Carlson, Logan Slam Media's Myopic Coverage of Coronavirus

May 27th, 2020 7:25 PM

Leading off his eponymous Fox News show on Tuesday with a montrage of liberal media hypocrisy on coronavirus lockdowns, Tucker Carlson brought on veteran journalist Lara Logan to further excoriate the liberal media for showing anger and disapproval with the reopening of America and people daring to leave their homes. Logan stressed the importance of looking “at the whole context of something” and argued that the media have failed to do amid the pandemic.

Carlson correctly summarized CNN and MSNBC as “not bringing you science and data; they’re peddling panic and reckless moral judgment and it’s having an awful effect on this country.”

One clip showed MSNBC’s Katy Tur and Cal Perry lecturing the American people about the importance of wearing masks in public. As Perry directed his attention to a bystander who did not have a mask on, the man pointed out that Perry’s own cameraman was not wearing a mask, adding that “half your crew’s not wearing them.”



Referencing that exchange as well as CNN’s Chris Cuomo not quarantining during his coronavirus bout (while everyone else in America to abide by the lockdown), Carlson described the media as “frauds.”

Logan pointed out that one of the most important jobs of a journalist is to “look at the whole context of something.” But in this moment, the media have[n] “selectively take one piece of the story” that fit their narrative, raising an important question: “What else are you leaving out?”

The former CBS reporter proceeded to list angles that she’s seen as having been ignored: “No one is talking anymore about the fact that...preventing one COVID death doesn’t mean that you’re not causing a whole lot of other deaths through those prevention measures.”

She added that she had talked with cardiologists who claimed that patients died at home because they were too afraid to go to the hospital, describing these tragedies as “a direct consequence of...what you hear on television, when you’re isolated at home.”

Summing up the media’s deranged coverage, Logan concluded that “there is a fallacy here that seems to define the press coverage, which is that if you don’t prevent every single COVID death, somehow, you are a mass murderer and an irresponsible human being.”

For his part, Carlson accused the media of “cherry-picking facts in order to forward an agenda,” putting his finger on the agenda the media have relied upon throughout the coronavirus pandemic: telling the American people “you should be terrified.”

A transcript of the relevant portion of Tuesday’s Tucker Carlson Tonight is below. Click “expand” to read more.

FNC's Tucker Carlson Tonight
08:00 PM

TUCKER CARLSON: First tonight, though, we hope you had a happy Memorial Day weekend. It’s possible you have spent, along with millions of others, months trapped indoors per government order. So, getting outside makes all the difference. Grilling a hamburger in the fresh air, hitting the park, walking the beach for a couple of hours. It’s essential. All of us need it. Nature is medicine. Happy, balanced people understand that intuitively. You can’t just sit on a couch all day barking at other people on social media. Your soul will rot if you do that. And unfortunately, it’s too late for a lot of people at CNN and they haven’t even been trapped inside for months. For reasons that no one in authority has ever really explained, cable news yappers have been classified as essential workers from the very first day of lockdown. And by the way, that includes us. It also includes the partisan political activists on the other channels. They didn’t lose their jobs, they have not been quarantined. If anything, they are thriving in the midst of this disaster. They feel more essential than they ever have. Your suffering has been the best thing to happen to them since impeachment; when they got to spend a full month pretending to know where Ukraine is. So, you can imagine their rage when they saw you outdoors this weekend enjoying time with your family. The fact that you disobeyed them drove them insane. Here’s CNN.


JASON CARROLL: These were not the images health officials were hoping to see this Memorial Day. Partygoers ignoring social distancing rules packed this pool in Missouri over the weekend.

BRIANNA KEILAR: Beaches, boardwalks, pools packed with many people who are not wearing masks, who are not socially distancing.

DANA BASH: Even as health experts warned that if they don’t social distance, there will be a spike in coronavirus cases within the next two weeks.

NATASHA CHEN: But the question about masks, take a look. There isn’t a single person on this beach wearing one.

