Ivermectin and Televised Mainstream News
A case study of propaganda
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans relied on televised mainstream news (TMN) to receive daily information and guidance regarding the ongoing crisis. This analysis reveals that MSNBC and CNN, sufficiently representative of TMN and indicative of TMN’s prevailing trends and ideology, described ivermectin (IVM) with intentional omissions of information to deter the public from using an alternative medical intervention to treat COVID-19 infections.
In 2020, TMN consistently downplayed the drug ivermectin (IVM) as a non-credible intervention for COVID-19, sometimes describing it as a “horse dewormer.” However, after September 1, 2021, when online celebrity Joe Rogan stated that he successfully used IVM to treat his COVID-19 infection, televised and other mainstream media outlets covered the matter for several weeks, repeatedly framing IVM as a horse dewormer with no additional benefits. Rogan’s Instagram post on his use of IVM was viewed nearly seven million times, suggesting that it may have been a potential motivation behind TMN’s repeated incomplete description of IVM.