Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson appeared Thursday on CNN’s Democracy in Peril, where she spoke about the current condition of her former network. Carlson first spoke about the power FNC opinion host Tucker Carlson seems to have over Republicans in Congress, some of whom have followed his lead and sided with authoritarian Russia in the growing conflict with Ukraine.
“This is the result of fake news,” Carlson said. “You know, we’re seeing not only the fallout from fake news during the Trump era, but what happened with the insurrection on Jan. 6. Now it’s moving into other areas. Not just news, now it’s hitting science with vaccines, and now it’s into Cold War politics.”
Carlson also addressed the fact that her former colleagues Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham sent texts to the White House during the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol pleading for former President Trump to stop the violence, but went on air and spun a different narrative about the events of that day.
“I think the bigger story coming out of that is how disingenuous it was to be sending those texts of warning while then going on the air to the American people and doing a complete injustice and disservice by saying something completely opposite,” Carlson said, “and ginning up this whole reaction that it was just fine and patriotic for people to be there on Jan. 6.”
Carlson went on to lament the current state of her former network.
“Slowly but surely, this has morphed into eradicating any other point of view since the Trump era that is not just opinion,” Carlson said. “It’s gone from an opinion, which was fine, to completely devolving into non-fact-based conspiracy theories and outright dangerous rhetoric, in my mind, and I think it’s a complete disservice to our country.”
Being sure to state her belief that this happens on both sides, as she had done a few times throughout the interview, Carlson spoke about the dangers of only watching one news source. In this context, Carlson was speaking about how she wishes more Republicans in power would speak out against some of the narratives pushed by Fox News rather than submit to them.
“For the safety of the Republican Party and for our democracy, I wish more would, because this is not going to end well, in my mind,” Carlson said. “It’s really hard to change people’s opinions because they’re only watching what they want to hear, you know? And that’s the other problem that we have in society with the media right now, is that we’re so siloed into only watching what we agree with. And so every day that thought process just gets reinforced time after time.”
Carlson also said that conservative news is not what she once believed it to be.
“Conservative television news is certainly not the conservative news that was out there even just five years ago,” Carlson said, later adding, “There’s a big difference between having a conservative opinion and having one that supports conspiracy theories.