11:24 GMT29 November 2020
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    The outspoken conservative television presenter and pundit has one of the highest-rated programmes on cable news, and possibly the ear of the president. Last June, Carlson reportedly helped convince Donald Trump not to launch military strikes against Iran after its air defences shot down a US spy drone flying over the Strait of Hormuz.

    Fox News host Tucker Carlson apologized to viewers in his Friday evening broadcast after a Georgia-based news outlet accused him of making a false claim about two elderly people ‘voting’ for Joe Biden despite having passed away over a decade earlier.

    In his Thursday broadcast, Tucker reported on a World War II veteran named James Blalock and an elderly woman named Linda Kesler whom he said ‘voted’ in November 3 election, despite both of them having died years earlier.

    11Alive, NBC’s Atlanta affiliate, refuted Tucker’s claim about Blalock, interviewing his widow, Agnes Blalock, who said that she voted as ‘Mrs. James Blalock’. Local officials later confirmed that to be the case.

    “We’ve got some good news tonight, and an apology. One of the people who voted in last week’s election isn’t dead,” Carlson said Friday. “James Blalock is still dead, we told you about him. But it was his wife who voted. She voted as Mrs. James Blalock and we missed it. A whole bunch of dead people did ‘vote’. We showed you their names, we proved it. But James Blalock was not among them, it was Mrs. James Blalock. So apologies for that, and of course we’re always going to correct when we’re wrong. And we were,” he added.

    As for Linda Kesler, she had indeed passed away in 2003, but a Ms. Lynda Kesler, another woman with a different date of birth, address and zip code, did vote, according to election officials, who said Carlson had confused the two. The host did not mention her in his Friday programme.

    Twitter users were divided about the significance of Carlson’s correction and apology, with some suggesting it was a sign of his ability to honestly own up to factual mistakes, while others alleged that he was forced to do so by his attorneys or even by the Fox network.

    “Seems like he apologized so that Fox wouldn’t oust him and cancel his program,” one user mused. “I guess his lawyers have finally managed to talk to him,” another suggested. “Looks like Tucker just ended his career as a right wing pundit,” a third chimed in.

    Others defended Tucker’s actions, comparing his correction to other legacy media which regularly fail to do so.

    “At least he makes the effort. If only the NYTimes and WaPo would,” one angry user argued. “He corrects errors. What about other agencies that don’t,” another wrote. “Good for him. That’s what is supposed to happen when u make a mistake. The rest of the media class should take note,” another defender suggested.

    Others still alleged a conspiracy, accusing the “intel community” of deliberately “muddying the waters” and throwing in false positives to try to “take advantage of people who simply want free and fair elections.”

    Finally, others pointed out that even those Tucker had gotten it wrong in the above cases, it was part of a “long list of names who cast votes,” and they’re still confirmed dead at this time.

    The United States presidential election which took place earlier this month has been mired in controversy, with mainstream media crowning Democratic candidate Joe Biden ‘president elect’ last Saturday. Incumbent Donald Trump has rejected the reported results, accusing his opponents of fraud in multiple Democrat-run cities in key battleground states.

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