On Tuesday, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson blasted Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos and the paper’s media columnist, Erik Wemple, claiming that Wemple had contacted people who had known Carlson when he attended college and asked them for information that could damage Carlson.
“A quick piece of news from the world of Big Tech: We spent the day hearing from quite a few old college classmates — in some cases, people we haven’t been in touch with for 30 years,” Carlson stated. “It was nice, but here was the occasion for it: Jeff Bezos had one of his minions, a mentally unbalanced middle-aged man called Erik Wemple, pull our dusty college yearbook and call around and see if we’d done anything naughty at the age of 19. That sounds like fun; let us know if you hear any good stories.”
“But before Bezos drops any more of his billions on opposition research, you should know that it will not affect any election outcome,” Carlson continued sardonically. “This is a news show, it’s not a political campaign. No one here is running for anything or plans to. On the other hand, if Jeff Bezos wants to come over to reminisce about 1987 on this show, he is always welcome, anytime.”
Jeff Bezos had one of his “minions”, a former classmate of Tucker Carlson, call around to other former classmates and ask if Tucker had “done anything naughty at the age of 19”. pic.twitter.com/atngDgIxEA
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) April 21, 2021
“Fox News generally, and Carlson specifically, have been frequent subjects of Wemple’s columns. He has referenced the host in the headlines of five columns this year,” The Hill noted.
As far back as 2017, Wemple was targeting Carlson; he wrote an opinion piece in November 2017 in which he noted a long exchange he had with Carlson in which Wemple asked Carlson about a reporter whom The Daily Caller, which Carlson had founded, had hired back in 2014 who had previously posted racist tracts.
Wemple pressed, “Did you ever read any of that? Did those writings serve as a qualification for him in any way?”
Carlson fired back, “Yeah, I mean, I think you know as well as I that a) I don’t supervise the Daily Caller or have any role in his management whatsoever and haven’t in over a year, per my contract here at Fox. So I had no role in the response to those blog posts that he apparently wrote. I have no knowledge beyond what you just said. My understanding is that all of those were unearthed later, and I think that you would know that, too. And so your question isn’t so much a question; it’s an attempt to tar me once again —”
Wemple interacted, “No, it’s an actual question.”
Carlson continued, “— with views I don’t hold. So why don’t we just skip the middleman here and get right to it? Why don’t you ask me a series of actual questions about what I think or don’t think and I’ll tell you? Would that be easier? Because you’re trying to suggest that I’m a secret racist who like, is friends with David Duke, or, he likes me, therefore it’s my fault somehow. Or someone I once hired — who by the way is an excellent reporter — wrote awful things on an anonymous blog post years ago. And that, as you put it, might have been a qualification for me hiring him? You know what I mean?”
Wemple pressed again, “Well that’s all I wanted to know, whether you knew about it.”
Carlson answered,” I guess what bothers me is, you’re again trying to use something that I knew nothing about to try and tar me. And I’m inviting you, for the fourth time, to ask me direct questions about what I think. You’re looking for witches, and I’m telling you, if I’m practicing witchcraft, I’ll admit it. So why don’t you just ask me? Pick five topics and I’ll answer the question as honestly as I possibly can. Wouldn’t that just be easier? Instead of going through this whole like childish, ‘Someone who worked for you once wrote something naughty online — did you know?’ It’s like, I don’t know, why you just ask me what I think?”
“People are very complicated and they do bad things, then they get better and they change their mind, and you know what I mean?” Carlson asserted. “This is real life. This is not some pretend thing where you’re the sum total of the dumbest thing you ever wrote on the Internet. I hope that’s not the world you live in.”
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