Nonprofit watchdog names Sean Hannity as a chief source of coronavirus misinformation

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PHOTO VIA GAGE SKIDMORE/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Photo via Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons
Fox News commentator — and top Trump Administration propagandist — Sean Hannity has made a career of twisting facts and peddling conspiracy theories.

Now, a new report from the nonprofit watchdog group Media Matters for America labels Hannity one of the chief sources of dangerous misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic. The analysis documents some 50 specific examples in which the commentator misrepresented facts about the outbreak to benefit his far-right agenda.



On March 9, for example, Hannity opined that young, healthy Americans have no reason to fear coronavirus. Two days later, on his radio program, the commentator dished up a conspiracy theory about the “deep state” using coronavirus to spin the public.
“Taken as a whole, his commentary falls into six discernible themes: peddling unproven treatments, comparing COVID-19 to other illnesses or focusing on other ways people can die, defending Trump’s response to the pandemic, blaming the media and journalists, downplaying supply shortages, and attacking local and congressional responses,” Media Matters writes.


Of course, there are real-world implications for the words Hannity uses. A recent Pew Research poll found that 79% of Fox News viewers believe the media had overstated the potency of the virus.



Pew Research also cited that the average age for Fox News viewers as 65. COVID-19’s most devastating effects are on elderly people, especially those with underlying health conditions.

In this case, it’s hard to tell who’s more deserving of the assclown designation, Hannity himself or the myriad advertisers who still buy time on his show. Among those are Expedia, Progressive Insurance, Bayer and Ford Motors, Media Matters kindly points out.

This story originally appeared inone of our sister papers, the San Antonio Current.
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