermix:
I don’t think this will hurt Noem and DeSantis that badly. They have been much more opposed to things like masks and restricting people’s activities than opposed to vaccination. I think that’s fairly typical of Republican governors. They don’t like the economic consequences of shutting down businesses, so they’ve been willing to tolerate more sickness and death to keep businesses open, but they see providing vaccinations as a way of proving their ability to provide public services for their constituents.
The Thin Black Duke
It’s all about money/Ain’t a damned thing funny
I believe that completely
@schrodingers_cat: Yep, the lawyers called and told the “entertainment” wing that they were becoming legal liabilities.
But I also think back to how the reason that they viewed the pandemic as no big deal in the first place is that it hit big blue urban areas and states first, and many still think of it as an urban disease. With blue states and regions well-vaccinated, it’s now clear that the next/current chapter of the pandemic is going to be almost exclusively in red states with red populations.
That is a bad look for the GQP, and I wonder if they’re worried that if they don’t start getting their people vaccinated now, the pandemic may be mostly gone in blue states and still hitting hard in red states when elections start happening in 2022 (or even later this year).
The glue that holds the MAGA base together.
I figured that 1-2% extra deaths among the MAGA people could be enough to swing some close elections. Fine by me, of course, but I bet Fox and friends can see that too.
The Dow Jones dropped. Supposedly on fears that the delta variant + unvaccinated Fox listeners would lead to lockdowns again.
*poof* “Vaccines are great, you should get one.”
The people who run Fox want the stock market to go up, even at the risk of Biden looking good.
mistermix @ Top:
Maybe, but I think the more likely reason is that Fox is probably getting polling that shows the marginally saner half (third? quarter?) of their viewing audience that’s vaccinated is changing the channel when the anti-vax rants start.
I mean, think about it. Let’s say you’re a Fox News viewer who votes Republican and got vaccinated.
Now, if you’re the type that gets triggered every time you hear about a transsexual using a public bathroom, how are you going to feel when your favorite news channel keeps telling you that the vaccine you got a few months back will make you impotent, infertile, magnetic, and turn you into a covid-spike shedder?
And they just won’t stop yapping about it?
And you know they’re lying because none of those things are happening to you?
My guess is, you change the channel to one that doesn’t make you feel like you’re getting dicked around. And maybe you start to wonder if your libtard kids are right when they tell you Fox News is all lies.
And Fox’s advertising rates go down along with their viewing audience.
Oh, and forget the stock market dive. It is a non-issue. Yes, plutocrats are important to the party. Stock market dives happen regularly without any change in message except to blame it on Democrats, and the stock market recovers because it’s 3/4ths gambling for the rich but where the house is rigged for them to win. That dip is not driving this.
I think some may have wanted to do this for a bit of time (as people say, the deaths are bad for business, there are more among Repub supporters, and there’s the risk people will blame them at their next election) , but were afraid of being pro-vaccine and incurring the Wrath of Trump or the QAnon collective. But some of them figured out if they all do it at the same time, they can’t get picked off one by one. How organized the Turn of the Worm was, I don’t know, but I expect others saw it happening and thought “here’s my chance”.
Love this line. Perfect, and absolutely true.
It could be the lawyers at places like Fox are getting More vocal but they’ve probably be at it for a while. And it’s been apparent for a while that the base would certainly reap the whirlwind. But yes, the day that the markets take a dive over COVID fears, “poof.”
It’s great that they’ve finally come around, but I suspect it’s waaaaaaay too late: we’re already seeing as many new cases per day here in Ohio as we were back in _last_ May, when we were locking down.
Since then, the wingnut legislature took time out of it’s women-hating forced-birth agenda to nerf the governor’s ability to protect public health.
When the rural kids start dying in droves, we’ll see lots of teary-eyed Trump-hatted rednecks insisting that they never expected the leopards to eat THEIR faces.
@mmolleur: Maybe. But in a battle between “I want to make a ton of money this year” and “if the economy tanks, that helps the Republicans in 2020” – which one wins?
I would have thought it was the second one. But who knows?
But couldn’t it be driven by fears of more frequent and more severe dips if the Delta gets rolling? Anyways, interesting timing.
@Old School: Ha! Great minds think alike.
