Tucker and the Talking Heads: Anatomy of a Fox News Show Built on Demagoguery and Deceit
I am not in the habit of watching the Fox News Channel, except when investigating what the network is up to in terms of news coverage and commentary.
Earlier this week, on Tuesday, March 30, I tuned into "Tucker Carlson Tonight," which, according to Nielsen Global Media's latest report, registered the largest viewership of any prime-time program, averaging an audience of 3.4 million for the quarter.
Prompted by the release earlier that day of a report by a World Health Organization team of scientists on the possible origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tucker Carlson dedicated the lion's share of the program to the subject.
The WHO report examined four possible scenarios on how the virus spread to humans: No. 1: Direct transmission from bats.
No. 2: Transmission from an "intermediate (animal) host" who received the virus from a bat.
No. 3: Contagion through the food chain.
No. 4: Accidental escape from a research lab in Wuhan, China.
While none of the theories was dismissed, the report leaned toward the first two explanations and stated that the lab leak option was an "extremely unlikely pathway."
By most accounts, including those of scientists, journalists and government officials, the report is incomplete and lacking in transparency. Its authors were the first to recognize the need for further research. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki criticized it for its lack of "crucial data, information and access."
China, as expected, does not only reject the idea that the COVID-19 virus was intentionally manufactured in Wuhan, but Chinese officials have also been floating the notion that it actually originated in the United States. A spokesperson for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs made the preposterous suggestion that the U.S. Army brought it to Wuhan.