In an appearance on Chris Cuomo’s CNN show Friday night, CNN media reporter Oliver Darcy expressed outrage at FOX News and accused the network of spreading “misinformation” to its viewers about the coronavirus. An emotional Darcy questioned where are the executives of FOX News and parent company News Corp. to stop this “dangerous” information from being shared. “They put out a whole bunch of public service announcements featuring their anchors. But where are the executives like [FOX News CEO] Suzanne Scott or even Lachlan Murdoch when one of their anchors is again saying or suggesting that staying at home is equivalent to living under Saddam Hussein and asking when we’re going to liberate states? Where are they?” Darcy asked.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN: Dr. Drew earlier this month apologized for downplaying the threat. But he’s not the only one who does. They are encouraged to do it on that channel. It’s still on him. But that’s the message they want out there. Dr. Oz now says he misspoke when he talked about reopening schools. And the latest apology today comes from Dr. Phil who’s not a medical doctor by the way so he shouldn’t be talking about this stuff. Anyway. And he acknowledges that none of his examples were contagious causes of death. Which is of course the key. And he knew that. He knew it was compelling B.S. Why did they do it? That’s the discussion for us to have right now with Oliver Darcy, who has done a lot of the reporting on this. I argue the answer is as simple as where they said it, Oliver. This is what Fox is about. They want the message out there, the decision not big a deal, and that’s how you get to protest like we saw today. It’s no irony that the Trump folks are waiving Trump paraphernalia and that they are encouraged by far-right groups. What’s your analysis? OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: Right. Well, one, you know, I would be alarmed if a member of my family were sharing this kind of misinformation. And to hear health professionals going on national television during a pandemic and sharing this kind of, you know, frankly dangerous information to millions of viewers is just, you know, frankly nuts. But to your point, you know, I don’t know why these medical professionals are saying this on Fox, but what I can tell you is it has always supported Fox’s general message or editorial viewpoint about the coronavirus. So if you look at it early on, they were trying to downplay the threat, blame media hysteria, so that brought Dr. Drew, who delivered the message from, you know, someone with a medical degree. Then, when they took it seriously and they were hyping hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment, they bring on Dr. Oz, and he does that. And now that they’re pushing for reopening the country and suggesting that maybe that it wasn’t prudent to shut down the country, they are bringing on Dr. Phil, who is delivering a message like that. You know, it’s dangerous when Fox elevates a lot of these voices during regular news cycles, but when they are doing it during a pandemic, that just adds a whole dangerous element to this, Chris. CUOMO: It is always dangerous. It is always politics. It is always an agenda. Now, look, I don’t get in the tit for tat game with other anchors. Why? Frankly, the bosses don’t like it. At CNN, they want us to stick to the news, as you know. And also, it’s not good (ph) for the audience. They don’t really give a damn if I’m in a spat with Tucker Carlson or whoever it is. But I do want to play this clip of Laura Ingraham because I have known her a long time and I respect her intelligence. She is a Supreme Court clerk. She is a smart lady who is making a dumb argument on purpose. And look at what Tony Fauci had to do. Here is a clip. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS HOST: We don’t have a vaccine for SARS. I mean, they got close in mice. We don’t have a vaccine for HIV. And life did go on, right? DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: But Laura, this is different. HIV AIDS is entirely different. We don’t have a vaccine for HIV AIDS, but we have spectacularly effective treatment. SARS disappeared, and we didn’t need to develop a vaccine for SARS. So, I think it’s a little bit misleading maybe to compare what we’re going through now with HIV or SARS. They’re really different. (END VIDEO CLIP) CUOMO: All right. Side note, White House shouldn’t be putting Tony Fauci in that situation. You know they put him on state T.V. You know, I mean, the White House decides where these guys go on from the task force. They put him on there because he is a big one. And they haven’t defending this kind of B.S. on the air. Laura Ingraham knows those answers. Oliver, you know them. I know them. Why? You did 15 minutes of homework. So she’s intentionally representing something she wants to be true and that’s the reality of what they’re doing there. What am I missing? DARCY: I don’t think you’re missing anything. I felt — Fauci was actually quite generous when he answered that question. It does not take an infectious disease expert to know that HIV and coronavirus are totally separate things, right, Chris? You can’t get HIV just going on the regular run to the grocery store. You can get coronavirus very easily. It’s very contagious. It doesn’t take an infectious disease expert to know this. Someone who is on Fox News, again, talking to millions of viewers every night, should do her homework. This is basic fact. It’s embarrassing, frankly, that she did not know this or that she’s asking questions like that that while knowing that it’s not related. I don’t know what’s going on over there. I don’t know why, if you look at tweets today, she’s comparing living under the stay-at-home order to living under Saddam Hussein in Iraq. It’s just — CUOMO: I wonder why. Who has been saying that he’s against the stay- at-home orders all of a sudden? The great healer, President Trump, is telling people to liberate states from stay-at-home orders and is throwing the Second Amendment in there, too, for a little bit more red meat. That’s why they’re doing it, Oliver. I mean, it’s just so painfully obvious. I just hope it’s worth it to them on some level. Boy, it’s — DARCY: I want to know, Chris — CUOMO: Go ahead, Oliver. DARCY: What I want to know, Chris, is where (INAUDIBLE). We hear all this noise about Fox News taking this virus seriously. DARCY: They put out a whole bunch of public service announcements featuring their anchors. But where are the executives like Suzanne Scott or even Lachlan Murdoch when one of their anchors is again saying or suggesting that staying at home is equivalent to living under Saddam Hussein and asking when we’re going to liberate states? Where are they? CUOMO: Quiet, apparently. Oliver Darcy, thank you for being loud and proud about this. We got to expose it. Everything is different now in the pandemic age. Everything should be reassessed. All the agenda should be laid bare and the media should be reappraised as well. Thank you for doing it with me tonight, brother. Be well. Be healthy. DARCY: Thank you, Chris.