Fox News announced today that Tucker Carlson would be taking over its 8 p.m. slot for the departing Megyn Kelly.
Carlson, of course, is no stranger to Arkansas. He started his career here in the early 1990s as an editorial writer for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He also spoke at an Arkansas GOP event in May.
Carlson began hosting his own show in November and it was immediately a hit with television viewers aged 25-54. For a sampling of his work, I’d point to a recent interview with a clueless gun control activist and an instant classic featuring a couple that decided to remake the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” to gel with modern, politically-correct sensitivities.
But not everyone is as big of a fan. Here’s a recent attempted takedown of Carlson’s journalism career in the Washington Post that was dutifully linked by the left-wing Arkansas Blog after news of Carlson’s promotion hit.
The author, Erik Wemple, makes a number of claims about Carlson’s lack of “journalistic ethics.” One example he gives is a 2013 tweet from the Daily Caller (the site Carlson runs) account that offended one of Wemple’s colleagues. According to Wemple, another example of Carlson’s shortcomings is that Carlson’s brother, Buckley, made a disparaging remark about a female New York City mayoral aide in an email.
The bombshell that Wemple spends the most time recounting is a six-year-old story published by a Daily Caller reporter about a secret online discussion group known as Journolist — where liberal journalists would get together to talk strategy, talking points, and which D.C. restaurant had the best gluten-free menu.
Wemple speculates that a Daily Caller reporter used the identity of Arkansas Times blogger Max Brantley in an email to the group’s administrators to get access to the discussion. His proof? Two unnamed “knowledgeable sources.”
Brantley, of course, robotically passed along the story — which suggests that he’s only offended by journalists who use subterfuge to write their stories if they’re journalists who disagree with him.
I have no way of knowing whether the accusation is true or not, but you should probably provide more proof than the word of unnamed sources when lecturing others about journalistic ethics.
They say you can judge a man by his critics. If these are all Carlson’s critics have on him, I’ll guess he’s doing just fine in the ethics department — especially compared to the rest of the journalism community.