One radio show that appears to have been part of that effect is Coast to Coast AM, which is distributed on 640 local stations and reaches nearly three million weekly listeners. Your host, George Noory, has in recent years interviewed Dr. Tenpenny, Robert Kennedy Jr., an attorney and anti-vaccine activist, and Erin Elizabeth, founder of the Health Nut News website and a vaccine skeptic.
Understand the status of vaccine mandates in the US.
Activists have used their segments on the show to reinforce their messages. In a promo for Dr. Tenpenny’s appearance to discuss the coronavirus in April 2020, for example, the Coast to Coast AM website said: “She contends that there are so many unknowns regarding testing, monitoring, symptoms and other factors, that the information they tell us about the disease does not make sense. “
That line was shared by Dr. Tenpenny on social media and tweeted by some of his followers.
In a statement, Mr. Noory said: “We give all opinions on my program and that includes people who oppose vaccines.”
Vaccine misinformation has also been posted on sites that pretend to be local news, but are pay-per-play content websites. These sites, where articles are ordered and paid for by conservative think tanks, political operatives, corporate executives and public relations professionals, have emerged to fill the void left by the loss of local publications.
Recent articles on some of those sites, such as Last Frontier News in Alaska and Bowling Green Today in Kentucky, highlighted people who died after receiving Covid vaccines without saying it was unclear whether the vaccines were responsible, according to a review by The Times. . The stories followed an established pattern on anti-vaccine blogs of pulling data from a national database of post-vaccine deaths without explaining the limitations of the data.
Last Frontier News and Bowling Green Today did not respond to requests for comment.
At least one local radio host has recently retracted his stance against vaccines. Phil Valentine, a conservative radio host in Tennessee, had stated in a blog post in December that he would not receive the vaccine because his chances of dying from the virus were “much less than one percent.”