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Tucker Carlson calls uproar over death of Saudi journalist a ‘stunt’

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Fox
News host Tucker Carlson speaks at Business Insider’s IGNITION
conference.

Getty Images/Business
Insider


  • Conservative Fox News host Tucker Carlson has repeatedly
    called the international — and bipartisan — uproar over
    journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s alleged murder by Saudi officials a
    politically motivated “stunt.”
  • Carlson accused the media and American politicians of
    selective outrage over the Saudi government’s latest human rights
    violation.

Conservative Fox News host Tucker Carlson has repeatedly called
the international — and bipartisan — uproar over journalist Jamal
Khashoggi’s alleged murder by Saudi officials a politically
motivated and hypocritical “stunt” by the American “ruling
class.”

Carlson accused the media and American politicians of selective
outrage over the Saudi government’s latest human rights
violation, pointing out that the regime regularly violates the
rights of its own citizens and is currently engaged in a brutal
war in Yemen — actions that he said are not condemned by the very
same US leaders. Carlson also criticized the mainstream press for
supporting US strikes on Syria in 2017 and 2018, which he said
were advocated for by the Saudi government. 

“The whole game is people who have no basis for moral superiority
sort of impose their moral superiority on you,” Carlson said
during an appearance at Politicon, a two-day
conference of pundits and politicians
. “The outrage is so
false.”

The provocative host said the Saudis’ alleged torture and murder
of a journalist shouldn’t shock anyone — and slammed the
“mindless ruling class” for turning Khashoggi’s alleged murder
into “the most important story in the world.” He pointed to media
personalities and liberal politicians who have argued that
President Donald Trump’s attacks on the media encouraged the
Saudis to so boldly kill a prominent journalist. 

“Spare us the theatrics now,” Carlson said during his
Friday night primetime show
on Fox News, calling the response
“false posturing.” “This is a stunt, it’s an international
incident hyped and manufactured for domestic political goals.”

Saudi Arabia said on Friday that Khashoggi, a columnist for The
Washington Post and a US green card holder, was killed during a
fist fight inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Both
Democratic and Republican lawmakers have said the official Saudi
explanation for the journalist’s disappearance isn’t credible and
that Khashoggi’s alleged murder crosses a red line. 

While Carlson has long criticized the Saudi government, he has
rarely called out Trump for working so closely with a regime
Carlson calls a “a primitive, evil theocracy.”

Carlson didn’t explain why it benefits some of Trump’s biggest
Republican boosters in Congress to call Khashoggi’s apparent
murder an especially grave affront to American values. Sen.
Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and close confidant
of the president’s, has aggressively pushed the administration to
punish the Saudis, telling Fox News that he would “sanction the
hell out of them,” and that he thinks Saudi Crown
Prince Mohammad bin Salman should be removed from
power. 

“We deal with bad people all the time, but this is in our face,”
said Graham, who is a longtime supporter of the US’s close
relationship with the Saudi Arabian government. 

Republican Sen. Rand Paul, a critic of the Middle Eastern
nation, told Fox News last
week
that Khashoggi’s death is more reason to dramatically
rethink the US’s relationship with the country. 

“Saudi Arabia is not our friend,” Paul said. “This latest episode
with killing the journalist is just proof that we need to not be
arming them.” 

The Kentucky Republican is one of the few in his party who views
the oil-rich nation as an adversary, accuses it of sponsoring
terrorism, and advocates for the US to stop selling arms to the
country’s military. 

 

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