Don’t believe everything you read about Tucker Carlson



The Daily Beast’s unnamed source attributed the dismissal, in part, to Carlson’s foul language. He reportedly used the “C-word” to describe stolen election theorist Sidney Powell, and not once. This information allegedly surfaced during discovery proceedings in Dominion Voting Systems’ libel suit. THE Los Angeles Times relied on an unnamed source to say that the dismissal “came directly from the president of Fox Corp. Rupert Murdoch with input from board members and other Fox Corp executives. cause.

At the wall street journal, “people familiar with the matter” told the newspaper that Fox was troubled by disparaging comments he made about the network in Dominion documents, some of which were redacted but seen by Fox staff. Anonymous Fox employees told Semafor they believe Carlson’s discrimination lawsuit and criticism of Fox executives, documented in court documents, played a role. Rolling stones unnamed sources spoke of an “oppo file” the network had kept on Carlson that would be used to retaliate against him if he spoke ill of Fox. The oppo file is said to contain information about conduct in the workplace, Carlson’s rude comments about Fox bosses and co-workers, his lewd comments about women, and more.

Surely the most fascinating anonymous treat has appeared in vanity lounge, where the source said Carlson was fired because Murdoch was annoyed by a messianic speech Carlson gave at the Heritage Foundation last Friday. “This stuff freaks Rupert out. He doesn’t like all spiritual talk,” the source told the magazine. Such religious gibberish, another unnamed source added in the article, was behind the recent cancellation of Murdoch’s engagement to Ann Lesley Smith, a well-known bible who considered Carlson “a messenger from God”.

The comical thing about the conflicting anonymous accounts is that they seemed sure as to why Carlson was taken down, it is said that Carlson himself did not know. How do we know this? According to anonymous testimonies new York magazines and vanity lounge.

Journalists who have been called upon to file quick stories about Carlson’s canning have our sympathy. “Why” is the most vital element of the Who, What, When, Where and Why formula behind news stories. News consumers want to know more about Carlson’s firing, but after that, they want to know why. Either an editor directs his reporters to find a source who can provide the why, or he allows reporters to pepper their copy with anonymous sources, as this gives the impression that they have answered the “why”.

As we see in Carlson’s example, anonymous sources – which are variously described as a “Fox news source”, “people familiar with the matter”, “a source”, “another source”, ” sources,” “eight sources, “A source briefed on the conversation,” “people familiar with the company’s thinking,” and other fuzzy identifiers — fundamentally disagree on why he was ousted. Now it could be, as NPR reporter David Folkenflik said on the WAMU show on Wednesday. 1a, that the reason for Carlson’s dismissal somewhat resembles the plot of Murder on the Orient Express: Everyone may be somewhat right. But the variety of early “reasons” casts doubt on the practice of relying on anonymous sources.

When anonymous sources provide documents or other ancillary evidence to their claims, such as tapes, they bring up information that can be verified and do readers a great service. But in many cases, they lash out without taking any responsibility for what they say. Readers often have no way of judging the credibility of anonymous sources. As far as we know, the “Fox news source” quoted could be upper management or a spring intern. Does the source have a program that colors its blind quotes? How hard did the reporter work to verify what the anonymous source said?

In the coming days, we’ll likely learn more about the decision-making behind Carlson’s removal as named sources escalate or if documents from the discrimination lawsuit and the Dominion case reach reporters. But until then, we can use Carlson’s early reporting as a warning to readers not to overinvest in the breaking news that relies so heavily on anonymity.

As investigative journalist Edward J. Epstein once wrote, “Each source that provided a reporter with part of a story selected that information, whether true or false, for a particular purpose. ” When these sources are anonymous, they can be completely irresponsible and absolutely false. Read all the anonymous source stories you like, but know that they can harm your health. Especially when they feature prominently in breaking news like Carlson’s sacking.


Do not send anonymous comments to [email protected]. No new email alert subscriptions are honored at this time. My Twitter the stream is still recorded. My Mastodon And Job accounts are like a ghost town. My Sub-stack notes qualifies as a source close to Jack Shafer. My RSS feed wants to know what he has to do to get fired.



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