In another segment of his interview on Real Clear Politics’ “Changing Lanes,” the Daily Caller top editor Tucker Carlson sticks to his rule about not being a “bull[—-]ter.” He acknowledges in straightforward fashion that he killed a column by now-former contract writer Mickey Kaus that criticized Fox News for being too soft on immigration policy. Kaus quit in the aftermath of the spiking and stirred some media criticism in the process. “We are the publication, and I run it, that spiked a column critical of Fox News,” said Carlson in “Changing Lanes.” “So my commitment is not to lying. I’m not a liar,” he said. “I have two rules. One is you can’t criticize the families of the people who work here. And the other rule is you can’t go after Fox. Only for one reason, not because they’re conservative or we agree with them [or] because they’re doing the Lord’s work. Nothing like that. It’s because I work there, I’m an anchor on Fox.” At least one of those rules apparently wasn’t clear to Kaus:
Judging from Carlson’s site, however, there’s more to the rule than “you can’t go after Fox.” The digital trail suggests the rule is more accurately stated as “you must praise Fox.” The Erik Wemple Blog dropped the following inventory of recent Fox News-related Daily Caller stories into a previous post to illustrate the point:
- A recent post under the headline “A Defensive Marie Harf Snarks At Fox News During Clinton Email Press Briefing [VIDEO].”
- A piece by Ginni Thomas titled, “What Made This Fox News Star Leave The Career She Loved?” The piece concludes with this line: “We haven’t seen the last of Molly Henneberg though, as even Fox can’t seem to let go of her as they have graciously offered to make her a freelance reporter, which thrills her and those of us who appreciate her impressive life choices.”
- A December story headlined: “Fox News Reigns As Ratings King For 13th Straight Year, CNN Posts All-Time Lows”
- An October post that documented criticism of Fox News by President Obama. “Obama’s decision to attack Fox, known for its tough coverage of the president, is his latest attempt to rally Democratic voters in the run-up to the November midterms,” reads one line.
- October headline: “Fox News Lands Interview With SEAL Who Killed Osama Bin Laden.” *”Happy Birthday, Fox News! See The Folks Who Made It Great [SLIDESHOW]“
“There is a conflict, and I’m totally upfront about it. I don’t lie at all,” said Carlson.
Amend that: Carlson is “totally upfront about it” once the policy is exposed by a former contract writer. But an additional level of transparency could be achieved by attaching a tag line to Daily Caller coverage of Fox News. Something like this: The Daily Caller publishes only puff pieces on Fox News.