Fox News mocked for complaining about ‘inexcusable ambush’ of Tucker Carlson

Broadcaster said ‘no public figure should be accosted regardless of their political persuasion or beliefs’

Louise Hall
Tuesday 27 July 2021 10:30
Tucker Carlson contradicts Fox News co-stars recommending Covid vaccine
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Fox News has been ridiculed online after they said footage of a man in Arizona “ambushing” one of its most controversial hosts, Tucker Carlson, was “totally inexcusable”.

Shopper Dan Bailey was seen on video in a fishing equipment store telling the outspoken right-wing presenter that he was the “worst human being known to mankind”.

During the confrontation, shared to an Instagram page, the man is heard saying, “What you have done to people’s families and everybody else...”

A Fox News spokesperson told NBC News that “ambushing” Mr Carlson while he was at the shop in Livingston with his family was “totally inexcusable”.

“No public figure should be accosted regardless of their political persuasion or beliefs simply due to the intolerance of another point of view,” the spokesperson said.

However, critics of the broadcaster were quick to hit out on Twitter at their condemnation of the man’s confrontational nature.

Some pointed out that hosts on the channel have often used such tactics on the platform, including right-wing host Jesse Watters, who has been referred to as “ambush guy”.

“This is an interesting position for Fox to take considering Jesse Watters’ past behaviour,” contributing editor at The Daily Beast, Justin Baragona, said on Twitter.

Another commenter said: “Has the fox news spokesman heard of a guy named ...  (checks notes) Jesse Watters?”

Others denounced Mr Carlson himself, pointing out that he has in the past encouraged his millions of viewers to confront people for wearing facemasks in public amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Tucker himself telling viewers to harass people for wearing masks and call the cops on parents of mask-wearing kids because “fighting back is the only option,” Mr Baragona said.

“Fixed it: ‘No public figure should spew disinformation, regardless of their political persuasion or beliefs, that results in millions of Americans shunning a vaccine and believing that a deadly global pandemic isn’t a big deal,’” said in response to Fox’s statement.

Another user commented: “Really? Calling out @TuckerCarlson was ‘inexcusable’? But him calling for Fauci to be prosecuted, Biden to be impeached and Democrats arrested for being vaccinated is, how you say, ‘patriotic?’”

The outspoken host has often fielded criticism for his attitude towards vaccines and coronavirus precautions.

Some figures jumped to Mr Carlson’s defence, saying the man’s approach was not going to achieve anything.

“If you think accosting a public figure while they’re shopping for fishing gear with their family on vacation is somehow accomplishing something or changing anyone’s hearts or minds – you’re a hypocrite and have totally lost the plot,” pundit Meghan McCain said.

In April, Fox News faced calls to fire the headlining host over his “dangerous” anti-mask rant during his prime time show on national TV.

“So the next time you see someone in a mask on the sidewalk or on the bike path, do not hesitate,” he encouraged viewers in regards to those choosing to wear masks.

He added: “Ask politely but firmly, ‘Would you please take off your mask? Science shows there is no reason for you to be wearing it. Your mask is making me uncomfortable.’”

Fox News referred The Independent back to their original statement when asked for comment.

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