Tucker Carlson’s prime time spot hasn’t exactly been going the way he hoped it would back when he replaced Bill O’Reilly back in 2017. While he’s an even louder and angrier bigot than his predecessor was, he’s already bleeding away sponsors at a far more rapid rate, at a time when advertisers are showing their support for the Black Lives Matter movement. We thought it was bad enough he accused Sesame Street of indoctrinating children, but now he went and did something even dumber, at the worst possible time for him.
Like most right-wing pundits, Carlson has painted all people protesting against police brutality with the same brush: as violent, out-of-control rioters. The trouble is, he decided to take things a step further, claiming that dozens of rioters were arrested in Fort Worth, Texas for looting and vandalism, but that Police Chief Ed Kraus dropped all charges against them. By naming a specific place and person, he made his lies that much easier to refute.
Because his story showed such blatant disregard for the truth, the Fort Worth Police Department actually came out against Carlson, calling his comments “absolutely inaccurate,” while saying that the only charges dropped were minor misdemeanors that did not involve property.
If Carlson is going to claim to be on the side of the police, it’s probably not a good idea to lie about them on his own show. This leaves him in the no-win position of having to either apologize on the air, putting off his target audience, or face condemnation from the network when it tries to save face.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making