May 13, 2022 • 26M

Podcast: The Ethics of Appearing on Tucker Carlson

Katie Halper on when to go on Fox and when to stay away

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Jeet Heer
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Tucker Carlson (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

On April 14, union organizer Chris Smalls went on the Tucker Carlson show to talk about the first successful organizing effort at an Amazon plant in the United States. Although Smalls acquitted himself superbly, his appearance was much criticized in some liberal quarters.

Andrew Lawrence of Media Matters tweeted:

Tucker Carlson is a hateful bigot and he uses his program every night to spread his hateful bigotry. Someone like Smalls appearing on his show only gives Tucker credibility he doesn’t deserve.

For example, earlier in the same show tucker ran a whole segment defending a twitter account directing harassment towards the lgbt community…I think it’s a mistake to appear on that same show minutes later.

Furthermore, spare me the whole “get the message out” bullshit…on his best nights tucker has 1% of the population tuning in…I’d imagine it’s the least likely to be swayed 1% of the population in America.

There are more effective, less harmful ways to get the message out Tucker Carlson is your enemy and if you don’t understand that you have no idea what we’re actually up against.

This debate raises some tricky issues. Does appearing on Carlson’s show legitimize him? Or is it important to go on right-wing media and offer up spirited progressive and left wing arguments to a large audience that doesn’t often here them?

To sort out these issues, I turned to the prolific podcaster Katie Halper, who has never been one to run away from a fight and who has appeared on Fox. It’s a fun exchange that untangles a real dilemma.