Fox News host Tucker Carlson has accused other news networks of violating campaign finance laws by using the phrase “constitutional crisis” on air, claiming the term is somehow akin to donating to Democratic presidential campaigns.
During a Tucker Carlson Tonight segment late Wednesday, Carlson eased his way into the claim by first suggesting the widespread news coverage earlier in the day of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's assertion that President Trump engaged in a “cover-up” was evidence of media bias.
Did Pelosi “deliver the talking point that everyone in cable news eagerly took up and repeated?” the Fox News host asked.
“I think you’re seeing a pattern here,” said The Hill’s Joe Concha, who went on to claim that the networks had previously parroted other terms used frequently by Democrats, such as “manufactured crisis” for the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border and, more recently, “constitutional crisis” following Attorney General Bill Barr’s refusal to appear at a House hearing despite a subpoena.
“The Media Research Center, I get they’re conservative, but the numbers are usually accurate,” the right-wing media reporter stated. “Between May 8 and May 12, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC, that exact term, constitutional crisis, was uttered 386 times. I’m not very good at math, but I’m sure that’s more than 70 times, if you average it out, per network.”
After Concha insisted the same thing was happening with Pelosi's “cover-up” and that the networks are acting like an “echo chamber,” Carlson veered off into a whole different direction.
“We are entering campaign season,” Carlson declared. “There is a presidential campaign in progress already. At some point, these are campaign finance violations. These are television networks donating to presidential campaigns, to a party, and not declaring it.”
After a prolonged silence, Concha said: “That would be very interesting to see that case be made, perhaps.”
Carlson apparently did not see the irony of a Fox News host railing against other networks for supposedly displaying political bias. Even if you were to dismiss Jane Mayer’s New Yorker report that revealed just how deep the ties are between the Trump White House and Fox News, there are more than enough recent examples of the network cozying up to Republicans and Trump.
A recent study revealed that Fox News hosts have made at least $500,000 in speaking fees during appearances for Republican and conservative political groups. Fox News host Pete Hegseth has been privately lobbying the president to pardon accused war criminals for months. And on the eve of the last midterm elections, hosts Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro took the stage to speak at a Trump campaign rally.