Tucker Carlson has spent much of 2021 miraculously finding one new low after another. He’s compared COVID-19 protocols to Jim Crow. He’s floated a white supremacist conspiracy theory. He’s asked viewers to harass people who wear masks. He’s unleashed weird laughs. And he’s alternated between downplaying the Jan. 6 insurrection and trying to explain it away. Last week he spent a lot of time blabbing about a surreal (and debunked) theory that puts the blame for the Capitol siege on the FBI. Most people have laughed at him. But CNN’s Brian Stelter actually did some homework to prove him wrong.
The host devoted a segment Sunday to some important questions about Carlson’s latest cuckoo obsession, which posits that unindicted co-conspirators are government agents. After noting that the deranged theory is “everywhere now,” having been picked up by far right politicians and media, Stelter questioned Carlson’s journalistic bona fides.
“Presumably he asked questions of the FBI and of prosecutors and sources?” Stelter asked, almost certainly rhetorically. He then said he went straight to Carlson’s employers. “So I asked Fox PR executives, did anyone vet Tucker’s reporting? Did the Fox newsroom go through his reporting?”
He had other questions:
“Why haven’t they followed up on it since? Carlson alleged these explosive stories, claiming this is an incredible bombshell. Where is the Fox newsroom? Why isn’t Special Report with Bret Baier covering this story every day? Why isn’t Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace covering this incredible claim right now?”
Predictably, Stelter had yet to receive a response from Fox News. But he thought he had his answers anyway. Carlson, he theorized, is “out there on his own,” doing whatever he wants. And when real journalists question the veracity of his claims, the network, he said, can simply claim it’s “an opinion show and everyone knows it’s an opinion show.”
But, Stelter said, Carlson’s fans don’t think it’s just one guy’s opinion. They “think it’s news,” he said. “They trust Tucker more than they trust real reporters. So what was the betting? What was the process? Why isn’t Fox following up? Why isn’t the newsroom digging into his claims? Why isn’t the newsroom at Fox trying to prove Tucker’s theory?”
These are all valid questions, even if, again, the answers are probably obvious. Indeed, Carlson’s show is the only place where you see this incredible — and, again, already discredited — claim taken seriously. And Stelter surely knows full well that if he wants Fox News to give him honest answers, he shouldn’t hold his breath.
You can watch Stelter’s segment in the video above.
(Via The Daily Beast)