When has this ever been true? Stock market dives in all of the Trump years produced only pretzel logic to blame Democrats. Dives when Mitch’s Senate did or did not do something, ditto. Nobody stopped opposing anything when the stock market went up under Obama. The asshole rich have demonstrated repeatedly that they give not two shits about long term economic health, only being able to be assholes with their money. The stock market dip is not driving this. It will go back up quickly and everyone knows it anyway.
Dips are not rare. Odds are good you can find some piece of economic news to justify any ‘rich people made this happen’ narrative you want to push.
I can no longer tell whether some things are real or snark. This is a case in point.
The stock market dip is not driving this. It will go back up quickly and everyone knows it anyway.
I’ll take your word for it, secure in the knowledge that the apparent pivot, if it sticks, will come with a 24/7/365 manic drive to make the pandemic Biden’s and the Dem’s fault. And, of course, BLM’s and Antifa’s too.
This I agree with 100%.
@WaterGirl: In the current timeline its only snark until it becomes reality. Pity the poor writers at The Onion who have predicted so many insane things that later came to pass.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
@WaterGirl: Miskatonic University is a tell.
As far as reasons for the party-wide 180, this gets my vote. I genuinely don’t think they give a shit about their voters, but they do very much care about the power differential between the two parties. Perceived or otherwise.
Democrats dying was just peachy.
Everybody dying was just the cost of business.
Republicans overwhelmingly dying while Dems look on pityingly is a complete non-starter. You can’t own the libs if they’re out-living you.
A couple of days into a perceived Fox about-face is probably too early to make a big picture call, but it’s kind of what we do, so…
One thing FoxNews does well is reinforce the hell out of any point they want to make, bluntly, simply, and uniformly. This “get vaccinated” thing is not being done that way. On the famous Fox ‘N Frields clip, Doocy says “get vaccinated” but the even duller looking dark haired guy says it’s a personal choice.
This early, I see 2 possibilities:
(1) They’re merely creating video bite Defendant’s Exhibits for their motion for summary judgment against wrongful death-type civil suits, while continuing the anti-vax position in general, or
(2) They’re really going to pivot, with certain of their actors standing in for the “hesitant” viewers and slowly being convinced that they should embrace vaccination, while blaming horrible Libs for [whatever] so that it’s all their fault that Patriots have died for no reason.
It rarely takes more than a few news cycles to form an impression of which one is happening. Because they’re always ham-handed, simplistic, and repetitive once they get going.
Yep. I think this only applies to the media and a few of the smarter pols, though. Anyone who is so ‘Fuck you, I’m never wrong!’ that they wouldn’t get vaccinated by now is not likely to change their mind because the news told them to. We’ll see! If there’s a big turnaround, I’ll have to upgrade my opinion of how much the shepherd leads the sheep.
I don’t think we should look for a single cause. Fox, and the Right in general, are almost pathological about avoiding any responsibility whatsoever. They don’t want to be known as anti-vaxxers, and they don’t want to be pro-vaxxers. They want to continue Just Asking Questions. The stock market dip, lawsuits, the reveal that they are incentivizing their own employees to vaccinate and using “vaccine passports” to identify them, the passing of the July 4 goal, the dying MAGAs, all of these are contributing factors.
When you are a media company whose business model is stoking fear, hatred, and anger, you have to put avoiding all possible responsibility, whether legal or perceived, for your rhetoric above almost every other goal, except making money of course. They will do this multiple times on every controversial issue, precisely so that they can point to a five second clip of Hannity and all of the thousands of blog posts talking about how Fox now supports vaccines as evidence that they have done nothing wrong.
It’s their brand.
Of course we think lynching is bad! We just have Concerns about Black Lives Matter.
Of course we should teach about the history of racism in America. We just have Concerns about critical race theory.
Of course we should help the environment! We just have Concerns about the Green New Deal.
(I think Tucker Carlson is becoming a pain because he won’t stick to the script, and they’re just waiting for his Glenn Beck moment when they can safely fire him without pissing off their viewers.)
Interesting possibility that hadn’t occurred to me. I can’t weigh in for or against it, but I can see it’s possible. If they do, say goodbye to his political ambitions.
J R in WV
@Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:
Now wait just a cotton-pickin’ minute here!
My cousin tells me his sister-in-law’s brother’s cousin went to Miskatonic, and that they had a great time at the tail-gate party for the Curling team!!
DeSantis is anti vax. He is fighting cruise lines requiring vaccination which honestly is the only way they can operate, so they have to fight him. He is also preventing schools from requiring vaccination which is spiteful and dumb.
