The irony arrives here in layers. It is the network that rails about vaccine misinformation. They are loud critics of any outlet that delivers false narratives. Oliver Darcy just spent a week screeching about the journalism practices at Fox News. And their latest dose of blatant misinformation arrives via its vehicle ironically dubbed Reliable Sources. Let’s just dig into the fun.
Normally Brian Stelter composes the bulk of entries in the newsletter named after his misnomer of a media show, but he was off spending crucial time at an HBO world premiere event, so he turned over the reins to his ward, Oliver Darcy.
Big Mistake. Darcy has been on a streak of sorts, delivering a regular amount of fractured news reports. It was just days ago when we reported how he completely embarrassed himself, trying to slam Fox News for poor journalism while completely failing in the act of journalism in the process. Now, he is back to those nadir-low standards.
In last night’s dispatch, Darcy decided to go after The Washington Examiner, for — in his perceived judgment — the outlet’s vaccine hypocrisy. His launch starts with the publisher, Mark Walters, as he had made some tweets taking opposition with mask mandates. Darcy, as the press is prone to produce in prose, pounced on this stance. Here is the entry from the notice.
Vax mandate for me but not for thee?
If you were to take a look at the Twitter feed of Mark Walters, the head of MediaDC, which is the parent company of the conservative Washington Examiner, you would think he hates vaccine mandates.
On Tuesday, for instance, Walters posted back-to-back tweets knocking such mandates. But that seems awfully ironic, given that his own company has implemented a “mandatory Covid-19 vaccination policy” for its staffers.
According to that policy, which was reported on at the time it was announced, unvaccinated employees must wear a mask at all times, submit regular negative tests, and don’t have full access to the office. Of course, this is just part of a larger trend of hypocrisy on the subject in conservative media…
What is most impressive about this petty and petulant screed is how much Ollie manages to get blatantly incorrect within a single paragraph. We can begin with Darcy proving to be incapable of comprehension with his own claim.
A) Darcy is calling this a “vaccine mandate,” but he goes on to write that there are in fact “unvaccinated employees” in the Examiner offices. This is a tad worse than the accused hypocrisy — it is a flat-out contradiction and one he fails to even capture.
B) In his delivery Oliver gives a link to a report in The Hill about the Washington Examiner office policy. This serves as the supposed proof of Darcy’s claims, except that Hill article provides details that blast his accusations out of the water.
For starters, they quote Waters on the office requirements, and he lays out a very different scenario. “No one is at risk of losing their job if they choose to be unvaccinated, they will simply follow the protocols outlined in our policy.” Um…those words — choose, and no one at risk — are the very opposite of a mandate.
C) Hypocrisy cannot be alleged when the Examiner has, in truth, been a pro-vaccine outlet. Going back to February, when the vaccines were beginning to become available to a wider segment of the country, they wrote how the vaccines are safe, effective, and needed to bring an end to the pandemic. “Enough is enough. There is no longer a curve to flatten. The spread of the virus is already much slower than it was in the early days of the pandemic. And now we have a vaccine that will protect the most vulnerable within a few months.”
D) Even had the Examiner taken an anti-vaccine stance, its office requirements could not be seen as being hypocritical, because as they are situated in Washington D.C., the rules would be seen as compliance with the local safety ordinances.
Again, Darcy clearly did not read the very article he provided, as it also outlined how this is a provision placed on area businesses. “In Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the district would reinstate a mask mandate for all people at indoor places, a move that has been bashed by conservative critics.”
This makes for the second instance within a week that Oliver Darcy has been tripped up by a flagrant inability to conduct basic journalism. Now in itself, this is not a surprise, nor is it a ‘gotcha’ moment. The reason for the notability here is that, as he conducts this media malpractice, Oliver is scolding other outlets over their alleged journalism lapses, or refusal to cover particular news stories.
This is the CNN protocol, it appears — charge others as guilty of the very behavior they enact. Last week, Stelter was in full-throat bombast about how Fox News does not report and does not break stories. Meanwhile, his own network turns a deaf ear and blind eye to the various developments at the border, involving numerous stories Fox has broken while reporting from the area.
The lone time CNN did cover border news was when the network spent days raging about agents whipping immigrants crossing into the country — what we all know now to have been a completely inaccurate story. So the pattern of misinformation and false stories is seen at CNN, as they continue attempted lectures on journalism propriety. At this stage, it is no longer outrageous; it is, however, a growing amusement to behold.