Far-right Fox News host Laura Ingraham must've run out of vaccine disinformation to share, because she's instigating a new moral panic among her millions of conservative viewers.
Last month, the Department of Transportation—led by Secretary Pete Buttigieg—unveiled the National Roadway Safety Strategy, an effort partly funded by President Joe Biden's bipartisan infrastructure package to reduce traffic deaths. Naturally, Ingraham characterized this effort as a liberal "war on driving."
The strategy notes that traffic deaths saw an 18.4 percent increase in the first half of 2021 compared to the first half of 2020. Ingraham claimed, because fewer people were on the roads in 2020 due to the pandemic, that of course there was a heavy increase in traffic deaths as COVID-19 shutdowns loosened around the country the next year.
But Ingraham's assumption is wrong.
Though there were fewer people on the roads in 2020, that year saw the highest number of traffic deaths since 2007 and a 7.2 percent increase in traffic deaths from 2019, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report from last summer.
But as is her wont, Ingraham absurdly claimed the effort to reduce traffic fatalities was an example of Democrats moving to limit personal freedoms through strategies like public transit incentives and emergency care service improvements
Watch the lengthy segment below.
The Ingraham Angle 2/15/22 FULL HD | BREAKING FOX NEWS February 15, 2022 youtu.be
Ingraham told viewers:
"Now that people are slowly getting back to the office even in blue states, they want to make permanent the 'new normal' feeling of the pandemic glory days by making private vehicle ownership increasingly difficult for average Americans. And the sick thing is, they're concealing their plans by wrapping them in the noble goal of reducing traffic accidents and fatalities."
Ingraham derided a quote from the NHTSA that urged Americans to reject "a culture that accepts as inevitable the loss of tens of thousands of people in traffic crashes," saying:
"The culture he's talking about doesn't exist because I know no one who celebrates death on the roads. They're always tragic. The real cultural shift the left wants to force on us involves our freedoms, doing away with freedom on the open roads. Our ability to go wherever we want, as far as we want, whenever we want."
Note that the quote Ingraham read rejected the idea that there is an "acceptable" number of traffic deaths. It did not claim that people were celebrating traffic deaths, as Ingraham characterized it.
Two minutes later, Ingraham demonstrated the exact point the quote was making: that traffic deaths are treated as acceptable and inevitable, saying through laughter:
"Its stated goal is getting to zero traffic fatalities, which is just obviously absolutely ludicrous, just like zero COVID, that strategy was ludicrous."
The strategy notes that getting to zero roadway fatalities is "ambitious" but that the number is "the only acceptable number of deaths on our highways, roads, and streets."
Social media users didn't yield to Ingraham's road rage.
Yet more of the Murdoch-fueled toxins coursing through the airwaves. https://t.co/6wvGdTgEH7
— KELTIK WARRIOR /aka Vince T/ (@RevMillard) February 16, 2022
I just can't understand why people give this horrid nasty woman oxygen by watching her programme. https://t.co/02lEwtZ02Z
— Suzanne Kilfoy (@susankilfoy) February 16, 2022
So following this Foxian logic, school sprinkler systems and other safety measures signify a war on fire where in red states, MAGA parents must flood school board meetings fighting for their kids’ God-given right to die a fiery death. #freedumb https://t.co/8XNhcmUoxT
— Brother Pietro (@brpietrowood) February 16, 2022
@FoxNews is going out of their way to see how many Americans they can kill with misinformation. https://t.co/egPMQuxteK
— Jimmy Mack 🌊🌊🌊 (@JimmyMa98376430) February 16, 2022
Republicans have embraced "anti-smart" policies. https://t.co/z6bLrgJMqA
— Therese R. Yglesias (@treeby6) February 16, 2022
Fox news gonna Fox news. Nothing suprising here. https://t.co/7ErvLruvp6
— Pridan94 (@pridan94) February 16, 2022
Also, can we talk about the graphic portraying Buttigieg as the devil?
It looks like an 8 year old made that graphic. https://t.co/HYABgZ2xal
— Jack Ryan (@thehunt4aBCchip) February 16, 2022
the road to hell is paved with Fox News graphics interns https://t.co/qwZ2UWr0aL
— William Lindeke (@BillLindeke) February 16, 2022
Honestly the fact that anyone can take FOX seriously when they make slimy thumbnails like this (that look like they were made in MSP) is beyond me https://t.co/fWaCjbr5YL
— Mid-Sized Goddess (@singing_worm) February 16, 2022
At least Fox News viewers can rest assured that, whether it's from vaccine refusals or traffic crashes, Ingraham will always fight for their right to a dead end.