At the very least Tucker Carlson has been caught exaggerating his victimhood, if not outright fabricating his “Antifa broke my door” claim during a small protest outside his house recently. Instead of owning up to a possible mistake, Carlson made himself look guiltier by attacking CNN and The Washington Post for fact checking - yet without denying that there is no crack in his door.
As I posted last week, Carlson has pretty clearly embellished his right-wing martyrdom after a group of about 13 or 14 protesters showed up in front of his home earlier this month, chanted and knocked on his door and one spray painted an anarchist symbol on his driveway (to the apparent dismay of others). Much of my post was based on an eyewitness account by Think Progress reporter Alan Pyke. He wrote:
One of the protesters knocked firmly on Carlson’s front door three times then trotted back down the steps to join the rest of the group in the street. This person did not throw their body against the door, as Carlson has claimed to newspapers. A police report on the incident makes no mention of damage to the Carlsons’ front door from the three stiff knocks, contradicting Carlson’s claim that the demonstrators had cracked the door.
Video posted on LiveLeak shows portions of the event, which lasted less than 10 minutes. It also illustrates Carlson’s other embellishment — that one person was caught on a security video saying they wanted to return to his home with a pipe bomb. In fact, the person filming is heard saying “Pipe bombs! Synagogue victims!” as the speaker with the amplifying device wraps up their initial statement and begins to lead chants.
CNN has since confirmed that D.C. police have said they “did not observe any visible damage to the front door of the victim’s house the night of the incident.” Likewise, The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple and colleague Drew Goins visited the house and documented both the spray paint vandalism and the seemingly unharmed door.
A woman answered the door at Carlson’s home. We asked her whether the door had suffered a crack. She took a quick look and shrugged her shoulders, as if to signal that it looked okay. She declined to allow us to photograph it from inside the house.
We asked Carlson to provide a picture of the crack and haven’t received a response from the Fox News host. It’s possible that he replaced the door, or that the crack is visible from the home’s interior.
Several attempts by this blog to secure corroboration from Carlson himself have proved fruitless. In response to the last request, Carlson seemed miffed that we’d even checked in the first place: “Are you going to come back and illegally trespass on my property again?”
When asked by CNN about the door, Carlson also responded angrily. Or a cynic might say he was defensive:
“CNN has repeatedly defended Antifa, and you are doing it again now,” he said in a statement through Fox News. “Your story is a disgusting attempt to minimize an attack on my family and bring more pain to my wife and four children. I’m not playing along. I hope you’re ashamed of yourself. You should be.”
What’s missing from either of those comments is any actual contradiction that either the police or the two news organizations have their facts wrong. But there was another Carlson falsehood: Rather than "repteatedly defend Antifa," media reporters Brian Stelter, of CNN, and Wemple, have condemned the protest (as did I).
So Carlson seems to have been caught in a lie about Antifa attempting to break through his door (don’t forget, his claim about a pipe bomb threat looks dubious, too) yet instead of owning up to the truth like a grown up or at least like the guy who insists he’s a “sworn enemy of lying,” Carlson told another lie. Sorry, Tucker, but you're looking a lot like someone trying to diver from and cover up the truth.
(Carlson image via screen grab)