Tucker Carlson’s back on Fox and returning to his comfort zone: anti-abortion misinformation

Tucker Carlson abortion segment screenshot

Fox News host Tucker Carlson returned to his program tonight after a seeming cooling off period, and already he’s falling back into old habits: spreading anti-abortion misinformation. 

One day after sparking outrage for downplaying white nationalist violence on August 6 in the wake of several mass shootings, Carlson took a conveniently timed break from hosting Tucker Carlson Tonight. The move seemed an attempt at damage control, providing the network a chance to reassure advertisers -- which Carlson’s time slot is hemorrhaging -- that it’s safe to associate their brands with Fox. 

But Carlson proved the opposite to be true in his first night back, once again relying on sensationalized anti-abortion misinformation to rile up his base. During his August 19 show, Carlson promoted a piece of anti-abortion legislation, saying it’s necessary to protect infants “born alive” after attempted abortions. Experts agree this legislation is unnecessary for numerous reasons, including that the situation rarely (if ever) happens and that appropriate care is already provided. These alleged “born alive” abortions are actually a concept invented by anti-choice groups to spark fear -- a tactic Carlson modeled when he claimed that if there were “dozens or hundreds” of cases of this phenomenon “that would make botched abortions more common than deaths from mass shootings.”

Carlson is no stranger to anti-abortion misinformation -- nor is Fox overall. But given the frequency with which the network airs similar talking points on programming across the artificial divide of its “news” and opinion shows, the message to advertisers should be loud and clear.

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Citation From the August 19 edition of Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight:

TUCKER CARLSON (HOST): Most U.S. states don't even require the collection of data on botched abortions. So it's almost certain that there are dozens or even hundreds of other cases happening in the rest of the country. We don't know that, but it seems obvious. If that's true, that would make botched abortions more common than deaths from mass shootings. Think about that for a minute. In a sane society this would be a national scandal. America is allowing late-term abortion but some of the victims are inconveniently surviving. You would think we would at least want to know how often this happens and do our best to ensure that the survivors are kept alive, but no. Currently that is not the case at all for the Democratic Party.