In October, some of Fox News’ biggest stars praised Washington state soldier Robert LaMay after he resigned in protest of the Governor. Jay InsleeVaccination duties for state employees. The 22-year veteran of the Washington State Patrol shared a video of his final message on the agency’s dispatch system, claiming he was “requested to leave because I was in the dirt.” in a viral clip. (LaMay speak he was granted a religious vaccine exemption but resigned anyway.) “This is the last time you’ll hear me in a state patrol car,” he said. more. “And Jay Inslee can kiss my ass.” In the first week after his retirement, LaMay attracted conservative media attention, appear above Morning with Maria and get compliments from The Ingraham Angle, where he is depicted as a martyr for refusing to be stabbed.
On Friday, nearly four months after his successful press tour, radio station KIRO in Washington report that 50-year-old LaMay died after contracting COVID-19. In one statementWashington State Sheriff John R. Batiste wrote that he was “deeply saddened” by the passing of an “old friend and colleague” and sent his prayers to LaMay’s family. But the stars of Fox News who covered LaMay’s decision not to get vaccinated – we don’t know the details of his case, but a COVID-19 vaccine is the best defense against serious illness and death – did not express the same condolences. Instead, Fox organizesLaura Ingraham and Maria Bartiromo are ignoring the news of his departure and instead, the network has turned to a new cast of anti-vax patriots to appeal to their millions of viewers. (Fox News posted a story about LaMay’s death Online.)
Through Fox’s Monday Night programViewers were introduced to a series of people portrayed as heroic blue-collared mavericks protesting the oppressive vaccine mandates imposed on them by the liberal elites. Sean Hannity appreciative a group of Canadian truck drivers for protesting “government COVID-19 restrictions,” Ingraham invited in Washington, DC, a business owner said he had his liquor license suspended after defying the city’s pandemic safety regulations, and Tucker Carlson said with a trucker from the anti-vax “freedom convoy” who conducted the Fox News interview from inside his rig.
In October, when LaMay appeared on Ingraham’s show, the Fox host both acknowledged the power of her network in uplifting and smearing COVID vaccine opponents. “What’s next for you — other than being a celebrity — what’s next for you?” Asked by Ingraham, LaMay said he would continue to be a “speaker” for “thousands, maybe even millions” of Americans who oppose the vaccine mandate. At the end of the segment, Ingraham calling Americans like LaMay a “sleeping giant” begins to cause a stir. “We hope that’s what happened here,” she added. “We woke it up slowly but surely. Robert, thank you for joining us. We really appreciate your voice and wish you the best of luck. ”
While LaMay’s departure was barely covered on Fox News, a cable show host on another network realized it on Monday: MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, Who described the story of LaMay as a “terrible tragedy” that represents the current iteration of America’s cultural infighting. LaMay “lives up to his values… the values are no doubt communicated by the right-wing media,” he said, pointing out that Fox viewers “only hear the buzz. fighting made Robert LaMay a celebrity,” even as the company took COVID-19 Behind the scenes “very, very seriously.” “For their own ratings, for popularity, for cynical monetary purposes, that network — overseen by the CEO Suzanne Scott, you should know her name — decided to fan the flames of vaccine resistance,” he continued. “And those fires are killing thousands of people. And when those people die, of course they are forgotten by Fox News.”
LaMay’s tragic story isn’t unique: Caleb Wallace, a Texas man who helped organize an anti-mask rally “Freedom Rally,” died of COVID-19 in August, while Cirsten Weldon, a QAnon influencer who advised her followers not to get vaccinated, also passed away from virus. Amidst last year’s delta wave, some popular anti-vax radio personality is dead of COVID-19 within weeks of each other. However, it seems unlikely that such deaths will stop the conservative media from continuing to honor opponents of basic public health measures — just don’t expect them to continue telling the story after it ended too soon.
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