Tucker Carlson Forges Keith Olbermann Emails

Tucker Carlson wants to be Keith Olbermann. The Fox News staple, who bought the domain name keitholbermann.com over the summer, spent his weekend sending fake emails to the Philadelphia Daily News'Stu Bykofsky, posing as an irate Olbermann talking smack about MSNBC President Phil Griffin. Posing as the MSNBC columnist, Carlson wrote that Griffin is "not my boss (thank god), nor is he intellectually qualified to be...I'll be anchoring on election night 2012, long after Phil Griffin has moved on to a job for which he's actually qualified, perhaps on QVC." Carlson then proceeded to get into an argument with Bykofsky as Olbermann, culminating in childish insults and name-calling. In a phone call to Yahoo News confirming the “prank,” Carlson justified his actions by saying he didn't think the emails would be published, and that"It was just too funny. The flesh is weak."

This summer, Carlson promised the site would be used for information and opinion “KO.com is a news and information site,” he told Mediaite. We’re not squatting it, we’re not trying to extort money from Keith... Keith is attempting to quash political speech, and we’re going to defend ourselves vigorously on First Amendment grounds.” Political speech now apparently includes attacking newspaper columnists as “morons,” nice.

And, as Media Matters points out, Carlson's more than contradicting himself––he's violating his own definition of journalistic ethics. Earlier this year, after Carlson published Ezra Klein's private Journolist and embarked on a typical (and typically unfounded) rant about the left-wing media bias, he published the following screed:

We're not contesting the right of anyone, journalist or not, to have political opinions. (I, for one, have made a pretty good living expressing mine.) What we object to is partisanship, which is by its nature dishonest, a species of intellectual corruption. Again and again, we discovered members of Journolist working to coordinate talking points on behalf of Democratic politicians, principally Barack Obama. That is not journalism, and those who engage in it are not journalists. They should stop pretending to be. The news organizations they work for should stop pretending, too.

Perhaps Carlson should heed his own advice and stop pretending to have any sort of moral high ground or valid ethical viewpoint. At the very least, he could at least just stop pretending to be Keith Olbermann.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at November 10, 2010, 4:23am

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