The New York Times on Wednesday accused Fox News host Tucker Carlson of deploying “calculated and cruel tactic” to harass their reporter Taylor Lorenz for complaining about online harassment a day after international women’s day.
The newspaper released a statement defending Lorenz who was mocked in various segments by Carlson who also called her “less talented”.
“In a now familiar move, Tucker Carlson opened his show last night by attacking a journalist,” the New York Times said. “It was a calculated and cruel tactic, which he regularly deploys to unleash a wave of harassment and vitriol at his intended target,” it added.
The newspaper defended Lorenz as a “talented New York Times journalist” and said, “journalists should be able to do their jobs without facing harassment.”
Carlson, who is known for his controversial statements, launched a tirade against Lorenz after she posted a tweet a day after international women’s day asking people to support women facing online harassment.
“It’s not an exaggeration to say that the harassment and smear campaign I’ve had to endure over the past year has destroyed my life. No one should have to go through this,” she said on Tuesday.
The Fox News host mocked her as a “privileged” woman at the “top of journalism’s repulsive little food chain.” He said she is “far younger” and “much less talented” than other reporters of New York Times, grouping her with high-profile women, including Hillary Clinton and Meghan Markle.
Carlson launched the scathing attack in the channel’s segment discussing “powerful people claiming to be powerless”.
“You’d think Taylor Lorenz would be grateful for the remarkable good luck she’s had,” he said.
“Lots of people are suffering right now, but no one’s suffering quite as much as Taylor Lorenz is suffering. People have criticised her opinions on the internet, and it’s destroyed her life. Let’s pause on International Women’s Day and recognise that. You thought female Uighurs had it bad. You haven’t talked to Taylor Lorenz,” Carlson said.
The Fox News host continued to berate the NYT and Lorenz after the newspaper issued a statement, calling it harassment.
He said a newspaper’s defence of its journalist is generally reserved for when a correspondent is “kidnapped by Isis in Syria” and not when a cable TV channel criticises them.
“We were embarrassed for Taylor Lorenz. She spends her entire life on the internet, so of course, after a while you become a deeply unhappy narcissist — that’s what the internet does to people,” he said. He said he also “assumed her bosses would be embarrassed for her too.”
“But little did we know they are all exactly just like she is,” he said.
Fox News said in a statement: “No public figure or journalist is immune to legitimate criticism of their reporting, claims or journalistic tactics.”
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