GOBLINS AND US: Where do all these goblins come from?


Tucker and Trump (and Kari Lake), oh my: For those of us in the blue tribal camp, this headline in today's New York Times is asking the relevant question:

Why Aren’t the Democrats Trouncing These Guys

For us, that's the current relevant question. That said, we harken back to the iconic Saturday Night Live skit from October 1988 (!).

In that iconic SNL skit, Dana Carvey, playing Candidate Bush, offered an utterly vacuous statement during a mock presidential debate. Jon Lovitz, playing Candidate Dukakis, offered a famous reply to Jan Hooks, playing Diane Sawyer:

Diane Sawyer: You have fifty seconds left, Mr. Vice-President.

George Bush: Let me sum up. On track, stay the course. Thousand points of light.

Diane Sawyer: Governor Dukakis. Rebuttal?

Michael Dukakis: I can’t believe I’m losing to this guy!

That was 34 years ago, when SNL still had its moments. Today, members of the anti-Trump world are asking a related question.

To our ear, today's headline doesn't quite capture the essence of the David Brooks column it tops. At the end of his column, Brooks isn't wondering why Democrats seem to be losing. He ends by saying this:

BROOKS (11/4/22): [Today,] people don’t just see difference [between the red and the blue political tribes], they see menace. People have put up barricades and perceive the other class as a threat to what is beautiful, true and good. I don’t completely understand why this animosity has risen over the past couple of decades, but it makes it very hard to shift the ever more entrenched socio-economic-cultural-political coalitions.

Historians used to believe that while European societies were burdened by ferocious class antagonisms, Americans had relatively little class consciousness. That has changed.

Brooks says he doesn't quite understand the source of today's animosity. We would assume the following, which seems to be blindingly obvious: 

We would assume that the animosity stems from the rise of "culture war" marketing as a round-the-clock, very major big business. The animosity is sold as a product—by "cable news" and talk radio programs, but also all over the Internet, all over social media.

Then too, we've suffered the rise of the goblin class. Starting with Donald J. Trump, where have these goblins come from?

More specifically:

Within the past week, blue tribe pundits have marveled at a set of behaviors from figures on the right. In the wake of the vicious attack on Paul Pelosi, those major figures responded with jokes, and with crazy invented claims.

As always, our blue tribe pundits have been "shocked, shocked" by this disordered behavior. This is a script to which they return at all such moments as this.

What explains the behavior of these ghouls? Today, we'll return to two topics we've discussed in the past. We do so in an attempt to jog our failing tribe's [attempts at] thinking:

The goblin Donald J. Trump:

What makes Trump behave in the ways he does? How about Donald Trump Jr.?

What makes people like Kari Lake welcome this leadership style with such open arms? What explains the fact that certain tribal leaders behave in such transparently disordered ways?

There could, of course, be various answers to that question. Briefly, we'll return you to the basic question of psychiatric / psychologic disorder on the clinical level. 

Why do these goblins behave in these ways? According to modern medical science, a substantial percentage of American adults are fundamentally afflicted. 

Here's Bill Eddy, presenting some basic statistics in Psychology Today:

EDDY (4/30/18): Personality disorders are a significant, but barely recognized, public health problem in the United States and around the world. Two personality disorders, in particular, cause a great deal of disruption in the workplace, conflict in marital relationships, and are prevalent in criminal populations. And they appear to be increasing.

In 1994, the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders was published (the DSM-IV)...Regarding sociopaths (the DSM uses the equivalent term Antisocial Personality Disorder or ASPD), it said that overall prevalence “in community samples is about 3% in males and 1% in females.”

Between 2001 and 2005, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded the largest study ever done regarding the prevalence of personality disorders in the United States. Structured interviews were done with approximately 35,000 people who were randomly selected to be representative of the U.S. adult population in a variety of ways including age, income, gender and region. This study found that...3.7% would meet the criteria for ASPD (5.5% male and 1.9% female).

According to those studies, a not-insignificant percentage of people are diagnosable as "sociopaths." That's a very fuzzy term, but it isn't hard to connect the behaviors associated with that term to the behaviors of our current class of very high-profile goblins and ghouls.

