Tucker Carlson has downplayed the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, and he’s claimed the FBI orchestrated it. He’s claimed masks aren’t important and told his viewers to harass those who wear them. He’s hatched bizarre conspiracy theories, including one about the U.S.’s exit from Afghanistan. The most charitable thing you could say about the Fox News host is that he builds dodgy arguments based on selective data. But Carlson swears he hates lying. Except when he doesn’t.
In a new appearance on the The Rubin Report, Carlson discussed his rivals at CNN. “How do you think they live with themselves at this point when they just lie again and again and we have the internet to expose the lies?” Rubin asked Carlson. “We can expose it now and they still do it.”
But Carlson couldn’t fully condemn CNN for the very thing he himself does, at least from time to time. “Well, it’s—I guess I would ask myself, like, I mean I lie if I’m really cornered or something,” Carlson said. He then made an admission followed by some quick backpedaling:
“I lie. I really try not to. I try never to lie on TV. I just don’t — I don’t like lying. I certainly do it, you know, out of weakness or whatever. But to systematically lie like that without asking yourself why am I doing this? So if these people ask themselves why am I doing this? And they say, well, I want to protect the system because I really believe in the system. Ok, who’s running the system? You’re lying to defend Jeff Bezos? Like, you’re treating Bill Gates like some sort of moral leader, like, are you kidding me? How dare you do that!”
If it seemed rich that a loyal Trumpist would accuse other, non-Fox News journalists of being out to “protect the system” and defend billionaires (who they want to finally start taxing), that was just the beginning. He claimed that the mainstream media had become “defenders of the powerful” who attack “the weakest people in our society.”
But even Carlson couldn’t completely condemn that either. “I have done that, inadvertently over the years because I got carried away,” Carlson said. “But I really try not to. And everyone who works on our show is very aware of the most basic rule, which is don’t piss down. Don’t attack people beneath you. If you’re gonna you know, take a punch, make sure it’s upward.”
Carlson’s admission was made over the weekend, but it wasn’t picked up till Monday, the same day Amy Coney Barrett claimed the Supreme Court, now stacked with far right Trump appointees, were not “partisan hacks,” to the bewilderment of social media.
You can watch Carlson’s hour-long The Rubin Report appearance below, if that’s your bag.