JASON CARROLL: Scenes of crowded vacationers on a boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland, and at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

DR. SEEMA YASMIN: Even as states start to reopen, I…I don’t even like that term reopening because it symbolizes the floodgates being opened.

CARLSON: Can you imagine? People enjoying time outdoors with their kids. They should be as unhappy as we are at CNN. Now, this being CNN, a lot of people didn’t actually hear any of that. Most CNN viewers are hustling through airports trying to make a flight. That’s where the network traps the bulk of its audience and the sound is often down. Producers thought of that though, diabolical as they are, so they made sure to reinforce their message with graphics on the screens. “Crowds Across U.S. Ignore Guidelines, Spearing Fears of Spread,” read one. “Spearing,” what a verb. “Memorial Day Crowds Spark Fear of New Outbreaks,” read another. And then there was this one. “Americans Flock to Public Places as Death Toll Nears 100,000.” What exactly does that mean? CNN never explained. “You should be terrified,” that was the point so no explanation was necessary. Over on MSNBC, the usual collection of retired CIA analysts and assistant professors of gender studies was terrified. They feared that somewhere out there in America there might still be people who believe in more than shopping and vacations. Horrifying. It’s possible, they fretted, that people like this, dangerous religious extremists, might somehow find each other and come together to pray; not pray to Tim Cook or the Google twins in Silicon Valley, or even to Barack Obama, but pray to something called God and that cannot be allowed.

DR. WILLIAM SCHAFFNER: The virus is not religious. It won’t respond to prayer I’m afraid. It loves congregations.

NICOLLE WALLACE: Aggressive reopenings in defiance in some instances of public health warnings from his own CDC and his own advisors, and, on the other side, Democrats who have seemingly hitched their fortunes to science and data.

ALI VELSHI: Regardless of how that plays with separation of church and state, and even if the President has no authority to issue such a decree, Trump’s insistence on a rushed reopening flies in the face of what public health experts continue to advise: that this is not a time to become complacent.

CARLSON: There you have it, Jeb Bush’s dimwitted spokeswoman, now rebranded as an eminent epidemiologist, and she wants you to know and she expects you to believe that Democrats put these lockdown orders in place based on “science and data.” Okay, we’ll take the challenge. What science and data are you talking about exactly? And we’ll wait as you rifle through your papers and abstracts, Dr. Wallace. That could take a while because in fact, there is still no science or data at all, after two months, that these lockdowns have done very much to halt the spread of this virus. Sorry, we wish it were otherwise. You hate to think of all those people suffering for no reason but it’s true. States that locked down early and aggressively are no better off today on average than states that never locked down at all. That’s a fact. Those are the data that you’re talking about. And by contrast, there is an awful lot of science and data that going outside is vital to your health and has been for 100 years. We have known that. Exercising outdoors, getting vitamin D from the sun, this makes you healthier and less vulnerable to coronavirus. The virus also spreads far less easily outdoors than it does indoors. Again, this is not speculation. It’s fact. The largest study of this subject ever done took a look at 318 separate coronavirus infection clusters; places where the virus spread outward to other people. What did it find? It found that in 317 out of 318 clusters, that’s 99.7 percent, the infection spread indoors. Not outdoors, indoors. And indoors is where Dr. Science and Data on MSNBC claims you must remain. So no, CNN and MSNBC are not bringing you science and data; they’re peddling panic and reckless moral judgment and it’s having an awful effect on this country.


08:08:01 PM

CARLSON: Meanwhile, the people on television themselves are just fine; they don’t seem afraid. Andrew Cuomo’s brother works at CNN. He had the virus a while back. He didn’t bother to quarantine when he had it. He told you he was but he didn’t. He got in his car and drove to his second home and wandered around with no mask on. Then he went back on television and shouted at you for not wearing a mask.


08:09:00 PM

CARLSON: If you really want to know what the people on television think of you and think of their own prescriptions for you, and if you want to know whether all the huffing and puffing and the moralizing and the judging you is real, watch this clip. It’s from MSNBC and it says it all.

