Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson debunked a claim this week that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis kicked Carlson’s dog while meeting with Carlson and his wife, Susie Carlson.
The claim was contained in a new book — “The Fall: The End of Fox News and the Murdoch Dynasty” — from author Michael Wolff, whose work in the past has often been criticized as not accurate.
Wolff claimed in his book:
The Carlsons are dog people with four spaniels, the progeny of other spaniels they have had before, who sleep in their bed. DeSantis pushed the dog under the table. Had he kicked the dog? Susie Carlson’s judgment was clear: She did not ever want to be anywhere near anybody like that ever again. Her husband agreed. DeSantis, in Carlson’s view, was a “fascist.” Forget Ron DeSantis.
In a statement to The Daily Wire, Carlson said of Wolff’s claims: “It’s totally made up. Ridiculous actually.”
“This is absurd,” Carlson said in a separate statement to Insider. “He never touched my dog, obviously.”
DeSantis’ presidential campaign also strongly pushed back on the story, calling it “absurd and false.”
“Some will say or write anything to attack Ron DeSantis because they know he presents a threat to their worldview,” said Communications Director Andrew Romeo. “But rest assured that as president the one thing he will squarely kick is the DC elitists in both parties either under or over the table, and that’s why they are so desperately fighting back.”
Wolff’s reputation is so suspect that CNN wrote a report on Tuesday urging people to be skeptical of Wolff’s new book attacking their archrival Fox News.
“When reading and reporting on the book, journalists and the public at large would be smart not to mistake Wolff’s word for the word of God,” CNN’s left-wing media reporter Oliver Darcy wrote. “Wolff has a history of printing claims that end up being strongly disputed by the subjects themselves. Critics have chided him in the past for sloppy or unethical reporting practices. And his bestselling ‘Fire & Fury’ even contained outright factual errors.”
CNN noted that a “quick glance” of Wolff’s new book showed that he made “sloppy mistakes, struggling to even spell the names of top Fox News anchors Bret Baier and Jesse Watters.”
Sources at Fox News told CNN that Wolff did not even attempt to fact check the claims in his book.
“When it comes to reporting on any subject, however, taking basic fact-checking measures is important,” CNN added. “With Fox News, where an author might be basing major claims using less-than-reliable sources, the risks are more pronounced, making such reporting efforts even more paramount. Some sources could harbor an agenda — and it takes little effort or risk to provide information as an unnamed source.”