Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks to reporters after briefing Senators on the coronavirus outbreak in China on Capitol Hill, January 24, 2020. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters) Deconstructing National Geographic’s propaganda pitch
You might be one of those people who never want to see Anthony Fauci’s face on TV again — or not. But it’s likely that the man himself will be broadcast and rebroadcast continuously, using the power status that Fauci has attained to further the current administration’s COVID protocols. There’s no better insight into this ideological puffery than the publicity campaign for the new documentary Fauci. This fascinating aspect of film culture is crafty and demands close scrutiny.
Presented by National Geographic, the same outfit responsible for Genius, the other Aretha Franklin biopic, Fauci is being sold with similar veneration. It’s not a film about science but about “following the science” of public leadership — as when politicians assert cant such as “Don’t question my authority.” You don’t expect cant from NG. The trust built up from decades of that iconic yellow-framed print magazine, with its vivid photographs of natural phenomena, makes us susceptible. NG’s film division is now the opposite of informative and wide-ranging; its political