ELITES: When Carlson made ugly, bogus remarks...


...our blue elites responded: As far as we know, Tucker Carlson isn't cognitively challenged in any major way.

In the case of Donald J. Trump, we aren't entirely sure. With Tucker, we see few signs.

That's why we started yesterday's report with that first thing Tucker said. He was discussing the release of Brittney Griner—and he proceeded to make a claim he surely knew to be bogus:

CARLSON (12/8/22): "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. 

For the Carlson transcript, click here.

Tucker said that Biden had a choice—he could have brought Paul Whelan home from his Russian prison. And he said we know that Biden had a choice because of what NBC said:

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. 

One part of that statement was accurate! Earlier in the day, NBC News really had reported that the Kremlin had given "the White House the choice of either Griner or Whelan—or none." 

Six hours later, NBC News had appended a formal correction to that initial report. And by the way, the initial, later corrected report wasn't "Mitchell's piece." Andrea Mitchell had been listed as a contributor, not as one of the authors of the report.

Why did NBC News file that first report? We have no idea. 

That said, Carlson noted another accurate point during his monologue. This was the second time, in a matter of weeks, that NBC News had been forced to correct an initial report about a widely discussed event. 

Below, you see Carlson's slightly extended statement, in which he refers to that first corrected report:

CARLSON (continuing from above): So Mitchell's piece attributed this fact to a "senior U.S. official." It was not a guess. It was sourced. 

And then, as with the early reporting on Paul Pelosi last month, that account was scrubbed and sanitized, and the new version of the NBC story assures us that: "The Kremlin ultimately gave the White House the choice of either Griner or no one."

In other words, Joe Biden's version of events is now perfectly in sync with the official NBC News version of events. Of course. ,..So at this point, we can assume the obvious. The Biden administration chose Brittney Griner over Paul Whelan, the basketball player over the Marine facing 16 years. There was only room for one in the lifeboat and the Marine got left behind.

In that passage, Carlson linked this corrected report to NBC's earlier corrected report about the attack on Paul Pelosi. In fact, there had been such a corrected report. This wasn't NBC's first such report in recent weeks.

We don't know why NBC News keeps making these glaring errors. But in that passage, Carlson was telling his viewers something he surely knew to be bogus. 

He was saying we know that Biden chose Griner over Wallace because of that one, later corrected, NBC report. Indeed, he was saying this was "obvious," based on that one report!

As far as we know, Carlson isn't cognitively challenged. Assuming that impression is correct, Carlson knew he was saying something which was utterly bogus.

Carlson said we knew what Biden had done—that the truth was obvious. He had "chose[n] Brittney Griner over Paul Whelan...There was only room for one in the lifeboat and the Marine got left behind."

Presumably, Carlson knew that we knew no such thing, that no such thing was "obvious." He made the statement anyway, then went in an ugly direction:

CARLSON (continuing directly): Well, why did they make that choice? Well, you should know that Whelan is a Trump voter, and he made the mistake of saying so on social media. He's paying the price for that now. 

Brittney Griner is not. She's got very different politics. Brittney Griner despises the United States. She's been very vocal about that. This country is so repellent and immoral that two years ago she said: "I honestly feel we should not play the national anthem during our basketball season." She hates the country so much she doesn't want to hear its anthem. So there's that. 

That's the kind of position that gets you rewarded by Joe Biden. "Hate America? Perfect! We'll free the guy who sold weapons to drug cartels to get you out early."

That presentation was ugly; it was also remarkably stupid. Then, things got dumber and uglier still:

CARLSON (continuing directly): And then there's the matter of identity, which is central to equity. 

Brittney Griner is not White, and she's a lesbian. Now, those facts might seem irrelevant to you. We hope they do seem irrelevant because they are, but they're not irrelevant to the White House press secretary. In the view of the White House press secretary, those are essential qualifications for a prisoner swap.

At this point, Carlson played tape of something Karine Jean-Pierre had said in the course of announcing Griner's release. 

We'll have to postpone that part of this battle until tomorrow. The warfare gets extremely complex when the elites of our major tribes clash.

For today, we do need to offer this:

We know of exactly zero evidence in support of Carlson's ugly claims about Brittney Griner's political views. More specifically, we know of exactly zero evidence indicating that Brittney Griner "despises the United States," that she finds this country "repellent and immoral."

On the other hand, there's the possibly unwise statement Karine Jean-Pierre had made. And there's the somewhat selective account in the New York Times concerning what Carlson had said.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But our varied elites are at war with each other at the present time. 

In our view, Carlson made an array of statements last Thursday night which were ugly and baldly bogus. 

His work that night came from deep within a deeply disordered elite. Then too, there's the way our own tribe's elites responded—and then too, there's the year's best books!

Tomorrow: We try to wrap this up


  1. Oh, dear.
    Y'know, dear Bob, your liberal cult doesn't need your phony apologetics. Nor does it need your clumsy smears of its opponents. Hundreds of thousands of well-paid professional bullshitters (including the whole NBC organization) are working on it day and night, and they don't need your help.

    ...why don't you get back to your gentle critique of good-decent persons, dear?

