Lately, Tucker Carlson has been using his Fox News show as a safe haven for men who’ve been accused of inappropriate behavior with women. On Monday, Tavis Smiley made Tucker Carlson Tonight the latest stop on his media tour, to publicly object to the swiftness with which PBS dropped him after harassment allegations surfaced against him. On Tuesday, his guest was David Mueller, the disc jockey accused by Taylor Swift of groping her in 2013. Carlson referred to the singer sarcastically as “a so-called Silence-Breaker” and “a living symbol of the resistance to boorish behavior, a survivor” and declared that Swift had “destroyed” Mueller’s life.
You may recall that Mueller, a DJ for radio station KYGO. was accused by Swift of reaching under her skirt and groping her backside during a meet-and-greet event in 2013. (That’s Mueller’s ex-girlfriend Shannon Melcher with them in the picture.) Mueller was fired after the singer’s complaint; he sued her for defamation; she countersued for the token sum of $1 and won, in August.
Mueller told Carlson on Tuesday that Swift “made up” what Swift described in court as “a very long grab.” “Why would she make it all up?” asked Carlson. “I don’t know. The short answer is, a business decision?” Mueller responded, his voice curling into a question. Question indeed: Why would one of the biggest pop stars in the world need to make a “business decision” regarding an obscure DJ? Carlson never followed up on that.
Indeed, Carlson never even followed up by getting someone from Swift’s camp to tell her side of the story. The entire segment was a one-sided interview decorated with chyrons reading “Ex-Radio DJ: Taylor Swift Was Wrong” and “Man Accused by Taylor Swift Speaks Out.” (The occasion for the segment would seem to be a recent Mueller interview with TMZ, which is run by close Trump pal Harvey Levin.)
Carlson concluded with this remarkable statement: “Well, I don’t know anything other than what you just told us, but it’s clear your life has been basically destroyed by this. So we’ll let our viewers judge for themselves.” So first, Carlson shamelessly announced his ignorance of the case. Then he admitted he hadn’t aired Swift’s opposing argument, and nevertheless felt confident in saying that the singer had “destroyed” Mueller’s life. Then, with the phrase “let our viewers judge for themselves” — misleadingly suggesting “We report, you decide” — he exited the segment on a note of judicious finality.
Who knows, maybe there was more to this story; maybe not. That didn’t matter to Carlson; all he wanted was another example of a man protesting his innocence against a woman in the #MeToo era. “Next case,” says Judge Carlson, slamming down his mighty Gavel of Gabble.
Tucker Carlson Tonight airs weeknights at 8 p.m. on Fox News.
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