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THE VIEW IN REVIEW

Sunny Hostin Schools Meghan McCain for Defending Fox News: They're Pushing 'Anti-Vaccine Propaganda'

"Not everybody on Fox News is saying, 'Don't get the vaccine,'" insisted Meghan McCain.
  • Sunny Hostin took advantage of a teachable moment Monday morning on The View. (Photos: ABC)
    Sunny Hostin took advantage of a teachable moment Monday morning on The View. (Photos: ABC)

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    Sunny Hostin hit Meghan McCain with those statistics Monday morning during a discussion about vaccine misinformation and the surge in COVID-19 cases among unvaccinated Americans. When McCain defended Fox News against her co-hosts' criticism that it's trafficking in anti-vaccine "propaganda," Hostin shut her down by citing a Media Matters study that found that nearly 60% of vaccine segments on the conservative network "either undermined or downplayed immunization efforts." Added the former prosecutor, "This is really just all about politics, and I think it's despicable."

    While Meghan McCain got the COVID-19 vaccine months ago, she's spent the past few weeks blaming the Biden administration for its inability to get other Republicans on board, and she renewed those criticisms on Monday morning. "I actually think the root of this problem is a lot of people in Democrat circles, their idea of what is a Republican isn't what it actually is," she said, noting that Biden's team brought in Republican communications specialist Frank Luntz as a special adviser. "Someone who voted for President Bush when I was in middle school and then rejected the Republican Party and then became a surrogate for you campaign [like Luntz] — that's not a Republican. You need to talk to conservatives on the ground, in their spaces, with people that they trust. And unfortunately, they just don't trust media figures, and they don't trust politicians in the way that people on the left do."

    McCain then turned her attention to her Joy Behar's criticism of Fox News, which she accused of "putting out information that is harmful to their viewers" even as hosts like Tucker Carlson and Jeanine Pirro have most likely gotten the vaccine. "I was watching Fox & Friends this morning. Steve Doocey said, 'Get the vaccine,'" said McCain. "Fox & Friends is like the mothership of MAGA media, and if someone like Steve Doocey is imploring people to get the vaccine, I think that's effective."

    "Not everyone on Fox News is saying, 'Don't get the vaccine,'" she continued. "I actually haven't heard anyone say that, but maybe I'm just misinformed."

    Just a few seconds later, Hostin proceeded to inform her co-host about that very topic. "When you look at the stats, Fox News has played a key role in disseminating anti-vaccine propaganda," she said, citing a Media Matters study that found that "between June 28 and July 11, Fox News aired 129 — 129! — segments about the coronavirus vaccine," 57% of which downplayed the efficacy or need for the vaccine. "To Joy's point, why are Republicans doing this? Why is Fox News doing this? I think they believe that hurting the Biden administration's vaccination efforts will lead to big wins for the Republicans in the midterms."

    "I would bet my bottom dollar that every single of those Fox News hosts, like Laura Ingraham, like Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, I bet you they're vaccinated, yet they're still pushing this propaganda," concluded Hostin. "And that is really, really ghoulish and pretty harmful."

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    Claire Spellberg Lustig is the TV Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.

    TOPICS: Meghan McCain, Fox News Channel, The View, Sunny Hostin, Coronavirus