CNN's Brian Stelter: We Are Tucker Carlson's "Real Victims" | Video | RealClearPolitics

CNN's Brian Stelter: We Are Tucker Carlson's "Real Victims"

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CNN media commentator Brian Stelter concludes a segment attacking FOX News host Tucker Carlson with the following commentary: "Millions of people watch this, every night, watch this toxicity. He and Trump are aligned. They are stoking this divide. You know, what Tucker does, Don, is he says he's the victim. He's the victim of people who are trying to stomp out his free speech. but the real victims are all of us. Whenever you get into this nasty debate about hating America, it should be beneath any cable news host."

Transcript of the segment:


LEMON: Fox News host Tucker Carlson is at it again, taking a page from President Trump's playbook, the same playbook used by right-wing media, questioning someone's patriotism, this time accusing Illinois Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth of hating America. The senator is an army vet who lost both legs while serving in Iraq. Here's Brian Stelter.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: It's long been considered out of bounds to question a person's patriotism.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Yes, and for good reason. But Tucker Carlson keeps doing it.

CARLSON: These people actually hate America.

STELTER (voice-over): Prompting denunciations from Democrats, but cheers from his fans. This latest Fox controversy stems from an interview on CNN with Senator Tammy Duckworth last Sunday.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: There are leaders like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who were slave owners, and some people are demanding that their monuments come down, too. So, in your view, where does it end? Should statues, for example, of George Washington come down?

SEN. TAMMY DUCKWORTH (D-IL): Well, let me just say that we should start off by having a national dialogue on it at some point.

STELTER (voice-over): Then, she pivoted and said America has much bigger issues right now like coronavirus. But Carlson decided to pounce.

CARLSON: Can you really lead a country that you hate?

STELTER (voice-over): Duckworth, evidently stunned by the smear, tweeted a reference to her service in Iraq, where she lost both of her legs. Does Tucker Carlson, she said, want to walk a mile in my legs and then tell me whether or not I love America? That was on Monday night.

CARLSON: To morons like Tammy Duckworth.

STELTER (voice-over): Carlson lashed out again on Tuesday.

CARLSON: What a coward, a fraud. She has an obligation to explain herself and answer our questions.

STELTER (voice-over): Shaming Duckworth for declining his interview request because, he said, she wanted him to apologize first. Carlson adheres to President Trump's never apologize playbook. And Trump has been parroting his egregious hate America accusations.

CARLSON: We cannot let them run this nation because they hate it.

STELTER (voice-over): The other day, Trump shared Carlson's commentary, and the two men are known to speak in private, too.

CARLSON: Hating America is a major theme in the Democratic Party right now. It's everywhere. Turn the TV.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STELTER: And Trump does. Millions of people watch this every night and watch this toxicity. He and Trump are aligned. They are stoking this divide. You know, what Tucker does, Don, is he says he is the victim, he is the victim of people who are trying to stomp out his free speech. But the real victims are all of us. Whenever you get into this nasty debate about hating America, it should be beneath any cable news host.

LEMON: Brian Stelter, thank you very much. I appreciate it, Brian. Thanks, everyone. Thanks for watching. I am Don Lemon. Our coverage continues.
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