(For additional background, click here.)

Many people in our public life behave in ways which comport with the outlines of this affliction. That said, our upper-end journalists agree that this state of affairs mustn't ever be discussed in the political context. 

Many of these famous stars went to the finest schools. Despite that fact, they agree that this (admittedly complex and imprecise) branch of modern science must be disappeared. 

They refuse to discuss this (complicated) state of affairs—but almost surely, this is where many of our current-day, high-profile goblins come from. Our journalists, and their corporate owners, have agreed: 

We the people must be shielded from such troubling thoughts.

The goblin Tucker Carlson: 

To our eye and ear, Tucker Carlson is becoming more unhinged with each passing unit of time. 

We aren't going to claim that he's a "sociopath." Instead, we'll suggest that you ponder this (tragic) report from the New York Times:

CONFESSORE (5/1/22): The talk-show host who rails against immigrants and the tech barons of a new Gilded Age is himself the descendant of a German immigrant who became one of the great ranching barons of the old Gilded Age. Henry Miller landed in New York in 1850 and built a successful butcher business in San Francisco; along with a partner, he went on to assemble a land empire spanning three states...

Over the years, the Miller fortune dispersed, as great fortunes often do, into a fractious array of family branches. Mr. Carlson’s mother, Lisa McNear Lombardi, was born to a third-generation Miller heiress, debuted in San Francisco society and met Richard Carlson, a successful local television journalist, in the 1960s. They eloped to Reno, Nev., in 1967; Tucker McNear Carlson was born two years later, followed by his brother, Buckley. The family moved to the Los Angeles area, where Richard Carlson took a job at the local ABC affiliate, but the Carlsons’ marriage grew rocky and the station fired him a few years later. In early 1976, he moved to San Diego to take a new television job. The boys went with him—according to court records, their parents had agreed it would be temporary—and commuted to Los Angeles on weekends while he and Lisa tried to work out their differences.

But a few months later, just days after the boys returned from a Hawaii vacation with their mother, Richard began divorce proceedings and sought full custody of the children. In court filings, Lisa Carlson claimed he had blindsided her and left her virtually penniless. The couple separated and began fighting over custody and spousal support. Mr. Carlson alleged that his wife had “repeated difficulties with abuse of alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and amphetamines,” and that he had grown concerned about both her mental state and her treatment of the boys. On at least one occasion, he asserted, the boys had walked off the plane in San Diego without shoes; the mother’s own family members, he said, had urged him not to let her see the children unsupervised. He won custody when Tucker was 8, at a hearing Lisa did not attend: According to court records, she had left the country. She eventually settled in France, never to see her sons again. A few years later, Richard Carlson married Patricia Swanson, an heiress to the frozen-food fortune, who adopted both boys.

For many years, Tucker Carlson was tight-lipped about the rupture. In a New Yorker profile in 2017, not long after his show debuted, he described his mother’s departure as a “totally bizarre situation—which I never talk about, because it was actually not really part of my life at all.” But as controversy and criticism engulfed his show, Mr. Carlson began to describe his early life in darker tones, painting the California of his youth as a countercultural dystopia and his mother as abusive and erratic. In 2019, speaking on a podcast with the right-leaning comedian Adam Carolla, Mr. Carlson said his mother had forced drugs on her children. “She was like, doing real drugs around us when we were little, and getting us to do it, and just like being a nut case,” Mr. Carlson said. By his account, his mother made clear to her two young sons that she had little affection for them. “When you realize your own mother doesn’t like you, when she says that, it’s like, oh gosh,” he told Mr. Carolla, adding that he “felt all kinds of rage about it.”

Mr. Carlson was a heavy drinker until his 30s, something he has attributed in part to his early childhood. But by his own account, his mother’s abandonment also provided him with a kind of pre-emptive defense against the attacks that have rained down on his Fox show. “Criticism from people who hate me doesn’t really mean anything to me,” Mr. Carlson told Megyn Kelly, the former Fox anchor, on her podcast last fall. He went on to say: “I’m not giving those people emotional control over me. I’ve been through that. I lived through that as a child.” One lesson from his youth, Mr. Carlson told one interviewer, was that “you should only care about the opinions of people who care about you.”

