Tucker Carlson: Press suck up to power instead of defending the First Amendment at WH Correspondents’ Dinner
In case you weren’t invited, the White House Correspondents’ Dinner took place over the weekend. For the third year in a row, Donald Trump was invited but took a pass and didn’t show up.
That has never happened in the long history of the dinner. Presidents always show up. They always show up in a tuxedo and head downtown to suck up to the White House Correspondents’ Association. They don’t want to do that. They hate going — every one of them. All presidents deeply despise the news media, but they make themselves go. They have no choice. It is a hostage situation.
If you blow off the dinner, the press will punish you, guaranteed. They won’t admit it, of course. They won’t say it’s personal; they will make up some story. Here, for example is Jeff Zucker’s spokesman, CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter, claiming that not going to media dinner is the same as attacking the media.
“Say what you will about the press, this is an event honors the First Amendment,” he said on the air. “Yes, that’s what it’s about. It’s an awards dinner and a fundraiser. In the past, presidents have always shown up. Even if they were angry, the president would go and have a good time. This is yet another example of what we are seeing. The administration’s attack against the media takes many forms. One form is the president having a rally this Saturday instead of attending the dinner.”
Dumb people are so self-confident. Have you noticed that? It’s almost like there is a self-esteem confidence reverse access.
Anyway, they are telling us that going to your own events instead of our event is a form of harassment. Do you know what’s not harassment, according to CNN? Spying on former Fox News reporter, James Rosen, and his parents because you don’t like what he is covering. The Obama administration actually did that, and then Obama went to eight separate White House Correspondents’ Association dinners. Nobody ever denounced him as immoral.
Obama hated reporters, by the way. Most people do hate reporters, for good reason. But reporters loved him back anyway. They agreed with his politics. That’s what happens.
When they don’t agree with your politics, people like Olivier Knox, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, saying things like the following at the dinner: “I still separate my career into the period before 2017 and what came afterward, and that’s because February 2017 is when the President of the United States called us the enemies of the people. I thought it was time that we reset this dinner and put the focus a little more squarely on journalism and a little more squarely on the First Amendment, and a little more on the people, the men and women who help to hold the most powerful political institution in American life to account. Ladies and gentlemen, to the First Amendment.”
People are doubting the news media. That’s wrong. We are seeing misinformation masquerading as news, they are telling us — and actually, they are right. We have seen a lot of that recently. How about the last two years of Russia coverage on CNN, for example? Michael Cohen met secretly with Russian spies in Prague. Don, Jr. is about to be indicted. The Steele dossier is entirely real. They told us all of that, and much more. All of it was wrong and stupid and totally dishonest.
The New York Times, the Washington Post both won Pulitzers for what turned out to be misinformation masquerading as news. Last Saturday night would have been a perfect moment, actually, to apologize for that debacle and return the prizes they won.
But no. Nobody apologized. Nobody returned a Pulitzer. Instead, they celebrated themselves. No surprise there. That’s what they do. What was odd, though, was hearing them talk about free speech.
The First Amendment is, in fact, under ferocious attack, really more than any time in the last 50 years, at least, and yet the people in that room at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner seemed to notice. Where were these same people last summer when the Big Tech companies colluded to silence broadcaster Alex Jones? “Alex Jones, he is bad.” CNN literally led the effort to make him be quiet. Jeff Zucker doesn’t agree with Alex Jones’ political views, therefore he thinks Alex Jones shouldn’t be allowed to talk. So Zucker shut him up by force.
The New York Times, the Washington Post both won Pulitzers for what turned out to be misinformation masquerading as news. Last Saturday night would have been a perfect moment, actually, to apologize for that debacle and return the prizes they won. But no. Nobody apologized. Nobody returned a Pulitzer. Instead, they celebrated themselves.
Did anyone at Saturday’s dinner mention any of that? And where were they when Facebook and Twitter blocked ads supporting Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn because they criticized abortion? Where were they when Tommy Robinson went to prison in the U.K. for having unfashionable these about immigration? Where were they when James Damore got fired and was then slandered by Google for questioning the company’s diversity theology? Where were they when Peter Vlaming lost his job teaching in Virginia because he wouldn’t use male pronouns to describe a female student?
Did any of the First Amendment defenders — “Here is to the First Amendment,” they say — at the dinner on Saturday say a single word about any of this? Of course, they didn’t. Their job, they say, is to hold the powerful to account. But when given the chance to push back against the truly powerful — the actually powerful, the we-are-not-even- kidding-powerful — Google, Amazon, Facebook, PayPal — do they say anything? Ever?
No. Of course not. They suck up every single time. They suck up to power. Because that’s who they are –dutiful toadies to the powerful, defending class interests and pretending it is principle.
Fine. That’s who they are. Just don’t lecture us about free speech, please.
Adapted from Tucker Carlson’s monologue from “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on April 26, 2019.
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