PBS's Tucker Carlson: A "disabled liberal ... lesbian" could have gotten a PBS show instead of himJuly 9, 2004 6:17 PM EDT ››› MARCIA KUNTZ
Lisa de Moraes, author of "The TV Column" for The Washington Post, asked CNN Crossfire co-host and new PBS host Tucker Carlson why PBS, "whose mandate is to give a voice to those not heard on other networks would give the new show [Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered] to him, instead of--" But Carlson didn't let de Moraes finish her question; he interrupted her with the following words: "A disabled liberal ... lesbian."
As de Moraes wrote in her Post column, she ran into Carlson before his Q&A session at a June 8 press conference, during which he and PBS president and CEO Pat Mitchell fielded TV critics' questions about the broadcasting service's decision to air Carlson's talk show despite the fact that he is already the co-host of a talk show on CNN. Denying that Carlson's new show resulted from pressure by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's (CPB) senior vice president of television programming, Michael Pack -- about whom de Moraes wrote, "[Pack] has ties to the Bush administration" -- Mitchell "insisted," as de Moraes wrote, that Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered was superior to the three other pilots produced for the same time slot. (According to de Moraes, Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered "receives funding from CPB.") Carlson told the assembled reporters that the fact that his father once ran CPB is a "coincidence," to use de Moraes's word.