Carlson's abandonment by his mother wasn't part of his life, he once said. Later, he said he had "felt all kinds of rage about it"—possibly, the same weirdly disordered rage he currently vents on his nightly TV program.

Carlson has become increasingly disordered on his Fox News show. We can't help wondering if we're seeing the latest act in a lifelong psychodrama—a psychodrama one might describe as "the drama of the [abandoned] child."

We feel sorry at times for Donald J. Trump. By all accounts, he was raised by a deeply disordered father. That was the (bad) luck of the draw.

We're also struck by the terrible burden which may have been placed on the child who never saw his mother again—who was abandoned by his mother when he was 8 years old.

Having noted these facts, we'll also note these:

A substantial percentage of American adults are diagnosable as "sociopaths." Beyond that, a significant number of people may be living out psychodramas visited upon them when they were eight, or maybe even six.

If these people surface as goblins, they need to be stopped, above all else, from doing harm to others around them. But in a more rational world, that basic question—Where do all these goblins come from?—wouldn't be retained by cowardly journalists as an impenetrable mystery ride.

Donald J. Trump had an evil father. Carlson was abandoned by his mother—never saw her again.

As for our journalists, many went to the finest schools. On MSNBC, they cling to corporate, blue tribe stylings, for which they're paid millions of dollars.

They're paid to make us viewers feel good. They sign onto that deal on the bottom line. 

Regarding the question with which we started: Why aren't Democrats trouncing these guys? 

Our favorite TV stars, with their pathetically limited list of "issues," may not be providing much help.

These stars may be a bit disordered too. As with red tribals, so with us:

We tend to have a very hard time seeing this about them.

Still coming: Goblins of the disappeared past! A mainstream cable star came close to getting a journalist killed—in 1999!


  1. tl;dr
    "Why Aren’t the Democrats Trouncing These Guys"

    Because, dear Bob, this time around you are "these guys".

    Yes, you are them, dear Bob. Your side is full of utterly vacuous statements, brain-dead idiotic stories (wimmin trapped inside men's bodies!), outrage porn, and outright hate-mongering.

    ...not to mention dragging us ever closer to nuclear war.

    Tsk. Oh well...

    1. Mao,
      You forgot to call Democrats "snowflakes", before you shook in fear over the use of pronouns.

    2. Take it up with the incomparable one: lieutenant colonel Tulsi Gabbard.

      "I can no longer remain in today's Democratic Party that is now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness, who divide us by racializing every issue & stoke anti-white racism, actively work to undermine our God-given freedoms, are hostile to people of faith & spirituality, demonize the police & protect criminals at the expense of law-abiding Americans, believe in open borders, weaponize the national security state to go after political opponents, and above all, dragging us ever closer to nuclear war."

    3. Tulsi was hosted to a very special dinner in Russia shortly before she ran for president in order to split Democratic voters and harm Hillary Clinton's campaign against Trump. Whatta gal.

      For those who do not believe Mao works on a Russia-funded troll farm, notice how he has brought up Tulsi, their stooge, without provocation.

      And ask yourself why someone without an ulterior motive would come to Somerby's webpage, announce that his daily essays are tl/dr (too long, did not read), post about something that has no relevance to Somerby's words, then continue to insert similar non sequiturs during the day. Is this the behavior of a regular reader/commenter?

    4. The possibility that Dimbot "Mao" is a paid troll can't be ruled out. But it's exceedingly unlikely that a paid troll would spend the time and effort "Mao" does on such a small, inconsequential blog like this -- for as many years as he has. (No offense, Bob. I love you and the Howler, but unfortunately I get the impression that it's one of the many flowers that are "born to blush unseen.")

      Also, it's kind of irrelevant what someone's motives are for posting an argument. An argument should be evaluated on the merits, and Dimbot "Mao's" arguments rarely have any.

    5. As interesting as some of this info about Carlson may be, I just don't see how it's useful. And I can't see how Somerby's suggestion that the media should talk about this kind of thing (with regard to Trump, for example) would be useful either. Do you think telling people that right-wingers have psychological problems due to childhood trauma is going to, for example, win back Hispanics that have (allegedly) switched parties? To me that's absurd on its face.

