On the Journalistic Ethics of Tucker Carlson

Tucker Carlson, one of the most followed political commentators in United States media (he appears on Fox News), is one of the most reviled journalists by his colleagues, and for some time, has been a designated enemy of the Deep State and its primary tools: the intelligence communities, the corporate media, the Democratic Party, traditionalist Republicans and easy to dupe faux progressives.  The latest criticism centers on his willingness to criticize other purported journalists in their reporting on Mr. Trump, characterizing purportedly legal actions against him as politically motivated, and criticizing government (especially Department of Justice) reaction to the political protests against what many feel was a corrupted presidential election in 2020.  I would assume that Mr. Tucker’s experiences are helping him to mold a more positive attitudes with respect to the travails of his fellow journalist, the imprisoned Julian Assange (whom I admittedly admire).  The specific target of the latest anti-Carlson criticism centers on leaked personal communications where Mr. Carlson indicates a deep personal antipathy towards former president Trump, but nonetheless, continues to ignore his personal bias in his reporting.  Apparently, objectivity in journalism is now anathema.

If Tucker Carlson indeed personally despises former president Donald Trump, then his journalistic insistence on Mr. Trump’s being treated fairly is laudable rather than despicable.  It mirrors my own attitude, although I would not characterize mine as “hate”.  I find Mr. Trump’s personality and method of communicating extremely obnoxious and have for many decades had a visceral personal reaction to him, in a sense, inexplicably so.  I met him once at a fundraiser for cancer research where he was featured, that was shortly after publication of his book, the Art of the Deal.  I should have admired him then for his charitable work, but the chemistry was all negative.  I found him pompous, conceited and obnoxious.  Many years later I did have cause to look down on him, when his alma mater, New York Military Academy, sought his assistance during a financial crisis, and he ignored them, a point I made to fellow Citadel graduates when he appeared at my own alma mater.  But notwithstanding the foregoing, I have written criticizing the dishonest and hypocritical manner in which the corporate media has consistently attacked him for daring to defeat their darling, Hillary Clinton, in the 2016 presidential elections, and for suggesting that NATO was a dangerous anachronism, and for urging the closing of US military bases abroad and reducing military expenditures in favor of domestic infrastructure reform and lower taxes, and for avoiding meddling in the internal affairs of other countries (all policies I support). 

Kudos to Mr. Carlson for bucking that trend, even though it has put him in the Deep State’s cross hairs.  Journalistic courage seems passé, especially given the current unjust imprisonment of Julian Assange, but Mr. Carlson is a rare exception.  Journalistic ethics involving objectivity, full disclosure, adherence to truth and rejection of hypocrisy are today usually available only from independent journalists, independent because they have been fired, or not hired, or discarded from traditional media sources (such as the New York Times, Washington Post, etc., e.g., Seymour Hersh), but Mr. Carlson seems an exception, and that is a rare ray of hope for those who value verity, and democracy, and liberty and peace.

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2023; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  However, he is also fascinated by mythology, religion, physics, astronomy and mathematics, especially with matters related to quanta and cosmogony.  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

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