Tucker Carlson is at it again. The Fox News host of his show, Tucker Carlson Tonight, is once again the most-watched cable news host. In fact, his show is now the most watched cable news show ever. Now though, one of his top writers has been forced to resign after CNN unmaked him to be the person behind an anonymous account making racist remarks on a message board.
Fox News and Tucker Carlson have been quick to sever the ties with the writer and Fox has issued this statement on the matter: “
“Yesterday we learned that now former employee Blake Neff, a writer on Tucker Carlson Tonight, made horrendous and deeply offensive racist, sexist and homophobic comments under a pseudonym on the forum AutoAdmit.
We want to make abundantly clear that Fox News Media strongly condemns this horrific racist, misogynistic and homophobic behavior. Neff’s abhorant conduct on this forum was never divulged to the show or the network until Friday, at which point we swiftly accepted his resignation. Make no mistake, actions such as his cannot and will not be tolerated at any time in any part of our work force.
Tucker will be addressing this on his show on Monday night.”
According to CNN Neff anonymously left comments under the username AutoAdmit in which he said things such as: “Honestly given how tired black people always claim to be, maybe the real crisis is their lack of sleep.” and “Black doods staying inside playing Call of Duty is probably one of the biggest factors keeping crime down.”
Advertisers Bail On Tucker Carlson
Tucker is the most watch host in cable news history, despite the many advertisers who have pulled their advertising based on comments Carlson made about the Black Lives Matter movement.
Tucker’s comments about the BLM movement included, “this may be a lot of things, this moment we are living through, but it is definitely not about black lives, and remember that when they come for you. And at this rate, they will,” set off a firestorm that is not uncommon for Carlson and Fox News. In fact, Fox News is smack dab in the middle of a lawsuit because of Carlson’s “news” reporting concerning ex-Playboy model, Karen McDougal.
TO SLANDER OR NOT TO SLANDER
For those unfamiliar with Karen McDougal, she is the former Playboy playmate who claimed she had an affair with Donald Trump before he was elected president. According to McDougal, the affair was ten months and after her first “encounter” with Trump, he offered to pay her. She told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in an interview, “After we had been intimate, he, he tried to pay me — and I actually didn’t know how to take that,” she told Cooper. “I looked at him and said, ‘That’s not me, I’m not that kind of girl.’”
Of course, Carlson had a different take on the whole matter, as he expressed without hesitation during a December 2018 show. He started off by stating, “Remember the facts of the story, these are undisputed. Two women approached Donald Trump and threatened to ruin his career and humiliate his family if he doesn’t give them money. Now that sounds like a classic case of extortion.” Those two women, Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal.
He then went on that demands from the two women “sound[ed] like a classic case of extortion,” for which Trump had “cave[d],” Carlson said, “Now, more than two years later, Trump is a felon for doing this. It doesn’t seem to make any sense. Oh, but you’re not a federal prosecutor on a political mission. If you were a federal prosecutor on a political mission, you would construe those extortion payments as campaign contributions.” Is this a case of slander?
THE LAWSUIT AGAINST TUCKER CARLSON
More than a year after Carlson took Daniels and McDougal to task, Karen McDougal filed a lawsuit against Fox News. While Carlson is mentioned in the lawsuit, the suit itself is against the news network, alleging that it was the network that defamed her. In part, the lawsuit claimed, “McDougal never approached Trump and threatened to ruin his career or humiliate his family if he did not give her money.”
The lawsuit went on to say, “Had Carlson done any investigation or responsible reporting or journalism, he would have easily discovered that what he and Fox News published about McDougal was and is demonstrably false.” It also argued that Fox News branded her as a “criminal who extorted Trump for money,” thus the defamation.
FOX NEWS BACKS CARLSON
The question now is what exactly Carlson is presenting to his viewers. News or commentary? Which is he responsible for? The lawsuit is claiming slander but lawyer Erin Murphy, who is representing Fox News, is arguing that commentary is not a fact-based news medium. She told the court, via The Hollywood Reporter, “What we’re talking about here, it’s not the front page of The New York Times. It’s ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight,’ which is a commentary show.”
Fox News is asking the U.S. Court to toss the case arguing that Karen McDougal must prove Carlson acted with actual malice, which they feel she can’t. They say that nothing he said was defamatory since it can’t be interpreted as him stating actual facts.
NO VERDICT YET
The case continues to be heard and debated. For the time being, Carlson is still manning his post on Tucker Carlson Tonight, even though advertisers have left the show based on his BLM comments. It will be interesting to see on what side the court rules. Is Carlson a true news reporter or just a man offering his commentary on daily events? What do you think?