Discussing what he described as "slavish" and "slobbering" media coverage of Sen. Barack Obama, Tucker Carlson stated: "And I will freely confess that I am absolutely part of the problem. I give the guy a pass at every turn and I'm nice to him even though I disagree with him." In fact, over the past year, Carlson has leveled personal attacks against Obama and spread misinformation about him.
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On the January 29 broadcast of MSNBC Live, host Tucker Carlson asked Huffington Post media editor Rachel Sklar: "[H]ave you ever seen press coverage more slavish, more slobbering than the coverage [Sen.] Barack Obama [D-IL] gets?" He added, "And I will freely confess that I am absolutely part of the problem. I give the guy a pass at every turn and I'm nice to him even though I disagree with him."
In fact, over the past year, Carlson has leveled personal attacks against Obama and spread misinformation about him. Carlson has said Obama "seems like kind of a wuss," "sounds like a pothead," and gave a speech that was "kind of wimpy." After Obama reportedly ribbed New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd for mentioning his ears in a column because, as he told Dowd, "I was teased relentlessly when I was a kid about my big ears," Carlson said, "So maybe he needs to toughen up," adding, "What a sensitive little man!" In August 2007, Carlson said of a speech in which Obama proposed a strategy to fight terrorism: "In the space of a day, Obama the weak has become Obama the fierce."
Further, in May 2007, Tucker parroted Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) attack on Obama regarding the spelling of "flak." On the May 25, 2007, edition of Tucker, less than two hours after MSNBC congressional correspondent Mike Viqueira reported that "flack" is an "alternative to the spelling of 'flak,' " Carlson uncritically quoted McCain's assertion that Obama had misspelled "flak" in a May 25 statement and called Obama a "greenhorn" because of it.
Regarding Obama's faith, on the February 7, 2007, edition of Tucker, Carlson asserted that the "theology" of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, of which Obama is a member, "sounds separatist to me" and "contradicts the basic tenets of Christianity," a subject Carlson said he was "actually qualified to discuss." On the February 19, 2007, edition of Tucker, Carlson said that Obama's faith had become "suddenly conspicuous," even though Obama has been speaking and writing about his faith for years.
On the June 5, 2007, edition of Tucker, after playing a short excerpt of a speech that day in which Obama discussed what he called "quiet riots" of despair and hopelessness in poor communities, Carlson accused Obama of "giving a political justification to totally unacceptable, never justifiable behavior." He also stated, "[I]t seems to me that when people burn down stores, kill people because they're Korean, or beat people in the head with cinder blocks because of their race, like Reginald Denny [a white man who was injured in the 1992 Los Angeles riots], that's not a political statement." But contrary to Carlson's suggestion, Obama, referring to the 1992 riots, explicitly denounced such violence in the speech: "This is not to excuse the violence of bashing in a man's head or destroying someone's store and their life's work. That kind of violence is inexcusable and self-defeating."
Carlson also said on October 10, 2007, that the Obama campaign's targeting of young voters "has a Khmer Rouge quality to it."
From the January 29 edition of MSNBC Live:
CARLSON: Rachel [Sklar], have you ever seen press coverage more slavish, more slobbering than the coverage Barack Obama gets? And I will freely confess that I am absolutely part of the problem. I give the guy a pass at every turn and I'm nice to him even though I disagree with him.
SKLAR: I thought you were a fan of Ron Paul, Tucker?
CARLSON: But is anyone noticing this?
CARLSON: Well, I love Ron Paul, you're right.