Fox News is reportedly concerned its misleading coverage about the coronavirus will lead to lawsuits after several anchors downplayed the severity of the deadly disease in the weeks leading up to the outbreak.
Talk show host/author Trish Regan was heavily criticized for calling COVID-19 a Democratic “scam” and “another attempt to impeach the president,” so the Fox Business Network kicked her to the curb last week.
“We thank her for her contributions to the network over the years and wish her continued success in her future endeavors,” Fox News said in a statement, Complex reports. “We will continue our reduced live prime time schedule for the foreseeable future in an effort to allocate staff resources to continuous breaking news coverage on the Coronavirus crisis.”
There are reports that the network parted ways with Regan over concern that their “misleading” coronavirus coverage will lead to a libel lawsuit.
Vanity Fair’s Gabe Sherman dished about this during a Sunday appearance on MSNBC’s AM Joy.
“We saw Trish Regan, who had a show on Fox Business, come out and essentially just label it all a fraud. She’s now no longer there. I don’t know what happened with her show but I guess it’s not airing anymore …” host Joy Reid said, as reported by Media Matters. “It’s interesting to have to watch them have to confront reality, that as you say, is deadly reality, that they can’t cover for Trump on this. There’s no way they can keep doing it … How are they handling it?”
Sherman explained why the network is worried about potential lawsuits.
“When I’ve been talking to Fox insiders over the last few days, there’s a real concern inside the network that their early downplaying of the coronavirus actually exposes Fox News to potential legal action by viewers who maybe were misled and actually have died from this I’ve heard Trish Regan’s being taken off the air is, you know, reflective of this concern that Fox News is in big trouble by downplaying this virus,” he said.