In a scathing New York Times op-ed, Kara Swisher, the veteran tech journalist who co-founded the site ReCode, blamed Fox News — not Facebook or Google — for her aging mother’s initial lack of concern about the coronavirus pandemic.
Swisher wrote her mother’s “primary source of news” is Fox News and initially didn’t take the coronavirus threat seriously because of that.
“But she was not concerned — and it was clear why. Her primary source of news is Fox. In those days she was telling me that the COVID-19 threat was overblown by the mainstream news media (note, her daughter is in the media). She told me that it wasn’t going to be that big a deal. She told me that it was just like the flu,” Swisher wrote of her mother, who continued to go out to eat with friends for some time and went as far as to threaten to block Swisher’s number if she kept pestering her about the seriousness of the pandemic.
Swisher blamed “Fox, the whole Fox, and nothing but the Fox” for her mother’s attitude instead of Facebook or Google in the opinion piece, which was titled “Fox’s Fake News Contagion.” She added that “it sometimes feels like Fox News is eating my mother’s brain.”
The writer did also note, “Thankfully, Mom had not gone as far as claiming the coronavirus is a plot to hurt President Trump — a theory pushed by some at Fox News heavily at first.”
Fox Business Network parted ways with Trish Regan after she shared that exact talking point. While Swisher wrote that she was afraid for her mother in a way she has observed is familiar to other adult children of aging Americans who are becoming more interested in the right-leaning network, Fox News Media itself has also been hit by the coronavirus. Six confirmed cases in the New York offices have coincided with an overhaul of company procedure. All interviews are now down by Skype and the select few employees still working in the building instead of telecommuting are asked to take their temperature every morning.
Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Primetime host Sean Hannity, however, confronted Swisher on Twitter, writing in a series of posts, “Hey Kara whoever u are. I’ll accept you are a pest, but you are also ignorant, lazy and a total hypocrite.”