Then Carlson broke the news ever so softly to his viewers: He said that Powell, despite his polite requests, had not provided a piece of evidence in support of her foreign allegations and had even asked him to stop contacting her. Not only had she failed to provide him with evidence, Carlson said, she had also failed to support her claims to others in Trumpworld.
Now, I do not bring this up to suggest that Carlson deserves recognition for acknowledging the truth of the matter on his program. Injecting a dose of reality into one’s coverage should not be cause for praise. And that’s not what I’m getting into.
But what is remarkable is that ever since he called Powell, Carlson has been the subject of dismissal by some on the right. His mention on Twitter has been flooded with disappointed viewers who say they feel betrayed by him. Right-wing websites have rallied in the controversy. And Trump Internet personalities have criticized him for having the courage to challenge Powell.
Powell himself retweeted accounts that attacked Carlson, including one that said Carlson had cast “one of his Fox Globalist-controlled temperaments” and is “owned by The Syndicate.” During a Friday morning appearance on Maria Bartiromo’s show, Powell based Carlson as “insulting” and “rude.”
This is all to say that we are in a place – a bad place – where some Trump supporters will not believe any information that contradicts the Trump narrative, even if it is Tucker Carlson delivers it. Dare to deviate from the Trump camp – even politely and in terms of a confused conspiracy theory – and even someone like Carlson will be attacked and called a traitor.
As I have pointed out before: Carlson and the other hosts and personalities on his network are responsible for this culture on the right and may never imagine that it would come back to bite them. But now it is to some extent, though this is unlikely to hurt Carlson in the long run.
What Carlson said
Carlson made it clear on his Friday night show that he is aware of the controversy his segment about Powell caused. “In the last 24 hours, we’ve heard from a lot of people about this segment, including people in the White House and people close to the president,” Carlson said. Carlson went on to say that both he and the White House agreed that the election was “not fair” – but he also said that “like us,” they “have not seen a single piece of evidence showing that software changed voices. “
On the one hand, Carlson appealed to his audience by blowing the flames from voter fraud. On the other hand, he seemed to be trying to pour cold water on Powell’s even more absurd conspiracy theory that millions of votes were changed by a comprehensive international plan to undermine Trump. “If Sidney Powell can prove that technology companies changed millions of votes and stole a presidential election, she will almost alone have revealed the biggest crime in this country’s history, and no one will be more grateful for it than us,” Carlson said in the tone of some , who knows that it will actually never happen …
A spokesman for Fox News said Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell canceled scheduled appearances on Jeanine Pirro’s Saturday show. I pinged the Trump campaign for more info, but did not hear back.