Fox News has cut ties with pro-Donald Trump media personalities Diamond & Silk—who have repeatedly appeared with the president at rallies and White House—after they pushed headache-inducing conspiracy theories about the coronavirus pandemic, the Daily Beast reported on Monday.
Diamond and Silk, whose real names are Lynette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, have become well-known in conservative circles as outspoken Trump supporters and are particularly popular with Trump himself. The two were at Trump’s side as recently as a Black History Month meeting at the White House in February 2020. They were also in large part responsible for a debacle of a House Judiciary Committee hearing in 2018 during which they claimed that Facebook was censoring them for supporting Trump. (Facebook was not censoring them.) Those flimsy claims were parroted by right wing media including Fox, so it’s just spectacular the company has now booted Diamond and Silk from their Fox Nation streaming service.
According to the Daily Beast, Diamond and Silk have repeatedly promoted bogus conspiracy theories about the virus, including that no one knows where the bodies of the over 56,000 Americans that have died so far are being hidden, that it might have been designed in a lab, and that the World Health Organization could have the capacity to “turn this virus on and off.”
“What I need to know is how many people have passed away in New York, and what I need to know is: Who has the bodies?” Diamond said in a March 30 livestream. “I need for somebody that does investigative work to call the morgues. To call the funeral homes. We need to know, because I don’t trust anything else that comes out of his mouth now... Something’s not right here. Something is off here.”
“Is this being deliberately spread?” Diamond added, seamlessly transitioning from a theory in which someone is making up death counts to one in which it is wreaking havoc suspiciously fast. “Look, I’m not being a conspiracy theorist, this is real, but I’m asking my own questions. What the hell is going on?”
Per the Daily Beast, during the same broadcast Silk pondered whether the virus is “man-made” or “engineered,” perhaps due to a “little deep-state action going on behind the scenes.” She also floated the idea that World Health Organization may have in its possession a kill “switch” for the virus. (We do, but there’s no way Silk could know that.)
They have also pushed wild lies, couched as harmless suggestions, that official coronavirus death counts may be inflated, that a potential vaccine is somehow tied to Microsoft founder Bill Gates’ plans for “population control,” and that the virus may be caused by 5G as part of a plan to fill “empty” hospital beds. Several weeks ago, Twitter removed a tweet in which they urged followers to disobey social distancing orders because the “only way we can become immune to the environment; we must be out in the environment,” adding that remaining indoors “for extended periods will make people sick.”
According to the Daily Beast, Diamond and Silk’s Fox Nation program has been quiet since April 7, shortly before they sent out that tweet. A source at the network, clearly expecting some kind of a pat on the back for distancing themselves from a disaster of their own making, told the site that “After what they’ve said and tweeted you won’t be seeing them on Fox Nation or Fox News anytime soon.” Fox News and Diamond and Silk did not respond to the Daily Beast’s requests for comment, but shake a Magic 8-Ball for further insight on whether the divorce will be permanent.
Of course, that just means a little bit more work for everyone else at Fox churning out an endless supply of Trump-friendly spin on the pandemic. The president apparently believes that the company is growing soft and directed his Twitter followers to instead watch One America News Network, an even more fawning, far-right streaming service that has claimed National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci grew the virus in a North Carolina lab and recently had one of its reporters barred from White House briefings for violating social distancing rules.
Not to be outdone, Trump recently suggested that injecting bleach might be a cure for the virus.