On CNN's Reliable Sources, Matt Gertz says Fox has a unique public health responsibility after telling viewers to not trust anyone else

Gertz: “Steve Doocy should get vaccinated live on Fox and Friends. It would save lives.”

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Citation From the April 11, 2021, edition of CNN's Reliable Sources

BRIAN STELTER (HOST): There has been so much attention here and elsewhere on the pro-Trump media, but now what about the post-Trump media. Fox News has certainly been known for its steady stream of Trump campaign administration hires and vice versa, people going to the Trump White House. But now, now that Trump is down in Mar-a-Lago, the revolving door is spinning in the other direction.

Fox has picked up, you could see here, nine folks from the Trump family, from the Trump White House, from the Trump campaign. At least nine paid contributors and in some cases, Kayleigh Mcenany, now a co-host on Fox News.

Matt Gertz has been keeping track of all of this, he's a senior fellow from the liberal watchdog group Media Matters. And he's been making lists of all of these hires.

Matt, I'm glad someone is keeping track, because it is good to know what Fox has chosen to do. These are all choices by the network. The network could have chosen to break with the Trump years, move on, treat these folks as persona non grata but instead Mike Pompeo is now a Fox News commentator.

MATT GERTZ (MEDIA MATTERS SENIOR FELLOW): I think the timing here is pretty important. If you'll recall, after the election, Trump got very, very angry with Fox for he believed not doing enough to help him stay in office after losing. And so he was telling his supporters to switch -- to go to OAN, to go to Newsmax. And so I think within Fox's halls, they understood they needed to keep Trump supporters on board. And the best way to do that was to put familiar faces from the Trump administration, from the Trump family on the network. As you say, this is a choice. I mean, you are not hiring Donald Trump's daughter-in-law for her sterling commentary, you're hiring her because you want to hire Donald Trump's daughter-in-law -- for what that says about your network.

STELTER: Yeah. Matt, here is some good news that might seem unrelated to your job at Media Matters. I'll try to show you why it's related.

COVID vaccination are hitting another record this weekend. 4.6 million shots recorded on Saturday, that's a half-million above the prior Saturday record, and it is important to see all of the TV anchors, personalities showing themselves getting the shot. We've seen a lot of vaccine selfies from lots of folks at lots of different networks. It is been really inspiring to see.

The Today show even brought the co-host outside for a live group vaccination this week. And Rachel Maddow on Friday on MSNBC talked about how she was fearful of the needle, really worried about it, and yet it was important to get the shot and she did and there she is talking about it on air.

So I say all of that to make the following point. Where are Tucker [Carlson] and Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham? Where is Ainsley Earhard and Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade? Where are the biggest stars on Fox getting vaccinated? I get it is a personal choice between the hosts and their health care provider.

But everybody else is doing it, right Matt? All across television, all of those anchors are rolling up their sleeves -- why do you think we haven't seen the biggest stars on Fox News get vaccinated or show us their vaccine selfies.

GERTZ: I don't know. I think Fox has a really unique responsibility here.


GERTZ: The network's hosts have been telling viewers for decades that they cannot trust any other network. They can't trust CNN, they can't trust the newspapers, the only people who are telling them the truth, they say, are the people at Fox.

And so during a public health crisis, the network is the only way to reach its viewers with information like that. And they are the ones that the viewers trust. And so when instead of telling your viewers, look, go get the shot, it is in your interest, it is safe, it is incredibly effective, it will get us back to normal, they are raising questions about its effectiveness, raising questions about whether it is dangerous. That does a lot of damage. Steve Doocy should get vaccinated live on Fox and Friends.

STELTER: Absolutely.

GERTZ: It would save lives. It would save the lives of his viewers. I don't understand why they won't do that.