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Rachel Maddow blisters Tucker Carlson’s ‘Daily Caller’ for Cuban hooker story

By Arturo Garcia
Wednesday, July 9, 2014 0:32 EDT
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Rachel Maddow 021014 [MSNBC]
 
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MSNBC host Rachel Maddow argued on Tuesday that the efforts of Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller to push a story linking Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) to Dominican prostitutes is the latest example of conservative media creating its own echo chamber divorced from actual news gathering.

The key to this issue, she said, “has to do with our own intelligence as a nation, and what the consequences are for all of us of a conservative movement that has now spent a full generation telling people, telling Americans not to trust the actual news and instead invent their own conservative version of it. and they did that. And this is where it got us.”

Days before the November 2012 election, Maddow explained, the Caller ran a story quoting two anonymous women from the Dominican Republic saying they were taken to a resort and paid to have sex with the Florida Democrat and head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

However, she noted, Carlson himself pooh-poohed the idea of covering lawmakers’ alleged encounters with sex workers while hosting his own MSNBC show just seven years ago, comparing prostitution to double parking.

“Let’s be real here. Have you been to a restaurant in New Orleans? One out of three women is for sale,” Carlson argued in defense of Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) at the time. “I wish David Vitter were a Democrat. I wish he were Russ Feingold, because then I would defend him every bit as zealously as I’m defending not what David Vitter did, but his right to be unbothered by the rest of us by something that’s none of our business.”

But then, Maddow explained, Caller’s publication ran with a story that was not only debunked by the Washington Post, but shopped — unsuccessfully — by an individual calling himself “Peter Williams” to several other news outlets.

Not even the New York Post, she said, found the Menendez story credible to run at the time. And now reports have surfaced connecting it to a plan by Cuban intelligence officials to plant the story in an effort to smear Menendez. The New Jersey senator has since asked the Justice Department to investigate the allegations.

“It is one thing for us to be domestically inventing this stuff for ourselves,” Maddow said. “It’s another thing for this weird fake channel in our news media to — allegedly, at least — become a conveyor belt for foreign governments’ disinformation about U.S. government officials.”

Watch Maddow’s commentary, as aired on MSNBC, below.

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
 
 
 
 
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