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Tucker Carlson Clashes with Conservative Think Tank Heritage Foundation over Big Tech

Tucker Carlson Clashes with Conservative Think Tank Heritage Foundation over Big Tech


Fox News host Tucker Carlson and Heritage
Foundation are locked in combat over whether the Heritage Foundation has put the interests
of technology giants ahead of those of conservatives. Carlson made the remarks in a Friday night
segment in which he said “Google, Facebook, and Twitter work in secret to impose a left-wing
political agenda on this country.” “In all, the Koch network quietly spent
at least $10 million defending Silicon Valley companies that work to silence conservatives.
The richest companies in the world being defended by a ‘conservative’ nonprofit as they
attack conservatives. Why are they doing this? As one former Koch employee recently told
this show off the record, ‘I know for a fact they take money from social media companies
to do their bidding.’ And it turns out, he was right,” Carlson said, referring to
the conservative donors Chalers Koch and his brother, the late David Koch. “Google has given money to at least 22 right-leaning
institutions that are also funded by the Koch network. Those institutions also include the
American Conservative Union, the American Enterprise Institute, the National Review
Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the Mercatus
Center, we could go on,” he said. It should be noted that Carlson has also supported
the National Review Institute, at least in kind, by appearing at the organization’s
2019 Ideas Summit in March. Carlson tried to put the issue in a nushell. “Here’s how it works: Big tech companies
silence conservatives. Conservatives’ nonprofits try to prevent the government from doing anything
about it. Makes sense,” he said. Carlson then focused on the Heritage Foundation,
which he called “maybe the biggest and best-funded think tank in Washington.” “As an organization, Heritage no longer
represents the interests of conservatives — at least on the question of tech. A recent
paper by Heritage entitled “Free enterprise is the best remedy for online bias concerns,”
defends the special privileges that Congress has given to left-wing Silicon Valley monopolies.
And if conservatives don’t like it, Heritage says, well they can just start their own Google,”
Carlson said. “The paper could’ve been written by tech
lobbyists. In fact, it may have been written by tech lobbyists. A trade association that
represents Silicon Valley called the liability exemption that Google enjoys ‘the most important
law in tech.’ Well, Heritage’s paper repeats that line verbatim. Word for word. Along with
many other lines that the lobbyists wrote. It’s embarrassing,” he said. “But Heritage isn’t embarrassed. None
of the so-called ‘conservative nonprofits’ in Washington are embarrassed. They make deals
with people who hate you; they secretly sell out your interests; then they beg you to tithe
like it’s the medieval church, like you owe them your money,” he said. Carlson then said the lack of positive cultural
change could be by design. “That’s the system that we’ve had for
decades. And maybe that’s why, no matter how much money you send, nothing gets more
conservative. Just the opposite. You wonder how much longer the system can continue?”
Carlson said. The Heritage Foundation responded with a statement
in regarding what it called “several false, outrageous, and unfounded accusations,”
saying it was “incredibly disappointing to hear Tucker Carlson, whom we hold in high
regard, mislead his viewers about Heritage’s work on the topics of big tech and censorship.” “Unfortunately, Carlson did not contact
us in advance of his segment or provide Heritage with an opportunity to respond to his accusations.
Rather than engage in a substantive policy debate, he chose instead to make ad hominem
attacks and question our integrity. We are disappointed this came from someone whom we
admire and respect,” the statement said. After denying that its paper on big tech parroted
a trade association, the statement said Carlson “made an unfounded assertion against Heritage
and outrageous smear of one of our scholars. It is disappointing that Carlson would deceive
his viewers with such patently false information.” The statement said the foundation “supports
empowering consumers rather than government.” It added that it is “forcefully pushing
back on the few outspoken individuals who seem to prefer an expedient answer rather
than a principled solution” and added, “We won’t be intimidated or bullied as we continue
to represent the interests of conservatives and all Americans.”

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