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White House goes after Tucker Carlson by name over Jan. 6 coverage

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“We also agree with what Fox News’s own attorneys and executives have now repeatedly stressed in multiple courts of law: that Tucker Carlson is not credible,” Bates added.

The statement was a rare rebuke of Carlson by name, suggesting an escalation of tensions between the White House and the conservative-leaning, beleaguered cable giant.

Among the legal filings, Bates cited were remarks made by Fox News lawyers and a federal judge in the Southern District of New York in defending Carlson against allegations of slander in an earlier lawsuit brought by Karen McDougal. The former Playboy model has accused Fox of defamation over a Carlson episode on her in December 2018.

In the separate $1.6 billion defamation case filed against Fox News by Dominion Voting Systems, Bates also noted that David Clark, a senior vice president at Fox News, testified in his deposition that while viewers of Carlson’s show consider it a credible source of news, Clark himself does not.

POLITICO reported that Democrats in recent days have called on the White House and others to boycott Fox News, including refraining from appearing on its airwaves and not spending advertising dollars there. The White House previously questioned whether viewers should trust Fox News’ reporting on Biden, citing executives’ reported kid-glove treatment of Trump. Fox then accused Biden officials of resorting to “junior varsity campaign style stunts.”

A Fox News representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the White House statement. Carlson did not respond to a text message seeking comment.

Carlson has taken fire from all sides since House Speaker Kevin McCarthy opted to give the Fox host exclusive access to more than 40,000 hours of video captured on Jan. 6 by Capitol Police cameras. McCarthy has defended his granting of the footage to Carlson. But both he and the Fox host have been widely criticized for presenting slanted and sanitized coverage of the insurrection.

“It was a mistake, in my view, for Fox News to depict this in a way that’s completely at variance with what our chief law enforcement official here in the Capitol thinks,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters Tuesday.

“I was there on Jan. 6,” added Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), who, like several colleagues, said he would have preferred the tapes to be distributed widely with other media outlets. “I saw what happened. It clearly was violent. It was an insurrection.”

Sen. Tom Tillis (R-N.C.) was more blunt in his assessment of Carlson’s Jan. 6 portrayal: “I think it’s bullshit,” he said.

Carlson responded to McConnell and other Republicans on his program Tuesday night, contending that they “outed themselves” as siding with Democrats against him in a state of “panic” and “hysteria.”

“If you want to know who’s actually aligned, despite the illusion of partisanship, we found out today,” Carlson said on his show.

While it’s uncommon for the White House to call out Carlson by name, officials have done it in fact-checking of his Fox program.

Recently, White House officials privately responded to an inquiry from Carlson’s show with a statement that included a reference to his attempt to have a Fox News reporter fired for saying there was no evidence for voting systems being compromised in the 2020 election, according to a person familiar with the exchange. Carlson did not include the White House critique in his broadcast.

In the latest batch of revelations stemming from the defamation lawsuit filed by the voting company Dominion against Fox, were text messages Carlson wrote that are sharply critical of former President Donald Trump.

“We are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights. I truly can’t wait,” Carlson said in a Jan. 4, 2021 message, two days before the Capitol was attacked.

He added of Trump, “I hate him passionately.”

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#White #House #Tucker #Carlson #Jan #coverage
( With inputs from : www.politico.com )

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