Only two days from April through September didn’t feature the sowing of doubt about the safe and effective shots. They came in late August and early September, when the conservative network’s coverage was focused on the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, the group said in a report released Tuesday.
The watchdog analyzed thousands of hours worth of transcripts of original programming, it said. It “deemed claims to be undermining vaccines if they described the vaccines as: unnecessary or dangerous; coercive, representing government overreach, or violating personal freedom or choice; or cynical ploys for political or financial gain.”
Media Matters “also considered claims that dismissed the efficacy of vaccines; highlighted individual experiences with vaccine hesitancy; politicized vaccine distribution or deployment speed; criticized continued adherence to health measures; or suggested that vaccination efforts are a violation of civil rights, liberties, and freedoms or are a form of control,” it added.
In May, the watchdog issued a similar report on the undermining of coronavirus science on the network. It found hundreds of instances, with prime time anchors Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson among the worst offenders.