Tucker Carlson has claimed a new victim: this time, it was Erik Wemple, a media reporter for the Washington Post who stumbled so badly while trying to defend his outlet’s publication of paid Russian propaganda that he ended up exposing himself as a hypocrite.
Carlson took issue with the Washington Post’s accusations that figures within the Trump administration are “carrying water” for the Russians.
“The Washington Post for years, many years, had literally carried paid propaganda from the Russian government,” Carlson said. “A section called ‘Russia Behind the Headlines.’ Looks like news but it’s designed to fool readers into thinking it’s real… How can you attack others when you do not know that your own paper takes money paid for by the Russian government?”
Wemple desperately tried to deflect by pointing to “several newspapers” that run similar columns from other controversial countries like China, branding the practice as “native advertising.” The Tuck wasn’t having it.
“That’s really your answer?” Carlson fired back, noting that Wemple himself had attacked Politico for running similarly misleading propaganda that was “designed to fool people.”
Later, Carlson blasted Wemple for not covering instances that his own newspaper ran fake news, including debunked stories about White House chief strategist Steve Bannon advocating for Trump’s executive orders to the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department firing its entire management team.
“Why don’t you cover your own paper’s shortcomings?” Carlson asked, laughing off Wemple as he tried – and failed – to come up with instances that he actually engaged in hard-hitting journalism targeting the Washington Post.
At one point, Wemple attempted to turn things around on Carlson: “Did you do anything on [Fox News host] Bret Baier’s report that there would be an FBI investigation related to the Clinton Foundation?”
His gambit backfired: “I think that you did it, actually,” Carlson retorted. “I’m not the self-described media reporter. I do not cover the media. You do.”
In true Tuck form, Carlson mercifully ended the interview before Wemple could dig himself any deeper, but not before parting with a zinger. “I’m starting to feel bad for you. You have the freedom and I think it’s great – you should just use it do something useful like reporting on Russian propaganda in your own paper,” he said, a defeated Wemple sadly nodding in agreement.