KATY TUR: Are the people there just not worried about it, Cal? Are they not worried about their own personal safety?

CAL PERRY: I haven’t met anybody who is. I think people felt like the Supreme Court made the decision here in Wisconsin that it was time to open up but you can see, here. Just around. Nobody’s wearing them, nobody’s…

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Including the camera man.

PERRY: There you go, including the cameraman. Yeah, Katy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Half your crew’s not wearing them.

TUR: Striking images.

CARLSON: Busted. Busted. Turns around to hassle some guy in a Packers jersey. “Oh, look at that guy’s not wearing a mask.” And the guy in the Packers Jersey calls him out and says “your cameraman’s not wearing a mask, dumbo. You fraud!” They are frauds. Remember that the next time they tell you you’re immoral, Lara Logan hosts Lara Logan Has No Agenda on Fox Nation. We’re always happy to have her on this show. Lara, thanks so much for coming on. What…you’ve been in television a very long time and so you know this. But if you say something on TV, people take it seriously, it’s amplified by the medium itself, you really have got to work to be responsible and fact-based in the claims that you make, don’t you think?

LARA LOGAN: Well, I do think so, Tucker but I tell you what. I start with something much more basic even than that; which is how about just doing your job as a journalist. So…


LOGAN: …one of the things we have to do is look at the whole context of something, right? And so when you, you know, if you selectively take one piece of the story, like in this case, you know, people are not wearing masks or people are not social distancing and you only focus on that, what else are you leaving out? What are you ignoring? You know, some of those things you mentioned but there’s much more as well. Right? No one is talking anymore about the fact that one COVID death…preventing one COVID death doesn’t mean that you’re not causing a whole lot of other deaths through those…

CARLSON: Exactly.

LOGAN: …prevention measures. Just look at the statistics that are up. Doctors who specialize in cancer are talking about all the patients who are not being diagnosed, who are not getting surgery, who are not getting treated…treatment. I spoke to cardiologists today, all of them said that they have patients dying at home who…they’re too afraid to come into the hospitals. That’s a direct consequence of what you’re talking about. What you hear on television when you’re isolated at home is what you respond to. And people believe they’re going to die if they go to the hospital so they die alone at home. If you look at mood elevating drugs, prescriptions for those are through the roof. Right? So, people are getting depressed. And that…everybody’s talking about the fact that suicide rates are up. But what you’re not hearing about, you don’t see as many headlines about that as you do on television. And…and what…one of the most significant things that so many doctors and nurses and health care professionals have said to me is that we’re not talking about the devastation that the lockdowns are doing to the health care system itself. So, I find it extraordinary that people keep talking about a second wave and the danger of what happens in the fall but yet no one is talking about the fact that you’re decimating your health care system. Hospitals are laying off nurses, they’re laying off doctors, they’re not contributing to 401(k)s. And at the same time, you have all of these illnesses that people have which are not being treated; that are just backing up. And so, there is…there is a fallacy here that seems to define the press coverage, which is that if you don’t prevent every single COVID death, somehow, you are a mass murderer and an irresponsible human being and then…and that’s just not true. Or that you don’t care about your personal safety. We no longer talk about herd immunity, we don’t talk about viral attenuation, which doctors, you know, can talk…tell you about…they tell me about it every day; that as viruses replicate, they weaken. And so, as we’re heading into the fall and as we’re heading into the summer where viruses, as you point out, they don’t survive as long in the sunshine. Every virus is like that and doctors talk about it constantly. When I was in Liberia at the height of the Ebola epidemic, a vi…you know, a disease that killed almost 100 percent of the people who get it didn’t last very long in the sun. It also lasted more and was more deadly indoors. So, what about that? You know, that’s what journalists are not talking about.

CARLSON: Of course.

LOGAN: That’s the full context.

CARLSON: That is such a smart point and they’re cherry picking facts in order to forward an agenda and it…and it’s irresponsible. Lara Logan, thank you for that analysis. I appreciate it.