This article in Vox ought to be making the Murdochs very cold-sweaty:
A disturbing new study suggests Sean Hannity’s show helped spread the coronavirus
Sophisticated new research links Hannity’s coronavirus misinformation to “a greater number of Covid-19 cases and deaths.”
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, media critics have warned that the decision from leading Fox News hosts to downplay the outbreak could cost lives. A new study provides statistical evidence that, in the case of Sean Hannity, that’s exactly what happened…
At the time, Hannity’s show was downplaying or ignoring the virus, while fellow Fox host Tucker Carlson was warning viewers about the disease’s risks…
“Greater exposure to Hannity relative to Tucker Carlson Tonight leads to a greater number of COVID-19 cases and deaths,” they write. “A one-standard deviation increase in relative viewership of Hannity relative to Carlson is associated with approximately 30 percent more COVID-19 cases on March 14, and 21 percent more COVID-19 deaths on March 28.”
Vox is very clear to state that, “This is a working paper; it hasn’t been peer reviewed or accepted for publication at a journal,” and add, ”
However, it’s consistent with a wide body of research finding that media consumption in general, and Fox News viewership in particular, can have a pretty powerful effect on individual behavior.” And it does on from there into methodology and other sorts of analysis that I won’t try to paraphrase.
Go read it. It’s worthwhile.
UPDATE 1: Scissorhead BDR linked to the paper in another post. It’s here if you want to read the source.