Tucker Carlson, conservative political commentator and a regular on Fox News, is facing pushback from The New York Times after he conducted a segment on journalist Taylor Lorenz last Tuesday. The Times stated that he “opened his show last night by attacking a journalist. It was a calculated and cruel tactic, which he regularly deploys to unleash a wave of harassment and vitriol at his intended target.” In his typical fashion, Carlson mocked Lorenz’ International Women’s Day post in which she claimed to have endured “unimaginable…harassment” as a female reporter over the past year. He stated, “You thought female Uyghurs had it bad — you haven’t talked to Taylor Lorenz.” He argued that her claim was another case of “powerful people claiming to be powerless.”
The Right argues that criticism is not “harassment” as the Left claims. Carlson stated that the Times “believes that anyone who disagrees with them is committing assault.” A spokesperson for Fox News stated, “No public figure or journalist is immune to legitimate criticism of their reporting, claims, or journalistic tactics.” Multiple conservatives have recently called out Lorenz for her “dishonest,” “incorrect,” and shady reporting tactics on multiple occasions.
“Taylor Lorenz is a New York Times employee whose job is to bully and smear people, often private citizens, and call it journalism. Naturally, Lorenz’s latest schtick is to cry victimhood…The problem isn’t that Lorenz is bothered by negative attention and harassment. It’s that she’s a hypocrite who sics mobs on her targets and lies about them but then is upset that a cable news host would criticize her work.”Tiana Lowe, Washington Examiner Commentary Writer
“Now that [the Times] publicly rushed to the defense of Lorenz, are they going to defend every reporter who gets criticized or mocked?” asked National Review critic-at-large Kyle Smith.
The Left condemns Tucker’s segment and argues that it will cause further “harassment” towards Lorenz. Reporter Rachel E. Greenspan stated that conservatives’ focus on stories such as this “rather than on President Joe Biden’s White House or the coronavirus pandemic, illustrates a failure by some in the right-wing mediasphere to tackle substantive policy issues. It also shows how outlets such as Fox News or OAN rely on outrage and anger to fuel continued viewership.”
“I believe we should treat it as what it is. A distraction that attempts to shift attention away from what Americans should really care about these days – the economic and public health crises that the Trump administration had left behind for the Biden administration.”Yotam Ophir, Assistant Professor of Communication at The State University of New York at Buffalo
“Lorenz is a legitimate journalist whose work should be applauded, not attacked. Women journalists must be able to do their jobs without fear for their lives,” said the Executive Director for the International Women’s Media Foundation, Elisa Lees Munoz. Lorenz claimed that Carlson’s segment on her was an attempt to “instigate harassment” and wrote, “It’s become a far too common experience. Women, POC, LGBTQ journalists all suffer higher rates of abuse online. It has to stop.”