While the origin of the tapes remains to be shrouded in thriller, what’s clear is that Carlson has relished the prospect to make use of them to bash CNN over the pinnacle, half of a long-running — and seemly intensifying — battle with the community that when employed him. And if it looks as if a curious diversion for a political pundit throughout a busy election season, Carlson’s CNN fixation broadly aligns with the Trump marketing campaign’s media-bashing technique.
CNN has declined to touch upon the content material of the tape recordings. Network officers see the tapes as half of a concerted effort by Trump-boosting conservatives to assault critics of the president and have chosen to not interact with any of the drip-drip revelations. (Conservative marketing consultant Arthur Schwartz, who has described himself as “basically a [expletive] troll on Twitter,” has closely promoted the leaks on social media.)
The launch of the tapes appears timed to undermine the roll-out of Cohen’s tell-all guide, “Disloyal,” which has introduced the one-time press antagonist to MSNBC and Don Lemon’s CNN present for promotional interviews.
After teasing the tapes on a Friday night time present, Carlson broadcast the primary recording on Sept. 1. In it, Cuomo might be heard complaining to Cohen about journalists calling his former colleagues at ABC, the place he as soon as labored, “and lying about things they heard about me to try and get stories about me” involving his habits in direction of girls. Though the dialog was ambiguous, Carlson seized upon it to query if Cuomo had been accused of sexual harassment. (No such claims have been reported.)
The subsequent recording featured Zucker, who might be heard speaking fondly about then-candidate Donald Trump, throughout the warmth of the 2016 Republican presidential main and reverently referring to him as “the boss.”
Zucker, who launched the Trump actuality present “The Apprentice” in 2004 whereas he oversaw the NBC’s leisure division, has since emerged as a harsh critic of the president and his remedy of the press. The 2016 recording captured a way more amiable Zucker who floated the concept of Trump internet hosting a present on his community. “I have all these proposals for him,” Zucker is heard saying. “I want to do a weekly show with him and all this stuff.”
In the recording, Zucker expressed concern in regards to the penalties of his conversations with the president going public, saying, “You know, as fond as I am of the boss, he also has a tendency — if I call him or I email him, he then is capable of going out in his next rally and saying that we just talked, and I can’t have that, if you know what I’m saying.”
Carlson’s third audio launch, on Wednesday night time, was a clip of Cuomo discussing a possible interview with Cohen in 2018 — in Carlson’s view, proof that Cuomo had “scripted” an interview for Cohen. Cuomo is heard telling Cohen that he would seek guidance on the legal ramifications of what Cohen might say in an interview.
It’s unknown whether Carlson plans to release more leaked recordings. They certainly found one fan. President Trump greeted the first Cuomo tape by tweeting that CNN should fire him. (“He speaks with great disrespect about women, and it will only get worse.”) Trump additionally implied that he has perception into Carlson’s broadcasts, tweeting this week that there are “many more tapes” of Cohen with Cuomo “and other media scum reporters.”
Cuomo has been a frequent punching bag on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” During a July 2019 segment, Carlson said that Cuomo “can barely speak English” and showed videos of Cuomo working out, with a caption at the bottom of the screen reading “How Did This Man Get Into Yale University?” In April, Carlson mocked a dramatic video of Cuomo leaving his basement after being quarantined there after contracting COVID-19. “We watched him seize every chance to remind everyone watching that he was very sick and in very strict containment,” Carlson said. A few days later, Carlson interviewed a man who claimed to have had a verbal confrontation with Cuomo outside his home in the Hamptons in the days before his re-entry, suggesting that it was “fake” and a “scandal.”