Fox News host Tucker Carlson issued a rare on-air apology to viewers on Friday after a local Georgia news outlet pointed out that he had made a false claim about a dead individual illegally voting in the state.
The right-wing host of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” claimed on Thursday night that someone had cast a ballot on behalf of James Blalock of Covington, Ga., who died in 2006.
Blalock, a World War II veteran, had been used by the Trump campaign this week as an example of a dead individual who illegally voted in Georgia, a state news outlets officially called for President-elect Joe Biden on Friday.
“No one quite embodies that story like James Blalock of Covington, Ga. Mr. Blalock was a mailman for 33 years, until he passed away in 2006,” Carlson said in his Thursday broadcast. “Fourteen years later, according to state records, he was still mailing things. James Blalock cast a ballot in last week’s election.”
However, Newton County officials said in a statement Thursday that Blalock did not vote and that the record found by the Trump campaign referred to a vote cast by Blalock’s widow, registered under his name as “Mrs. James E. Blalock, Jr.”
“Her voter registration was signed as Mrs. James E. Blalock, Jr. and that is exactly how she signed her name when she voted in the Nov. 3 general election,” read the statement shared on Facebook.
Local NBC affiliate 11Alive in Atlanta called out Carlson for repeating the claim after it was disputed by county officials. The outlet also confirmed the news with the widow herself, Agnes Blalock.
“He’s not voting. He didn’t vote,” Agnes Blalock told 11Alive. “It was me.”
During his show Friday, Carlson apologized to viewers and issued a correction.
“We’ve got some good news tonight and an apology,” he said. “One of the people who voted in last week’s election isn’t dead. James Blalock is still dead. We told you about him, but it was his wife who voted. She voted as Mrs. James Blalock. It’s old-fashioned, and we missed it.”
Carlson then added that “a whole bunch of dead people did vote” but that “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 said.
Tucker Carlson issues a correction and gives an apology after falsely claiming that a deceased individual had voted in Georgia.
He goes on to assert that he was correct, however, about other dead voters even though the other report he mentioned was debunked as well. pic.twitter.com/wXTFWFRIUK
— Mikael Thalen (@MikaelThalen) November 14, 2020