Tucker Carlson has taken a thinly-veiled swipe at fellow Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto after he cut away from White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany when she repeated Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of illegal voting.
Carlson accused the media of censoring coverage they ‘don’t like’ after several news stations have refused to give air time the president’s unfounded claims of voter fraud.
During the opening monologue of his talk show on Monday night, the news anchor criticized the media of dismissing the concerns of ‘tens of millions of Americans’ who no longer ‘believe that our democracy is real’ – despite there being no concrete evidence of cheating or voter fraud.
‘In a democracy, you cannot ignore honest questions from citizens. It’s not allowed,’ Carlson told his viewers.
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Tucker Carlson appeared to take a dig at fellow Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto’s editorial decision to cut off Kayleigh McEnany’s press conference on Monday
‘You can’t dismiss them out of hand as crazy or immoral for asking. You can’t just cut away from coverage you don’t like.
‘In a free society, you have to convince the public of your legitimacy. You have to win them over with reason. Democracy is always a voluntary arrangement. Telling voters to shut up is never enough,’ he added.
The rant appeared to be a dig at his colleague who hours earlier made the editorial to cut off McEnany’s press conference after she accused Democrats – without evidence – of welcoming ‘illegal voting.’
Cavut cut away from the presser, telling viewers he ‘can’t, in good countenance, continue to show you this’ unless the White House could back up their statements.
McEnany kicked off her press conference insisting the election is ‘not over’ and that Republicans had ‘only begun the process of obtaining an accurate, honest vote count.’
She then launched into a string of unsubstantiated claims, including that the Democrats oppose voter ID laws, the verification of signatures, citizenship, residency and other identity markers, and that they had prevented Republican poll observers watching ballots being counted.
Fox News cut away from Kayleigh McEnany’s press conference Monday afternoon saying they ‘can’t in good countenance continue showing this’ as she made a series of baseless claims that Democrats ‘welcome fraud and illegal voting’
The conservative network refused to air the entire briefing from the Trump administration, breaking away from the president’s press secretary moments after she launched into a number of claims – none of which have yet been backed up by evidence
‘You don’t take these positions because you want an honest election,’ McEnany said.
‘You take these positions because you are welcoming fraud and you are welcoming illegal voting.’
She continued saying ‘we want every legal vote to be counted and we want every illegal vote – ‘ before Cavuto cut across her.
‘Whoa, whoa, whoa. I just think we have to be very clear: she’s charging the other side as welcoming fraud and illegal voting, unless she has more details to back that up, I can’t in good countenance continue to show you this,’ Cavuto said.
Cavuto said the network would return to the press conference if McEnany presented any evidence to back up the claims.
‘But that’s an explosive charge to make, that the other side is effectively rigging and cheating, if she does bring proof of that of course we’ll take you back so far she has started saying, right at the outset, welcoming fraud, welcoming illegal voting,’ Cavuto said.
‘Not so fast,’ he added.
In a clip circulating online, the host of America’s Newsroom was heard exasperatedly asking ‘what is happening’ as DC-based lawyer Cleta Mitchell (shown center left) repeated Donald Trump’s unfounded accusations of widespread election fraud
While Mitchell was speaking, Smith, who was not on air at the time, could be seen rolling her eyes, furrowing her brow and shaking her head.
Fox did not resume airing the press conference.
When McEnany was later asked by a reporter for evidence of fraudulent votes, Trump’s press secretary was unable to present anything and asked for ‘patience’.
‘What we are asking for right now is patience as we explore these equal protection claims among others,’ McEnany said.
Meanwhile, hours earlier anchor Sandra Smith was caught frowning and rolling her eyes and asking ‘what is happening’ as a Trump supporter repeated Trump’s accusations of widespread election fraud.
The network’s coverage appeared to show its clear stance on the Trump campaign’s repeated claims that the election was ‘rigged’ despite being a close ally of the president.
This comes as Rupert Murdoch’s media empire appears to be seeking to distance itself from Trump, with Fox and several of his other conservative outlets switching their messaging in the days after the election much to Trump’s ire.
The president launched into a series of irate tweets Monday night where he threw the blame for his election defeat onto the TV networks
Trump reeled off a barrage of tweets Monday accusing Fox and several other outlets of ‘election interference’ and ‘tampering’ with the election because their polls were ‘so far off’ in several states.
He singled out Fox saying it was ‘wrong on everything’ adding to his increasingly fractured relationship with Fox News and Murdoch.
‘@FoxNews, @QuinnipiacPoll, ABC/WaPo, NBC/WSJ were so inaccurate with their polls on me, that it really is tampering with an Election. They were so far off in their polling, and in their attempt to suppress – that they should be called out for Election Interference,’ Trump blasted.
He pointed to states including Wisconsin and Iowa where he said the media projected he would lose to Joe Biden.
‘ABC/WaPo had me down 17 points in Wisconsin, the day before the election, and I WON! In Iowa, the polls had us 4 points down, and I won by 8.2%! Fox News and Quinnipiac were wrong on everything,’ he wrote.
‘The worst polling ever, and then they’ll be back in four years to do it again. This is much more then voter and campaign finance suppression!’
Cavuto’s refusal to give the unfounded claims airtime came the same day footage surfaced online of his colleague ridiculing a guest on the network who was questioning the election result.
In a leaked clip circulating online, Smith – who was not on air at the time – pulls faces at the DC-based lawyer Cleta Mitchell’s comments and asks ‘what is happening’.
‘I think everybody wants to know that this was done properly and legally and we can trust the results,’ said Cleta Mitchell, as she reiterated Trump’s claims of voter fraud, despite the president providing no evidence.
‘And I think we have to look into every one of these concerns.
It also marks the latest move from Rupert Murdoch’s media empire to distance itself from Trump, as several of its conservative media outlets appear to have switched their messaging in the days after the election. Trump and Rupert Murdoch playing golf in 2016
‘Remember, just because CNN says, or even Fox News says that somebody’s president doesn’t make them president,’ Mitchell told Fox News’ Trace Gallagher who was interviewing her.
Smith is caught on camera rolling her eyes, furrowing her brow and shaking her head.
‘What?’ Smith said, looking up in disbelief and appearing to be unaware she was being picked up on a hot mic.
While Mitchell continues speaking, Smith then interjects in an angrier tone: ‘What is happening? Like, Trace, we’ve called it.’
Mitchell was either unable to hear Smith or chose to ignore her heckles, as she continued speaking.
The video was first circulated on Twitter by political consultant, and former Daily Beast director of video, Timothy Burke.
Smith, who first joined Fox Business Network as a reporter in October 2007, is a regular foil of White House spokespeople and has a back catalog of viral clips showing her clashing with members of the Trump administration, including the likes of Kellyanne Conway.
Similarly, Cavuto has regularly questioned Trump hitting out at the president in May when he recommended taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventative for contracting COVID-19.
Cavuto’s refusal to air McEnany’s press conference comes after seven television networks including CBS, ABC and NBC cut away from Trump’s White House address Thursday evening to fact check him with many calling out his ‘falsehoods’.