Tucker Carlson wondered aloud on his Thursday show exactly what CNN’s Jeff Zucker has done to deserve the First Amendment Award he was given Wednesday at the Radio Television Digital News Foundation’s First Amendment Awards ceremony.
“We spent the last two years almost alone in Washington, by the way, defending the idea that the unpopular ought to be allowed to say uncomfortable things in public,” Carlson began. “That was our understanding of free speech. But this is 2019. The point of the First Amendment Award is now just the opposite. It goes to the media executive who has worked most tirelessly to punish the people he doesn’t agree with and force them to be quiet. Given those new criteria, this year’s award went to—of course—CNN president Jeff Zucker.”
Carlson then mentioned that Zucker, who notably led the charge to get Alex Jones kicked off social media platforms, also chose not to defend Fox News last week when the Democratic National Committee decided to ban the network from hosting a Democratic primary debate.
“CNN’s mission is to tell the truth,” Carlson continued. “Well, maybe someone ought to tell Carter Page. CNN falsely suggested he was a Russian agent and helped destroy his life. Or tell the Covington [Catholic] High School students. Jeff Zucker’s network slandered and shamed and tried to destroy them on the basis of lies.”
Lawyers for Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann filed a $275 million defamation lawsuit against the network earlier this week, alleging that four television broadcasts and nine articles specifically contain defamatory statements about Sandmann. (RELATED: Nicholas Sandmann’s Lawyer Says He’s Likely Going After CNN Next, And The Stakes Could Be Higher)
Carlson then aired a clip of Zucker’s speech after receiving the award, in which Zucker alleges that the White House provides additional access to networks that agree to “follow the script.”
Fox News follows a script? Right. This is the only network on television where you won’t hear the same script every night. It’s the only news channel that deviates in any way from the other 10. They are united in total conformity. We are different. Zucker hates that. He prefers strict obedience. Jeff Zucker would shut down Fox News tomorrow if he could. Just the other day Zucker says that Fox News has ‘done tremendous damage to the country.’ How? By disagreeing with him and his friends. This is not the behavior of someone who supports free speech.