The University of Chicago thought that an analysis of how "seriously" two Fox News hosts covered the coronavirus outbreak would make for an intriguing study. So they took samples of Sean Hannity's and Tucker Carlson's audiences to try and gather how those viewers responded, and how they fared during the health crisis.
The study concluded that the Fox hosts, particularly Hannity, did some real damage.
"We provide evidence that greater exposure to Hannity relative to Tucker Carlson Tonight increased cases and deaths throughout March and early April," the study claims.
The researchers chalk up the fatalities to their being fed "misinformation" and "propaganda."
"We first show that, controlling for a rich set of county-level demographics (including the local market share of Fox News), greater local viewership of Hannity relative to Tucker Carlson Tonight is associated with a greater number of COVID-19 cases starting in early March and a greater number of deaths resulting from COVID-19 starting in mid-March," the study states.
The study suggests that Hannity particularly put people in danger because he "downplayed" the threat of the virus, which meant that his viewers changed their behavior later than Carlson's viewers did.
Yes, they really did a whole study on this.
Hannity and Fox News responded to the partisan report.
"The selective cherry-picked clips of Sean Hannity’s coverage used in this study are not only reckless and irresponsible, but down right factually wrong," a Fox News spokesperson said in a statement responding to the study. "As this timeline proves, Hannity has covered Covid-19 since the early days of the story. The ‘study’ almost completely ignores his coverage and repeated, specific warnings and concerns from January 27-February 26 including an early interview with Dr. Fauci in January. This is a reckless disregard for the truth.”
If this was such an important study to conduct, then where is their study on CNN downplaying the virus? In early March, Anderson Cooper said that the flu was deadlier than COVID-19.
If the University of Chicago had any other goal than to try and prove Fox News killed people, then they could have fooled me.
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