Media Matters president Angelo Carusone was put in an awkward position this week. In the midst of demanding that Tucker Carlson be fired over some old comments made on a shock-jock radio show, the Daily Caller reported on some offensive stereotypes which Carusone himself had used on his own blog a decade ago.
Naturally, progressives in the media weren’t in a big hurry to report on that apparent hypocrisy. When Carusone appeared on MSNBC’s Chris Hayes show to make his case against Tucker Carlson he wasn’t even asked about it (video below). And after 24-hours this week in which CNN’s Brian Stelter tweeted about the Tucker Carlson story 8 different times, Stelter finally got around to addressing Carusone’s own problem in his newsletter Wednesday night.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) March 14, 2019
According to Carusone, “The posts are gross content. Yes.” However, he doesn’t ever apologize for them. Instead, he claims his blog, which he wrote while in college, was “intended to be a giant obnoxious right-wing caricature, a parody of a right-wing blowhard living my life.” He adds, “I wasn’t really good at it and it wasn’t really me.”
As explanations go, this ranks right up there with Joy Reid’s time-traveling hacker. Stelter, of course, doesn’t push back on this explanation at all, possibly because he doesn’t care if Carusone is telling the truth. But the Daily Caller actually looked at Carusone’s old blog and found it’s not all a giant parody of the right:
The archives show that, through his blog, Carusone espoused left-wing political positions, promoted former Vice President Al Gore as a presidential candidate and attacked Republicans around the same time he authored the inflammatory posts.
Here’s a sample from the blog, published in October 2005, about a month before Carusone’s blog post about “trannies.” Does this sound like a parody of a right-winger to you?
Look, Bush did not go into Iraq because there was weapons of mass destruction. Nope, he didn’t go in there because Saddamm was responsible for 9/11 either. BAH, tyranny wasn’t the reason either. Psh, not freedom for the Iraqis. Bush, FINALLY tells the truth. The reason we’re in this situation in Iraq is because God made him do it…
Let me get this straight, when the terrorists argue that God told them to crash planes into buildings or blow themselves up in crowded places. We get pissed off (and rightfully so) and demand justice. However, when Bush’s God tells him to smash into a country, well that’s okay because, afterall, his God is a kind and gentle God and their God is just wrong. *sigh*
He sounds more like the warmup act for Markos Moulitsas. So let’s just say the evidence does not support Carusone’s explanation as given to Brian Stelter. But you won’t hear about that from Stelter who was a lot more enthusiastic about Carlson’s old statements.
The irony, of course, is that Stelter is CNN’s media guy. He’s supposed to be calling balls and strikes not using his platform to amplify Media Matters attacks on Fox News and then, belatedly and reluctantly mentioning that Media Matters president has the same problem. It’s just another glaring example of how media bias makes a dramatic difference in how things get covered. It would be a perfect thing for a media guy to cover on his show about the media if only he wasn’t so in the tank for one side.
And Stelter isn’t alone. As Tucker Carlson pointed out last night, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes had Carusone on his show and never even asked about his old blog posts. Why complicate the narrative I guess? I get that Chris Hayes is a progressive on a progressive network. He still ought to make some pro forma effort at fairness on his show.
For the record, I do think some of what Carlson said years ago on the radio show was obnoxious and dumb. But I don’t think he should be hounded out of a job over it, especially not by the hypocrites running Media Matters and the biased reporters at CNN and MSNBC.