How Native Media Spreads Misinformation From Vaccine Skeptics

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One radio show that appears to have been part of this effect is Coast to Coast AM, which airs on 640 local stations and reaches nearly three million listeners a week. His host, George Noory, has had Dr. Tenpenny interviewed Robert Kennedy Jr., an attorney and anti-vaccine activist, and Erin Elizabeth, the founder of the Health Nut News website and a vaccine skeptic.

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The activists used their segments on the show to reinforce their messages. In an advertising campaign for Dr. For example, Tenpenny’s appearance to discuss the coronavirus in April 2020 said the Coast to Coast AM website, “It claims that there are so many unknowns about testing, tracking, symptoms and other factors that the information we have communicated about the disease are meaningless. “

This line was posted on Dr. Tenpenny shared and tweeted by some of her followers.

In a statement, Mr. Noory said: “We have all views on my program, and that includes people who are against vaccines.”

Vaccine misinformation has also been posted on websites pretending to be local news but which are paid websites. These pages, where articles are ordered and paid for by conservative think tanks, political activists, corporate executives and public relations experts, were created to fill the vacuum left by the loss of local publications.

Recent articles on some of these sites, like Last Frontier News in Alaska and Bowling Green Today in Kentucky, highlighted people who died after receiving the Covid vaccines, without saying that a Times review found it unclear whether the vaccines were responsible were . The stories followed a pattern established on anti-vaccine blogs to pull data from a national database on post-vaccination deaths without explaining the boundaries of the data.

Last Frontier News and Bowling Green Today did not respond to requests for comment.

At least one local radio host recently revoked his anti-vaccination stance. Phil Valentine, a conservative radio host in Tennessee, said in a blog post in December that he would not get the vaccine because his likelihood of dying from the virus was “far less than one percent”.