Tucker: Slick, patronizing vaccine rollout is creepy. Muzzling of disapprovers even worse.

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Fox News host Tucker Carlson warned in a monologue Thursday that, though he’s “strongly supportive” of vaccines, the “patronizing,” censorious marketing campaign that’s being used to push the coronavirus vaccine on the public is only eroding “social trust” and thus making those skeptical of the vaccine even less likely to take it.

And this is highly pertinent given that, according to a Pew Research Center study published earlier this month, only 42 percent of blacks (vs 83 percent of Asians), as an example, intend to take the virus.

Carlson began the lengthy monologue by pointing out that the elites in media and Hollywood are treating the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine as if it’s a marketing campaign versus a serious, potentially life-saving healthcare event.

“The coronavirus vaccine is finally here. It’s arriving in small bottles but with a glitzy entrance. The coronavirus vaccine has been accompanied by the kind of corporate-image campaign you typically associate with higher-end consumer products,” he said.

“Imagine the rollout for a Hollywood blockbuster [or] the new iPhone. That’s what it’s like. Suddenly the COVID vaccine is on the morning shows, it’s being touted on celebrity Twitter accounts and the news about it is uniformly glowing.”

Suffice it to say, there’s little to no intelligent, nuanced, mature, well-rounded discussions about the vaccine and its efficacy and its potential side effects.

It’s like with President Donald Trump. Instead of offering objective, dual-sided coverage of him, the media virtually always report on him negatively. Likewise, the elites appear to only be talking about the coronavirus vaccine in a positive fashion.

Listen to Carlson’s monologue below:

“Even if you’re strongly supportive of vaccines, and we are, even if you recognize how many millions of lives have been saved over the past 50 years by vaccines, and we do, it all seems a bit much. It feels false because it is, it’s too slick,” he said.

“This is patronizing. Stop with the slogans. Better to treat Americans like adults. Explain the benefits, be honest about the risks, and let the rest of us decide. In this country we control our own bodies; they’re always telling us that. But no, suddenly the rules have changed on the question of the corona vaccine.”

To make matters worse, Carlson continued, an effort is underway to silence anybody who dares to ask tough questions about the coronavirus vaccine.

“Twitter’s announced a new policy to censor … false or misleading narratives about COVID-19 vaccinations,” and “Facebook has announced it will squelch, quote, any misinformation it sees about this vaccine,” the Fox News host explained.

And lo and behold, he added, powerful tech billionaires like Bill and Melinda Gates are fully supportive of this censorious suppression.

Speaking on CNN last week, Melinda argued social media companies have a responsibility to remove so-called “misinformation” about the vaccine.

But who is she to make such demands, Carlson asked.

“Why is she weighing in on an international health emergency? Melinda Gates is not a doctor. She’s not a research scientist. In fact, her last full-time job was 25 years ago in the marketing department at a software company. So why is she on CNN,” he said.

“Well simple, Melinda Gates is married to a billionaire, and in 2020 that’s enough to give you control over an entire country. Melinda Gates is happy to take control. She wants control. And so she’s demanding that the tech companies censor anyone who contradicts the official storyline on the COVID vaccine, and she’s getting her wish.”

The irony, he added, is that all of this — the “patronizing” marketing and the censorious suppression — is only further eroding trust in the virus.

(Source: Pew Research Center)

None of this inspires confidence. Censorship will not convince a single person to take the coronavirus vaccine. In fact, it will have the opposite effect. Let’s say you sincerely wanted to roll out a national vaccination campaign. The first thing you would need after the vaccine itself is social trust. People have to believe that the authorities know what they’re doing. Otherwise, they won’t participate. Censorship is the enemy of social trust,” Carlson explained.

Once the population understands that you’re holding back critical information, trust evaporates, and people become suspicious. They start wondering if the vaccine is as safe and effective as you claim it is: Why do you have to lie about it, why are you threatening us if we don’t take it? So censorship doesn’t work. If you want people to take your vaccine, they must trust your vaccine, and if you want them to trust it, you have to let them speak freely about it.”

Suffice it to say, transparency and the free expression of ideas — including dissenting ideas — is what inspires confidence and trust.

It appears to be a valid point, yet here’s how members of the media — many of whom have been accused of being intellectually dishonest – framed the host’s points:

They lied and distorted what he’d said — something that’s not apt to increase the public’s trust in the vaccine, let alone the already deeply-distrusted media.

Vivek Saxena

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