The veteran director was doing the media rounds to support the newly launched committee to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Rob Reiner got into a semantic slanging match with Tucker Carlson on his Fox News show on Thursday with the two having a testy argument on what constituted “war” and Hollywood’s relationship with China.
Reiner made a surprise appearance on Carlson’s show, drumming up awareness for the newly launched committee to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The committee launched a video this week fronted by Morgan Freeman that claimed the U.S. was at “war” with Russia following the events of 2016, but focused on cyber warfare rather than war in the conventional sense.
Carlson took Reiner to task on the question of “war” dismissing the idea the two countries were in conflict in a real sense much to Reiner’s growing annoyance. “If you watch the entire video, it talks about cyber warfare,” Reiner said. “It talks about how he was able to use the Internet and cyber tools to attack the U.S. democracy, which is what they did.”
Carlson attempted to catch out Reiner with whataboutism over Hollywood’s relationship with China, arguing that Chinese companies and the state had also conducted cyber warfare on America and American companies. Carlson suggested Hollywood had no interest in Chinese hacking as there was money to be made and suggested the studios kowtowed to China’s strict censorship laws.
Carlson continued to press Reiner on the China question and the director tried to push back but his frustration was palpable.
Reiner’s defense was that the issues were different and China had never tried to influence America’s elections. “It’s not about hacking into computers and stealing information, it’s about using that information and weaponizing it in some way,” Reiner said.