Tucker Carlson can run the Daily Caller however he sees fit. He’s the editor in chief, after all.
So if Carlson wants to produce reckless journalism, that’s up to him. If he wants to declare certain topics absolutely off-limits to his reporters, that’s up to him. And: If Carlson wants to joke about the misogynistic comments that his brother, a Daily Caller contributor, made to a spokeswoman for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio — again, his deal.
What of Fox News, though?
In addition to running coverage at the Daily Caller, Carlson works hosting shifts on “Fox & Friends Weekend.” Surely the network’s future doesn’t hinge on Carlson’s work early on weekend mornings. It’s a scheduling backwater, and whatever it is that Carlson & Co. say from their couch while the rest of the world sleeps doesn’t filter much onto the Internet.
Those considerations, you might think, would make it easy for Fox News to issue a statement or assess some discipline against Carlson for condoning misogyny this week. The episode occurred as his staffers at the Daily Caller engaged in an e-mail spat with de Blasio spokeswoman Amy Spitalnick. Spitalnick was insisting on a correction to a Daily Caller story on transportation funding, and a staffer ripped her for being “whiny,” prompting Spitalnick to call that treatment “appalling.”
The e-mail chain somehow included Carlson’s brother, Buckley Carlson, who has also contributed stories to the Daily Caller. He went ad feminam in the most vile of ways:
Great response. Whiny little self-righteous b[—-]. “Appalling?”
And with such an ironic name, too… Spitalnick? Ironic because you just know she has extreme d[—]-fright; no chance has this girl ever had a pearl necklace. [Synonym for sperm]neck? I don’t think so. More like [unspeakable].
Had the whole thing ended right there, Carlson wouldn’t be the topic of blog coverage this week. But BuzzFeed asked him for his take on the situation, and he endorsed his brother’s misogyny: “I just talked to my brother about his response, and he assures me he meant it in the nicest way.”
Women-hating is so funny, isn’t it?
Yesterday morning, the Erik Wemple Blog asked Fox News for its position on Carlson’s statement and hasn’t received anything yet. Some possible explanations for its silence:
• Fox News may want to handle this matter quietly, without drawing further attention to this insanity.
• Fox News may want to have a face-to-face meeting with Carlson, whose recent actions might hamper whatever ambitions he may have of breaking into weekday rotations at the network. Not only did he endorse his brother’s e-mail, he also created media trouble for the network this month when he killed a Daily Caller piece by Mickey Kaus that was critical of Fox News. Kaus quit over the act of censorship, which made clear that Carlson so values his spot at Fox News that he allows it to suppress the independence of the Daily Caller.
• Fox News may want to send a signal to all fans of the idiotic “Fox & Friends” franchise: This is the mentality we bring to you each morning!