Fox News host Tucker Carlson stirred controversy on Monday with a takedown of New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, which included what many observers characterized as a defense of the QAnon conspiracy theory that helped fuel the deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.
Carlson began by claiming the threat from QAnon was exaggerated, saying: “Listen as the geniuses explain how the single biggest threat to this country isn't Chinese hegemony or even the coming hyperinflation, pretty much a certainty now, which was 100% caused by elite mismanagement of our economy. But no let's not talk about that. The real threat is a forbidden idea. It's something called QAnon.”
The host then played clips from media coverage of QAnon, which including Freidman saying, “How many people in the country have been marinated in these conspiracy theories, QAnon craziness? It is frightening.”
To which Carlson replied, “Ooh, Mr. Tom Friedman thinks this is all pretty frightening. And he’s right, but not, as usual, for the reason he thinks.” He continued, “We’re watching a profound change taking place in American society and it’s happening very fast. The stakes could not be higher. There’s a clear line between democracy and tyranny, between self-government and dictatorship. And here’s what that line is. That line is your conscience.”
Carlson goes on the explain when its ok for the government to limit behavior, like murder, but then argues against the evils of thought control.
“If they succeed in controlling what you believe you are no longer a citizen, you are not a free man, you are a slave,” he concludes.
Changes at Fox News
- Biden to restore Palestinian aid, reopen diplomatic missions shut by Trump, UN envoy says
- U.S. Senate confirms Antony Blinken as secretary of state
- As Biden pushes Iran nuclear deal, Israel puts military option back on the table
Two of Fox News Channel’s top news executives involved in the controversial — but correct — election night call of Arizona for Democrat Joe Biden are out at the network.
Bill Sammon, senior vice president and managing editor at Fox’s Washington bureau, announced his retirement to staff members last Monday. The day after, as part of a restructuring of Fox’s digital operations, politics editor Chris Stirewalt was let go.
Fox’s decision to call Arizona for Biden took the network’s anchors by surprise and infuriated the White House, which believed the determination was premature.
Stirewalt and Fox’s decision desk chief, Arnon Mishkin, were the two most visible people defending the decision on the air amidst heat from President Donald Trump and his supporters. Mishkin, who worked the election on a contractual basis, is not a Fox employee.
Two days after the call, Stirewalt said on the air that “Arizona is doing just what we expected it to do and we remain serene and pristine.”
He hasn’t been on the air at Fox since the post-election period.