On Tucker, while discussing Fox News' choice of Richard Simmons and Don King as Katrina "expert[s]," Tucker Carlson asked: "Our civilization -- is it collapsing? Has it already collapsed?"
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On the August 30 edition of MSNBC's Tucker, host Tucker Carlson noted that on the previous day's edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, the program had "enlisted the expert opinions of a fitness guru [Richard Simmons] and a boxing promoter with weird hair [Don King]" to discuss Hurricane Katrina, as Media Matters for America documented. After airing clips of Simmons's and King's separate appearances on the August 30 edition of Your World, Carlson asked: "Our civilization -- is it collapsing? Has it already collapsed?"
King's interview on Your World followed that of Simmons, who was more critical of the Bush administration's post-Katrina relief efforts. King responded to Simmons's critique by questioning Simmons's knowledge of political issues, stating: "Now, Richard Simmons is one of the greatest exercisers in the world. I adore him, his energy, his vitality to be able to exercise. But, in running a country and knowing all the different idiosyncrasies and appealing to all the people, such as George Bush is doing, Richard should stick with the exercising." As Media Matters noted, on Your World, King also asserted that the vast majority of African-Americans who supported Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) for president in 2004 did so "[b]ecause they didn't know any better."
This is not the first instance in which Your World host Neil Cavuto has turned to the "expert opinions" of certain guests to discuss current affairs. As Media Matters noted, on the July 20 edition of Your World, Cavuto turned to right-wing pundit Ann Coulter and private investigator Richard "Bo" Dietl, chairman and founder of private investigation firm Beau Dietl & Associates and a former detective with the New York City Police Department, for insight into the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. Cavuto has frequently invited Coulter onto his program -- dubbed by Fox News as "the No.1 business news show on cable" -- and asked her at least twice to discuss the effect of current events on the financial markets, even though Coulter has acknowledged that she "know[s] nothing about the financial world." On the August 16 edition of Your World, Cavuto interviewed Christian author Joel C. Rosenberg, the author of a novel laying out his vision of the Apocalypse, but whom Cavuto identified only as a "Middle East analyst," regarding the threat posed by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as Media Matters also noted.
From the August 30 edition of MSNBC's Tucker:
CARLSON: Well, I don't know about you, but when I think Hurricane Katrina, two names immediately jump to mind: They are, of course, Richard Simmons and Don King.
Well, apparently, the Fox News Channel and I think exactly alike. As part of that network's coverage of the one-year anniversary of Katrina yesterday, Fox enlisted the expert opinions of a fitness guru and a boxing promoter with weird hair.
SIMMONS: People are depressed here. They're eating. They're drinking. They're smoking. Some of them are very lost. And again, it's depression. And when you're depressed here in the South, you overeat.
KING: And Richard Simmons is one of the greatest exercisers in the world. I adore him, his energy, his vitality to be able to exercise. But in running a country, ignoring all the different idiosyncrasies and appealing to all the people, such as George Bush is doing, Richard should stick with the exercising.
CARLSON: Our civilization -- is it collapsing? Has it already collapsed? I don't know. But we're determined to be amused on the way there.