      What would be much more useful is what Somerby used to do all the time and sometimes still does: provide quotes from someone like Carlson, and then provide clear, detailed, carefully-reasoned analysis of the quote, in an effort to persuade any honest reader that the quote is inaccurate, or misleading, or dishonest, or irresponsible, or that it contains a logical fallacy, etc., etc., etc. SHOW to people, PROVE to them that the right's views, statements, philosophy, etc., are in some sense wrong (factually, logically, morally, etc.).


    6. Here, dear dembots, posted today. To you from Russia.


    7. Mike, at one point Bob was developing
      a serious following, but quite possibly not one that put any money in his pocket. If he had found an editor to help him shape his material, he might have had a decent book on the War on Gore, as he
      quite correctly called it. Don’t
      underestimate the money floating
      around on the nutball right,
      especially when Bob writes in
      the satanic fashion he does

    8. Somerby used to be linked on the blogrolls of many liberal blogs. The heyday of liberal blogging has passed but Daily Howler is still on Kevin Drum's blogroll and a few others. Awhile back, blog statistics showed that Somerby had a steady readership of about 1800. I'm sure that has decreased, but he still gets mentioned for his liberal past. That makes him a kind of influencer.

      The right wing has a lot of money to throw around. They have been funding social media participants including both real and fake accounts on facebook and other social media sites. Why would they not throw some $ Somerby's way? He still has a donate button on his page.

      When Russia was sending Bernie money via small donations, he was asked about it and his response was "who cares?". It wouldn't surprise me if Somerby were to make a similar response. It didn't trouble Bernie that he was being used against Hillary. It may not trouble Somerby that his efforts help Trump and the MAGA Extremists and above all, the Republican party. He seems to have some strong resentments against women, journalists (perhaps because of his own failed efforts to join that group), female journalists, Rachel Maddow in particular, black journalists, black female journalists, gay black journalists (male or female), professors (because of his traumatic educational experiences at Harvard), black professors, female black professors, gay professors of any race of gender), and anyone claiming special expertise, such as black female Supreme Court justices or prosecutors, and of course, Rachel Maddow.

      This personal animus may make it possible that Somerby would do Russia and the Republican party's bidding just for the pleasure of thwarting his enemies (the people he dislikes). So perhaps he is working for free, but clearly he is working for the right and is not any kind of liberal.

    9. Anonymouse3:43pm, there’s no telling what sort of catastrophic damage Bob can wreck upon the DNC and his fellow Democrats just upon the basis of simple spite.

      Tremble and flee before his awful and awesome power!

    10. Yes, look how Somerby managed to catch Cecelia in his web. Run before it is too late. Trump's whole cult is based on spite! I wouldn't underestimate its power.

    11. Where’s mm’s maniacal laugh when we need it?

    12. I believe he spells his nym mh.

  2. "Then too, we've suffered the rise of the goblin class. Starting with Donald J. Trump, where have these goblins come from?"

    To repeat (because Somerby keeps repeating), this didn't start with Trump.

    I really like this "goblin" formulation that Somerby has adopted, and it makes even less sense in an article about one side vilifying the other, about mean-spiritedness and partisan hatred. Why is Somerby calling anyone goblins?

    1. "Starting with Donald J. Trump, where have these goblins come from?"

      Where would Trump be without his help from Russia?

      Somerby keeps saying that Trump arose as a politician by being an Obama birther. Actually, Trump first ran for the presidential nomination far earlier on the Reform Party ticket but was defeated by Pat Buchanan.

      typo: I meant to say that I dislike this use of the word goblin, and Halloween is over, so it isn't even cute any more. If anything Otherizes people, it is calling them words like zombie, robot, ghost or goblin, all of which are dehumanizing, whether applied to Trump or to Democrats. Somerby's ongoing attempt to portray these people as mentally ill is another form of dehumanization, since mentally ill people are scary to the extent that they do not behave like people usually do, making them appear to be less than human, in ways that a broken leg or other illness do not.

