The media's job is to unequivocally report facts, providing context to critical news stories and explaining its significance. But, according to Fox News host Tucker Carlson, the media failed the American people over the weekend in its rush to judgment and condemnation against the Covington (Kentucky) Catholic High School teenagers.
On his show Monday, Carlson called out those in the media who helped fuel the social media outrage machine and stoke the flames of controversy.
What are the details?
Carlson, in a scathing monologue addressing the totality of the controversy, laid into the mainstream media for its dereliction of duty, rebuking them for failing to follow basic procedures learned in Journalism 101.
"Did the video really describe what happened? That should have been the first question journalists asked. Checking facts and adding context is what journalists are paid to do. It's in the first line of the job description. Yet, amazingly, almost nobody in the American media did that," Carlson said.
Carlson then called out specific media members and famous Hollywood figures for their direct contributions to the outrage against the students, driven by lies and mischaracterizations in an incident that appeared to confirm the left's biases against white Trump supporters from middle America.
Maggie Haberman of the New York Times suggested the boys needed to be expelled from school. Ana Navarro of CNN called the boys racists and "a**wipes" and then went after their teachers and their parents.
Others called for violence against them. CNN legal analyst Bakari Sellers suggested one of the boys should be, "punched in the face." Former CNN contributor Reza Aslan agreed. Aslan asked on Twitter, "Have you ever seen a more punchable face than this kid's?" Longtime CNN contributor Kathy Griffin seemed to encourage a mob to rise up and hurt these boys, tweeting, "Name these kids. I want names. Shame them. If you think these effers wouldn't dox you in a heartbeat. Think again." She repeated her demand again later: "Names please. And stories from people who can identify them and vouch for their identity. Thank you."
Hollywood film producer Jack Morrissey tweeted that he wanted the boys killed: "MAGA kids go screaming, hats first, into the woodchipper." He paired that with a graphic photo. Actor Patton Oswalt linked to personal information about one of the boys, in case anyone wanted to get started on that project.
But, as Carlson noted, the outrage and condemnation wasn't limited to progressives. Republicans and conservatives also jumped on the bandwagon. Carlson specifically called out Bill Kristol and National Review, which later retracted its initial story and issued a correction.
So why the visceral reaction against the teenagers, ultimately leading to an abomination of the truth? According to Carlson, it was about power.
"This story is about the people in power protecting their power, and justifying their power, by destroying and mocking those weaker than they are," he explained. "Why? It's simple. Our leaders haven't improved the lives of most people in America. They can't admit that because it would discredit them. So, instead they attack the very people they've failed."
Update: Morrissey has since apologized for his grotesque tweet.