Tucker Carlson and Fox News Attack Netflix’s ‘13 Reasons Why’

Ken Tucker
Critic-at-Large, Yahoo Entertainment
13 Reasons Why (Photo: Netflix)

On Wednesday night’s Tucker Carlson Tonight, the host attacked Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why as being one major reason two girls in California recently committed suicide. Carlson called the Netflix series “garbage that poisons kids.” He said he wanted to show the names, photographs, and email addresses of the show’s producers in order to publicly shame them. This, despite the fact that Carlson seemed to admit he’d never seen the show, while inviting a so-called psychology expert on the air to castigate the show as “dangerous.”

Carlson was referring to the recent deaths of two teens, Bella Herndon and Priscilla Chiu, who committed suicide. Their parents believe that their viewing of 13 Reasons Why contributed to their decisions to take their lives. These are, clearly, tragic events. This story has been reported on elsewhere, as in this Good Morning America segment. The pain these girls’ parents are suffering is undoubtedly immense — all the more reason why Carlson’s opportunism in using these deaths as another excuse to bash pop culture seems especially odious.

Carlson said, “Maybe the show is totally reprehensible, which I’m totally willing to believe,” which suggests he hasn’t seen what he’s condemning. He went for expert opinion to Gina Loudon, a Breitbart News contributor and Trump campaign surrogate, who was here billed as a “TV host” and introduced by Carlson as “a psychology expert.” Which is a long way of saying, she’s about as qualified to provide expert testimony on this subject as you or I.

Loudon said that “we as a society” have to be “held accountable for imposing this sort of rhetoric that is really dangerous on the immature minds of people in their late teens, early 20s.” According to a piece on Fox News’ own website, both girls were 15, so I don’t know what Loudon was talking about here. Loudon also seems to be a part-time TV critic, since she told Carlson, “I don’t think they should do a second season.”

Carlson described Netflix and other TV production companies as “this industry churning out all kinds of this garbage that poisons kids,” and he concluded with this bit of pious aggression: “You know, I really feel partly at fault for not putting the names and photographs and email addresses of the producers of this show up on our screen. I really wish I had, because they deserve to hear from the public.”

As usual, Carlson aims to stir up anger where there ought to be clear thought and serious consideration.

Tucker Carlson Tonight airs weeknights at 8 p.m. on Fox News.

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