Tucker Carlson on Wednesday responded to The New York Times issuing a statement defending star reporter Taylor Lorenz by calling Lorenz a “shining example” of “how the most privileged in our society now consider themselves oppressed.”
The context: On Tuesday, one day after International Women’s Day, Lorenz tweeted out a plea urging her followers to “consider supporting women enduring online harassment” and saying “the harassment and smear campaign I’ve had to endure over the past year has destroyed my life.”
- Lorenz, who joined The Times in Sept. 2019, is known as much for her feuding with anti-woke personalities on Twitter as for her beat: internet and online youth culture.
- An advocate for feminist and progressive causes, much of Lorenz’s coverage has focused on the infiltration of social media and tech platforms by those with supposedly problematic – racist, sexist, ableist – views.
- Critics argue that Lorenz, like her media class peers, is attempting to suppress viewpoints she finds personally objectionable in service to progressive orthodoxy.
Tuesday night: Later in the day, Carlson took aim at several successful women who, according to him, claim victim status despite their obvious privilege.
- The Fox News host lumped Lorenz in with Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Meghan Markle.
- “You see this attitude everywhere all of a sudden – the most powerful claiming to be powerless and wronged,” he said.
The response: The Times issued a statement on Wednesday accusing Carlson of engaging in “a calculated and cruel tactic, which he regularly deploys to unleash a wave of harassment and vitriol at his intended target.”
- “Taylor Lorenz is a talented New York Times journalist doing timely and essential reporting. Journalists should be able to do their jobs without facing harassment,” The Times’ statement read.
Wednesday night: Hours after The Times’ released its defense of Lorenz, Carlson used his primetime evening program on Fox News to respond.
- While Carlson said harassment was “awful” and a “crime,” he dismissed Lorenz’s claims that the treatment she’d endured rose to the level of actual harassment.
- “If a mob of screaming lunatics showed up at Taylor Lorenz’s house and threatened her, we would condemn that mob immediately, no matter what political position they claim to represent,” he said. “But that’s not even close to what Taylor Lorenz is talking about.”
- Carlson added: “According to Taylor Lorenz, saying mean things about her on Twitter is ‘harassment.’ Disagreeing with her on the internet at all is ‘harassment.’ Failing to affirm her as she self-actualizes and attempt to realize her hopes and dreams in this world is ‘harassment.’ And so on. There’s a lot of real harassment out there. This is not it.”