Fox News’ Tucker Carlson is always under threat of a boycott, but the powers that be tried to cancel him twice last week: first, for “attacking” New York Times writer Taylor Lorenz (and using her official headshot on air), and second, for accusing the Biden administration of feminizing the U.S. military with things like maternity flight suits, which drew criticism from several Department of Defense officials, some of them speaking in uniform from their offices, and all of them mistaking Carlson’s monologue as arguing that there shouldn’t be women in the military. “Get right before you get left, boomer,” warned an official Marine Corps Twitter account.
It was probably a nice break for Carlson to have riled up someone other than CNN’s Oliver Darcy and Brian Stelter. But Poynter, the institute that runs PolitiFact, argues that CNN — Stelter in particular — was right to go after Carlson and his increasingly dangerous rhetoric.
"…we cannot ignore that some 4 million people a night tune into his show and see him as more than just a so-called entertainer."https://t.co/9cThJ8ZEnZ
— Poynter (@Poynter) March 15, 2021
Dabbling in divisive rhetoric? Who in cable news does that?
Look, the Fox News primetime host says outrageous things. He’s more of an entertainer than a journalist and sometimes you can’t help but wonder if it’s all one big act.
But — and let me be very clear about this — whether he’s just trolling by saying the most ridiculous things he can think of or simply trying to drum up a big audience, it doesn’t mean his words are any less irresponsible, hurtful and dangerous.
And while you can call him an entertainer or pundit or whatever word you want to use to somehow soften many of the reckless things he says, the fact is he owns one of the most prized pieces of real estate (weekdays from 8 to 9 p.m. Eastern) on a network that has the word “news” in its name. That alone gives Carlson some credibility, at least by his employers. In addition, we cannot ignore that some 4 million people a night tune into his show and see him as more than just a so-called entertainer.
But — and let’s be very clear about this — neither Poynter nor Stelter can stand that Carlson draws an audience of 4 million.
OK, there’s more, but we’re including a beverage warning; don’t be drinking anything when you read the next excerpt:
But this does not mean Stelter is wrong. Not only is Stelter widely respected as a journalist, but it also should be noted that he’s not alone in questioning Carlson.
That’s right: the folks who run PolitiFact just said Stelter is widely respected as a journalist. Case dismissed.
7 people liked this. Lol.
Probably more than watched Stelter
— President * (@MaryHar74269038) March 15, 2021
Well, CNN should stop complaining about Tucker and stop sucking so badly
— C’mon Man Chica'sBailBonds (@IrinaMoises) March 15, 2021
Because it's 4 million viewers that aren't watching CNN.
Sucks to be them.
— Robert Arnold (@reddaug17) March 15, 2021
— Jay Kiefer (@jakemont1) March 15, 2021
has he ever lied like the @wapo admitted to this weekend? I like it when newspapers die
— Johnathan J Foxboro (@foxboro_j) March 15, 2021
Yeah, it’s funny that this comes out the same day CNN issued a correction to its totally bogus story about President Trump telling the Georgia secretary of state’s office to “find the fraud.” Is PolitiFact going to touch that one? Will Stelter cover it on “Reliable Sources” this Sunday? Or will it be a rerun of the episode where he analyzed Trump’s Twitter typos?
Can we point out that CNN sucks, MSNBC sucks, ABC sucks, FOX suck. They all have narratives. They are all biased. Tucker is better than the almighty bullshit freaks at CNN
— itjustme (@mike58994213) March 15, 2021
“Tucker mean and bad! Republicans suppressing Black vote and ❤️ Jim Crow! I ❤️ Stelter, Wemple and Chucky T.” Tell me where I misquoted you.
— Epistemically Challenged (@DeNotOnline1) March 15, 2021
What has he said thats so bad? He seems very milqtoaste to me
— Femdom Craze (@FemdomCraze) March 15, 2021
Bad? Dangerous even.
1st They went after Tucker because he kills them in the ratings.
2nd Tucker has a point.
3rd I'd rather watch Tucker than a propaganda news network that, if it were respectable, would have to air retractions 24/7/365 for 4 years to cover all the lies it's members spewed in 2.
— Big Republicat 1 (@DewayneMizell) March 15, 2021
“Carlson made disparaging remarks, calling it a “mockery of the U.S. military.” That led to several senior military leaders blasting Carlson’s comments.” So criticism by conservatives is called “disparaging remarks”? But it’s ok for liberals to criticize the military?
— Common Sense (@comsen9) March 15, 2021
— Common Sense (@comsen9) March 15, 2021
School of journalism.??
— Bobby joe (@bobbyjoelaw78) March 15, 2021
A helot speaks… pic.twitter.com/HRw6aSuTTO
— Zuub Chudloogie (@WiFi_Ed) March 15, 2021
FACT CHECK: Tucker was right and CNN is begging for viewers as they circle the drain.
— Alec (@AlecBjornsen) March 15, 2021
Wow. You people are absolute hacks.
— Boo (@heyok99) March 15, 2021
He scare you that much? Sad.
— Max Power (@Max_Power2006) March 15, 2021
Zero f**ks given –> Tucker Carlson responds to NYT statement accusing HIM of harassment and DAMN (watch) https://t.co/MY8803aB94
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) March 11, 2021