By Morgan Chapman, Staff Writer
This article was originally featured in our November 2020 magazine, (p.7) released 30 November 2020, which you can view here.
On September 3rd, UNC student Ryan Smoot published an Op-Ed in one of our fellow news organizations on campus, entitled “A Disgrace to UNC Hussman’s Core, Tucker Carlson Fuels White Supremacy.” This piece is absurd and without merit, disgracing the name of an honorable journalist. I could not disagree with Mr. Smoot’s piece more.
Smoot’s piece references an event in 2018, when the UNC Hussman School of Media and Journalism hosted Carlson as
a speaker at the annual Roy H. Park lecture. Predictably there was a backlash towards this, but Dean Susan King and other faculty assured that it is essential for students to hear different opinions. According to King, “in this day and age, with the kind of partisan politics in the country, almost everything is controversial. I want our students to meet, see and question people”. Those are precisely the skills needed to be a respected journalist: the ability to receive, digest, and question others’ opinions that you may disagree with. It seems, however, the journalists at the DTH do not have this view.
In the article, Smoot says “White supremacy in America is not just baked into our institutions. It does not just live in the shallows, masked by unconscious biases – it is also overt and broadcasted to Tucker Carlson’s 4.3 million viewers every weekday night.”
Let’s get something obvious out of the way: Carlson is far from a white supremacist. He has black speakers and guests on the show while proving the hypocrisy of the liberal governors and their goals to “defund the police,” something that would hurt black communities.
In line with Smoot’s vision for America, New York City’s mayor, Bill DeBlasio, slashed the NYPD budget by $1 billion over the summer. Unsurprisingly, crimes have skyrocketed in NYC over the last few months. In fact, many black neighborhoods have suffered the most with higher crime rates. The defenseless children in those neighborhoods need the police to protect them from drugs, rape, and other crimes, but Democrats’ dream plan to defund or even abolish the police will certainly hurt the members of those communities. Who is really working against the interest of the black community here?
Back to the issue of Tucker. According to Smoot, Carlson is a white supremacist. Does that make all his 4.3 million viewers white supremacists too? Maybe he should look for evidence that proves that point. (Warning: it will be hard.) Smoot is still flustered because UNC had a guest speaker two and a half years ago that he disagrees with.
Tucker Carlson holds the highest viewership for any program in cable news history, coming in higher than CNN and MSN- BC’s primetime news. Those on the left may dislike him, but there is a truth about why his show continues to conquer high viewership, particularly during COVID-19.
What is so unique and inspiring about Tucker Carlson’s show is that he actually reports on news that you’d never find through CNN, MSNBC, or the New York Times. Carlson brings an analysis of truth and questioning in response to what the major news media, newspapers, and governing officials continue to impose on the American people. From his in-depth investigation into the Hunter Biden laptop scandal to reporting on the hypocrisy of the liberal elites who continue to take advantage of COVID-19 lockdowns, Carlson exemplifies what journalism should be and is always eager to find another side to a story. Rather than parroting the need for indefinite lockdowns in the name of ‘believing Science,’ throughout this age of the “new normal,” Carlson has featured various small business owners on his show and how the harsh lockdowns took a toll on them.
One such case was Ian Smith, the owner of Atillis Gym in Bellmawr, New Jersey, who was featured on Tucker Carlson Tonight in July. Mr. Smith was on the verge of losing his gym and had plans to safely operate with COVID guidelines while even having a UV air scrubber. Carlson was so dedicated to exposing this story, he had him on twice to keep a tab on his predicament. The second time, Smith explained how he lost his business license and had to pay $259,0390.18 in fines imposed by New Jersey’s governor Murphy during the business lockdown. Turn on CNN or MSNBC, and you won’t find any such small business owners hurt economically by the strict lockdowns. All you’ll find is ‘experts’ bashing President Trump. When regular Americans hear stories like those of Mr. Smith, they feel his pain.
The bottom line is, Tucker is a fierce critic of the political elite, even though he unapologetically is a member of it. Tucker Carlson is a true independent, a libertarian at heart who has criticized Donald Trump before. He despises big government, is firm about protecting the 2nd Amendment, and pulls no punches on those who deserve to be exposed for their hypocrisy. Although I may not agree with everything Carlson believes, I respect him because he is not afraid to challenge the status quo and think for himself.
Carlson wraps up his show every weeknight by calling it “The show that is the sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness, and groupthink.” By holding beliefs contrary to the majority, Carlson inspires me and others to value thinking for ourselves. This is why his show continues to maintain the highest viewership, not because he is a ‘white supremacist.’ He’s not a ‘disgrace’ to UNC’s Hussman School. In fact, he’s exactly what makes journalism great.
Morgan Chapman is a Sophomore studying PR, Advertising, and Applied Communications. She is from Briarcliff Manor, NY.