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Fox's Tucker Carlson: Silencing 'fake news' is 'purely authoritarian

Moderator Tucker Carlson takes part in a panel discussion in New York City. (Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)

Fox News host Tucker Carlson has a different perspective on "fake news" — arguing in an interview Tuesday that free speech must be protected, even if it can be misleading.

In an interview with Politico's Playbook, the host of "Tucker Carlson Tonight" explained that fake news is not a new problem — and the way to fix it is to allow for more conversation, not less.

The impulse to "blot out" distasteful narratives is "purely authoritarian," he argued:

I was here when the New York Times told me that Iraq had mass stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction and the Washington Post told me that too. That was fake news and we went to war over it and thousands died and we spent trillions. I don’t believe there’s more fake news than there’s ever been. If some chat room on a website has 19 people who believe something that’s false, yeah that’s bad. I’m not defending it. I’m against it. But is that worse than the New York Times lying to me about something that’s going to move hundreds of thousands of troops into harm’s way? No it’s not. ... The answer is more information, more conversation, and a more diverse set of views, more people talking, it’s not fewer people talking.

"What do you do if you see something that you disagree with and you think is wrong? Try and blot it out? No, you argue against it and make a counter case," he added. "The impulse is purely authoritarian."

Carlson went on to say that any journalists who want to silence fake news should find a different job:

I find it amazing that journalists or people pretending to be journalists are actually with a straight face arguing that we need to prevent people from expressing their views. ... I just feel like, go away. This is not the right business for you. You don’t buy into the core tenet of our business which is freedom of expression. ... Go do something else. Doesn’t mean you can’t be an excellent aluminum siding salesman or you couldn’t be a fantastic ice cream scooper at Baskin-Robbins. But you should not be in journalism if you don’t believe in free expression. ... If you’re a vegan, you can’t work in a steakhouse.

Read the whole interview from Playbook here.

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