Former MSNBC Host Tucker Carlson: 'The Press Love Obama'
One of the major criticisms in the 2008 presidential election cycle has been about the media bias in favor of liberal Democratic Sen. Barack Obama. Former MSNBC show host Tucker Carlson, now the senior campaign correspondent for the network admitted the criticism is valid.
Carlson, who has access behind the scenes in the news, compared the media‚Äôs affection for the
‚ÄúIf you think about the psychology of this ‚Äď I think it‚Äôs interesting, Carlson said in an interview with Carol Joynt. ‚ÄúIn the last 14 contests, those have all taken place since we knew in the press and announced pretty vocally ‚Äď since we in the press love Obama, we‚Äôre quivering with our love for him ‚Äď since we announced he was the nominee ‚Ä¶ it‚Äôs not conventional love, it‚Äôs the kind of love you have to be a ninth-grade boy to understand.‚ÄĚ
Carlson noted one specific example of the media‚Äôs adoration for Obama.
‚ÄúThere was literally a host who I like and I know, but I‚Äôm not going to single him out by name ‚Äď not on MSNBC, who began an interview with Obama at the very height of the Rev. Wright business by saying, ‚ÄėI‚Äôll have you know ‚Äď this show is above that story. We‚Äôre not going to ask you a single question about the Rev. Wright,‚ÄĚ Carlson said.
Carlson was probably referring to CNN‚Äôs May 5 ‚ÄúAmerican Morning,‚ÄĚ which host John Roberts said, ‚ÄúI want to stipulate at the beginning of this interview, we are declaring a ‚ÄėRev. Wright free zone‚Äô today ‚Äď so, no questions about Rev. Wright. Our viewers want us to move on so we‚Äôre going to move on.‚ÄĚ
Even Carlson, whose network features the likes of left-of-center personalities including ‚ÄúCountdown‚ÄĚ host Keith Olbermann and ‚ÄúHardball‚ÄĚ host Chris Matthews, thought that was way over the top.
‚ÄúMy feeling was ‚Ä¶ you don‚Äôt ever take a newsworthy topic off the table at the beginning of an interview. That‚Äôs insane. And he was applauded by everybody in the newsroom ‚Äď ‚ÄėOh really, he‚Äôs high-minded.‚Äô Huh?‚ÄĚ
Carlson said that same attitude travailed ‚Äúbig-time‚ÄĚ off-camera.
‚ÄúThis is all I‚Äôve ever done,‚ÄĚ Carlson said. ‚ÄúEvery single person I know practically is in the press. So, it‚Äôs just the world I live in. So, I‚Äôm not pointing fingers at my employer, I‚Äôm just saying in general there is this feeling ‚Ä¶ of, you know, we‚Äôre in favor of Obama.‚ÄĚ
Carlson cited a discussion with a ‚Äúprominent‚ÄĚ newspaper reporter as more evidence of an Obama bias.
‚Äú[F]or instance, on the road, during one of the key early primaries with a very famous newspaper correspondent who I like very much ‚Äď I‚Äôm not going to tell you his name ‚Äď but, we‚Äôre standing outside, he‚Äôs having a cigarette ‚Ä¶ and he says something about how the candidate we‚Äôre following was not Barack Obama ‚Äď he says, ‚ÄėYou know, I‚Äôm an Obama man. I mean, to be totally honest, I just love Barack Obama, speaking for myself.‚Äô‚ÄĚ
Carlson told the audience he was surprised by the newspaper correspondent‚Äôs admission.
‚ÄúWhoa, it used to be you didn‚Äôt admit that,‚ÄĚ Carlson said. ‚ÄúMost reporters vote for Democrats obviously, but a lot of them try I think to, you know, separate their own views from the work that they do as they should. Much less effort [by the media] this time.‚ÄĚ
Carlson was also directly critical of his own network, MSNBC. Although his show got cancelled and he admitted it may have been due to his political opinion, but he harbored no ill-will for it. He did criticize his network‚Äôs handling of MSNBC contributor David Shuster suspension.
On Carlson‚Äôs February 7 show, Shuster raised the possibility that it seemed ‚Äúlike Chelsea‚Äôs sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way‚ÄĚ as an effort by the campaign to influence superdelegates. Shuster was suspended, a decision that Carlson disagreed with.
‚ÄúWell, we were bullied by the Hillary campaign. Oh my gosh ‚Äď it was unbelievable‚ÄĚ Carlson said. ‚Äú[A]s a general matter, as a philosophical matter, as a matter of principle ‚Äď you should never allow never allow yourself to be bullied for political reasons.‚ÄĚ
As far as the topic of the business of the news media, Carlson didn‚Äôt blame ‚ÄúCBS Evening News‚ÄĚ anchor Katie Couric for her broadcast‚Äôs low ratings, but that it was the evolution of the media responsible.
‚ÄúYou know frankly, I think someone should apologize to Katie,‚ÄĚ Carlson said. ‚ÄúLike, I‚Äôm the only defender of hopeless causes ‚Äď I like Katie Couric, because look I‚Äôve been there, I‚Äôve been attacked a lot. I think Katie Couric has taken undue abuse. I don‚Äôt think it is Katie Couric‚Äôs fault, I really don‚Äôt. ‚Ä¶ It‚Äôs nobody‚Äôs fault. It‚Äôs the time slot and the custom in life is disappearing. Anybody in that role is going to suffer.‚ÄĚ
Photo Credit: Ellen Schreiber