  3. "As always, our blue tribe pundits have been "shocked, shocked" by this disordered behavior. This is a script to which they return at all such moments as this."

    Good decent people should be shocked by this behavior.

    Is Somerby really implying that it is the blue tribe's fault for being "shocked" that anyone would joke about the attack on an 82-year old innocent bystander? I am shocked at Somerby's reaction, his blame the left attitude when right wing violence is staring him in the face, egged on by Republican leadership.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. If Somerby truly believes that the right wing includes many sociopaths (since that joking was widespread), then the next step is to propose how to weed them out of public office. I don't see Somerby taking that step. He hasn't called for anything that would control such sociopathc behavior and has opposed reasonable measures such as impeaching and removing Trump using established constitutional procedures, applying Article 25, or asking for a medical evaluation of candidates prior to taking office.

      Somerby's only proposal seems to be to label, excuse, and move on from right wing wrongdoing. He urges journalists to do the labeling, even though there has been no clinical evaluation of any of these right wing malcreants, from Trump on down to Boebert and Lake. This is akin to someone calling for a criminal to be excused due to mental illness, without any evaluation or due process. Just let him go and tsk tsk a bit about how sad his condition is, but release him into society to continue committing crimes. That is Somerby's response to Trump and to the very large number of Republicans who have aided Trump, both within the party itself and among Trump's deranged MAGA Extremist followers, including the ones with guns aimed at 82-year old family members (non-combatants) of elected officials.

      Never mind that there are also a large number of sociopaths who do not commit crimes and are not preying on others, and somehow these blameless people who were born with a disorder (but have obviously overcome it via more favorable upbringing) must also be stigmatized by association with miscreants such as Trump and the lable of sociopath that describes why Trump was susceptible to crime, but not why he succumbed to those temptations and has given in to a warped nature.

      I continue to believe that people should be blamed for what they do, not for what they are. Somerby doesn't seem to share that belief.

    2. “The goblin Tucker Carlson:
      He won custody when Tucker was 8, at a hearing Lisa did not attend: According to court records, she had left the country. She eventually settled in France, never to see her sons again.”.

      I’m not sure why anonymices are so down on Bob.

      You all go for the throat.


    3. Yeah, the dembot "paper of record" sounds a lot like a scummy gossip-mongering rag; no surprise there.

      ...but of course -- unlike a honest scummy gossip-mongering rag -- the nytimes will only smear liberal cult's political opponents...

  5. The NY Times pays David Brooks a huge amount of money to pretend he doesn't know this comes from Gingrich/ Luntz, Rush Limbaugh and his AM talk radio clones, and cable news stations, like Fox.
    It must be nice to part of the elite.

  6. Going through a divorce at age 8 isn't being "abandoned" and it doesn't cause someone to become a huge asshole and right-wing extremist. It causes sadness and grief in an 8-year old. It doesn't even typically cause anger. Carlson's father remarried. There isn't any mental health expert that will blame Carlson's current assholery on his childhood. His earlier drug problems might be traced back, but not right wing ideology.

    There is an interesting study of the effect of parental drinking on child misbehavior in school. They did find that more drinking was correlated with more school misbehavior. But when they examined the data more closely they found that causality ran from the child's behavior to the parental drinking not vice versa. In other words, kids who behaved badly were driving their parents to drink.

    It may be that Tucker was a messed up kid who pushed his mother out of her marriage due to disagreement about how to handle him. Somerby wasn't there and he doesn't know about this, any more than any of the rest of us do. It cannot be easy trying to raise a sociopathic kid.

    And clearly one cannot conclude that it is a good idea to watch Tucker Carlson's show because, after all, he is a poor mistreated child still struggling with childhood issues (that most children overcome in a matter of months). That doesn't make anything Carlson says correct or worth hearing. And it doesn't excuse his contribution to today's political polarization, no matter what excuse Somerby tries to give him.

  7. "These stars may be a bit disordered too."

    Somerby suggests that divorce messed up Tucker Carlson, one star, but then he generalizes that to other cable news stars, without any evidence whatsoever.

