CNN “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter came after his rival Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson for spreading misinformation (and sometimes, outright lies) about the coronavirus.
During Sunday’s edition of “Reliable Sources,” Stelter said that Carlson is helping create an epidemic of “Foxitis” across the country.
“Murdochworld’s most popular shows have popularized some dark, disturbing, damaging narratives about Covid — first downplaying the virus last year, minimizing the risks, and now, by sowing confusion,” Stelter said, referring to NewsCorp owner Rupert Murdoch.
Not every Fox News anchor has been openly antivax, and Stelter made sure to mention that some of the network’s talent, like Bret Baier and Dana Perino, have told the world they’ve gotten vaccinated. Carlson mentioned that he got his COVID-19 vaccine too, but still continues to spend time on his nightly show fearmongering about the vaccine and spreading dangerous theories about its impact on people’s health.
“He claims to be pro-vaccine and said that he’s just asking questions, but he’s not seeking the answers. So the rest of us have to,” Stelter said.
Stelter added that he knows that there are people inside Fox News who are upset by Tucker’s comments. “He’s scaring his audience so recklessly that even some of his own colleagues called him out for it on Twitter,” Stelter said, adding that some people within Fox News find Carlson’s rhetoric “irresponsible and damaging.”
Tucker has baselessly speculated that vaccines negatively impact the health of pregnant people, that people die from getting the COVID-19 vaccine and argued that putting masks on children — in accordance with CDC guidelines that kids over 2 years old should mask up in public — is child abuse and warrants calling the cops. Carlson has also wrongly asserted that healthy young adults don’t need the vaccine and spread conspiracy theories that the coronavirus vaccine doesn’t actually work, but rather that it is part of a government plot to control people. None of this is true in the slightest, but that doesn’t stop him from devoting large chunks of his show to it.
“Carlson acts like he knows some secret truth that’s been covered up by some shadowy enterprise,” Stelter said. Addressing Carlson directly, he joked, “Maybe you should be writing some junk movie of the week for Netflix or Tubi. Maybe you should go write horror novels for a living, because he’s clearly not responsible enough to have a show that purports or pretends to be news.”
Fox News didn’t immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
Stelter was calling back to a ruling from a federal judge that indicated Carlson isn’t at all a credible source of news and that no “reasonable viewer” should approach his show with an “appropriate amount of skepticism” and not interpret it as relaying facts.
Check out the clip of Stelter’s “Reliable Sources” via Mediaite below.