Misinformation, anger, hate, lies, and racism


Readers of this blog already know that Tucker Carlson and Fox News parted ways Monday evening because you’re both pretty well-informed people.

Readers of this blog also knew the how the Danish news media would cover such an event long before it hit the wires. (You also knew they wouldn’t cover the simultaneous parting of ways between Don Lemon and CNN.)

Over at Danmarks Radio (DR), ace U.S. correspondent Steffen Kretz doesn’t disappoint:

Since 2016, Carlson has been the biggest spreader of misinformation, anger and hatred on his primetime talk show. He has competition from other hosts in that category, but Carlson has been in a class of his own.

The tone is less hysterical but a little more contemptuous at Berlingske, where foreign editor Birgitte Borup writes:

The lies caught up with him on Fox News, but in the off-screen Republican world, that’s no liability. More of an asset.

His faithful viewers live in the belief that Tucker Carlson is the only one telling the truth. That conviction—like so much else in a polarized USA—isn’t budging an inch.

That’s a putative Danish conservative blithely describing all American Republicans as gullible dupes.

TV2 News sticks to the actual known facts—which remain few—and calls Carlson only “controversial” and “popular.”

Politiken pokes around at a lot of collateral issues that may or may not have been involved in the separation, and saves their sliming for the penultimate line of their story:

According to critics, Tucker Carlson stood behind a stream of racist and hateful rhetoric.

The critics are not named, nor are any examples provided.

(According to critics, Politiken is a leftwing rag unworthy even of wrapping rotten fish.)

Taken together, the Danish news media are informing their readers that Tucker Carlson was a fountain of misinformation, lies, hatred, racism, and anger—and that his gullible viewers drank in every delicious drop of that toxic brew.

Oddly enough, however, none of them provide a single example of the things they accuse him of.

Several of them even point out that with respect to the Dominion libel case, which many believe (without evidence, to this point) was somehow related to the termination, Carlson was one of the few Fox employees who hadn’t been implicated.

It’s also noted in several articles that text messages that came to light as part of the Dominion lawsuit revealed that Carlson didn’t like Donald Trump and never believed the 2020 election had been stolen.

There’s not a single example of his hatred, anger, racism, lies, or misinformation. Not one.

It’s okay to dislike Tucker Carlson. It’s okay to dislike his opinions.

But personal aversion to the man and his opinions doesn’t relieve a journalist from the obligation of backing up his or her pejorative characterizations of his work.

Politiken is at least honest enough to do their smearing by proxy: “according to critics,” they say. But even they can can’t be troubled to name the critics. I can: Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer, Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi, anyone on CNN or MSNBC, anyone at the New York Times or Washington Post… I could go on.

And on.

And on.

Tucker Carlson was the host of America’s most popular opinion program. He was not a news anchor. He was not a journalist. He entertained his audience through the medium of expressed opinion. His popularity was a function of his acerbic anti-establishment point of view. He poked and prodded at sacred cows, he mocked pieties, he questioned conventional wisdom with hyperbolic glee.

Someone had to.

Birgitte Borup asserts (without evidence) that his viewers believe he’s the only one out there telling the truth and that “like so much else in a polarized America,” that’s not going to change.

She’s right, of course, that America’s polarized. Doesn’t polarization mean movement away from the center on both sides? Certainly Tucker Carlson was a standard bearer for the polarized American right.

Why do we never, ever hear about the people carrying water for the polarized American left? Do they bear none of the responsibility? What ever happened to “it takes two to tango?”

Why do the Danish media routinely refer to Fox News as a “right wing media outlet,” when I have yet to see a single example of any Danish news medium referring to the Times, the Post, CNN, or MSNBC as a “left wing media outlet?”

Aren’t the ladies of The View propagating at least as much hatred as Tucker Carlson? How about Rachel Maddow? Didn’t Chris Cuomo and Brian Stelter? Is it okay because they’re doing it from the left? Or is it simply unimportant because they’re not as popular as Carlson?

I’m hardly a fan of The View, but I also understand the difference between Whoopi Goldberg’s opinions and actual journalism. Is it not possible for Danish journalists to disagree with Carlson’s opinions and still understand they’re just opinions, and, right or wrong, he’s not doing anything that dozens of “journalists” aren’t doing from the left?

Apparently not.

TV2 News deserves some credit for reporting the story accurately and avoiding the kind of inflammatory nonsense the other media ran with.

Good for them.

As for the rest: once again, congratulations, ladies and gentlemen, you’re exactly what we’ve come to expect from Danish journalism.