    And it is very odd that Somerby doesn't mention narcissism, which is more commonly found among those seeking the limelight. But the facts of Tucker Carlson's childhood don't fit the etiology of that disorder as readily, I guess. This might be called cherry-picking a diagnosis.

    1. Maybe the stars are not disordered, but Somerby is.

  8. "On MSNBC, they cling to corporate, blue tribe stylings"

    Maybe Somerby might convince more readers of his accusations if he described those corporate blue tribe stylings instead of attacking the people who read the news written for them by their staff.

    Is it wrong to read or listen to or believe "blue tribe" stylings? What is inherently wrong with them? Maybe they are correct or morally better or less intemperate and violent or less rushing to judgment or closer to the truth than the red tribe stylings of Carlson? If so, isn't it better to hear them than the alternatives? Somerby doesn't say anything at all about the content of the blue tribe stylings -- they are apparently just wrong because they are blue.

    Isn't Fox News also part of a corporate structure?

  9. Motivated reasoning is the "tendency to find arguments in favor of conclusions we want to believe to be stronger than arguments for conclusions we do not want to believe". IMO it affects all of us, especially near an election. Bob asks, "Why Aren’t the Democrats Trouncing These Guys." OTOH I'm thinking, "How can anybody vote for a Democrat in this election?" I am not going to list the reasons for my opinion. I simply want to note that motivated reasoning is affecting me a well as the rest of us.

    1. So then you must ask yourself, why am I motived to want to believe these things? Motives come from some place besides thin air.

    2. My answer would be that current Republican policies are better than current Democratic policies. as they affect us ordinary Americans. Evidence includes the bad to horrible conditions in the cities long governed by Democrats. My state of California has perhaps the highest taxes in the nation, yet our schools and highways are mediocre. Texas schools and roads are as good as or better than California's, even though Texas has no income tax.

      However, I'm not sure that's the complete answer. Psychologists say that once someone has chosen a belief, s/he pays more attention of information supporting that belief. Since i had already chosen to be a Republican, perhaps I'm giving too much weight to facts in favor of Republicans.

    3. David,
      The last part. For instance, calling people who want the state to force women to give birth "small government".

    4. Fuck off, David. Remember when you pretended to care about Hillary's emails? You wanted her in jail.
      Your hero, Donald J Chickenshit, stole government documents, top secret classified documents laying around his tacky beach club and you're fucking silent.

    5. @1:11 -- I agree with you. I am totally pro-choice. My wife and I donate a lot of money to pro-choice organizations.

    6. David
      You might want, also, to start voting for those who want to protect women's right to choose, lest your donations be labeled "virtue signaling".

  10. "But in a more rational world, that basic question—Where do all these goblins come from?—wouldn't be retained by cowardly journalists as an impenetrable mystery ride."

    In the real world, there is a connection between adjustment problems in children and their parents' divorce, but most children are not scarred for life by such events. Some become more resilient and learn to cope with unexpected difficulties, others get over it, some quickly others more slowly, but they do get over it. Those with risk factors may have school problems or substance abuse problems later on, but they do not become criminals or violent militia members or crackpots like Tucker (who makes a lot of money doing what he does for the Republican Party).

    There is no science that tells us who will have major problems and who will roll with life's punches. Some psychologists think that resilience can be learned, which suggests that therapy helps. But Somerby's idea that there is a strong causal relationship between Tucker's life events and the man he is now, is ridiculous. It doesn't work that way at all. And that's why we cannot say where these goblins come from.

    It would be majorly inappropriate and wrong for any journalist to ascribe Tucker Carlson's personality and behavior to his father's divorce of his mother and her choice (or need) to live in Europe. It isn't as though his father couldn't have afforded a plane ticket every year or so, and it isn't as if we know any of the details of their divorce. Not even Somerby knows that. To speculate in print would be irresponsible -- and highly likely to be wrong. But Somerby keeps calling for this, as if it would help journalism if reporters started musing over the psyches of public figures. Not even trained psychologists do that, as a matter of professional ethics (which Bandy Lee lost her job for breaking).

