Tucker Carlson won’t admit he’s vaccinated but he has publicly acknowledged that despite “really” trying not to lie, “I certainly do it.” While he was at it, he lied and pretended that he has only “punched up” when, in fact, he has deliberately caused harm to and endangered many who are much less powerful. UPDATED with Carlson's claim he "skipped" the COVID vaccines.
Media Matters caught the extraordinary admissions made on The Rubin Report. Carlson was asked by host Dave Rubin about the lies supposedly told “again and again” on CNN. “We have the internet to expose the lies,” Rubin said. Yet “they still do it.”
Carlson suggests his own lies are acceptable while others’ are not
CARLSON: Well, it's -- I guess I would ask myself, like, I mean I lie if I'm really cornered or something. I lie. I really try not to. I try never to lie on TV. I just don't -- I don't like lying. I certainly do it, you know, out of weakness or whatever. But to systematically lie like that without asking yourself why am I doing this? So if these people ask themselves why am I doing this? And they say, well, I want to protect the system because I really believe in the system. Ok, who's running the system? You're lying to defend Jeff Bezos? Like, you're treating Bill Gates like some sort of moral leader, like, are you kidding me? How dare you do that. How dare you use your power to protect and guard the powerful even as you put your boot on the neck of the weakest people. Some Catholic school kid from Kentucky, it's like a parody. Are you kidding -- he's a child. And you're using your power to crush him, to wreck his life. That shocked me.
By the way, let’s not forget that Carlson claims his show is the “sworn enemy of lying.” He has now tacitly acknowledged that’s a lie!
Carlson followed up with a lie, this one claiming to only “punch up”
Carlson went on to acknowledge that his attacks have hurt people, but only “inadvertently … because I got carried away.”
CARLSON: And I have to say. There have been many times in the twenty-five years I've been in TV where I think you know, are we using this, like, very substantial power that we have to put pictures on the screen to hurt weak people. And I have done that, inadvertently over the years because I got carried away. But I really try not to. And everyone who works on our show is very aware of the most basic rule, which is don't piss down. Don't attack people beneath you. If you're gonna you know, take a punch, make sure it's upward – someone who is rich or stronger, more powerful, in charge of more things than you are. Punch up. Like, that's just a life rule. And people who punch down are the worst. They should have no power whatsoever, in my opinion.
Carlson has deliberately attacked and endangered those less powerful than himself
Perhaps the most glaring example of Carlson punching down is his doxing of two freelance journalists in Maine, which he justified with lies. As I wrote in a previous post, “Carlson dishonestly claimed they were about to dox him and suggested they should be doxed instead. Carlson almost certainly knew his fans would start terrorizing the two and that’s exactly what happened.”
Carlson has deliberately chosen to “punch down” at plenty of other journalists, too. As Jeremy Barr wrote in a Washington Post article, “As the Fox host’s popularity grows, he has found fodder in lesser-known media figures whom he presents as symbols of liberalism-run-amok.” In addition to the two Maine freelancers, Barr cites examples such as Los Angeles Times columnist Virginia Heffernan, whose photo Carlson displayed above a chyron describing her as a "loathsome L.A. Times columnist.” Afterward, Barr wrote, “Heffernan said she received waves of harassing and threatening messages, including letters mailed to her home address and a text message to her phone from a sender indicating a knowledge of where she lived."
It’s not just journalists Carlson has deliberately and dangerously villainized. While he was making a show of support for the vigilante accused of murdering two Black Lives Matter protesters last year, Carlson also suggested they deserved to be killed.
Carlson also deliberately went after everyday parents for the “crime” of wanting their children to wear face masks outside. He told viewers to report any such parents to the police. He also told viewers to harass, albeit “politely,” anyone wearing a face mask outdoors. A few weeks later, a Virginia man was caught on video harassing parents of masked kids, echoing Carlson’s rhetoric.
And speaking of face masks, Carlson celebrated with delight Clay Travis’ deliberate undermining of a Tennessee school board meeting with an anti-face mask rant, despite the fact that the everyday people who had testified in favor of the mask mandate were threatened afterward.
But the most disgusting example of Carlson “punching down” was probably his racial attack on Black Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, who faced physical and verbal abuse when he defended the Capitol on January 6th. As I wrote in my post about those despicable remarks “Predictably, and probably just as Carlson planned, Dunn has received “numerous vile/racist” messages since this rant, according to his lawyer, Mark S. Zaid. Fortunately, Zaid vows to hold Carlson responsible should anything happen to Dunn: Zaid said it’s a “safe bet” a "’direct’ line of responsibility can be pointed to right-wing pundits like @TuckerCarlson. Words matter @FoxNews. Words matter.”
Carlson has indirectly “punched down” by endorsing fake vaccination cards
Carlson has stopped one step short of urging viewers to get fake vaccination cards but he also made it clear he thought it would be just fine if they did:
CARLSON: Buying a fake vaccination card is not a quote, "serious crime." It's not even close to a serious crime. Buying a fake vaccination card is an act of desperation by decent law-abiding Americans who have been forced into a corner by tyrants. You know what's a serious crime? Forcing Americans to take drugs they don't need or want. That's a very serious crime, and let's hope in the end, someone is punished for it, severely.
This is not just a punch down, but a potentially fatal blow to countless people.
By his own standard, Carlson should have no power and he knows it.
You can watch Carlson admit he's a liar below, from the September 12, 2021 The Rubin Report, via Media Matters.
4/14/22 Update: Carlson told a crowd at a California megachurch that he "skipped the first three [COVID vaccines], I’m not getting that one either.