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Fox News host Tucker Carlson targeted Whoopi Goldberg and her stage name after the actress and comedian demanded he apologize for remarks he made before the presidential debate.
Carlson responded to Goldberg’s criticism during his show Friday, correcting accusations that he had mischaracterized NBC’s Kristen Welker who moderated the final debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Carlson took several shots at the co-host of “The View” after she had slammed him and Fox News for the “nasty way” they treated Welker.
Although it wasn’t clear exactly what the “Tucker Carlson Tonight” host may have said specifically about Welker ahead of the debate, Goldberg demanded he and his network “apologize to her for how they tried to really muss up the waters and talk about her like she didn’t know what she was doing.”
Trump and many of his supporters had warned that Welker would be biased and unfair in moderating the final presidential debate in Nashville, Tennessee Thursday. But the NBC correspondent came out with pretty high marks for her handling of the candidates, even earning credit from Trump for doing a “great job.”
Setting the record straight with “Whoopi Goldberg” pic.twitter.com/PaqZNad3gc
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) October 24, 2020
Carlson addressed Goldberg’s rant in a segment Friday in which he repeatedly referred to her by her real name.
“Caryn Johnson is a former actress from the 1980s who now appears on a daytime entertainment show on ABC, often under the stage name Whoopi Goldberg,” he began.
“Johnson usually sticks to celebrity related topics, of course, but this morning, a producer told her there had been a presidential debate, so she decided to weigh in on national politics,” Carlson continued, though Goldberg and her liberal co-hosts on “The View” often discuss political topics as they regularly trash the GOP and the president.
“Somehow Johnson became convinced that people out there were being mean to last night’s debate moderator, Kristen Welker of NBC and for no good reason,” he continued. “So who would do something like that? Well, according to Caryn Johnson, we would, this show.”
“Apologize?” Carlson asked after playing the clip of Goldberg’s apology demand.
“Well we certainly would do that except no one here can remember ever mentioning Kristen Welker’s name on our air. We’ve never attacked Kristen Welker or honestly ever wanted to attack her” he added.
“Some of the questions she asked last night were obviously loaded. She’s probably liberal but she’s far from the most unreasonable person in the media, not even close. In fact, by current standards, she did a pretty good job last night,” Carlson said. “She came off as more fair than some who have moderated the debates.”
Before the final segment of Friday’s show, Carlson had teased the upcoming story on Goldberg, saying: “On another network today, a woman using a stage name went after this show on the basis of false information.”
He gave another dig to the comedian as he wrapped up.
“Sorry, Caryn Johnson, you’ve got the wrong show,” he said. “Call us when you’ve got a Kardashian update. The original Karen, it turns out.”
Ahead of Thursday’s debate, Trump had tweeted that Welker “is far worse” than Lesley Stahl, referring to the CBS News correspondent and her disastrous interview for “60 Minutes.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 22, 2020
But partway through the live event, Trump told Welker, “So far I respect very much the way you are handling this, I have to say.”
“I respect very much the way you’re handling this” — Trump politely compliments moderator Kristen Welker — clearly this is part of the debate strategy #Debates2020 #Debate2020 pic.twitter.com/R7LRajtg0M
— Wade Shipard (@wadeshipard) October 23, 2020
The next day, in a rally in Florida, the president admitted he was “surprised” by Welker.
“I thought I got treated fairly by the anchor… Kristen, I was surprised. She’s been a little rough on me over the years,” he said, adding later, “I thought Kristen did a very good job yesterday.”
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