@Frankensteinbeck: He’s still walking the line, but he’s dancing much closer to actually staking out a position than anybody else, which is precisely why he is so popular. This is probably related to his political ambitions, which will require him to occasionally say that he believes in something, so he is much more sensitive to the risk of making a fool of himself, unlike Hannity and Doocy et al., who are perfectly happy to contradict themselves for a paycheck.
Glenn Beck was just too dumb to be in the position he was in, so inevitably he would screw it up by accidentally believing in something.
Not quite the same thing. We are nearly 70% fully vaccinated and while our case numbers are going through the roof our hospitalisation and death figures are low when compared to previous waves.
IANAL, but I don’t get the argument that this is driven by fear of lawsuits. Didn’t SCOTUS already determine that Fox “News” has a First Amendment right to intentionally lie to its viewers because no reasonable person would take them seriously (based on the laughable assumption that reasonable people watch Fox “news”)?
@smith: I think that ruling was about Carlson himself, not FoxNews in general. [FoxNews in general, if a named defendant, was being sued for the actions of Carlson.]
No doubt both sides would make an argument as to whether the finding should be applied to others, but you’d probably be looking at a relitigation of the issue if the defendant whose actions give rise to a future suit is some other FoxNews person.
@J R in WV:
The Curling team! /chef’s kiss/
It is amazing how Fox can do a 180 on vaccination and their audience has no problem with the switch.
Orwell would be so bitterly amused.
Wait until they find out what that ‘glue’ is made from. Product of Soylent Industries, isn’t it?
My work being done, imma gonna Michael Landon out of here and go save kittens or something.
FOX’s reversal isn’t even a reversal, they just took a short evening breather from their 16-month long killing spree. Hannity really didn’t even reverse, as he said one thing on his TV show, and another on his radio show *the same night*.
Good old Miskatonic U is real, despite the regular reports of faculty death and insanity rates. Their Dept of Necromancy always ranks highly in US News & World Reports.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
@J R in WV: Huge fan of their swim team.
Don’t know why things “change” (or so it seems) overnight writ- large, but I just assumed that at the news orgs the lawyers and insurers got involved – particularly after it hit that Fox had a vaccine passport and all its people were vaccinated.
James E Powell
There is only one reason that the right-wingers are changing their tune on vaccinations. And it’s the only reason they do anything: their polling shows it’s hurting them in the midterms.
They are working very hard to terrify white Americans with Mexican drug cartels invading the border and critical race theory convincing their blonde daughter to date an African American. This work is going to waste because their voters are still focused on calling COVID a hoax or a deadly disease created by Fauci or an overblown reaction to nothing worse than a cold or whatever Tucker told them it is this week. And energy in the base and state level electeds has been focused on preventing mitigation efforts, calling the vaccines dangerous, and pretty much promoting the spread of the disease.
The Republican powers that be would be fine with more dead people because their voters and the press/media will be only too happy to blame Biden for it. But if the same suburban white people who elected Biden let the Republicans’ insanity on COVID override their deeply rooted fear of non-whites, the Republicans cannot win the midterms.
The issue is access. Time was, if you refused to talk to a middlin’ honest NYT reporter, most other reporters would refuse to talk to you. You need the press a lot more than the press needs you!
That was then; now, Republicans are fine letting Fox be the only network that will cover them, so they’ll cut access to anyone they want to. So now, the kind of reporter who refuses to call it a pivot (when that is the preferred term for the interviewee) will lose access to whomever gave them the news about the “pivot”.
(One should note that, if Fox (and others?) refused to work with sources that would cut off access without excellent cause, this game would have to end.)
Anyway: Republicans run on the news cycle and appearances; they don’t give a fig for policy other than “make the rich richer; comfort the comfortable; afflict the afflicted.” They know they can drive the news cycle, because they’ll always pretend that they have Sincere Beliefs about any issue they can use to call liberals and Democrats evil. An insanely moronic idea becomes accepted as not-unreasonable if a hundred Republican sources say they Sincerely Believe something. They could call praise of apple pie a deliberate insult to the south, where peach, or pecan, is clearly preferred (NB: no idea if this is true, but remember, Republicans just don’t care if it’s true or not – they just want PIEGATE).
I’m sure a lot them personally lost money when the stonk marqet fell on fears of a COVID resurgence.