Fox News host Tucker Carlson has been openly critical about the media coverage of the Jussie Smollett case, but on Wednesday, he took things to the next level by accusing the media of colluding with Smollett to perpetuate a hoax. Carlson specifically called out ABC‘s Robin Roberts and then falsely claimed that other mainstream news channels weren’t covering the latest developments in the Smollett case, according to the Hill.
Empire actor Jussie Smollett was arrested on Thursday morning after a grand jury indicted him on charges for filing a false police report. Smollett claims that he was attacked several weeks ago by two men wearing MAGA hats who shouted racial slurs at him and poured a liquid that smelled like bleach on him.
It later came to light that Smollett might have paid two individuals that he knew to help him stage the attack.
On Wednesday night, Carlson said that the media was too accepting of Smollett’s story and claimed that he knew it was false from the get-go.
“I don’t know what the evidence is either, but I know a b.s. story when I see one,” Carlson said on his show, Tucker Carlson Tonight. “I thought it from day one.”
He then went on to claim that Roberts, who interviewed Smollett, “colluded” with Smollett and accused the media of refusing to cover the entire story.
“But why [is] the media, which is paid to be skeptical and paid to chase down facts, are the ones demanding that we believe [him],” Carlson said. “I mean, Robin Roberts on ABC colluded with this guy to perpetuate his hoax. Other channels, the dishonest ones we compete against, are not even covering this development, apparently.”
In another opinion piece published on Monday, Carlson said that journalists were only pretending to be scandalized by Smollett’s account when they were secretly excited by it because it gave media outlets the ability to “enforce cultural orthodoxies and punish enemies” rather than covering the news.
Tucker says that Roberts, who knew Smollett before the interview, didn’t ask any follow-up questions about the specific details of the attack.
Roberts addressed those concerns on Monday, explaining that there was no reason to question Smollett’s account when the interview took place because at that time, no one – including police – were questioning Smollett’s version of the story.
Smollett was released on Thursday and Chicago police released a statement, saying the actor allegedly staged the attack because he was dissatisfied with his salary on Empire.