A science correspondent for PBS Newshour took a shot at Fox on Sunday, stating that he was embarrassed by Fox’s coverage of Ebola and lamenting that Fox News had a “racial component” to it’s fear mongering.
During the Sunday edition of CNN’s Reliable Sources, host Brian Stelter sat down with PBS science correspondent Miles O’Brien to look at the previous week’s coverage of Ebola on Fox. In at least one case they looked at, resident airhead Elisabeth Hasselbeck seemed to be disappointed when an expert downplayed the threat of the disease in the United States.
Stelter noted that the words “Ebola in America” come up a lot, and that while it was “technically true,” he asked O’Brien if saying it didn’t “sort of inflame people’s fears?”
It borders on irresponsibility when people get on television and start talking that way when they should know better. They should do their homework and they should report in a responsible manner.
Unfortunately, it’s a very competitive business, the business we’re in, and there is a perception that by hyping up this threat, you draw people’s attention. That’s a shame to even say that and I get embarrassed for our brethren in journalism.
Stelter also pointed out Fox Host Andrea Tantaros, who warned viewers that West Africans might come to the United States infected with Ebola, but instead of going to the hospital (where they can get hit with a bill for tens of thousands of dollars), would instead go to a “witch doctor.”
O’Brien pointed out the painfully obvious racial dimension in Tantaros’ accusation:
We could digress into what motivated that and perhaps the racial component of all this, the arrogance, the first world versus third world statements and implications of just that. It’s offensive on several levels and it reflects, frankly, a level of ignorance which we should not allow in our media and in our discourse.
While it’s true that it reflects a level of ignorance in our media and discourse, we can’t discuss it without acknowledging that it’s a level of ignorance that Teabaggers are actually proud of. And that pride, more than anything, is the problem.
You can watch the video below: