Reviews | Tucker Carlson confirms no one is editing it

In recent years, Fox News host Tucker Carlson has promoted the racist ‘great replacement’ theory, claimed that immigrants make the United States ‘dirtier’ and ‘poorer’, sowed fear during Black Lives Matter protests and spread January 6 conspiracy theories. 2021, attack on the Capitol.

Oversight from Fox News superiors? “I’m not settling anything with anybody,” Carlson said Thursday via remote connection at a press conference hosted by the soon-to-be-launched digital outlet Semafor, and sponsored by the Knight Foundation.

“I say what I want,” Carlson told Semafor co-founder Ben Smith. “I am blessed, unlike many journalists, who lead a miserable life.”

Compare Carlson’s own comments about his long leash to Fox News with those of senior executive producer Justin Wells, who was quoted in a recent series of New York Times investigations as saying that articles on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” “are subject to a rigorous editorial process”. This Times series reported that the top-rated host “brags that she rarely speaks with Fox chief executive Suzanne Scott, but speaks or texts regularly with [Fox Corp. Chairman Lachlan] Murdoch.

So much for a rigorous editorial process.

Erik Wemple: Tucker Carlson, threat in the workplace

Carlson’s latitude to articulate racist viewpoints without interference from superiors is among the most enduring stories in modern media. In Thursday’s interview, Smith pointed to Carlson’s promotion of the “great replacement” theory – a notion that elites promote immigration and “replace” white Americans, to reshape American politics – and posed questions about his history of working with people who hold racist views. – all that Carlson deflected, insisting, as he has done before, that he Iit’s anti-racism.

“I believe people are not the sum total of their genetics,” Carlson told Smith.

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Presenting himself to the Washington conference crowd as a truth-teller and free-speech warrior, Carlson invoked the 1969 Supreme Court ruling in Brandenburg vs. Ohiothat protected inflammatory speech and reduced the instances in which the state could sue for incitement.

“I noticed that your news agencies don’t benefit from it, but mine does. We actually have freedom of speech at Fox. And that’s really clear,” Carlson said, referring to Brandenburg. “If you push someone into imminent violence, it’s not protected. Everything else is. And so the idea that hate speech is a real category or that speech that offends me should be banned or should become criminally prosecutable is nonsense.

The idea that Fox News is the only news organization profiting from the First Amendment is laughable. Mainstream media nationwide regularly publish criticism of public officials, whether Democrats, Republicans or otherwise. This very culture of open debate is rooted in First Amendment protections, particularly the 1964 Supreme Court decision in New York Times vs. Sullivan. By virtue of this historical precedent and its offspring, public figures face considerable obstacles in suing media outlets that report unfavorable things about them. These protections protect all journalists.

It’s a strange time for Carlson to brag about his employer and the ethos of free speech. As he presents this absurd case — after all, lawsuits are pending against Fox News and its parent company, Fox Corp., arising from the network’s coverage of the 2020 presidential election. Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic, voting technology companies whose work has been repeatedly trashed by Fox News hosts who promoted the “big lie” that the election was stolen from President Donald Trump – with, according to the theory, the illegal aid of these companies.

Erik Wemple: Fox Corp. can’t evade Dominion’s “big lie” trial

These false and irresponsible claims about Fox News were numerous, as the companies’ lawsuits clearly show. Dominion’s complaint, for example, cites Carlson’s January 2021 interview with My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, a key proponent of stolen election plots. Without any reaction from Carlson – who had previously disputed the unsubstantiated claims of Sidney Powell, a “big lie” advocate who advised Trump – Lindell was allowed to expose “machine voter fraud” and lamented the alleged efforts of Dominion for “cancel it – efforts that Dominion says are wrong.

“Carlson gave his biggest sponsor an unchallenged platform to spout his lies, demanded no evidence, and failed to point out to viewers that Lindell failed to produce the ‘evidence’ he claimed to have. “, we read in the lawsuit of Dominion.

Fox News attorneys have their work cut out with all of the Dominion-Smartmatic litigation. The judges in both cases denied the network’s motions to dismiss, and Fox completed its legal team in the Dominion case. This may be how Carlson’s employer “benefits” from the First Amendment.

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