On the Monday edition of his FOX News show, Tucker Carlson addressed a false story published by CNN that linked Trump advisor Anthony Scaramucci to a Russia-controlled investment fund that is being investigated by the Senate. CNN ultimately retracted the story and three employees resigned.
Carlson also interviewed investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson about the anti-Trump bent in mainstream news. Attkisson spoke about how the media establishment has "exempted" themselves from the normal journalism rules and rules of political behavior because they see Donald Trump as "such a big threat."
"They retracted the story completely and admitted it did not meet CNN's editorial standards and that's saying something," Carlson said.
Carlson also noted one of the reporters involved in this story was also involved in another false story. Eric Lichtblau reported that Jim Comey would contradict President Trump and say he never told the president he was not under investigation in his Senate testimony. That never happened.
Carlson also noted Eric Lichtblau, one of the reporters involved in this story, wrote another false story earlier in the month that claimed Jim Comey would testify to the Senate that he never told President Trump he was not under investigation. That never happened.
"It's been seven months though since Trump won the presidential election. Since then, precisely no evidence has emerged to support the claim that Trump somehow colluded with the Russian government in order to win the race. But you'd never know that from watching that channel which has become home for conspiracists on the Russian question worldwide," Carlson said the Monday night broadcast of his FOX News show.
"Overall, 93% of CNN's coverage of the Trump administration has been negative. 93%," Carlson reported. "Idi Amin would get more balanced coverage. Anybody would. Fidel Castro certainly has. CNN, in other words, is no longer just a news organization, it is a campaign with a political mission run, not surprisingly run by a man named Jeff Zucker who once expressed interest in running for office himself. Like any campaign, it is great at some things. Pushing a message, hurting opponents. And not so good at others like reporting the news. This is a change. How did it happen?"
Attkisson said there has been a sea change in the way the mainstream media covers the news because of the 'Hitleresque threat' they see in President Donald Trump.
"They would say a Hitleresque threat. That means they don't have of journalism in this case. I think it's more of a threat to the system of favors, money, and access that has been developed through what we have known as a political establishment," Attkisson said.
Attkisson also said political operatives have made their way into newsrooms and made it so there is little difference between how the news is reported and the narratives that pundits want to advance:
ATTKISSON: This is a confluence of factors including we have now invited pundits and political operatives into our newsroom not just as commentators and pundits but also as reporters, anchors in editorial positions. So, sometimes there's little meaningful difference now I think between the people reporting the news and the political operatives who want to advance news narratives. That's a problem.
I also think that the establishment, I'm talking Democrats, Republicans, and the media establishment have exempted themselves from the normal journalism rules and rules of political behavior because they see Donald Trump as such a big threat. They would say a Hitleresque threat. That means they don't have to follow the normal rules of journalism in this case. I think it's more of a threat to the system of favors, money, and access that has been developed through what we have known as a political establishment.
Attkisson said the election of Trump means that access bought by lobbyists who "make sure certain political hearings don't happen," is now almost worthless.
"Washington survives on a system that has gone on for decades of access and money where people have spent decades paying into certain politicians, Democrats and Republicans alike, to make sure certain political hearings don't happen, to make sure certain laws have provisions written in. All of a sudden, overnight, all of that access they've bought, all the hard work they have done as lobbyists and so on is almost worthless if Trump's reality of Washington comes into play and nobody seems to like that," Attkisson said.
"The news media is suffering a credibility gap in general because it has decided to blur together like I have never seen before -- opinion and advocacy journalism with what I think people would like to think is more straight news, journalism, reporting of just the facts. I think that harm is going to take a long time to dial back if they even want to dial it back. And I'm not sure we do," Attkisson told Carlson.
Attkisson made a comparison to how news is delivered in North Korea. She said people are getting an artificial reality created by people who are putting out narratives, political or corporate, where people are not getting an accurate delivery of the news. She also spoke about "formerly reputable" news organizations that are no longer trusted and how there are "very little repercussions" for those who report news that turns out to be incorrect.
ATTKISSON: I kind of liken it in the extreme to the situation as it must be in North Korea. if you have a TV and can watch the news and it's going to be a version that's approved and put out by the state, I think in some respects we are getting artificial reality created by people who are putting out narratives, whether Democrats, Republicans, or corporate interests and people sense, at least some people, that they're not getting an accurate picture. And I think if you are like me, there is very little that I see reported on the news that I instantly believe without doing my own checking because so many formerly reputable news organizations have been proven to be 180 degrees wrong not just a little bit wrong.
So many insisted President Trump was under investigation when he wasn't. So many that insisted it couldn't be true that Comey had told him three times he wasn't under investigation, when that was the case. These sorts of things with very little repercussions when the reporting turns out to be wrong based on, I think, highly inadequate standards, reporters doing things that wouldn't be allowed in journalism schools but doing them now with impunity.