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Get vaxxed baby! and other puerile propaganda messages from the annals of pandemania Down Under
Is anyone going to call Kyle Sandilands out for spreading misinformation? No? ...Me then, I will.
This is the tenor of the garbage spewed forth from mainstream media last year in Australia. Witness, radio personality Kyle Sandilands rapping Get Vaxxed Baby with the questionable message that getting double jabbed would “handle” Covid.
“Stop, vaccinate and listen!
We are back with a brand new injection.”
Prophetic, really. If only Sandilands knew how frequently we’d be hearing that catch-cry! And with increasingly vaccine-resistant strains on the loose, I’d say the fifth shot (mouse booster #2) is surely incoming…
”Will this ever stop, yo, we don’t know.”
Same, Kyle, same. This is probably the only line that has aged appropriately.
”Too many people think vax is a scandal,
Take two shots and Covid’s handled.”
This one didn’t age so well. Two shots! Ah the good old days.
And handled? Not if the 2022-2023 budget is anything to go by.
“So just relax,
Lay down your tinfoil hats and just get vaxxed.”
Yes Kyle, shaming and ridiculing people with serious and legitimate safety concerns is the way! Call everyone with an interest in medical transparency and freedom a nutter! Well done Kyle, shilling for government and Big Pharma really suits you.
“Do you want to sit at home your whole life, unvaccinated?”
The binary thinking that the only way out of lockdown was to jab everyone twice was the problem, not the virus.
It was clear to sane and thinking people at this time (July 2021) that the vax could not prevent infection or transmission to an extent that would be required to ‘stop the spread’. We also knew from decades of epidemiological and public health canon that locking people down was not an effective way to deal with a respiratory virus. And then there was the troublesome proposition that removing people’s civil rights was justified because governments just had to buy time in order to prepare the hospitals. All of this was bogus and unjustifiable in a fair debate.
If Sandilands was being fed the wrong information, then that indicates that the misinformation came from the top. The media was the mouthpiece of an either misinformed or wilfully manipulative government apparatus. The revelation that NSW Gov engaged in ‘nudge' tactics to manipulate the public into acquiescing to lockdowns suggests the latter in the case of NSW (and possibly other states as well).
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said that Sandiland’s cringe rap was, “the light of my life.” Prime Minister at the time, Scott Morrison, publicly thanked Sandilands for his efforts in the mass propaganda campaign.
In the press limelight following release of his prop-rap (a new genre, propaganda rap), Sandilands said, "These people are actual doctors and scientists – get the vaccine. Don’t be one of those anti-vaxxing losers.”
This is the rhetoric employed by primary school bullies to get the other kids to play with them.
The response of commenters on the Youtube post of the rap were more based in reality:
Do you think Kyle should apologise to commenter #2, Pure Light, for his insensitive video?
Why on God’s green earth was a radio jock giving health advice on pharmaceutical interventions anyway? He should also apologise to Vanilla Ice for the hack job.
BTW I’m not being overly harsh on Sandilands - this was not a one-off error. In September of the same year, Sandilands outed the private medical status of his producer, Pedro Vitola, on live radio, calling him a “stupid prick” for not being jabbed.
In August 2022, Sandilands and his cohost Jackie O pranked Vitolo by announcing that the station was sending him to see the soccer World Cup as reward for his hard work. He cried in gratitude. The punch line was that vaccination is a requirement to go. (To be fair, this style of prank is standard fare for Sandilands and O, and everyone related to the show is pranked regularly and harshly, not least the hosts). Vitolo stuck to his guns and refused the ticket.
Shock jocks like Sandilands were not the only ones pushing the false binary of ‘get the shot or lockdown forever.’ Check out Channel 9’s ‘Our time to get a shot’ campaign of June 2021.
