Wednesday wasn’t such a great day for Tucker Carlson’s credibility.
First, the White House slammed the Fox News host for spreading lies about the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot and then #TuckerCarlsonIsALiar became a trending hashtag on Twitter.
But the biggest insult to his reputation may be a resurfaced video from 2003 showing Carlson being interviewed on C-SPAN about his book, “Politicians, Partisans, and Parasites: My Adventures in Cable News,” and, in particular, Bill O’Reilly, who was at the time the biggest name on Fox News.
Carlson claimed to admire O’Reilly, but also sounded out a possible warning to the Fox News host, who was later fired in 2017 after a series of sexual harassment accusations against him.
“Bill O’Reilly is really talented, he’s more talented than I am, he’s got a lot more viewers, he’s a better communicator than I am,” Carlson, who at the time was a commentator on CNN’s “Crossfire,” said, “but I think there is a deep phoniness at the center of his schtick, and again as I say the schtick is built on the perception that he is the character he plays.”
Here’s a link courtesy of Twitter user Ron Filipowski.
Although Carlson’s comments could be seen as slightly critical of O’Reilly, Politico columnist Jack Shafer noted that “with a little tweaking, this assessment of O’Reilly could be cut and tapered to dress Carlson.”
Twitter users seemed to agree with that take.
Truth is, Carlson is sometimes honest about lying.
In September 2021, the Fox News host admitted to conservative media host Dave Rubin that he sometimes lies on his show.
“I mean, I lie if I’m really cornered or something,” Carlson admitted. “I lie. I really try not to. I try never to lie on TV. I just don’t ― I don’t like lying. I certainly do it, you know, out of weakness or whatever.”
In 2020, Fox News won a defamation lawsuit against Carlson by successfully arguing “that given Mr. Carlson’s reputation, any reasonable viewer ‘arrive[s] with an appropriate amount of skepticism’ about the statement he makes,” according to NPR.