CNN’s Brian Stelter on Saturday publicly fantasized that his longtime media-wars adversary Tucker Carlson of Fox News is about to crumble in his support for President Trump. Stelter referenced an October 3 op-ed co-authored by Carlson and Neil Patel, claiming it represents “a notable crack in the firewall” that serves to defend Trump.
In reality, the editorial was a scathing attack on the “political class” that through an unwarranted impeachment debacle “wants to take the most recent election away from the voters.” But when lefty news fabricators want to twist and spin a story, nothing will get in their way.
During “CNN Newsroom,” Stelter and two of his fake news colleagues conjured up a fanciful future in which first, Carlson withdraws his support for the president, then the bulk of the Republican Party follows his lead.
“Fox News and other, you know, more right-wing media outlets have largely had a supportive message of this president, providing cover for him, really,” said host Ana Cabrera. “Tucker Carlson of Fox News took an interesting turn last night, writing in an op-ed this: ‘Donald Trump should not have been on the phone with a foreign head of state encouraging another country to investigate his political opponent, Joe Biden. Some Republicans are trying, but there’s no way to spin this as a good idea. Like a lot of things Trump does, it was pretty over the top. Our leaders’ official actions should not be about politics. Those two things need to remain separate. Once those in control of our government use it to advance their political goals, we become just another of the world’s many corrupt countries. America is better than that.'”
“Where did that come from?” Cabrera asked Stelter, without including the last sentence in the Carlson-Patel opening paragraph which read: “That’s also why it’s good that there are finally investigations looking into the extent to which the Obama FBI may have used our government — and even foreign governments — to try to crush Trump in the last election.”
The selective quote excluding the Obama reference completely changed the tone and context of the editorial.
“Where did that come from? Well, Carlson is very savvy,” said Stelter. “I think he understands the reality of the state of play, what the president has done here, potentially incriminating himself. He’s moving the goalpost. He’s saying, ‘What Trump did is wrong, but it’s not impeachable.’ He’s saying, ‘It is wrong, you can’t defend it, but it’s not worth impeachment. Let’s just wait until the election a little more than a year from now.’ I think he’s trying to re-frame the narrative in that way, in a way that still helps the president by saying, ‘Let’s just get to the election rather than go through an impeachment process. But it is a notable crack in the firewall.”
The firewall analogy continued.
“Think about Fox News and right-wing media as a firewall for the president,” Stelter said. “Right now it’s mostly holding up.”
Then, Stelter actually claimed that Carlson and Sean Hannity are in control of Republican legislators, saying: “Many GOP lawmakers are taking their cues from what they’re hearing on Carlson’s show and on Hannity’s show. Hannity is 100 percent with the president no matter what. He has guests on there saying this is a coup. Obviously it’s not a coup. It’s a legal impeachment process. But because Hannity is saying that, it’s like a firewall for Trump. Any crack in that firewall is an interesting sign that GOP lawmakers will be watching for.”
“We’ve talked about how tough it is maybe for the facts to get out if they aren’t being shared through these media outlets that reinforce what Trump supporters and Republican voters may want to hear,” said Cabrera. “Is this the kind of thing, what we’re hearing now from Carlson, that would turn the tide?”
“I think that’s exactly what Brian said,” replied Sarah Isgur. “Cracks in the firewall and that water pushing against it of more facts coming out and it breaks.”
Isgur also endorsed Stelter’s claim that Carlson is holding the Republican remote control.
“Interesting, though, looking back to 2017, it was also Tucker who said in July of 2017 not to fire Jeff Sessions,” she said. “And you saw a lot of Republican senators follow suit from that as well. So Tucker is an important voice on the right. At the same time, you see Erick Erickson taking a very similar stance right now. He wrote an op-ed called ‘I support the president.’ But if you read it, what it says is I don’t see anything impeachable right now, but if I do, then I will not support the president.”
“He’s leaving what amounts to a pretty big gap right there,” she continued. “I think you’ll see more and more on the right, especially within that media environment, preparing for a post-Trump conservative movement. And they want to make sure that they’re not so tied to whatever could come out next.”
Watch the CNN segment here:
Video by CNN
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