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Fox “News” Pimps Tucker Carlson’s “Expose” Of “Liberal Journalists”

Reported by Priscilla - July 24, 2010 -

Famous “dick,” Tucker Carlson, recently appeared on Fox & Friends to discuss the newest outrage in right wing circles; i.e. the publication by Carlson, on his conservative website “The Daily Caller,” of e-mail exchanges on a listserv made up of a variety of liberal journalists, bloggers, and college professors. According to Carlson, this listserv was part of a nefarious cabal to bring down right wing political figures and (gasp) Fox News which, at the time, was doing its gosh darned best to bring down Barack Obama. (Some things never change). According to Ezra Klein of the Washington Post, the journalist who began the listserv, Carlson is promoting inaccuracies in his selective quotations. So it’s no surprise that official Fox “opinion” news would facilitate the promotion of the inaccuracies and selective quoting. But official Fox “News” would appear to be doing the same thing. Wednesday night, July 21st, Bret Baier’s Special Report did a segment on this evil, librul conspiracy. Let’s take a look at how “fair & balanced” it was, shall we!

Baier began by citing how in Tuesday’s “Grapevine” he reported on “allegations that a group of journalists and others conspired to keep stories potentially harmful to Barack Obama out of the media during the 2008 election campaign.” He tossed to Fox’s Steve Centani for a more in-depth report. Centani began by reporting that when Obama’s campaign “was imperiled, by his long time relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.” (Fox does love to drop Wright’s name!), a group of liberal journalists e-mailed each other suggesting ways to divert attention to the scandal.” Centani then jumped to a comment from Spencer Ackerman which suggests that journalists, in countering the right wing barrage of Rev. Wright agitprop (which seems to have reared its ugly head again with Tucker’s tattling), could say that sainted conservatives like Karl Rove and Fred Barnes were racists. Surprise, surprise – that’s what Baier quoted in the Tuesday night “Grapevine!” The greater context of Ackerman’s apparent inappropriate comment was a discussion of how Fox News was attempting to defame Wright by taking sermons out of context. Neither “Grapevine” nor Centani mentioned that. He then described how Tucker Carlson (he did not describe Carlson as a conservative) published the “Journolist” on his website, “The Daily Caller.” (By not noting that Carlson had surreptitiously obtained the information, it appeared as though Carlson might have been an innocent member of the list – and he wasn’t, although he wanted to be.) He played commentary from Carlson accusing those on the listserv of being “political hacks” (Oh, the irony!) “and consultants on behalf of Barack Obama.” Centani showed a Rutgers professor’s comment that there is a misconception that this listserv provided journalists an opportunity to reveal “secret” beliefs when these folks were “opinion based journalists.” (Like O’Reilly and Hannity who don’t need to be “fair & balanced” because they’re “opinion journalists?!”)

But then he went to a Boston University professor and former ABC correspondent Bob Zelnick who criticized the list. He then jumped to a second e-mail which asked if the FCC could (gasp) shut down Fox News. Centani didn’t mention that another e-mail was critical of shows on other cable networks. Centani’s visual was, interestingly, the title of Carlson’s article on the “Daily Caller.” This was followed by more commentary from Carlson who claimed that this comment, from a law professor at UCLA (not a "liberal journalist as Tucker's headline states), was “authoritarian, sick and totally un-American.” (Oh, more irony!) He added that they were “espousing it in public, on the site.” While Centani noted that not all the parties in the discussion agreed about accusing “select conservatives” of racism or “stifling Fox News,” “critics say” (which ones, Steve?) “it gives journalism a bad name.”

Comment: So was this “fair & balanced” or a tad skewed? While the “Journolist” (which began in 2007) participants discussed many topics, the one that Fox “News” (as well as Fox & Friends) honed in on was related to Jeremiah Wright. And while Tucker is aghast at the talk of labeling conservatives as racist, he doesn’t seem to have a problem with Fox’s Glenn Beck saying that Barack Obama “is a racist with a deep seated hatred of white people.” It’s interesting because on neither Fox & Friends nor Fox “News,” was there mention that Tucker Carlson asked Ezra Klein if he could join the group. It’s also interesting that Fox hasn’t sought any commentary from Klein. Doing a rough calculation on the time spent on showing the listserv in a negative light vs. the one defending comment, I come out with approximately 2 minutes vs. 20 seconds. As David Corn (“Mother Jones” journalist who was on the listserv and who occasionally appears on Fox) said: "Journolist was a community, not a conspiracy. It did not issue directives. But some participants did see it as a mechanism for trying to increase the overall influence of this community—which occasionally led to some mighty big talk full of high hopes. But there were no marching orders and no coordination... Believing wrongly that comments made to a group of 400 or so people could remain off the record, some participants let their hair down too much… But that's hardly a big sin in the media world.” Obviously Fox “News” thinks it is!

BTW, which is worse and why – discussions made by liberal writers/thinkers with no impact on the so called “liberal media” or Fox News strategy memos about how to spin the news in the “right” direction?