The picture perfect example of what is wrong with American and conservative media
Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson is one of America’s most-watched television personalities. I avoid the word ‘news’ because I wouldn’t call his show news any more than I would call this section news. I talk about newsworthy topics but it says right at the top of this page ‘Opinion,’ you know when you read this you’re getting my opinion. Such as the nature of our relationship reader.
And despite some of my conservative values, I can not stand to watch Fox News’s Tucker Carlson. My strong dislike of his show boils down to my above comment and my belief that Tucker Carlson is not a news source.
Fox actually won a defamation suit against Karen McDougal with U.S. District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil cited by Insider as saying, “Given Mr. Carlson’s reputation, any reasonable viewer ‘arrive[s] with an appropriate amount of skepticism’ about the statements he makes.”
Yet, he presents himself as one. All the arguments he makes, he makes with the belief he is unequivocally, undoubtedly correct. I have sat down to watch his program many times and I rarely find I have the patience for such an endeavor.
When watching his show every segment follows this formula for me:
- He brings up an issue pertinent to your average American.
- He starts making suggestions about how to solve the said issue.
- He thinks the most radical solution is the best solution.
- I stop watching.
He usually has me up until a point. He has my attention and my agreement on the issue until step three. Here’s an example: I sat and watched live while he suggested that audience members rip the masks off of children. You should react the same way as if “you see someone beat a kid at Walmart.”
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t love masks. I don’t think they are 100% effective at protecting people from contracting Covid-19, but they do help. Also, I am not a terrible person so I respect others’ desire for me to wear a mask.
I would wear a mask regardless of my vaccination status out of respect for others. I would never, ever suggest touching a child without a parent’s and child’s desire for me to do so. I also have enough sense to not suggest that it’s comparable to beating a child.
Tucker, overall, is a good example of what is wrong with American media, especially in relation to news coverage. Programs like Tucker Carlson’s promote what is referred to as truth decay.
Rand.org defines truth decay as “Increasing disagreement about facts and analytical interpretations of facts and data; a blurring of the line between opinion and fact; an increase in the relative volume, and resulting influence, of opinion and personal experience over fact; and lowered trust in formerly respected sources of factual information.”
To rephrase, truth decay is basically anyone or anything that devalues facts and spreads misinformation. Tucker presenting his opinion as fact is exactly what I am talking about. He blurs the line between what is true and what is conjecture and it has the effect of increasing polarization in what is already a divided America.
Rand.org puts it better than I could. The consequences of truth decay are “erosion of civil discourse, political paralysis, alienation, disengagement [and] uncertainty.”
Yikes, I don’t know about you but I have seen a lot of this over the past two years.
Need an example of truth decay from Tucker Carlson? How about every time over the last two years he has urged someone not to follow CDC guidelines. Since you know, Tucker Carlson knows more about viral infections than actual scientists.
Is he the only one who does this? Probably not, but his program is the most blatant and in your face about it and I do not want to be filling my brain with that nastiness.
Even if he wasn’t spewing misinformation, I still wouldn’t watch his program. The way he treats his guests is nauseating. The way he talks about women and people of color is disgusting.
He trivializes important issues. Like when he mocked a police officer who had the bravery to speak about the Jan. 6 riots. Which is surely a change in tune from his thoughts about police officers six months prior. Blue lives matter, right?
The fact that he is the most-watched news figure, and a representative of conservative American values is embarrassing. Men like him are the exact reason I don’t like telling people that I do hold some conservative ideals. I don’t want people to look at me when I say that and think of him.
But he gets to stay on television despite his harmful, and at times blatantly false rhetoric. Why? Because of money. We live in a world where controversy can equate to cash. And money makes the world go ’round.
As long as people fill their brains with that garbage he is going to be allowed to continue to run. I wish I had a hopeful note to leave you on. I wish I could say I have held the belief that conservative media is improving for the better.
But I would be lying to you.
It’s not improving. It’s becoming increasingly polarized. At least I can say I have done my part by no longer watching him and feeding into his viewership. Can you?