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California Governor Gavin Newsom lashed out today at what he called “Perhaps one of the great disinformation networks in America…One America News” for spreading “a lot of misinformation” about Covid. He did not stop there.
“I’m not just referring to Newsmax or the primetime propaganda lineup at Fox News and all of their pundits that safely have been boosted, fully vaxxed that continue to promote a lot of misinformation. Forgive me for being so pointed and candid. People are quite literally losing their lives.”
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The governor went on to offer an example.
“There was a tragic example of that….A state trooper in Washington state quit, and quit because he just couldn’t take it anymore and lost his life because of those propaganda networks, because of what was being stated and spread.”
Newsom was referring to Former State Trooper Robert LaMay, who quit after decades of service rather than being vaccinated and in his final radio signoff told WA Gov. Jay Inslee to “kiss my a**.” LaMay’s video signoff got millions of views online. He was later told by Fox News host Laura Ingraham that he had awakened “a sleeping giant” of vaccine resistance in the U.S. The unvaxxed LaMay died last month of Covid.
The post-pandemic “S.M.A.R.T.E.R” Plan that Newsom put forth today to combat Covid seeks to combat misinformation “through the newly proposed Office of Community Partnerships and Strategic Communications,” funding for which the governor indicated is included in his proposed 2022-23 budget.
“So we have a team here that are in the trenches…that go out and are battling [misinformation],” he said. It will “go out on social media…trying to push back.”
The Office of Community Partnerships and Strategic Communications will be “a brand new unit in the state government. It’s a strategic partnership unit and a communications unit,” according to Newsom, that will also “support and amplify local and community-based partnerships” and work with trusted community voices to get the message out.
“We put out this week a partnership with 250 media outlets,” said the governor today of a new, related initiative, “these Mythbuster videos in a culturally-competent way to go after this misinformation.”
The governor added, “And we continue to ask these outlets promoting misinformation to stop. People, quite literally, have lost their lives because of that promotion.”
Deadline reached out to Fox News for comment, but did not hear back.
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