Conservative out journalist Chadwick Moore appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight on Tuesday evening to discuss the memorial rally at New York’s Stonewall Inn for the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting. Sponsored by Gays Against Guns, the evening was advertised as “an event to memorialize the 49 victims, demand revisions to flawed gun laws and demand that LGBTQ spaces remain safe from hate crimes and gun violence.”
This is how Carlson introduced Moore:
“Well, yesterday was the one-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub massacre, in which Islamic radical Omar Mateen murdered 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. To commemorate the shooting, a vigil was held in New York City outside the Stonewall Inn, site of a ’60s gay rights demonstration. But instead of just remembering the victims, the vigil became an anti-gun rally. Journalist Chadwick Moore was there at the vigil, and he joins us now to tell us what happened next.”
Already there’s a problem; the evening was always publicized as a memorial rally by the group Gays Against Guns. However, there was more said during the segment that wasn’t true.
At one point, Moore applauded Trump’s handling of the Pulse Nightclub shooting, claiming he visited Orlando right after.
“There was no reference to Islam that I heard whatsoever. You know, Trump was the bad guy in the room for some reason. As we all know, Trump came to Orlando immediately after the shooting. The president waited four or five days … President Obama.”
We cannot find any evidence that Trump flew to Orlando. There are no news reports of such a trip; Trump’s quoted statements about the Pulse tragedy were made in New Hampshire and Texas. According to the National Journal‘s Travel Tracker, Trump only made one post-Pulse visit to Orlando — in November. Remember that thing called fake news? Here it is.
Then Moore went on to stereotype gays:
“Most gay people aren’t political. Most gay people, you know, they care about pop music and going to the beach. They probably don’t know what the Second Amendment is. And so they show up to be together, to celebrate the community, to mourn together and instead they are fed this anti-gun nonsense.
While his blanket statements about our community are troublesome, Moore’s lies being given Carlson’s seal of approval is what’s most problematic here. Many of Carlson’s viewers won’t know any better. They will hear Moore’s words, and because he’s being described as a journalist, they’ll perceive his statements as being true.
The growing epidemic and phenomenon of fake news has actually hit quite close to Carlson. Earlier this year, a false story that Carlson was involved in a car crash went viral. The story was a hoax, and was later reported as being a huge piece of fake news that dominated the media landscape.
Moore’s incorrect statement may have been more of a slip-up than a deliberate act of fake news. But it’s his responsibility as a journalist — whether on the left or the right — to be a verifiable source for Carlson’s viewers. It’s obvious Moore’s offensive stereotyping and sweeping exaggerations are gaining him more Twitter followers and Fox News appearances. But at what cost?
Moore’s Twitter bio reads:
The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history. —Orwell
It’s humorous that Moore attempts to live by this statement but is actually the one fueling this fading.
So, Tucker Carlson, what are you going to do about this? A retraction of Moore’s words seems like the right thing to us.