Quick! Tip-off The Sun — an ageing health tourist immigrant skipped the vaccine queue. His name? R. Murdoch

There's one rule for you, plebby Sun reader or Fox News fan, and another for the billionaire boss of the bullshit factory.

An ageing Australian man, now an American citizen, jumped the queue to get the Covid-19 vaccine thanks to a second home — one of many — in the United Kingdom. Now the idea of an immigrant conducting health tourism might usually enrage The Sun. But in this case, the man making the system work for him is 89-year-old billionaire proprietor of The Sun, Times, Sunday Times, talkRadio and more, Keith Rupert Murdoch.

An exclusive from The Guardian described the very, very normal way Murdoch travelled to his ‘local’ — in so far as anything is ‘local’ for a globetrotting media monster — GP surgery:

A convoy of Range Rovers delivered the 89-year-old billionaire to a dedicated vaccine centre in Henley, Oxfordshire, where normal hours are understood to have been extended at the last minute. An email was sent out: “Just a reminder – we have been advised ‘no media coverage’ due to security issues. Please note photography and video are strictly forbidden.”

A statement issued on behalf of Murdoch, the executive chairman of News Corp, said he “had the vaccine at his local GP’s surgery after he received a call saying he was eligible”.

That statement from Murdoch’s people was carefully bland, turned and returned to remove all suggestion that any special favours were asked for or given.

We’re meant to ignore the way that Murdoch, whose papers, TV networks, and radio stations have banged the drum for tighter borders and less freedom of movement for people he disdains, can slip between Australia, the United States, and the UK with such ease its as if his leathery bulk is fully buttered.

We are meant to imagine that Rupert Murdoch rocking up at a vaccine centre — regardless of his convoy of Range Rovers bringing him from his £12 million pound estate — is treated just the same as any old geezer getting the jab. It is gaslighting from a master of gaslighting, a man who bought his gaslights in such bulk that he has built his own gaslight factories.

In the UK, his publications and broadcast outlets have lined up behind the vaccine — although stations like talkRadio have leaned heavily on eye-rolling, mouth-foaming ‘lockdown sceptics’, take a look at Peter Hitchens in his highest dudgeon in the clip below — but elsewhere News Corp’s anti-vaxxer instincts have been in full effect.

On Fox News, Tucker Carlson, a sentient ham in an expensive suit, has raged about rare cases of ‘bad vaccine reaction’ and called on his viewers to respond “nervously” to the “marketing campaign” around the vaccine rollout. He warned, with the grim drama that Fox News specialises in, that “it feels false because it is. It’s too slick.”

Well, it was slick enough for his geriatric god, Mr Murdoch, to get the jab and tell others they should too. But the money made from the fear of Fox News viewers is just too good for Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson, son of the heir to a TV dinners fortune, to tell them anything remotely resembling the truth.

In March, as the concern about the Covid threat was growing and Fox News was calling anyone who was concerned “panic pushers” engaged in “mass hysteria”, Murdoch was cancelling his birthday party and putting himself in isolation on his vast $25 million vineyards in California. Curiously, Murdoch is now in the UK, just in time to ensure he got the vaccine. As Murdoch made sure he and his family were protected — a human instinct which he would disdain in those he dislikes — some Fox News hosts were even howling that the whole thing could be a ‘plandemic’ designed to bring down President Trump.

Last week, despite Fox News having taken a hard u-turn on how dangerous the pandemic truly is at the end of March, one of the channel’s most prominent hosts, Laura Ingraham, was still pushing vaccine misinformation on-air. She told viewers that people in North and South Dakota don’t need to get the Covid-19 vaccine because they are heading towards herd immunity. Guess what? The claim from the channel that says it’s ‘fair and balanced’ is actually dangerous and untrue.

Last Thursday, Carlson — the channels biggest moneymaker — railed against celebrities coming out in favour of the vaccine. He snarled:

“Suddenly the Covid vaccine is on the morning shows, touted on celebrity Twitter accounts, and the news about it is uniformly glowing. This stuff is just great, a lot of famous people say so.”

He stoked fears in his viewers that if he and other ‘sceptics’ did not get in line they would be threatened and preventing from living their normal lives. On average, 4.33 million people watch Carlson every night. He is a super-spreader of bullshit.

I wonder what Carlson would make of this quote:

“I would like to thank the keyworkers and the staff who have worked so hard throughout the pandemic, and the amazing scientists who have made this vaccine possible. I strongly encourage people around the world to get the vaccine as it becomes available.”

Yes, yet another rich and famous person pontificating about the virus. It must make the tendentious Tucker livid. I don’t expect he’ll mention it though. The words were spoken by his billionaire boss, the happy health tourist, Rupert Murdoch.

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