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Fox & Friends Use Tucker Carlson To Allege Liberal Media “Cover-up” Of Rev. Wright

Reported by Priscilla - July 21, 2010 -

Famous “dick,” conservative Tucker Carlson is a Fox fave. As a conservative “journalist,” he provides useful right wing talking points which Fox can use in their attempt to spin issues and attack people who are anathema to the right wing. Recently, Tucker Carslon published, on his right wing blog “The Daily Caller,” some private e-mail from libertarian David Weigel who, at the time worked for the Washington Post. As these e-mails said nasty, bad things about fine, upstanding conservatives, like Rush Limbaugh, his comments were considered egregious enough to pressure him to resign from the WAPO. Feeling flush with the success of getting Weigel’s scalp, Tucker Carlson, was on Fox & Friends, this morning, to talk about other nasty, bad things said on a listserv that was supposed to be a confidential “chat room” for journalists and which Tucker has managed to get his hands on - nasty, bad things that “prove,” according to Tucker, that the so called liberal media were in the tank for Barack Obama. According to Tucker, these journalists sought to “protect” Obama from adverse publicity, during the presidential campaign, regarding Rev. Wright – a person that Fox “News” is still getting mileage from! So it was a right wing propaganda home run – librul media, Rev. Wright, Barack Obama, and journalist Spencer Ackerman - as well as some PR for Carlson's website. And even better than being on Fox & Friends, Sarah Palin praised Tucker Carlson’s disclosure of the listserv, aided and abetted by Andrew Breitbart and the usual suspects in the right wing blogosphere, and exhorted him “to keep the light shining.”

Rev. Jeremiah Wright is a favorite topic on Fox News as he’s used to remind viewers of Obama’s “radical” connection – as well as being part of the “scary black man” card that Fox so loves to play. This morning the opening chyron set the tone: “Rev. Wright Cover-Up, Media Ignored Comments To Help Obama Campaign.” Brian Kilmeade reminded comments of the “shocking comments” of “Obama’s pastor who baptized his children.” They showed a clip of a Wright sermon in which he said that “the stuff overseas is brought right back.” (Inconvenient truth denied by conservatives). Kilmeade, his voice dripping with disgust, said that Carlson’s “Daily Caller” (funded by climate change denier Foster Friess) "has unearthed documents that show members of the left wing media tried to downplay Wright’s comments in order to protect the Obama campaign.” Steve Doocy, in speaking to Carlson, repeated how Tucker “got his hands on some documents” (actually e-mails) that show how liberal media (Doocy named “Time” and the “Huffington Post”) were trying “to protect Obama and inoculate him from fall out” regarding Wright. Carlson said that “the press, as a group took sides.” (and Fox would never do anything like that?!) He then cited how “Journolist” was a site for “left wing journalists and academics.” Chryon: “Liberal Bias Bleeds Through, Daily Caller Unveils Rev. Wright Coverup" Carlson then attacked Spencer Ackerman of “Wired” magazine and “FiredogLake”, when he claimed that Ackerman suggested that reporters “make baseless accusations” against conservatives to divert attention from the Wright story. Carlson said that the Jeremiah Wright story “slipped beneath the waves.” (Right Tucker, the MSM didn’t play it on a 24 hour loop like Fox News did). Carlson articulated a favorite right wing meme that Obama “wasn’t vetted” (like Palin?) and became President with the help of the press. He described it as “an appalling story.” Chyron: “Documents Accuse Media of Bias, Journalists Plotted to Protect Obama Campaign.”

Republican apparatchik, former Bush Press Secretary and Fox contributor, Dana Perino said that she had always assumed that “some on the left” were like this; but she had “no idea they had the time to talk about it.” As Carlson responded the chyron message of the day appeared: “Keeping the People Ignorant, Media Ignored Rev. Wright During 2008 Election.” (Oh, the irony – “keeping the media ignorant!) (Funny, I saw coverage of Wright on “Morning Joe,” “Hardball,” Bill Moyer’s show, and CNN”s “the Situation Room.” But I guess because there was not the type of outrage seen on Fox, it was the same as “ignoring” the story!) Kilmeade showed a Daily Caller listserv quote, from a “Guardian” reporter, aimed at ABC and which could have described Fox. Kilmeade, not coincidentally, cited criticism of George Stephanopoulos’ question to candidate Obama regarding whether Rev. Wright “loves America.” Carlson said that the mainstream journalists, criticized by the listserv, were “real journalists” unlike those on the listserv. (Unlike Tucker Carlson) But wait, I’m confused. I thought that the MSM was involved in a “cover up.” Carlson then claimed that although there are some honest liberal journalists “there is a core at the center of American journalism…that’s partisan.” (ROFLMAO, Oh the irony!)

Comment: As noted in the Atlantic Wire, “the story is not so much an exposé on purportedly objective reporters as it is a window into the privately professed views of opinion writers.” As Steve Kraukauer notes, their “plots to fix the damage” failed. Ezra Klein, a respected reporter for the Washington Post, describes the listserv as “An insulated space where the lure of a smart, ongoing conversation would encourage journalists, policy experts and assorted other observers to share their insights with one another.” They discussed ways to deal with the right wing feeding frenzy about Wright. Now that Tucker Carlson was able to purloin the conversations, it’s become a tool for the right wing and its mouthpiece, Fox “News.” I’m sure that Tucker would be irate if any listserv that he’s on was made public. But one wonders who and what was and is on Fox’s listservs. Bet it’s not about how “real journalism, fair & balanced” works!

Addendum: Matthew Yglesias has a good article in which he notes how Carlson is cherry picking comments without the inclusion of other comments which criticize the supposed "incendiary" comment. An example would be how after a professor suggested that Fox be taken off the air, none of the other journalists in the discussion agreed with him. He cites a quote from Time's Michael Scherer which seems so on target: “Ailes understands that his job is to build a tribal identity, not a news organization." Ya think!

Oh, and BTW, I forgot to mention that "the Atlantic Wire" sourced yours truly about Bill O'Reilly's so called advocacy for rape victims. I know it's not as good has having your graph cited by "America's Daddy" but the "Atlantic Wire" is far more credible! Right "johnny?"