These are high profile media personalities and news journalists. Did no one consider that there was more to this conversation than, ‘submit to an experimental gene therapy injection with no long term safety data OR stay in your house foreverrrrrrrr’? Is this degree of myopia just the natural result of being surrounded by bureaucratic Experts and Yes Men, such that you are never seriously challenged on anything that you think? Have government and corporate institutions been so focused on diversity of gender, sexual orientation and skin colour that they entirely overlooked diversity of thought as a pivotal concern?
Here is national treasure Magda Szubanksi in a Vic Gov sponsored ad, telling Australians, “it’s not the lockdown that’s the enemy, it’s the virus,” and that this could all be over if we just obeyed the rules.
But actually, it was government overreach that kept us in excessive and harsh lockdowns for longer than necessary, not the virus.
Though this was overwhelmingly obvious to some of us, it has now been confirmed via several independent reviews1, which, via various methods and on different sides of the political aisle, have arrived at similar conclusions: that Australia's pandemic response was over the top, and that lockdowns were excessive, ineffective, and ultimately harmful.
Chris Kenny wrote a very good wrap-up of the Fault Lines review a couple of weeks ago for The Australian, in which he declared the pandemic overreach a “national scandal” and called for a royal commission to clean up the mess.
Pandemic overreach finally exposed as a national scandal, The Australian, 21 October 2022
Intentionally or not, Australian media personalities were key agents in the spread of misinformation propaganda on a matter of national concern. They covered for government, excusing the inexcusable. They used their platforms to apply undue pressure to a beleaguered populace, bullying anyone who dissented or expressed hesitancy.
Maybe they didn’t know what they were doing. Maybe the misinformation came from ‘The Experts’ that they, too, trusted. Maybe they genuinely did not know that they were a cog in the propaganda machine. If these media personalities come to the realisation of the part they played in manufacturing consent, publicly acknowledge it, apologise and try to correct the error, I’m sure they will be forgiven. Aseem Malhotra is example of the good a public personality can do upon realising their error and correcting course.
And what of those who don’t acknowledge their mistakes and adjust course? Who would like us all to ‘move on’, to overlook the carnage that they contributed to, forgive and forget without any accountability or recourse?
Emily Oster, font of misinformation and cheerleader of inappropriate pandemic measures, floated the idea in her latest article for The Atlantic, LET’S DECLARE A PANDEMIC AMNESTY, in which she essentially says, ‘oops, we were all doing our best with the information at hand, let’s just forgive and forget ok?’
Twitter fire rained down in response. Have a scroll of the comments in the thread linked below.
It’s a hard NO, Emily. You do not get to declare an amnesty without first saying sorry. Listen. Demonstrate that you understand how you got it wrong. Promise you will never behave that way again. Then we can talk. Head to my instagram for my curated selection of responses to Emily’s ill-advised post.
Circling back to Australia, I’ve posted three videos that contain misinformation, lack context, and promote misleading messages. Big tech routinely bans or removes content for these reasons. Yet all three videos posted above, though patently in breach of ‘community guidelines’ as enforced over the past several years, remain up on multiple platforms. What’s with that? These are the kind of questions that keep conspiracy theorists awake at night.
One person’s misinformation is another person’s prop-rap. If you’re reading this, I guess we are the same kind of person.
Fault Lines: An independent review into Australia’s response to COVID-19, October 2022.
Hard Lessons: Reckoning the social, and humanitarian costs of zero-covid, September 2022.
Do lockdowns and border closures serve the “greater good”? A cost-benefit analysis of Australia’s reaction to COVID-19, August 2022.
BONUS OVERSEAS CRINGE
”If we don’t get people vaccinated we could see new mutations of the virus and go through this all over again.”
From Australia, Jimmy, just letting you know - we got (almost) everyone vaccinated, and we still got new mutations.
+ TV Doctors telling people expressing concerns about the vaccines to “shut the fuck up,” comparing Covid vaccines to sterilising polio vaccines, and reiterating, “grow the fuck up and get the vaccine!”