Artificial Intelligence

Breakfast with Chad: The Great Tucker Carlson Debate

Chad, better known as ChatGPT, proved to be singularly lacking on any kind of insight into the great drama of the day: Fox New’s termination of Tucker Carlson.

©Pixels Hunter

April 27, 2023 22:22 EDT

I wasn’t sure that Chad was aware of the latest chatter dominating the news cycle. So, this morning I decided to allude to the shocking news that Fox News had unceremoniously fired their star commentator, Tucker Carlson. But I forgot to mention Carlson’s name when I asked Chad this question: “Do you have any insight into why a successful news network like Fox News, known for encouraging and spreading provocative right-wing takes on the news, would fire its most popular, and indeed the nation’s most popular TV celebrity?”

Chad’s answer surprised me.

I don’t have access to insider information on the specific events that led to the departure of former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. However, based on publicly available information and media reports, it appears that O’Reilly’s departure was the result of a combination of factors.

One of the main factors was…”

At this point I had to interrupt and tell Chad, “No, no, no! That’s old news, ancient news. I’m talking about Tucker Carlson.”

Chad appeared totally indifferent to the mystery that every news outlet is focusing on as they seek to pierce the veil of secrecy that surrounds this shocking development. Some see it as potentially suicidal for Fox and the mogul who runs the business, Rupert Murdoch.

Instead of sharing that sense of shock, Chad cooly explained why such news should be considered normal. “Fox News is a private company and can choose to hire or fire employees for various reasons, which could include contractual disputes, violations of company policy, or a shift in the network’s programming strategy. It’s also worth noting that sometimes high-profile media figures move on from one network to another or pursue other career opportunities, which could be a factor in Carlson’s departure.

I then mentioned that The Huntington Post had reported former Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s take on the dismissal, which I found surprising, at the very least.

“It’s very obvious right now,” Lake asserted, “that Fox News has become the establishment GOP, which is really the uniparty Republicans. They’re the ones who are really in bed with the left.”

“I’m not surprised,” I commented to Chad, ‘that someone like Lake would say such a thing, but it’s the first time I’ve heard anyone suggest that Fox News is in bed with the left and equally that any Republican can be called “on the left.” They used to say that Republicans like Nelson Rockefeller or John Lindsay were “liberal”, but no one would have suggested they were “on the left.” Does the idea of left and right in US politics have any meaning today?

Chad began defending the use of the terms “left” and “right,” explaining that they “remain a useful shorthand for describing broad political tendencies, but it is important to recognize that the meaning of these terms has evolved over time and can vary depending on context. Historically, the left has been associated with progressive and socialist movements, while the right has been associated with conservative and nationalist movements. However, in recent years, the political landscape has become more complex and polarized, with some factions within each party espousing views that were traditionally associated with the other side.

Regarding Kari Lake’s statement about Fox News, it’s worth noting that different people can have different perspectives on the political leanings of news networks and the parties they align with. While Fox News has traditionally been associated with conservative and right-wing viewpoints, there have been criticisms that the network has become more aligned with establishment Republicans and that some of its programming has moved away from traditional conservative positions on certain issues. Ultimately, the meaning of left and right in US politics can be subject to interpretation and can depend on the specific context and issues being discussed.

“Wait a minute,” I said. “Are you affirming that establishment Republicans are on the left?”

The terms ‘left’ and ‘right’ are often used as a shorthand to describe broad political tendencies, but they can be subject to interpretation and can depend on the specific context and issues being discussed. In recent years, there has been increasing polarization and fracturing within the Republican Party, with different factions holding different views on issues such as immigration, trade, and foreign policy. Some critics have argued that certain establishment Republicans are more moderate or centrist in their views, while others may see them as aligned with conservative or right-wing positions. Ultimately, the meaning of these terms can be complex and multifaceted.

“Chad, that’s a copout. There you go with your defense based on the idea that things are ‘complex and multifaceted’ and ‘subject to interpretation.” That enables you to dodge any serious question. I asked you whether you considered any Republican to be on the left. Your answer is that some can be ‘more moderate or centrist.’ To me that means you see an equivalence between ‘left’ and ‘centrist,’ which is literally absurd. That I take as a refusal to engage in real debate.”

Chad continued, but had clearly reached a point of total incoherence. The next thing I heard had me boiling over. “Within each party, there are various factions and individuals who may hold different views and positions on specific issues. Some Republicans may be considered more moderate or centrist on certain issues, but it would be inaccurate to categorize the party as a whole as being on the left.Ultimately, the terms left and right can be subject to interpretation and context, but it is important to be clear and accurate in their usage.”

At this point, I gave up. There is a serious problem at the core of US politics and, in my humble opinion, it stems from the inability to use language in any coherent way. Worse, no one seems to see the need to examine language and stabilize meanings with a view to founding some kind of basis for reasonable dialogue. Chad tells me that everything is ‘subject to interpretation’ — which is true — but immediately jumps to affirming the importance of being ‘clear and accurate.’ How do you get from one to the other? Chad doesn’t seem to care.

What I now understand is that even Chad’s degree of intelligence, as a ‘large language model’ isn’t large enough to achieve anything like true perspective or original analysis. It does however reveal some of the regrettable and frequently dangerous trends at work in the culture Chad draws upon to craft his answers.

*[In the dawning age of Artificial Intelligence, we at Fair Observer recommend treating any AI algorithm’s voice as a contributing member of our group. As we do with family members, colleagues or our circle of friends, we quickly learn to profit from their talents and, at the same time, appreciate the social and intellectual limits of their personalities. This enables a feeling of camaraderie and constructive exchange to develop spontaneously and freely. For more about how we initially welcomed Chad to our breakfast table, click here.]

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.


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