WEDNESDAY, APRIL 7, 2021
This is Their Town on Deranged: Yesterday was Tuesday, April 6. It had been exactly three months since the January 6 attack on the Capitol Building.
Last night, right at 8 o'clock Eastern, Tucker Carlson observed the three-month anniversary. He spoke ironically throughout. As he did, he created a portrait of the human brain on deranged, or perhaps on disordered.
How bad has it gotten in the various towns of our failing nation? We strongly suggest that you watch the videotape of Carlson's presentation so you can hear his mocking, ridiculous tone.
Right at 8 o'clock sharp, Carlson began as shown. Again, we'll suggest that you watch the tape so you can take in Carlson's tone:
CARLSON (4/6/21): Good evening, and welcome to Tucker Carlson Tonight.
Today is the three-month anniversary of January 6th. For those of you who aren’t good with dates or don’t have calendars, this is the day that we pause to remember the White supremacist "QAnon insurrection" that came so very close to toppling our government and ending this democracy forever.
You saw what happened. It was carried live on television, every gruesome moment. A mob of older people, from unfashionable zip codes, somehow made it all the way to Washington, D.C., probably by bus.
They wandered freely through the Capitol, like it was their building or something.
That's the way he started. As he continued, so did his deranged account of what had happened:
CARLSON (continuing directly) They didn’t have guns, but a lot of them had extremely dangerous ideas. They talked about the Constitution, and something called "their rights."
Some of them made openly seditious claims. They insisted, for example, that the last election was not entirely fair.
The whole thing was terrifying. And then, as you’ve been told so often, they committed unspeakable acts of violence.
By the time thousands of soldiers arrived to restore order, an unarmed woman, an Air Force veteran, lay dead. To this day, that woman is the one completely verified casualty of the insurrection, the only person whose death we can say definitively was caused by specific events on January 6th.
We know how she died. The funny thing is, you almost never hear that woman’s name. Possibly that’s because she wasn’t a Democratic member of Congress, or even a Joe Biden voter. She was a protestor. Her name was Ashli Babbitt. She was 35.
We still don’t know who shot Ashli Babbitt, or why. No one will tell us. But then, when you’re fighting insurrectionists, you don’t have to explain yourself. You just hyperventilate about QAnon, and then you do whatever you want. When a group of sad, disenfranchised people who have been left out of the modern economy show up at your office, you don’t have to listen to their complaints, not for a second. Why would you?
You thought listening to people’s complaints was democracy? No, these people threaten democracy. You can even shoot one of them, if you want, and get away with it.
Killing people without explaining yourself is an established part of counterinsurgency. If you don’t believe it, check out what happened in the Second World War.
It's true that Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed that day. Carlson didn't mention what she was doing when she was shot and killed.
According to Carlson's presentation, Babbitt was simply "showing up at [some Congressional] office," trying to get some member of Congress to "listen to [her] complaints." According to Carlson, that's what Babbitt was doing when she was shot that day.
By now, you think we're making this up—but we aren't making this up. This is the actual way Carlson started last night's program. This is the actual way he described that day's events.
Last evening, we stopped watching at that point, but Carlson continued from there. You can see how he continued by watching the Fox News videotape.
You can even read an approximate transcript of Carlson's presentation. This was one of the very rare occasions when Fox News thought a segment was worth transcribing.
Carlson said nothing about the violence committed by the "mob of older people from unfashionable zip codes" who had "somehow made it all the way to Washington, D.C., probably by bus."
He said nothing about the threats to hang Mike Pence. He said nothing about the physical destruction or about the beating of police officers.
He mentioned the death of Babbitt, but he didn't mention what she was doing when she was shot. He didn't mention the deaths of anyone else.
All in all, Carlson's presentation was a form of journalistic porn. By way of contrast, Rachel Maddow's opening segment the night before was a 25-minute piece of deeply disrespectful pseudo-journalistic clowning.
In our view, Charles Blow's column this past Monday was an example of the traumatization which often results from the brutal history which has prevailed around the world, including right here in this country. These are three samples of the places to which our profit-based pseudo-journalism has taken us at this point.
We regard Maddow's performance as an insult to the world. We regard Carlson's performance as a form of illness.
Divided into tribes as we are, we the people have a hard time seeing the way our journalistic culture currently functions. Because of the role she plays in Our Town, we're inclined to regard Maddow's endlessly stupid clowning as perhaps the most destructive behavior of all.
We still plan to run through Maddow's comically awful performance; we hope we can get there tomorrow. As for Carlson, we suggest that you understand this:
People who watch the Fox News Channel may end up thinking that he is offering a "fair and balanced" account of what happened on January 6. Here in Our Town, we have quite a few semi-Carlsons of our own. We pay the price for their conduct.
Our corporate journalism lies in rubble. In our nation's various towns, our upper-end press corps is unintelligent, overpaid, silly, dumb, stupid, unwell.
Two attempts to explain: Maddow was pretending to explain the Senate parliamentarian's apparent ruling about the possible uses of the legislative process known as "reconciliation."
Whoever prepared the text she read was thoroughly overmatched by the topic. But then, the New York Times seems to be overmatched by the topic too.
Did either one of these reporters know what they were talking about? It seems to us that they didn't. An amazing amount of (apparent) journalism adheres to this well-concealed pattern.
What did the parliamentarian say? Can anyone clearly explain?