Daily Caller editor-in-chief Tucker Carlson on “Fox and Friends Weekend” Sunday laid into the opinion editor of The Patriot-News/Pennlive over the publication’s decision to ban opposing views to same-sex marriage on its opinion pages.
Carlson blasted John Micek for his “abhorrent” decision, telling him it was “clear” he considers those with a differing viewpoint “bigots” who hold an “illegitimate” point of view.
The kerfuffle started moments after the Supreme Court decision Friday morning when the Harrisburg newspaper announced it would “no longer accept, nor will it print, op-Eds and letters to the editor in opposition to same-sex marriage.”
“You made it pretty clear. You have contempt for people who disagree with your views,” Carlson said. “You consider them bigots and you don’t think that they ought to be able to express those views because they’re illegitimate. That was clear.”
“No, not at all,” Micek said. “What we were trying to do — and perhaps we missed a little in the execution — was to try to create a space for civil discussion in the pages of Pennlive, while allowing reasonable and intelligent debate on the issue. I fully recognize that people of good will and deeply held conviction are going to differ with the high court on this decision, but our intent, I think, and we might have missed this initially, was to create a space for civil discussion.”
“Civil discussion, really?” Carlson snapped. “What’s civil about describing people who disagree with you as bigots, comparing them to anti-Semites and racists? That’s the opposite of civil.”
“I think there actually might be a context problem there,” Micek said. “I was trying to create a space between people of good will and, again, intelligence who want to debate the issue, and those who may come at it with invective.”
Carlson went on to ask the editor why he didn’t just say that or make it clear from the outset. Micek pushed back against the contention, pointing the host back to the evolution of the statement since the Supreme Court’s decision went down.
Carlson went on to ask Micek if he made the same sort of editorial decision when the Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that the Second Amendment is an “individual right,” referring back to Micek saying the gay marriage ruling is now “settled law.” Micek said he did not have the opinion editor job at that point, adding that he could not speak to that.
Carlson ended the interview by telling the editor that he thought the views espoused in the immediate aftermath of the decision were “crystal clear,” adding a congratulations to Micek for coming around on his editorial policy.
“With all respect, I thought your first statement was crystal clear. I thought it was the opposite of what you’re saying now. I think it’s really clear you have contempt for people who disagree and that you don’t want to hear their voices, and so if you sincerely changed your view in that, I congratulate that, but I thought it was very revealing.”
“We’ll have to agree to disagree with my views,” Micek said.
“Yeah, I find them abhorrent,” Carlson concluded.