Fox’s viewers “only hear the anti-vax talking points that made Robert LaMay a celebrity,” even as the company takes COVID-19 “very, very seriously” behind the scenes. “For their own ratings, for fame, for cynical monetary purposes, that network—which is overseen by CEO Suzanne Scott, you should know her name—has decided to fan the flames of vaccine resistance,” he continued. “And those flames are getting thousands of people killed. And when those people die, they are of course forgotten by Fox News.”
Chris Hayes, MSNBC
(CMR) A Washington state trooper who posted a farewell video in October telling the governor to “kiss his a–” over vaccine mandates died Friday of the virus. Former Trooper Robert LaMay, 51, who served 22 years was fired after refusing to get vaccinated and took Twitter to let the world know how he felt about the statewide forced vaccine mandates.
“This is the last time you’ll hear me in a patrol car and Jay Inslee can kiss my ass.”
— Jason Rantz on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) October 17, 2021
LaMay was three years shy of full retirement when he left. Following LaMay's death, Washington State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste released a statement praising him for his service, which Batiste said “will be long remembered and appreciated.”
Governor Inslee had issued the sweeping order in August with a clear directive: ‘Show proof of vaccination on or before October 18 or lose your job'.
Thousands of workers requested exemptions and there was also extensions made for some employees. However, more than 92 percent of Washington state government workers are now said to have been fully vaccinated as of Saturday, according to the Washington State government website.
At the time Fox News lauded him as a hero and shared his video making it a viral moment. He appeared on numerous shows including Mornings with Maria where he was portrayed as a martyr. When he appeared on Laura Ingraham's show she asked him:
“What’s next for you—other than being a celebrity now—what’s next for you?” Ingraham asked, to which LaMay said he would continue to be a “spokesperson” for the “thousands, even millions” of Americans opposed to vaccine mandates.
LaMay’s passing went largely unaddressed on Fox News, a cable news host on another network did recognize it on Monday: MSNBC's Chris Hayes, who described the LaMay story as a “horrifying tragedy” that embodied America’s current iteration of cultural infighting.
Fox News wanted viewers to hear an anti-vax trooper’s story – until he died of COVID.
The network has yet to mention Robert LaMay's passing, after turning him into a culture war hero for resigning rather than getting vaccinated. https://t.co/dR5rTAEdTW
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) January 31, 2022
State Patrol Chief John Batiste said in a statement issued by the agency that he was “saddened” by LaMay’s death and offered his condolences to his family.
“Rob served honorably for over two decades and we were disappointed to see him leave the agency in October,” Batiste said. “His service to this state and agency will be long remembered and appreciated.”
A GoFundMe account was set up after his resignation to help him and his family with expenses. With his death, the funds will now be given to his family. As of Saturday, the fund had raised $4,290 of its $10,000 goal.