Tucker Carlson talks during a panel, gesturing with his hand.

Tucker Carlson Admits He’s a Liar as if We Didn’t Already Know

In other news, water is wet.

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Tucker Carlson, a boat shoe that wished to be a real boy, recently appeared on The Rubin Report, where he openly admitted that he’s a liar. “I lie. I really try not to. I try never to lie on TV. I just don’t — I don’t like lying. I certainly do it, you know, out of weakness or whatever. But to systematically lie like that without asking yourself why am I doing this? So if these people ask themselves why am I doing this? And they say, well, I want to protect the system because I really believe in the system. Ok, who’s running the system? You’re lying to defend Jeff Bezos? Like, you’re treating Bill Gates like some sort of moral leader, like, are you kidding me? How dare you do that!”

"he admit it" guy from I Think You Should Leave

Of course, this isn’t news to anyone who has followed Carlson’s career over the past few decades. Carlson has built a career on lies and falsehoods that range from lying about his first grade teacher to accusing the NSA of spying on him. But as the Republican party pivots further to extreme right wing fundamentalism, Carlson and FOX News have been leading the charge. And the directive comes straight from compulsive liar-in-chief Donald Trump, who regularly spouted falsehoods from the biggest platform in the world.

And those lies now come with a body count: Between inciting the January 6 riots, dismissing the coronavirus pandemic, and actively promoting debunked “cures” and treatments, Carlson and FOX are spearheading distrust in the medical community and actively prolonging the pandemic. Yet, Carlson takes zero responsibility for his role in spreading propaganda, instead blaming CNN and other news companies and claiming that they lie, as well.

Carlson’s admission of lying is not just a rogue moment of self awareness. It’s now a legal standpoint which FOX News and other conservatives are using to evade accountability in court. Using the First Amendment as a shield, Carlson and others are claiming that their defamatory statements are just opinion and conjecture that no reasonable person would take seriously.

And the worst part is, it’s working … for Carlson at least. Last September, a federal judge dismissed a defamation suit filed by former Playboy model Karen McDougal against Fox News over statements made by host Tucker Carlson on a December 2018 broadcast, where he accused McDougal of trying to extort money from Donald Trump. “The Court concludes that the statements are rhetorical hyperbole and opinion commentary intended to frame a political debate, and, as such, are not actionable as defamation,” Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil wrote.

That defense has been less successful for people like Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, and the team of lawyers trying to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Powell’s argument that “no reasonable person” would believe her claims was swiftly smacked down in court.

In the meantime, FOX devotees and republicans will continue to fall into lockstep with Carlson’s lies. And tragically, the rest of us will have to live with the consequences.

(via Washington Post, image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.