Tucker Carlson has slammed ‘idiot Republicans’ for focusing on Cuba rather than the ‘tyrannical’ United States government after the White House called for those spreading anti-vaccine information to be banned from social media.
The Fox News host made his comments on his show on Friday after President Joe Biden ripped social media companies like Facebook for letting COVID-19 vaccine misinformation spread on their platforms.
His comments also came after Senator Ted Cruz, along with a slew of Democratic and Republican lawmakers, announced a bipartisan resolution on Thursday condemning ‘the Cuban communist regime’s violent response’ to Cuban citizens.
‘I glad you mentioned Cuba, because even today idiot Republicans on the hill spent their whole day talking about the lack of freedom in Cuba,’ Carlson said on his show.
‘And it’s not a free country, that’s true – but increasingly neither are we and they don’t seem to notice what’s going on in the country they’re supposed to be running.’
He added: ‘And they’re spending all their time on this Caribbean nation that’s not central to our interests.’
Tucker Carlson slammed ‘idiot Republicans’ for focusing on Cuba rather than the ‘tyrannical’ United States government
The Fox News host made his comments on his show on Friday after President Joe Biden ripped social media companies like Facebook for letting COVID-19 vaccine misinformation spread
Carlson started the segment by playing a clip of Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaking at her daily press briefing on Friday.
In her press briefing, Psaki told reporters the White House is ‘regularly’ coordinating with Facebook and other social media giants on news it thinks should be censored.
‘We are regularly making sure social media platforms are aware of the latest narratives dangerous to public health that we and many other Americans are seeing across all of social and traditional media,’ Psaki said.
After the clip, Carlson alleged that ‘the White House is actually in control of the information that you receive on your phone.’
‘The first amendment doesn’t exist, politicians have taken over the media, but that’s totally fine because it’s disinformation,’ Carlson said.
‘They said that out loud and today, they didn’t backtrack or apologize or fire the person who said it and disavow what she said because it’s crazy unconstitutional behavior, they double down.’
Carlson was joined on his show by journalist Glenn Greenwald who called the Biden administration ‘as tyrannical as it gets.’
On Thursday the White House confirmed it had stepped up COVID-19 misinformation tracking as it tried to tackle slowing rates of vaccination and surging infections across the nation, flagging misleading posts to Facebook for removal.
Psaki said about 12 people were responsible for 65 percent of anti-vaccine misinformation on social media platforms.
‘All of them remain active on Facebook, despite some even being banned on other platforms, including… ones that Facebook owns,’ she said on Thursday as she spelled out the action being taken.
She added: ‘You shouldn’t be banned from one platform and not others for providing misinformation.’
On Friday, White House press Jen Psaki was quizzed repeatedly about the practice of flagging posts.
Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked: ‘For how long has the administration been spying on people’s Facebook profiles looking for vaccine misinformation?’
‘That was quite a loaded and inaccurate question,’ responded Psaki, insisting that the White House had similar conversations with news companies to keep the record straight.
Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, was asked repeatedly about how the White House could justify flagging social media posts about COVID-19 to Facebook
On Friday, Tucker said: ‘The first amendment say pretty clearly the government is not allowed to control the press. Here the government seems to be controlling the press.’
The row erupted as officials react to a rise in COVID-19- cases, hospitalizations and deaths across the U.S.
The most recent seven-day average of new cases was 26,300, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a jump of almost 70 percent.
The cases are concentrated among people who have not been vaccinated, triggering a fresh push to ensure that accurate information is available.
‘Our point is that there is information that is leading to people not taking the vaccine and people are dying as a result. We have a responsibility as a public health matter to raise that issue,’ said Psaki.
And she insisted the social media platforms were free to do as they pleased with the information supplied by the administration.
‘We don’t take anything down,’ she said. ‘We don’t block anything.
‘Facebook, and any private sector company, makes decisions about what information should be on their platform.’
President Joe Biden said Friday that social media companies are ‘killing people’ by failing to police misinformation on their platforms about COVID-19 vaccines.
Biden’s comments came a day after U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy declared misinformation about the vaccines a threat to public health, and as U.S. officials advised that deaths and serious illness from the virus are almost entirely preventable because of the vaccines.
Biden, asked if he had a message for platforms like Facebook where false or misleading information about the coronavirus vaccines has spread, told reporters, ‘They’re killing people.’
‘The only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated,’ he said.
Speaking Thursday, Murthy said misinformation about COVID-19, deemed an ‘infodemic’ by the World Health Organization, was deadly.
‘Misinformation poses an imminent and insidious threat to our nation´s health,’ Murthy said during remarks Thursday at the White House. ‘We must confront misinformation as a nation. Lives are depending on it.’
President Biden told reporters social media companies were killing people with the spread of misinformation. ‘Look, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated,’ he said as he left the White House on Friday afternoon for a weekend at Camp David
Given the role the internet plays in spreading health misinformation, Murthy said technology companies and social media platforms must make meaningful changes to their products and software to reduce the spread of false information while increasing access to authoritative, fact-based sources.
Too often, he said, the platforms are built in ways that encourage, not counter, the spread of misinformation.
‘We are asking them to step up,’ Murthy said. ‘We can´t wait longer for them to take aggressive action.’
Facebook spokesperson Dani Lever responded: ‘We will not be distracted by accusations which aren´t supported by the facts.’
‘The fact is that more than 2 billion people have viewed authoritative information about COVID-19 and vaccines on Facebook, which is more than any other place on the internet,’ Lever said.
‘More than 3.3 million Americans have also used our vaccine finder tool to find out where and how to get a vaccine. The facts show that Facebook is helping save lives. Period.’
Twitter posted on its platform, ‘As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves around the world, we´ll continue to do our part to elevate authoritative health information.’
Glenn Greenwald, who joined Carlson on his show, also slammed the White House on Twitter
Carlson’s comments appeared to be critical of Cruz and the bipartisan resolution on Thursday praised the Cuban citizens ‘who have taken to the streets to peacefully call for human rights and the end of the dictatorship in Cuba.’
The resolution notes that hundreds of protesters have been arrested or are missing while the Cuban government ‘has continued to rely on widespread internet shutdowns and illegal searches’ in a bid ‘to quash the burgeoning pro-democracy movement.’
‘The fight for a free Cuba is not theoretical to me-my father and Tia Sonia fought for freedom and endured the brutality of this oppressive dictatorship just as the protesters on the streets today,’ Cruz said in a release announcing the resolution.
‘America must speak with strength and clarity to the people of Cuba and assure the world that we stand boldly on the side of freedom.’
He added: ‘To the people of Cuba, you have a right to be free, and your courage is inspiring. I have long said their communist dictatorship will fall to the ash heap of history as all despots do, and I believe that through the heroism of Cuban dissidents we will someday see a free Cuba.’
But Tucker hit out at GOP politicians focusing on Cuba, saying: ‘Even today idiot Republicans on the hill spent their whole day talking about the lack of freedom in Cuba — and it’s not a free country, that’s true — but increasingly neither are we and they don’t seem to notice what’s going on in the country they’re supposed to be running’
Greenwald added: ‘I thought the whole point of Make America Great Again, America First foreign policy as articulated by Donald Trump and his allies in congress was we shouldn’t be fixing other countries, we should be focusing on our own country and making lives better for Americans.’