  11. It’s a hoary old greatest hit of the
    corporate media, and Bob gives it a
    soulful reading today: “Why can’t the
    Democrats beat these horrible
    Could it be that people who pretend
    to be “our tribe” like Bob, will balance
    on a pinky on a pin’s head making
    excuses for their most crazed excesses,
    going to ridiculous lengths to
    portray them as victims?. (When
    the Jan six committee tells the story
    of the black election workers Trump
    called out for abuse by name, Bob
    finds finds the story tiresome and
    unimpressive. He wants people on
    the committee who will tell Trump’s
    side of the story.)
    This has always largely been the
    The great curve of our political media:
    The right has done something
    wretched. Now JUST what is the
    Left going to DO about it? (a
    measured response? Wimps!
    A distinct response? Well, they’re
    as bad as the Right! Worse!
    So Somerby plays that game
    today. Yet, given the desperate
    situation the Country is in,
    Bob displays a deeper idiocy,
    as perhaps only a bigot and
    slow witted buffoon, playing
    the compassionate humanist,
    can archive.
    Finally, just who in our system
    DOES deserve a tough minded,
    no holds barred accounting for
    their weaknesses and sins?
    Of course, the broadcasters at
    MSNBC, always especially the
    women, and the January 6th
    Committee. Fair’s fair.

  12. IMO Tucker's wild exaggerations may not be personal. They're what the job requires. Many jobs require dishonesty. Most politicians lie all the time. They're not crazy. They're saying the things they need to say in order to get elected. Advertisers and lawyers do their best to persuade people of something, whether it's true or not. Again, they're not nuts. They're simply doing their job.

    A pundit like Tucker has to exaggerate in order to get attention. His viewers find him valuable because he sometimes says true things that are being given inadequate attention by the mainstream media.

    1. You had me, until the last sentence. Tucker Carlson's viewers find value in what he says, but not because he sometimes says things that are true.

    2. I realize I may get cancel cultured by the PC warriors on the Right for saying it, but the fact is, where Tucker's viewers find value is in his bigotry.

    3. The three comments above illustrate the hyper-partisan world we now inhabit. It's isn't enough for you that Tucker is conservative and often wildly exaggerates. He must also be a total liar, a mean little shit, a cheater and a bigot.

    4. "He must also be a total liar, a mean little shit, a cheater and a bigot."
      Write a letter of complaint to Newt Gingrich. Maybe he'll send you a refund.

    5. Calling Republicans mean words is dangerous. Mike Pence almost lost his life on January 6th because it wasn't enough to just disagree with him.

    6. David, it isn't that he must be those things. It is that he IS them. Where we disagree is about whether that is a coincidence or not.

    7. "Many jobs require dishonesty."

      David is apparently arguing that journalism is a job that requires dishonesty. If so, then so does being a bank teller or security guard or being a minister.

      Cynical people who do lie and cheat often justify their behavior by asserting that everyone cheats and lies -- it is part of life. Republicans seem to have adopted that cynical stance whereas Democrats seem to be more idealistic and to honor such values as honest, truth, courage, diligence, and so on. Republicans laugh and think they are clever to have figured out that being corrupt is the way of the world -- except it is only their world that is like that.

      Every cynical remark is really a confession.

    8. A court found that Rachel Maddow exaggerates and overstates and that her audience expects her to it. The court ruled that it was legal for her to call OAN "literally Russian propaganda" which was s a blatantly false statement. So it's weird times when misinformation delivered by mass media superstars is legal and expected.

    9. "mass media superstars"
      This is the point where your train jumped the tracks.

    10. The main exaggeration is that not every report on OAN is Russian propaganda, but some of it clearly was, which makes her reporting merely an overstatement for emphasis and not any kind of lie or false statement. If I say the beach was covered with people on towels, that statement is not false because there were a few square feet not covered. That is what the court ruled. Since that lawsuit, Russian propaganda has been found on other sites too. There is even Russian footage in the campaign ads of several Republican candidates this election cycle.

    11. She said the network was "literally paid Russian propaganda", her defense of the lawsuit and the ruling of the Court both don't try to make the argument you are making, that some of it clearly was. What is your basis for making that claim?

