On Monday, former Republican turned leftist Joe Walsh conjured up a fake Tucker Carlson quote and posted it on Twitter.
After the quote went viral because people believed it was real, Walsh tried to claim innocence despite having fabricated the quote.
“@TuckerCarlson tonight: ‘What if these bodies of tortured, dead civilians were staged?’” Walsh wrote on Twitter. “‘What if they’re fake?
“What if the Ukrainian military killed them & then blamed Russia? I’m not saying any of this is true, I’m just asking the questions. Why can’t we ask these questions?’”
.@TuckerCarlson tonight: “What if these bodies of tortured, dead civilians were staged? What if they’re fake? What if the Ukrainian military killed them & then blamed Russia? I’m not saying any of this is true, I’m just asking the questions. Why can’t we ask these questions?”
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) April 4, 2022
Typically, when one uses the format of a name, a colon and then quotation marks, it is reasonable to assume the quote can be attributed to the person mentioned.
Many leftist Twitter users made this very assumption and shared the quote as if it was something Carlson actually said.
Conservative commentator Andy Ngo chronicled a long list of journalists, politicians and celebrities who took the quote as fact.
The list included MSNBC host Joy Reid, former GQ research director Luke Zaleski and Western States Center senior fellow Wajahat Ali.
.@WalshFreedom fabricated a quote attributed to Tucker Carlson that went viral & was quoted as real by journalists & influencers on Twitter. pic.twitter.com/43nfeurT0R
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) April 5, 2022
.@WStatesCenter senior fellow & leftist commentator @WajahatAli was among those who spread disinformation. @Amy_Siskind too. They amplified a fake quote attributed by Tucker Carlson to call for his show & Fox News to be taken off air. pic.twitter.com/4qChbBETdo
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) April 5, 2022
The problem was that this quote was not real at all. Walsh made the entire thing up himself and then attributed it to Carlson.
In an attempt to explain away the mistake, Walsh responded to Ngo and said the tweet was meant to be a prediction of what Carlson would say that night.
“Now don’t u go fabricating stuff Andy,” Walsh wrote. “I tweeted that out yesterday morning, before last night’s show.
“And I purposely said ‘tonight,’ predicting what he would say last night. It’s understandable that people thought he had already said it because that’s the kind of thing he says.”
Now don’t u go fabricating stuff Andy. I tweeted that out yesterday morning, before last night’s show. And I purposely said “tonight,” predicting what he would say last night. It’s understandable that people thought he had already said it because that’s the kind of thing he says.
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) April 5, 2022
Technically, it is true that Walsh sent the tweet at 8:55 a.m. on Monday. If people had looked at the time stamp, they may have been able to deduce the quote was a “prediction” and not a real Carlson quote.
Even so, Walsh was not at all clear in his tweet. People could easily have ignored the time stamp or assumed the tweet was referring to the previous night’s show, and clearly many people did misinterpret the poorly written tweet.
Furthermore, Walsh never sent out a tweet clarifying that Carlson did not actually say the quote. In fact, he retweeted multiple people who responded to the quote as if it was real.
During the 12 hours Walsh’s fabricated tweet was left unexplained, he actually retweeted TWO tweets that amplified his disinformation. Then has the nerve to call Carlson and other conservative media figures “dishonest.” What a disgrace. pic.twitter.com/BzHYXy5qnx
— Deb Heine, Dissident (@NiceDeb) April 5, 2022
Carlson addressed the saga on his Tuesday night episode of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” and he rightly slammed Walsh for his dishonesty.
“Everything about Joe Walsh’s tweet is a manufactured lie,” Carlson said. “It’s pure ‘disinformation,’ as they now say.”
Tucker says @WalshFreedom is a political extremis known for his willingness to say anything to help the Democrat party no matter if it’s true. Last night he held up to his reputation. Twitter let his tweet stay up all day and they couldn’t respond because they’re suspended. pic.twitter.com/WiPjR6lCqE
— The Dirty Truth (Josh) (@AKA_RealDirty) April 6, 2022
Carlson said he might have responded to Walsh on Twitter, but his account has been locked because he said Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Rachel Levine was born a man.
Should Carlson sue Walsh for this fake quote?
Yes: 99% (618 Votes)
No: 1% (4 Votes)
The irony of Twitter allowing Walsh’s fake quote to stand while banning Carlson for stating a scientific fact was not lost on him. He said Twitter has a specific motive for these actions.
“You take one side off the field so the other side wins,” Carlson said. “You get to lie with impunity, and after a while, a lot of people believe your lies because why wouldn’t they? Your lies are all they hear.”