A shocking revelation demonstrates how the federal government paid multiple major news networks to advertise and provide favorable coverage of Covid-19 vaccines.
In response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by TheBlaze, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) admitted to purchasing vaccine advertisements on large media networks including Fox News, Newsmax, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC.
They also purchased ads on publications including the New York Post, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed News, and hundreds of outlets.
The report reveals the media networks promoted vaccines through publishing articles and video segments positively highlighting the efficacy and safety of the vaccines.
TheBlaze obtained documents from HHS revealing the paid advertisements were part of a “comprehensive media campaign” to increase vaccine confidence among Americans.
In the fiscal year 2021, Congress appropriated $1 billion for the secretary of health to “strengthen vaccine confidence in the United States.” The Biden administration paid for advertisements on TV, radio, and social media and collaborated with public health “influencers” to be interviewed and promote vaccines on news networks.
Furthermore, news outlets receiving taxpayer dollars from the federal government failed to disclose the information to their audiences. However, since editorial teams work independently from media advertising departments, some publications claimed there was no need to announce the information publicly.
Moreover, news outlets claimed firewall policies allow the newsroom and the advertising department to work independently.
“Advertisers pay for space to share their messages, as was the case here, and those ads are clearly labeled as such,” vice president of communications for The Washington Post, Shani George, said. “The newsroom is completely independent from the advertising department.”
HHS did not disclose how much advertising funds went to each media network.