  2. The government was given a choice, and it made one.
    All the whining and crying from the Right is because the day of the week ends in "y".

  3. Tucker Carlson is a moron, who doesn't even know he's supposed to call Liberals 'snowflakes" before he throws his hissy fit.

  4. The woods are lovely, dark, and deep.

  5. "We'll have to postpone that part of this battle until tomorrow. The warfare gets extremely complex when the elites of our major tribes clash."

    Carlson made another bogus report, making stuff up and weaving in half-truths. Somerby hints it was partially because NBC got something wrong and made a correction, Andrea Mitchell was somehow involved, and Biden's spokesperson (not coincidentally a black woman) said something unwise. So Somerby apparently thinks that these small ongoing discrepancies help Carlson make stuff up and say bogus things. Otherwise, why talk about any of the press reporting? The press didn't cause Carlson to make up bogus stuff in order to smear Biden (and Griner).

    So what is there to talk about later? Nothing. And what is the consequence of Carlson's bogus whining? Apparently nothing. Somerby draws no conclusions from it. It is a fact of nature, apparently. So why bother reading this essay from Somerby? He adds nothing to the situation, not even the facts about Whelen that might make his rescue less urgent.

    1. You’re right. Stop reading Somerby.

    2. I can’t quit. I have a crush on Cecelia.

  6. Carlson took over for Fox's biggest star, a serial office
    sex offender (often defended by Bob) who they couldn't
    defend anymore.
    He had a big job, and sensible moderation was
    not going to play. He went for broke and it worked.

    Baring that in mind, Fox is actually sort of in
    the middle of right wing crazy. If they show any
    half sanity, the base, POS types like our Mao,
    get nervous and start talking about Newsmax,
    Right extremism for profit is very much
    represented in the Republican Party rank and file.
    Like it or not, what the corporate liberalism of
    MSNBC says about them is all too true.
    Bob, an idiot, puts his hands over his ears like
    a dim child and starts chanting "Trump Trump Trump"
    if he gets to near this "the sky is blue" level of
    I guess the occasional call out of Tucker is the
    best he can do. Maybe it's all his sponsors will allow
    him to do.

    1. His sponsors? What sponsors?

    2. Simply allowing for the possibility
      that Bob is at least behaving like a
      fool in pursuit of a paycheck.

    3. No, he’s too foolish even to pursue a paycheck.

  7. “Carlson was telling his viewers something he surely knew to be bogus.”

    When someone knowingly says something bogus, that is called lying. It makes Carlson a liar.

    “As far as we know, Tucker Carlson isn't cognitively challenged in any major way.”


    “we watched the opening segment of Tucker Carlson Tonight. We saw the program's disordered host engage in the last example of his strangely unhinged behavior.”



    “Carlson's mother abandoned him when he was 8 years old”


    So, did Carlson’s mother abandoning him cause him to become a liar?

    And when will Somerby call for Carlson to be fired, the way he constantly did with Maddow?

    1. mh, can you and the anonymices hold some sort of war room session and settle it as to whether or not maladaptive behavior from childhood wholly precludes human agency? Do it by using your own gold standard of the Somerby vs nuture mama issues?

      Anonymous treatment of Somerby on this matter is what’s giving you a sense of cognitive dissonance here, mh.

      Your sense of inconsistency and incoherence is coming from your own fellows.

    2. Cecelia, scientific research isn't a matter of taking a majority vote. Further, Somerby's remarks are never based on knowledge of psychology -- he doesn't read it and he apparently didn't learn it at Harvard. He is at most a follower of pop psychology and a true believer of political books such as Bandy Lee's attack on Trump, with essays by various clinical psychologists (who are not researchers or experts in anything but diagnosing and treating clinical problems such as mental illness).

      mh is documenting Somerby's inconsistency. All of those quotes are by Somerby, not any anonymous commenters. mh's questions are to highlight Somerby's mistaken remarks about Carlson's pathology.

      I have said here several times that divorce does not cause the kind of bogus lying displayed by Carlson. It doesn't excuse his extremism either. Nor does it excuse Trump's pathology (note that Trump's parents were not divorced and Trump was never abandoned in childhood).

      You seem to be shifting the responsibility for Somerby's incorrect statements onto anonymous commenters, but none of us were quoted by mh and we are not responsible for your failure to understand mh's compare/contrast of Somerby's various conflicting remarks either.

      I don't know whether your comment is the result of stupidity or deliberate deflection, but either way it doesn't reflect any understanding of child development on your part. There are books on the subject that anyone can read -- even Somerby and even YOU. Then you wouldn't introduce your own confusions into the discussions here. But I suspect that, like Mao, your purpose here is exactly to create a mess in comments, to prevent debate over Somerby's propagandistic muddling nonsense.

  8. Somerby says Carlson is from a disordered elite. Then he says our side has elites too. But not all elites are alike. Further, Carlson is bad but not because he is elite. Somerby is demonstrating disordered thinking.

    Somerby seems to expect a kind of consistency on the left that only happens when party line is being dictated by a single source. He should welcome the discrepancies that show we have a free press. Instead he tries to suggest that the left is as bad as the right, where Carlson says bogus things on purpose.

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