Fox News scrambled to contain coronavirus as hosts ranted about "hoax"

Remember the Senators who cashed out after private briefings held before the market collapse began? Similar games are afoot in conservative media: before Fox News called coronavirus a hoax and a Dem plot to destroy trump, they were disinfecting offices, installing hand sanitizer stations throughout the building, and canceling meetings and sales events.

This exercise in contrasts is brought to you by Lachlan Murdoch, the media princeling who runs the place.

… as the crisis took hold, there were more than two weeks of statements like Laura Ingraham's assertion on Feb. 27 that Democratic criticism was "more unsettling" than the virus and Mr. Hannity's allegation on March 9 that political opponents were trying to "bludgeon Trump with this new hoax." Finally, after an obscure Fox Business host, Trish Regan, ranted that the coronavirus issue was "another attempt to impeach the president," the network pivoted.

The damage Fox did appears likely to extend beyond the typical media hits and misses. I asked Ashish Jha, the director of the Harvard Global Public Health Institute, who appeared on Fox News recently, whether he believes people will die because of Fox's coverage.

"Yes," he said. "Some commentators in the right-wing media spread a very specific type of misinformation that I think has been very harmful."