New York Times Tags Tucker Carlson as 'Far Right,' But Don Lemon Is Just 'Fiery'

April 25th, 2023 4:36 PM

William Donohue of the Catholic League pointed out the Tuesday New York Times demonstrated an obvious labeling contrast. On page A1 came the headlined "Fox News Ousts Carlson, a Voice Of the Far Right." But on B-1, there was no label in the header "Lemon Out At CNN; He Says He Is ‘Stunned’. " 

In the piece by Michael Grynbaum, John Koblin, and Benjamin Mullin, Lemon was only "fiery" and "spiky," not liberal or far-left: 

One of CNN’s most recognizable stars, Mr. Lemon had a reputation as a fiery political commentator during his eight years as a prime-time anchor...

His long-running 10 p.m. program, Don Lemon Tonight, drew fans for his spiky exchanges and pull-no-punches commentary on politics and the Trump White House.

But the Carlson story by Jeremy Peters, Katie Robertson, and Grynbaum began: "Fox News on Monday dismissed Tucker Carlson, its most popular prime-time host, who became one of the most influential voices on the American right in recent years with his blustery, inflammatory monologues on immigrants, Black civil rights activists, vaccines and national identity."

There were five mentions of conservatives and their media in the piece, and two "far-right" uses in the copy:

Both Mr. Trump and Mr. Carlson helped push far-right positions on issues like border policy and race relations into the Republican mainstream, and both relished antagonizing their political opponents with audacious and often untrue attacks.

Carlson was guilty of "borrowing some of his central themes from the white nationalist and far-right web and polishing them up for a more mainstream audience."

Donohue relayed a broader survey of media coverage: 

We did a study today of how the media are responding to the ousters of Carlson and Lemon. We found over 200 examples of Carlson being called “far right,” but only a few instances of Lemon being called “far left.” PBS, NBC and MSNBC referred to Carlson as “far right” but none referred to Lemon as “far left.”

No media outlet we checked was more unprofessional than the New York Times. In today’s paper it has a news story on Dong Yuyu, the “longtime writer and editor at a top Chinese Communist Party newspaper.” If anyone merits being called “far left” it would be him. But, no, he is said to have written “liberal-leaning commentaries.”

In other words, Communist Party leaders are not even “liberals,” never mind “left-wingers”—and they most certainly are not “far-left wingers.” They just “lean” to the liberal side.

Donohue ended his piece by noting the soft-soap Times obit of Harry Belafonte, was also not described as "far left" despite calling himself an "unabashed lefty" who revered "the true ideals of socialism." Peter Keepnews at least noted "In 2002, he accused Secretary of State Colin L. Powell of abandoning his principles to 'come into the house of the master.' Four years later he called Mr. Bush “the greatest terrorist in the world.” Forget Osama bin Laden...