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The Hill

Jen Psaki knocks Tucker Carlson for treating his audience ‘like they’re stupid’

By Dominick Mastrangelo,

2023-03-14

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Former White House press secretary turned MSNBC host Jen Psaki took a swipe at Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Monday night, saying recent court filings show the conservative firebrand does not respect his viewers.

“I had about 20 seconds where I thought … Tucker Carlson, maybe he’s one of us,” Psaki said during an appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” “And then, by second 21, I thought, wait, he is intentionally sharing disinformation with his audiences and treating them like they are stupid, frankly, so that he can save his job, save viewers and make money.”

The former Biden spokeswoman had been asked about revelations made in recent court filings about top Fox hosts and executives as part of a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit the network is facing from Dominion Voting Systems over unfounded claims about the 2020 election. The Dominion filings show Fox stars including Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham dismissing former President Trump’s false claims of voter fraud privately but worrying how fact-checking those claims on the air might upset their audience.

“It’s not surprising, but it is unsettling to hear about,” Colbert said Monday.

“It’s a little bit more than unsettling, wouldn’t you say?” Psaki replied. “I’ve watched you — I know you’re more than unsettled.”

She added “it wasn’t a shock to me” that Fox News was sharing inaccurate information: “I mean, we know that with our own eyes.”

“I am horrified by the disinformation, but the fact that they knowingly did it, that is what I think is, in my view, the most problematic,” Psaki said.

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White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Feb. 23, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Carlson has separately faced widespread criticism this month for his framing of the events of Jan. 6, 2021, which he referred to during a show last week as “mostly peaceful chaos” while publishing new surveillance video from the Capitol that day given to him by the Republican Speaker of the House.

Fox has moved to have Dominion’s case dismissed on First Amendment grounds and has argued in legal filings and statements of its own that quotes and communications from its top talent have been “cherry picked” to cast the network in a negative light and provide fodder for critics.

Psaki, who regularly sparred with Fox News reporters during her time at the White House, was hired by MSNBC to host an opinion and analysis show soon after leaving President Biden’s administration. “Inside With Jen Psaki” debuts this weekend.

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