Fox News host Tucker Carlson targeted the Heritage Foundation and other conservative groups with criticism for “looking out for” big tech companies instead of regular people.
Carlson’s pointed rebuke of Heritage Foundation prompted a rebuttal after he called out the monopolies held by big technology companies that work to “silence conservatives” while conservative nonprofits have actively worked to help them retain the special immunity Congress has bestowed upon them.
(Video: Fox News)
Carlson pointed to Heritage as an example, saying the think tank “no longer represents the interests of conservatives.”
“We’ve told you a lot on this show over the past few years about how Google, Facebook, and Twitter work in secret to impose a left-wing political agenda on this country,” the Fox News host said on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Friday. “At this point, it’s clear that big tech hates conservatives, and works assiduously to hurt them.”
He noted that recent polls showed voters want the Trump administration to intervene and “push back against the tech monopolies’ political bias.”
“So far, that isn’t happening. No one in Washington is doing anything. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Tech companies have thrived under a special immunity they received from Congress that protects them from lawsuits over what people say on their platforms,” Carlson said, referring to a proposal introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley a few months ago “stripping immunity from tech companies, and treating them like everyone else unless they can maintain neutral platforms for all views.”
But despite the calls for action, nothing has happened, Carlson contended because “conservative nonprofits in Washington, the ones that are supposed to be looking out for you, aren’t actually looking out for you. They’re looking out for big tech.”
“A new report from the Campaign for Accountability obtained by this show highlights how conservative organizations in DC have colluded with big tech to shield left-wing monopolies from any oversight at all,” he explained, citing reports that Google has given money to “right-leaning institutions that are also funded by the Koch network,” such as American Conservative Union and the Heritage Foundation.
“Big Tech companies silence conservatives. Conservatives’ nonprofits try to prevent the government from doing anything about it,” he said as he turned his focus on the Heritage Foundation, “maybe the biggest and best-funded think tank in Washington.”
Noting how “half the conservatives in the city” – including himself – seem to have worked for the organization over the years, Carlson contended that it “no longer represents the interest of conservatives, at least on the question of tech.”
He pointed to a recent Heritage piece, “Free Enterprise Is the Best Remedy for Online Bias Concerns,” and how it criticized Hawley while defending the “special privileges Congress has given to left-wing Silicon Valley monopolies.”
“If conservatives don’t like it, Heritage says, they can start their own Google,” Carlson said.
“It’s embarrassing. But Heritage isn’t embarrassed. None of the so-called ‘conservative’ nonprofits in Washington are,” he said. “They make deals with people who hate you, secretly sell out your interests, then beg you to tithe like it’s the medieval church. That’s the system we’ve had for decades. Maybe that’s why, no matter how much money you send, nothing gets more conservative.”
Heritage Foundation shot back at the criticism, issuing a rebuttal of Carlson’s “false, outrageous, and unfounded accusations.”
“Carlson’s claims began with an attack on a recent Heritage report about Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. He claimed the report’s author repeated lines verbatim from a trade association. This is false. In fact, the 13-page Heritage report contained 22 footnotes, all of which were properly quoted and attributed to sources,” Rob Bluey, Heritage Foundation vice president of communications said in a statement, citing a “thorough and lengthy process of vetting and review by Heritage scholars.”
“The conclusions of Heritage’s report were based on the principles that guide all of our policy recommendations—principles Carlson seems curiously less interested in defending,” Bluey continued. “Instead, he made an unfounded assertion against Heritage and outrageous smear of one of our scholars. It is disappointing that Carlson would deceive his viewers with such patently false information.”
The organization reiterated its stand in a series of tweets addressing Carlson’s assertion as well.
Carlson is a former employee of Heritage who last year received our prestigious Salvatori Prize and who regularly features Heritage guests on his Fox News program.
In other words, he knows Heritage, our people, and our principles.
— Heritage Foundation (@Heritage) December 21, 2019
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