Tucker Carlson is wondering out loud why CNN’s Jeff Zucker isn’t registered as a foreign agent (presumably under the Foreign Agents Registration Act).
Late Friday night, Carlson ended his titular Fox News program by singling out CNN’s Turkish affiliate. Carlson decided against mincing words. He said:
In the United States, Zucker is treated as the head of a reliably liberal, third place cable channel. But he’s a lot more than that. Jeff Zucker serves as a propagandist for the Islamist government of Turkey. And unlike others who shill for foreign dictatorships, Zucker has never registered with the U.S. Government.
The segment started out with an equally hard-charging lede.
Carlson said, “We told you last night how CNN’s Jeff Zucker pedals his network’s air time to repressive regimes around the world. They use the CNN brand to brainwash and control their populations. Despite what Zucker may claim, that does not qualify as news coverage. It certainly is not journalism it’s state controlled propaganda. And Jeff Zucker is getting rich from it.”
Then the host dovetailed into a succinct history lesson. He said, “In Turkey, for example, the Turkish government uses CNN to spread Islamist and anti-American disinformation throughout that highly volatile region. Jeff Zucker knows this is happening. Zucker’s business partner in the Turkish deal is a man who is described to the Turkish dictator as, quote, ‘His boss.’ The Turkish regime gets a lot for the money it pays. Five years ago, the Turkish secret police attacked a demonstration of environmental activists in downtown Istanbul.”
Here, Carlson is referring to the four-month-long protests at Gezi Park in Taksim Square. Those protests initially began over government plans to demolish the park–one of the last remaining green spaces in central Istanbul. Harsh repression ensued and the protests quickly swelled to include dozens of left-wing, secular and liberal social movements airing laundry lists of grievances against the Islamist government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. In all, at least 22 people were killed and over 8,000 people were injured after the government clamped down. Carlson went on:
Thousands were brutalized. Several were killed. The Turkish government wanted the entire story suppressed and Jeff Zucker’s network happily complied. CNN Turk aired a documentary on penguins instead. Human rights activists around the world begged CNN to stop acting as paid shill for the Erdogan regime. CNN refused–the deal was too lucrative. And so, the distortion continued.
The claim about Penguins sounds a bit ridiculous but is correct. CNN was roundly slammed for cutting to the penguins.
Carlson continued, “Much of CNN’s so-called news coverage in Turkey could have been written by Erdogan himself. CNN Türk described one pro-American Kurdish group as, quote, ‘terrorists.’ That’s Erdogan’s position. CNN Türk suggested that–with no evidence at all–that the CIA was involved in a recent coup attempt in Turkey. That’s Erdogan’s claim also. And so on. CNN Türk is Erdogan’s mouthpiece–it’s state media.”
Later on, Carlson made the connection his viewers had likely been craving. He said:
Paul Manafort got in deep trouble for not registering and by way, CNN has gone after General Flynn for his ties to Turkey. Oh, the irony.
As the segment winded down, Carlson remarked upon the pervasive presence of CNN in U.S. airports and hinted that this era may be drawing to a close. Carlson also noted that his team had reached out to CNN for comment–and that CNN did had yet to respond.
[image via screengrab/Fox News]
Follow Colin Kalmbacher on Twitter: @colinkalmbacher
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