COVID-19 lies are killing people, NJ101.5’s Deminski tells CNN
Everyone's entitled to their own opinion but nobody's entitled to lie — especially during a public health emergency, New Jersey 101.5 afternoon host Jeff Deminski told CNN this week.
Appearing on media critic Brian Stelter's "Reliable Sources," Deminski said he pushes back against callers who spread misinformation about the coronavirus.
"I never get angry at anybody who just has a strong opinion even if I don't agree with them," he said, even if their opinion is that they don't care if people die. "But to say that masks do nothing or that masks do more harm than good, that’s a lie and I can't abide that."
Deminski laid out his arguments a week ago in an opinion piece on NJ1015.com — "Why I am so angry talking about the coronavirus" — in which he points out that his fact-based positions on the pandemic have led to some people calling him "brainwashed" and a "lib" even though he has a history of voting for Republicans.
Deminski told Stelter that he hears everything from "the virus is a complete hoax" to "the death toll is completely fabricated." In response to those callers, Deminski says, "I stick to my guns."
"We are just intent on constantly telling the truth. Facts matter in this because the lies are killing people, frankly," he said.
Stelter said that what media figures do — especially local hosts like Deminski who are "on the front lines, so to speak" — matters.
"There's a power in that one-to-one communication when a listener calls in and you call out nonsense. That is what we have to do. I don’t know if it gains you followers or fans, though," Stelter said.
Deminski and co-host Bill Doyle can be heard weekday afternoons from 2 to 7 p.m. on New Jersey 101.5.
JEFF DEMINSKI: 'Why I am so angry talking about the coronavirus'
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-775-9793 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.