(Video: Fox News)
Tucker Carlson set the record straight Tuesday after former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) falsely attributed a quote to the Fox News host and later doubled down on his “satire” defaming Carlson as a supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin with his “manufactured lie.”
Referring to Walsh as a “political extremist,” the host asserted on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” “Walsh is known for his willingness to say anything that might help the Democratic Party whether or not it’s true.” In this instance, the former Illinois lawmaker chose to react to developing news about reported atrocities that had taken place in the town of Bucha near Kyiv, Ukraine.
“Well, last night he lived up to his reputation,” Carlson added before presenting a tweet that Walsh had evidently published Monday morning.
.@TuckerCarlson tonight: “What if these bodies of tortured, dead civilians were staged? What if they’re fake? What if the Ukrainian military killed them & then blamed Russia? I’m not saying any of this is true, I’m just asking the questions. Why can’t we ask these questions?”
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) April 4, 2022
Walsh wrote, “@TuckerCarlson tonight: ‘What if these bodies of tortured, dead civilians were staged? What if they’re fake? What if the Ukrainian military killed them & then blamed Russia? I’m not saying any of this is true, I’m just asking the questions. Why can’t we ask these questions?'”
“It’s completely made up – utterly,” Carlson explained, “We didn’t say that, we didn’t say anything like that. We didn’t even address the topic on the air in any way. So everything about Joe Walsh’s tweet is a manufactured lie. It’s pure disinformation as they now say.”
However, those facts didn’t stop the lies from spreading. Carlson pointed out that Twitter did not force Walsh to delete the tweet, or any of the follow-up tweets perpetuating the lie like Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) who, in addition to sharing a video, wrote, “I gotta say, if @TuckerCarlson is not a Russian asset he should be, he is absolutely over-qualified for the job. Is he a Russian asset? I don’t know, just asking questions.”
On a positive note, journalists like Glenn Greenwald saw fit to step in and correct the matter, calling out Kinzinger for being “incomparably dumb and unhinged.”
The incomparably dumb and unhinged @AdamKinzinger took a fabricated quote from long-time-deadbeat-dad-turned-liberal-hero @WalshFreedom, believed it true, and used it to declare a journalist a “Russian asset” – just as hordes of dumb liberals did with @TheRickWilson‘s fake quote. pic.twitter.com/vhRaKDy6wE
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 5, 2022
Carlson made clear he could have done the same, “but we couldn’t do that because we’ve been locked out of our own Twitter account for more than a week. Why? Because we suggested that [President] Joe Biden’s most famous admiral, Rachel Levine, was born a man, which is actually true. But Twitter banned us anyway. See how that works? You take one side off the field so the other side wins.”
Even that simple fact, easily verifiable, Walsh decried as a lie until he was later corrected by someone on Twitter, after he wrote, “Why did @TuckerCarlson lie to his audience about my tweet? Why did Tucker lie and tell his audience he is currently suspended from Twitter? He’s not. Why is Tucker so easily triggered? Why DOES Tucker root for Putin? Hey, I’m just asking questions.”
Of course, Walsh isn’t “just asking questions.” He’s engaged in a smear campaign designed to perpetuate a narrative. His zealotry is so all-consuming that he even went after Mediaite which offered him a chance to counter Carlson’s defense.
Three points @Mediaite:
1. It wasn’t a fake quote. I was predicting what @TuckerCarlson would say on that night’s show.
2. Tucker can dish it out, but he can’t take it.
3. Tucker admitted he’s “rooting for Putin.” That’s the main point here. https://t.co/WnsdCaymFu
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) April 6, 2022
Apparently being given a platform to state that his “fake quote” was, “exactly the kind of sh*t Tucker always says,” wasn’t enough for Walsh. Simply allowing the former lawmaker to say, “He accuses me of lying, then he lies about my tweet making it seem like I tweeted after his show,” didn’t further the desired narrative that Walsh attempted to peddle.
That is why, Carlson pointed out, it’s important to address these issues on social media. Greenwald rightly pointed out the danger of this and how it wouldn’t be as readily perpetuated by the opposition.
Given the claim is that fake quotes that go viral are just “satire” — even though hundreds of thousands of dumb liberals clearly believe them — make up some twisted quotes and attribute them to Joy Reid, Pete Buttigieg, or Anderson Cooper and see if you get away with it.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 5, 2022
“As a result, our social media platforms are dominated by unscrupulous liars like Joe Walsh,” Carlson surmised in fashion with Greenwald’s tweet. Controlling the narrative like this is not by accident, “that’s a reelection strategy.”
Ultimately, the Fox News host concluded, “If you don’t restore free speech to social media, it doesn’t matter who you vote for.”
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