One component of the conservative Fox News network's ongoing campaign to discourage its users from being vaccinated is the threat of so-called "vaccine passports."
These passports amount to a form of documentation that allows private businesses to verify whether or not a person has been vaccinated against the virus that's killed over 600 thousand Americans. They're implemented by private businesses, allowing each establishment to discern the level of safety guidelines they'll enforce among their customers. The federal government plays no role in their implementation and has not mandated the passports—which vary from state to state—be used.
Nevertheless, Fox News fomented hysteria over the passports to its millions of viewers.
Far-right Fox host Tucker Carlson called the passes "medical Jim Crow," claiming these businesses were participating in "segregation." Fellow conservative Fox host Laura Ingraham characterized them as "medical surveillance" that would "never stop chipping away at your liberty and your privacy." Yet another Fox host, Steve Hilton, described them as "Orwellian." Fox contributor and conspiracy theorist Naomi Wolf even called them "the end of human liberty in the west".
But though the network has collectively devoted hours of airtime to the terror of verifying someone is vaccinated, it turns out Fox itself has implemented vaccine passports.
Watch The Intercept's Ryan Grim, who first reported the story, detail the policy below.
Fox News requires fully vaccinated employees to enter the credentials in the online HR platform Workday. Once these are verified, vaccinated employees are provided the Fox Clear Pass, which allows them to go without masks and social distancing. The Clear Pass must be shown to security upon entrance to the building.
Grim pointed out that even vaccinated individuals who don't have the clear pass are then considered unvaccinated, according to a Fox memo.
Social media users called out the dissonance between the anti-vaccine sentiments it regularly airs and the policy it enforces for its employees.
That doesn't mean anyone was surprised.
It's unlikely any Fox News host will change their position on vaccine passports.