WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2022
Reporting what Tucker said: These journalistic elites today!
Over the weekend, Justice Kavanaugh was partying hardy—or at least, so Politico said.
On Monday night, we watched as Lawrence O'Donnell went on and on, then on and on and on and on, flogging the troubling conduct captured in that troubling soundbite.
We were struck by the dumbbell demagoguery this TV star put on display. And then, this very morning, we skillfully spotted this:
Why Kavanaugh partying with right-wing conservatives raises ethical questions
That was the link to Ruth Marcus' new column. It sat atop the front page of the rapidly deteriorating (online) Washington Post.
After we clicked, the headline on Marcus' column said the exact same thing. But wouldn't you know it?
Right at the start of her actual column, Marcus says something quite different. Please note the key word "not:"
MARCUS (12/14/22): I’m not worked up about Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s appearance at a conservative-studded holiday party. But the episode serves to highlight a disturbing trend among the justices, more prevalent on the right than the left: funneling their public appearances into compatible ideological silos.
Some background on Kavanaugh’s partying: Politico reported that the justice attended a Christmas party last weekend at the home of American Conservative Union chair Matt Schlapp. The two men worked together at the George W. Bush White House; Schlapp went to bat for Kavanaugh during his contentious confirmation hearings in 2018; and Kavanaugh has been to Schlapp’s party in previous years.
This time, though, it created some fuss...
As she continued, Marcus named some of the other people who had attended the party. But right there, in her very first sentence, Marcus said she wasn't worked up about the Justice's partying.
In paragraph 4, Marcus offered more detail about her state of mind:
MARCUS: I think it might have been the better part of valor for Kavanaugh to send regrets this year, but my head is not exploding here. Even Supreme Court justices get to have social lives, and the Kavanaughs and Schlapps are longtime friends. Justices aren’t responsible for vetting their hosts’ guest lists. And Kavanaugh’s mere presence at an event at which another attendee filed an amicus brief hardly seems problematic.
It isn't just that she isn't worked up—her head isn't even exploding! Or at least, so her column says
In the bulk of her column, Marcus goes on to discuss the "disturbing trend among the justices" which she cites early on. She says that liberal Justices are involved in this trend, though it's more prevalent among those on the right.
Did the headline writer at the Post actually read this column? The headline which sits atop the piece seems to contradict what the columnist actually says.
If the headline writer read the column, was he or able able to grasp what the columnist was saying? We're not sure such things hugely matter, at all times, among These Journalistic Elites Today!
In our view, Lawrence had demagogued dumbly and hard at the start of his show Monday night. We can't link you to a a transcript of what he said because the corporate channel which pays him millions has apparently decided to stop all transcript production again.
At Fox, they proudly transcribe the things Tucker says; they even proof-read the copy! At MSNBC, they've plainly decided that they're rather not make it easy to see what their various all-stars have said.
So it goes as these branches of our journalistic elite continue their tribal warfare. This brings us back to what Tucker said last Thursday night about the release of Brittney Griner from a Russian labor camp.
Griner's release occurred mid-week; Tucker swung into action. Some of his statements were blatantly bogus—but some of his statements were not.
Along the way, he identified an unmistakable, unexplained error by NBC News. He also featured a statement by White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre—a statement which reflects our own blue tribe's "demographication of everything."
Fox News was willing to transcribe what Tucker Carlson said. His blatantly bogus claim can be found in the passage posted below.
As he starts, he's speaking about Paul Whelan, the Russian prisoner who is constantly capsuled, for whatever reason, as a "former Marine:":
CARLSON (12/8/22): So the former Marine, who's been there for four years already, gets left behind in Russia while the celebrity athlete who gets busted with hash oil is championed by her celebrity media friends like Gayle King and is home in just months.
I mean, that's what happened. And it seems like a metaphor for how America under Joe Biden is working at this point.
"But no," says Joe Biden. "We had no choice to take but to take Brittney Griner over Paul Whelan. Putin demanded that."
BIDEN (videotape): We never forgot about Brittney. We've not forgotten about Paul Whelan, who has been unjustly detained in Russia for years. This was not a choice of which America to bring home.
CARLSON: "This was not a choice of which American to bring home?" Really?
Oh, but it clearly was a choice. And we know it was a choice because the first accounts of the prisoner swap with Russia said it was a choice.
Sad! According to Tucker, the Biden administration had "clearly" chosen to free Griner instead of Whelan. We chose to leave Whelan behind.
According to Tucker, we clearly know that that's the case. He then explained how we know this troubling fact:
CARLSON (continuing directly): Earlier today, Andrea Mitchell of NBC—this is someone who's been in Washington covering news for more than 50 years, someone who is deeply supportive of the Joe Biden administration—contributed to a story that contained this line: "The Kremlin gave the White House the choice of either Griner or Whelan—or none."
So Mitchell's piece attributed this fact to a "senior U.S. official." It was not a guess. It was sourced.
We know because Andrea Mitchell said! So said Tucker Carlson.
In fact, that NBC News report had been quoted correctly. In fact, NBC's original report had said exactly what Carlson said it had said.
In truth, it wasn't "Mitchell's piece"—that statement was part of the scam. And no—we don't know that something is true just because NBC says it is in an early report, a report to which the network appended a later correction.
There's more to say about what Tucker said. We'll say more about his report tomorrow.
That said, let's be clear. Obviously, Carlson knew that what he was saying was bogus. He knew that we don't actually know that "the Kremlin gave the White House the choice of either Griner or Whelan."
Tucker knew that we don't know that just because that's what one early report said. Tucker knew his claim was bogus. The excitable boy was at it again—but so was Lawrence, four nights later.
Tomorrow, we'll show you what the New York Times reported concerning what Tucker had said. It seemed to us that the paper of record offered a highly selective report on this topic. But that's the way our reporting elites tend to play the game in this war of the blue and the red.
These are complex, challenging times within this branch of our journalistic elite. Other branches of this elite don't seem to be aware of this fact—or at least, that the thought which popped into our heads over the weekend when we reviewed the was the Times discussed the year's best books.
The Times was quite high on certain genres. Other genres were disappeared.
Tomorrow: The Times reports what Tucker said
Friday: The best books of the year