Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Conservative "Journalism" Strikes Again

Is there any difference between Tucker Carlson and James "on a boat" O'Keefe?
I bet if I googled CNN's MSNBC's Tucker Carlson, I would find out that he is not actually ten years old. But based on his behavior of late, it would be easy to make a case that he is actually a juvenile.

It has now been revealed that Tucker Carlson, editor of right wing "news" site, The Daily Caller, has been emailing media people and pretending to be Keith Olbermann. The bow-tied blowhard bragged last year when he purchased, and now he is using the email address to email actual journalists and attack Olbermann's bosses at MSNBC.

In one email exchange with Philadelphia Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky, Carlson (pretending to be Olbermann) called the writer "pathetic" and then went on a tirade against the head of MSNBC, Phil Griffin. "As I’ve said publicly before, Phil Griffin is not my boss (thank god), nor is he intellectually qualified to be. Phil pretends otherwise in public. I’m not his shrink, but I assume it makes him feel better. The remarkable thing is that fools like you believe his fantasies. That pleases Phil, but only exposes your ignorance. The proof? I’ll be anchoring on election night 2012, long after Phil Griffin has moved on to a job for which he’s actually qualified, perhaps on QVC."

That exchange, plus a number of others, was done entirely by Carlson pretending to be Keith Olbermann. When websites began posting the emails and saying they were from Olbermann, Tucker never came forward to claim responsibility. Late Tuesday night, after Olbermann publicly stated that the emails were fake, Carlson admitted to reporter Michael Calderone that he did, in fact, send the emails.

This incident is important in a few ways. For one, it is yet another example of conservatives making up controversies out of whole cloth and putting them into the right-wing echo chamber. Andrew Breitbart and James O'Keefe, who similarly faked "news" with bogus claims about ACORN, Shirley Sherrod, and CNN's Abbie Bourdreau, have mastered the technique and continue to fool actual journalists.

It is also significant because it shows what the right means when it discusses journalism. No one on Fox or Drudge or Daily Caller actually cares about truth or objective fact. It is all about politics - most notably the politics of personal destruction. It's all the right has. Carlson said this was the mission of his website when it started, "We see our core job as straightforward: Find out what’s happening and tell you about it. We plan to be accurate, both in the facts we assert and in the conclusions we imply. If we’re not, tell us. We’ll fix it immediately." Breitbart makes similar claims about his goals. He just wants "the truth."

I think it's more than a little bit difficult to say that kind of thing while engaging in unethical and dishonest behavior the way Breitbart and Carlson have. But pathological people generally have no problem lying. With Carlson, I believe his primary motivation is jealously and bitterness because he failed on television. He failed and was fired from CNN, he failed and was fired from MSNBC, and now not even Fox will give him his own show. What a loser. Jon Stewart was right when he called Tucker Carlson a "dick" on CNN's Crossfire back in 2004:

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