Local media perpetuated Mayor Steven Fulop’s vaccine misinformation

Hudson County View and The Jersey Journal/NJ.com perpetuated vaccine misinformation and failed to hold Mayor Steven Fulop accountable for his tweeting.

Stories involving corruption, misconduct, and racism are routinely unreported or misreported by the local media that covers Jersey City – especially The Jersey Journal/NJ.com (Journal) and Hudson County View (HCV). Unfortunately, that’s par for the course in Hudson County and unchallenged by many who fear bad publicity as a form of retaliation.

Even worse, if not for social media activists, vaccine misinformation tweeted by Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop yesterday would’ve gone completely unchallenged. However, that didn’t stop the Journal and HCV from perpetuating Fulop’s dangerous ignorance – which still hasn’t been addressed despite “updates” to their articles.

To be clear, perpetuating dangerous ignorance occurs when news sources quote Fulop’s Tweets without stating he was factually incorrect. The mayor’s misinformation continues to be treated as equal to the knowledge of experts. With so much at stake, spreading confusion and distrust regarding soon to be released COVID-19 vaccines is especially egregious for the mayor and media. Specifically, Fulop was quoted by the Journal:

“The state needs to be doing more on education for people [on] side effects,” Fulop said in a series of tweets on Friday. “We don’t feel like they are doing anything on this front and meanwhile, they are asking residents to be injected with small doses of Coronavirus.

To be absolutely clear, the main COVID-19 vaccine candidates for an Emergency use Authorization do NOT contain “small doses of Coronavirus.” Disregarding journalistic due diligence until after reporting on Fulop’s tweets, the Journal and HCV eventually updated their articles to include factual information about mRNA vaccines from the Centers for Disease Control.

Unfortunately, the Journal and HCV struggle with objective facts and have refused to hold Fulop accountable for constructing an alternative reality (just check this email to a constituent). When asked about the controversial tweet, Jersey City Councilman James Solomon said Fulop should “take it down and the media should lead their stories about his tweets with the fact he shared misinformation.”

At 5:15 PM today, Fulop tweeted a clarification of the controversial tweet, stating “I shouldn’t have written “asking residents to be injected with small dosages of the virus” as that isn’t how the 1st vaccines will work.”

Local civic activist Esther Wintner, who helped bring attention to the controversy on Facebook, tweeted to Fulop that “there is no clarification for the tweet, it’s incorrect. What’s needed is a retraction. As in delete.”

Regardless, like corruption, misconduct, and racism that’s routinely unreported or misreported by the local media that covers Jersey City, the COVID-19 vaccine drama is another example of glorified stenographers masquerading as news reporters in Hudson County.

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