Topic: Media Research Center
As one would imagine, the Media Research Center rushed to Fox News host Tucker Carlson's defense following a protest at his house by antifa activists. The MRC uncritically painted the protesters in the most negative terms. For instance, Nicholas Fondacaro declared that "a mob of Antifa protestors descended on his Washington, D.C. area home to threaten him and his family with violence," further attacking the protesters as "radical leftists," and Kyle Drennen highlighted the "mob of left-wing Antifa activists surrounding the home of Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson and terrorizing his family."
The MRC also uncritically promoted claims about the amount of damage the protesters allegedly caused. Curtis Houck asserted that the protest resulted in the "front door being busted and vandalism on his car, house, and driveway." His proof was a tweet by noted plagiarist Benny Johnson, who linked to an article at the Carlson-run Daily Caller, which described the "vandalism" as "signs left on the vehicles parked in the driveway as well as a sign left on the front door of the home." The only apparent actual vandalism was the anarchy symbol spray-painted on the driveway.
Fondacaro returned in another post -- again referencing the "radical leftist mob" who committed an "assault on Carlson's home" -- to uncritically repeat a claim from Fox News’ media reporter Howard Kurtz that "the radical mob 'pushed against his front door until it cracked.'" Similarly, Corinne Weaver claimed that the protesters "smashed [Carlson's] oak door."
But no proof has ever been offered that the door on Carlson's house was damaged in any way.
Washington Post media reporter Erik Wemple actually went to Carlson's house after the attack and found that the front door "appeared to be in working condition," and that a person he talked to at the house offered no evidence of damage. A week later, Wemple pointed out again that the door "seemed sturdy and fully intact. A woman who answered a knock looked it up and down and appeared to conclude it was in fine shape," and the police report on the incident mentioned no damage to the front door. Carlson has ignored repeated requests to corroborate the damage he claims was made to the door, Wemple says.
Meanwhile, Alan Pyke, writing at Think Progress, was at the protest and observed what happened: "One of the protesters knocked firmly on Carlson’s front door three times then trotted back down the steps to join the rest of the group in the street. This person did not throw their body against the door, as Carlson has claimed to newspapers."
Pyke also observed: "Right-wing media have characterized Wednesday’s group of fewer than 15 activists shadowed by four legal observers as a violent mob. In reality, a small group knocked on Carlson’s door, shook a tambourine, and chanted slogans aimed at his chosen career hyping hateful speech aimed at racial minorities and political opponents, then left."
Despite all of this, the MRC continued to hyperbolically overstate the protest. A Nov. 12 post by Corinne Weaver claimed that protesters "attacked Tucker Carlson’s house," and the next day Weaver asserted the protest was carried out by a "violent antifa group."
It seems that by uncritically repeating Carlson's apparently embellished claims about what happened at the protest, the MRC has published fake news. But since that fake news helps the MRC's right-wing agenda, don't look for an apology or correction anytime soon -- just like it has failed to do in the past.
(Photo of Carlson's door via Washington Post)