Reporter who tweeted vaccine conspiracy theory out at Newsmax
Newsmax, a conservative news network that rose to prominence in the final months of the 2020 presidential election, will not renew the contract of a reporter who earlier this year floated a baseless conspiracy theory about coronavirus vaccines.
Emerald Robinson, a White House correspondent for the outlet, was pulled off the air by Newsmax in early November after she sent a tweet falsely claiming coronavirus vaccines “contain a bioluminescent marker called LUCIFERASE so that you can be tracked.”
“Emerald is still with Newsmax, however her contract ends in January and we will not be renewing it,” the outlet said in a statement to The Hill on Tuesday. “We appreciate the work she has done on-air for the network.”
After she was taken off the air and had her post about vaccines hidden by Twitter, Newsmax said it was “currently reviewing the posts” of Robinson. It added that during the review she would not appear on air but would “continue with duties for the network.”
Elliot Jacobson, executive vice president and chief content officer for the network, said at the time that Newsmax had been “a strong proponent that Covid 19 vaccines are overarchingly safe and effective,” and disavowed Robinson’s posts, saying “we have seen no evidence to suggest LUCIFERASE or LUCIFERIN are present in any vaccines or that they are used as any sort bioluminescent marker.”
Robinson last month was permanently suspended from Twitter for repeatedly violating the platform’s COVID-19 misinformation policy, the social media company said.
In a blog post published on Dec. 2 on Substack, Robinson wrote “contrary to what you might be hearing from the corporate media, I am still alive and well!” and included a photo of herself.
“Will tell you more very soon,” Robinson said. “Big things are happening.”
Robinson’s departure from Newsmax comes as the network confirmed it hired former Fox News and Sinclair Broadcasting reporter James Rosen as its new White House Corespondent.
“James Rosen is not only a reporter’s reporter, but also a great thinker and author who can share complex issues on a TV screen and explain them in clear and understandable ways,” Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax said in a statement. “We are pleased and proud to have him as a key part of our growing news team.”
Rosen left Fox News in 2018 amid allegations of sexual harassment at that network. Rosen had been accused of making “overt physical and sexual overtures” to co-workers, according to NPR.
“I am thrilled to join the Newsmax team,” Rosen said in a statement announcing his hiring. “I’ve known Chris Ruddy for over decade and have long admired from afar his innovation and success in growing Newsmax and its brand.”
Newsmax is one of several conservative news networks that has been sued in recent months over allegedly broadcasting false or misleading claims about the integrity of the 2020 presidential election.