Fake it till you make it
After years of bouncing around the cable news network scene, Tucker Carlson has seemingly found his place as the latest star on the Fox News Channel, bringing his playfully combating conservative persona to new heights. But his reputation took a sting after it was revealed that a recent guest on his show was actually an actor incorrectly labeled as a “protest organizers.”
It turns out Carlson had been trying to book a woman named Olga Lexell, who organized this week’s “Not My President’s Day” protests. However, Lexell never agreed to appear on Carlson’s program. So, his show instead booked a man named Shane Saunders to appear on the segment instead.
Despite being labeled as a “protest organizer” on Carlson’s show, Lexell told The Daily Beast that Saunders, “was not affiliated in any way with our rallies and was not an organizer.”
Adding insult to injury, Lexell said that the protests had been organized almost entirely by women, making it all the more insulting to have Saunders simply show up and seemingly take credit: “For a man who knows nothing about the protests to go on TV unprepared, misrepresent our message, take credit for our weeks of hard work, and make us look bad—and for Tucker Carlson's team to go along with it—is just disappointing,” she told the site. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, she tells Jezebel it’s unclear if he even attended the protests.
It’s also the second such case for Fox in just over a month after an incident in January in which Carlson’s show booked a hoaxer who claimed to run a company that paid people to protest Trump.
Despite taking a lot of criticism from Lexell, Saunders defended his decision to appear on Carlson’s program and blamed the show for mislabeling him:
“They said it would be a very simple segment about you as a protestor at today’s rally,” he told the TDB. “I never once said I was an organizer of the event.”
However, he has since deleted his Twitter account and gone silent over the issue.
After news got out about the appearance, Carlson’s show released a statement acknowledging that they had “incorrectly identified” him but claimed that he was accurately labeled during the segment:
“The program incorrectly identified a Los Angeles based protest participant as a ‘protest organizer’ in a graphic during Monday night’s telecast. While he was correctly identified in the introduction to the segment, we regret the graphic didn’t accurately reflect his role throughout the entire segment.”