Some days ago, CNN’s Brian Stelter proclaimed that Tucker Carlson, the top-rated Fox News host, is now the “new” Donald Trump. The comparison makes essentially no sense whatsoever, as Tucker and Trump not only disagree on policy, but their styles and the way in which they engage are also completely different.
Yet, Tucker is the new Trump in one sense: He’s eliciting outrage at levels not seen since the bad orange man left his perch in the White House.
Case in point? This morning, John Berman decided to accuse Tucker of literally killing people because everything must be overwrought and stupid these days.
JOHN BERMAN: "Does Tucker Carlson really want his viewers to live? Look, this guy bemoans so-called cancel culture more than anyone on Earth, but he should look in the mirror because you can’t get any more cancelled than dead." pic.twitter.com/HIchGBDrMe
— Eddie Zipperer (@EddieZipperer) March 16, 2021
This was in response to a segment Tucker did last night in which he questioned the Biden administration’s approach to promoting the various coronavirus vaccines. As Tucker noted, the government is treating people like children, scared to admit that some might experience side-effects but that it’s still, overall, safe to take. Any mention of any issues gets you labeled “anti-vax” without even a hint of nuance while Dr. Fauci is putting his personal stamp of approval on a drug he had no part in developing.
Again, it’s not that the vaccine isn’t safe. It does appear to be safe, but Tucker’s critique was how stupid the messaging surrounding it is. Treat people like adults, and you will get an adult response.
Here was Tucker’s point, in context, without the selective editing CNN and others did.
Tucker Carlson in context (not distorted by CNN's 'New Day'):
"If you want them to take the vaccine, don't berate them. Don't issue more commands. Calm their fears by rationally explaining the benefits and the risks of taking the vaccine. That's how you deal with adults." pic.twitter.com/sq4QNavnUS
— Tim Graham (@TimJGraham) March 16, 2021
Regardless, why Berman is so hysterical isn’t really that relevant. If it wasn’t this segment, it would have been another segment. CNN is obsessed with Tucker Carlson because they are desperate to try to get back some of their collapsing ratings. Those ratings collapsed because they no longer have Donald Trump as an everyday news driver. Thus, Stelter’s proclamation that Tucker is the new Trump.
This is not how a hard news organization behaves. It doesn’t spend its time hyperventilating over an opinion host sharing opinions that are factually correct. Tucker’s mention of Europe stopping vaccinations is what is actually happening. That’s simply sharing the news. But CNN isn’t a hard news organization, thus accusing Tucker of killing people seems completely within bounds for them. It’d benefit everyone if they’d drop the pretense and just admit what they are, but the grift must keep rolling. After all, there are only pants-less shots of Brian Stelter out there to put on the air.