opinion | Haberman’s book: Carlson pressured Trump in the White House to pardon Roger Stone

We knew Fox News host Tucker Carlson was an effective advocate, based on his years spent attacking Donald Trump’s attackers. We are now learning the power he can be as a pressure member.

In early 2020, Carlson met Trump adviser Jared Kushner to secure clemency for his friend Roger Stone, a famous political prankster whose resume as an agent goes back to Richard Nixon. This revelation came from the new book by New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, “The Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Collapse of America. “

The episode highlights one of the dangers hidden in the media industry: the people who work in it come egregiously close to power, and avoiding the temptations of that closeness requires integrity. Plus presidents who really care about journalistic principles, a dynamic that’s not in evidence at Fox News.

Most of the Carlson Stone story is a matter of very public recording. As Erik Wemple’s blog detailed in 2020The two have been close for years. Mutual reverse scratching surfaces in print materials and videos. “Like so many in the top positions of the media, corporations and government, this CEO stood in fear and trembling before the legend of Roger Stone,” Carlson wrote in the preface to a book authored by Stone in 2018.. And for good reason: Roger Stone is a troublemaker—indeed, not just a troublemaker, but perhaps the number one troublemaker of our time, Michael Jordan of electoral mischief. That’s terrifying or fun, depending on your stress level. I love him. TV Executives They don’t. That’s the difference.” Stone was an occasional guest on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

And Tucker Carlson Tonight was there for Stone. When the FBI in January 2019 raided Stone’s home in Florida, Carlson denounced this tactic and CNN criticized for obtaining a video From early morning work. He alleged that the network was cooperating with officials from the Robert S. Mueller III investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, which was investigating Stone’s activities. “CNN acted as the public relations arm of the Mueller investigation, as it did before,” said the host. (In fact, the attendance of CNN reporters that morning was because hunch aware of Later Stone was indicted – On charges that included tampering with witnesses and making false statementsHe was convicted of all charges And the He was sentenced to more than three years in prison.

The whole case shortened Carlson, who could not stand aside and let the justice system do its work. When it turned out that the Mueller report did not establish a plot between Trump and Russia, Carlson howled over Stone’s situation: “Where’s the pardon here?” Carlson asked in March 2019. “I mean, is it time for the executive branch to send a really clear message that we are going to stop the destruction of innocents by bureaucrats who are completely out of control?”

After Stone’s conviction, Carlson revealed some internal reports of a possible pardon, referring to Kushner as the gatekeeper. “We hear some people around the President—maybe his son-in-law, maybe not—saying to him No, you can’t pardon Roger Stone, though the President has come out and said publicly, I think that was a farce.”

Perhaps this small clue explains why Carlson looked in Haberman’s book for the Kushner interview. At the meeting, Carlson told Kushner that if Trump did not act, he would “press the issue publicly,” according to the “Man of Trust.” As noted above, Carlson was already doing this, but in mid-February 2020, in the days leading up to Stone’s sentencing, Carlson did several parts about it. “Do you know what the average rapist does in this country? We checked today — four years. Do you know what the average armed robber gets? Three years. The average thug who violently assaults someone? Less than a year and a half,” Carlson said on February 11 But the left, also CNN, is calling for Roger Stone to die in prison. This guy needs a pardon.”

The next night, keep going. “If the story of collusion with Russia was a hoax, and of course it was certainly a hoax, why would Roger Stone go to prison for his role in it?” Asked. “If Roger Stone served one day behind bars, the Russia Lie would be validated.” “The prosecutors want Roger Stone to serve nine years not because he hurt someone or offended this country. He didn’t,” Carlson said on February 13, “but because they hate him.”

In other words, the texts reflect that Carlson has done well about the consequences attached to him before Kushner — if Trump does not act, he will create a public outcry. Journalists do not or should not deviate from this kind of personal advocacy; Their role is to determine what is happening and to report the results, it is best to inform viewers. However, viewers weren’t Carlson’s priority. Stone was.

We asked both Fox News and Carlson himself about the report in Haberman’s book. Neither of them responded to the emails.

You know who’s on record as despising the kind of strong arm tactics Carlson used against the White House in this instance? Tucker Carlson. In December 2018, he Former Playboy model Karen McDougall accused of ‘blackmail’In her dealings with Trump in the previous presidential election. The accusation was false, and McDougall filed a defamation suit against Carlson. The complaint was rejected because Federal judge ruling That Tucker Carlson Tonight shouldn’t have been taken seriously.

However, it seemed that someone had already taken it seriously. In December 2020, The White House announced a pardon for Stone. Appearing on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” shortly after the news broke, Stone said, “Well, Tucker, thanks for your excellent analysis and reporting on this issue.”

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