According to the Washington Post, “three studies paint a picture of a media ecosystem that entertains conspiracy theories and discourages audiences from taking steps to protect themselves and others.”
In recent weeks, three studies have focused on conservative media’s role in fostering confusion about the seriousness of the coronavirus. Taken together, they paint a picture of a media ecosystem that amplifies misinformation, entertains conspiracy theories and discourages audiences from taking concrete steps to protect themselves and others.
It’s one thing to poison political discourse in this country, it’s quite another to kill people. Fox News and even more insidious media outlets that lie even more brazenly than Rupert Murdoch’s network - talk radio, OANN - need to be taken to task and held accountable.
But there’s that pesky “freedom of the press” and in an era where Donald Trump is screaming about “fake news” to the detriment of the constitution I am not so sure it would be a winning strategy to try and legislate media outlets.
So what can be done here? There is the Darwinian theory that if those who view conservative media are more likely to die that will eventually fix the problem. Whether you take that comment as capitalism (After Judas Priest were sued for supposedly subliminally encouraging fans to kill themselves, vocalist Rob Halford later observed that wasn’t a sensible way to build a fanbase. Better, he suggested, to insert the command: “Buy more of our records”) or a more practical matter that dead conservatives won’t be able to vote conservatively doesn’t matter.
Sure, I do my part by not ingesting conservative media bullshit. I call it out when I see it on social media (another tangential issue in this regard). But what else can be done, if anything?