    12. @3:28 I don't consider the Democrats to be particularly honest. Here are 3 examples
      1. Attributing the attack by an insane person on Pelosi to Republicans.
      2. Wild accusations of racism
      3. The Russia collusion hoax, which was always extremely dubious.

    13. Democrats have been behaving more and more like cult members. In cults, the members are taught how to deal with outsider's objections. They are often given stock answers to the most common criticisms of the group.

      You see this absolutely everywhere now with Democrats with their reflexive accusations of bigotry and being in bed with Putin to even the most innocuous and banal of criticisms.

      It's very scary. Like in cults, these can be smart people. Also like in cults, they don't realize they've been sucked in.

    14. How many times has Somerby ever called Trump a bigot much less a racist sexist pig?

    15. Anonymouse11:35pm, hallmark of an anonymouse- you’ve been counting.

    16. David,
      What's that thing, besides bigotry and white supremacy, that Republican voters are supposed to be into, again?

    17. David,
      How do you know Pelosi's attacker is deranged? Did he say there is a Republican voter who cares about something other than bigotry and white supremacy?
      Because that's a sign of gaslighting, not derangement.

    18. anon 10:24 (and several other times here) - your constant clai m that Republicans are entirely about bigotry are mind-numbingly stupid, entering into the realm of lunacy.

    19. AC/ MA,
      Then I'll open-up the question to you.
      Name the thing(s), besides bigotry and white supremacy, Republican voters care about?
      Good luck.

  13. Nobody likes Democrats. Racist, divisive, sadistic to children, censoring.

    1. Sadistic like Tucker Carlson's mom? I'll bet any amount of money that she wasn't a Democrat, married to a wealthy man like that.

    2. And they keep winning the popular vote for the Presidency, damn them.

  14. "This study found that...3.7% would meet the criteria for ASPD (5.5% male and 1.9% female)."

    If you are trying to assert that someone is a sociopath, citing incidences in the population that are this small (5.5% at the most) doesn't exactly establish your case, especially without any supporting diagnostic evidence.

    The chance of someone being a sociopath with rates this small are highly unlikely, so why does Somerby waste several paragraphs quoting this? It makes it seem way less likely that Trump or Carlson are sociopaths. It is only when you consider their behavior that it seems obvious they are, but that isn't what Somerby ever does.

  15. Tucker is delightfully entertaining. The way he gets under leftist skin is a bonus.

    1. @2:37 PM
      Agreed. But what's more important is that he often acts as a real journalist, questioning, challenging the establishment. Contradicting establishment's bullshit narratives.

      ...a dying breed, alas.

    2. "The way he gets under leftist skin is a bonus."

      That is his main purpose.

    3. I loved it when Tucker called for the return of the 91% marginal tax rate. Say what you will, but he speaks truth to power.

    4. He calls out legitimate power abuses and dirty tricks that would otherwise go unreported and unexamined.

    5. His piece, exposing the Flynn/ Manafort/ Bannon ties to Russian oligarchs, should have won him a Pulitzer.

  16. Why must Somerby call Somerby and Tucker goblins? Why not call them what they are, demagogues?

    demagogue definition: "a political leader who seeks support by appealing to the desires and prejudices of ordinary people rather than by using rational argument"

    He might also throw in some words like fascist and authoritarian, because they too apply.

    Here is what goblin means:

    goblin definition -- "a mischievous, ugly creature resembling a dwarf."

    Is that really what Tucker and Trump are? Ugly dwarfs? Not so much. They are way worse and there are much better words to talk about the damage they have done to our nation and the ways they operate by spreading lies and disinformation in order con people into voting us into the arms of Russia.

    The name goblin implies that we dislike Tucker and Trump for cosmetic reasons, not for the evil they do, their crimes. It trivializes the opposition to them and implies that we are not describing malfeasance but simply attaching a fantasy reference and not accusing them of major wrongdoing.

    This is not the way a serious person discusses politics. And these are times that call for serious, clear discussion of the threats to our country, like the one Biden gave in his speech yesterday, which Somerby has not even mentioned.

    1. Hey is trying to create the impression
      that they are imaginary monsters created by the left. Bob is a creep.,