Permanently in the Land of the Boy Who Cried Wolf
Tucker Carlson has an audience of around three million viewers, which is more than any other news program and most other programs generally. It is still only three million people out of a nation of 350 million people. A portion of that audience is Brian Stelter interns and Media Matters interns who are hate watching. Another portion is CNN and MSNBC executives trying to figure out how to eek out more Tucker-esque programming at their own networks while poo-pooing his show.
In the grand scheme of things, Tucker Carlson is influential in the way many others are — he has a core fan base that listens to him, generally trusts him, and they talk to other people and post on the internet.
Nielsen ratings showed Rush Limbaugh had tens of millions of listeners, but the TV networks rarely focused on him. They focused on Tucker and Bill O’Reilly before him, etc. TV news has a way of influencing how people cover the news because the news is covered by people who are on television and those who want to be on television.
To blame Tucker Carlson or Fox News for vaccine hesitancy is to give them more influence and clout than they have by people who are convinced that they themselves, by virtue on being on television, have influence and clout.
I’ve literally been yelled at more than once while peeing in the bathroom at Hartsfield-Jackson Two Dead Mayors International Airport before realizing it’d be smart of me to go into a stall and close the door. I understand my words and appearances on television, radio, and even here can impact people. I’ve seen it first hand while minding my own business peeing. As an aside, anyone want to cover my FlexJet or NetJets cost?
Yes, Tucker Carlson and Fox News and even someone like me can influence others, but that influence only extends so far. It does not extend to the orders of magnitude more people who have not gotten the COVID vaccine beyond Fox News’s audience.
But what does extend beyond that is a sustained cacophony of government and media hubris over two years that sent mixed messages without the humility to decently explain changes and that now morphs into a hubris to rage and blame Trump voters for a failure of the Biden Administration to reach a vaccination goal.
We are living in the world of the boy who cried wolf.
First, we were told not only to not buy masks so first responders could buy them, but also that masks would not protect the general public from the virus.
Then we were told to get masks.
Then we were all lectured about following the science.
Then the science showed kids really weren’t a vector, but we shut schools down anyway.
Then we were told being outside in sunshine was the best disinfectant, but the media shamed people at the beach while not shaming people at protests unless the protests were to open back up businesses.
Then local governments insisted that, while following the science, masks needed to be worn outside even if you were alone.
Then the British variant was going to kill us.
Then the South African variant was going to kill us.
Then the Brazilian variant was going to kill us.
Then the Indian variant was going to kill us.
Then it was racist to call the variants by their nation of origin, so the Delta variant was going to kill us.
Then COVID may have come from a lab after the very same people reporting that told us we were all racist for thinking it might have come from that lab.
The countries with high vaccination rates saw vaccinated people get the virus and the media hyped all of this while downplaying that those people were all asymptomatic.
Then mainstream media outlets, via their social media feeds, hyped people dying after getting the vaccine, despite those people dying from other causes.
Then mainstream media outlets started shaming people for pointing out deaths post-vaccine, which they themselves had done.
Then along came the lambda variant or some other variant and we’re all going to die from that one.
At this point, between media fear porn and government irresponsibility and hubris, a lot of people don’t know what to think and many think they’ll wait because the media has also overhyped shortages of the vaccine and never went back and gave adequate coverage to the vaccine being in stock everywhere.
So now lets blame Trump voters and correlate it to red state and blue state dynamics when the data also correlates to areas of high concentrations of minority voters and areas where employers do or do not give time off.
Did I mention how much of the media coverage, at one point, centered people getting sick after the vaccine and missing work?
Oh and did I mention all the Democrats and MSNBC hosts who were casting doubt on the vaccine last year because of Trump who suddenly now demand we all get it?
We live in the land of the boy who cried wolf and when the wolf comes there’s going to be a big body count the people who cried wolf will blame on everyone else except themselves.