The media’s nonstop hyping of COVID-19 has reached the level of “fear porn,” with a remarkable 82% agreeing that the coverage of the virus is fearmongering at its worst — and best.

Previewing his latest Zogby Poll with Secrets, pollster Jonathan Zogby said that 67% believe the media are “scaring” Americans with the coronavirus coverage. Of those, 35% are moved to turn off the news, and another 32% can “tune it out.”

But then, there are 15% who agree that the stories about the virus are scary and believe that’s good if it gets nonvaccinated people to get stuck. The rest, about 18%, believe the media are "being responsible."

Zogby labeled the hyped coverage as “fear porn.”

In his analysis, he said, “Turn on the news at any moment, and on any given channel, you will hear about COVID-19 cases exploding, people dying to no end, people who cannot move freely, kids who cannot go to school, teachers who will not teach, all with seemingly no end in sight. No wonder people are despondent and anxious, and that mental illnesses are on the rise, while employees are quitting their jobs en masse.”

He added: “You can bet your bottom dollar that the mainstream media loves scaring people because fear raises ratings and ratings equals money, so do not expect them to dial down the 'fear porn.' It is what they do. Look at every crisis over the past two decades from 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Trump. The mainstream media wants us to panic and tune in every second, so we keep coming back for more. They are not interested in the truth! That is not their business model. We need to turn off our televisions, smartphones, radios, and laptops and just get busy living. Otherwise, it is going to be a long road back to normalcy.”

Separately, he found that younger, liberal, and urban voters also have experienced increased depression since the pandemic hit two years ago, and media coverage may have played a role.

“We cannot say for certain if there is a correlation between the incessant media scare tactics when it comes to coverage of COVID-19 and increased cases of mental illnesses, but our polling data can say for certain that some demographics have experienced increased depression since the outset of the pandemic,” read the analysis.

And Zogby offered a little advice: “On the one hand, it is impossible not to cover a once in a lifetime pandemic, but when our society is wired into electronic devices 24/7, we would be remiss to shun the idea the media might be scaring people more than usual, especially children, during these trying times. The best medicine might be to tune out, tune off, and drop out from the mainstream media's coverage of COVID-19."