FRIDAY, JANUARY 20, 2023
The ghosts of Shaker Heights: Last night, Tucker Carlson went so far that the bosses at Fox News have apparently made a decision.
They've apparently decided to withhold the transcript from the web site of Tucker's highly rated TV show, Tucker Carlson Tonight.
The transcript of Tucker's opening monologue doesn't appear at the web site, where it normally would. In its place, a transcript appears for a different part of last evening's show.
What did Tucker say last night? Right at 9 p.m. Eastern, he repeated his declaration from last Thursday night:
President Biden is being taken down by "permanent Washington"—in this case, "by his own political party." According to Tucker, that explains why Biden suddenly finds himself in the throes of the classified documents scandal.
It's all the work of "permanent Washington," Tucker said again and again. Indeed, you can see the monologue, and read the transcript, simply by clicking this.
As it turns out, Fox News did prepare a proofread transcript of last night's opening monologue! The transcript simply hasn't been posted at the program's site.
What did Tucker say last night? He started by saying this:
CARLSON (1/19/23): If you're a normal person, it's a pretty weird experience watching Joe Biden's presidency get euthanized by his own party. On one hand, there's an undeniable thrill to it. You have to admit that. Biden is the most destructive president in American history. More things have broken under his watch than under any other president.
Joe Biden deserves to be driven from office and disgraced, but for this? Breaking federal classification rules, some of the stupidest and most dishonest laws Congress has ever passed? It's like arresting El Chapo for expired plates. It's missing the point, but it looks like that's what's going to happen.
It seems like every day, one of Joe Biden's lawyers shows up with more sheaves of classified documents like a dog who has found another dead chipmunk under the house. This bunch was in his office at Penn, the one paid for by the Communist Party of China. These were found next to his sad, little midlife crisis sports car in a garage in Delaware and so on. You keep waiting for the White House physician to announce another document trove has been discovered after a routine colonoscopy. It could happen because at this point, you know exactly where this story is heading.
Permanent Washington does not want Joe Biden to run for president again. This is how they're sending that message. Even CNN has decided to become interested in Joe Biden's misdeeds two years into his presidency. They're doing segments in how classification laws protect this country from its mortal enemies like Russia. So, you know for certain the order has gone out. Biden is done.
That's the way Tucker got started last night. At 9:07, he began explaining how far back this sort of thing actually goes, "permanent Washington"-wise.
As you can see from the tape and the transcript, Tucker's historical exposition started with Richard Nixon. More specifically, it started with what President Nixon said, or possibly didn't say, to Richard Helms about the murder of President Kennedy.
According to Tucker, President Nixon believed that the CIA was involved in that murder. Unwisely, Nixon shared this belief with Helms, then the head of the CIA.
On that basis, "permanent Washington" knew that Nixon had to be "forced to resign." Tucker spent four minutes explaining this, not failing to explain the secret roles of Bob Woodward and Gerald Ford.
From 9:07 through 9:11, Tucker explained these past events. As he explained, the chyron beneath him said this:
NIXON WAS REMOVED FOR QUESTIONING THE DEEP STATE
"None of it's secret," the confident Fox star said. "Most of it actually is on Wikipedia." he actually said, even adding this:
"It's so obvious, yet it's intentionally ignored and as a result, permanent Washington remains in charge of our political system."
(For a different discussion of those past events, you can just click here.)
At any rate, according to Tucker, permanent Washington remains in charge. And at present, permanent Washington has created the classified documents scandal in order to take Biden down!
Everyone is involved in the plot. Even CNN!
That's what Tucker told red tribe viewers last night. As he did, our blue tribe tribunes were continuing to cluck about George Santos.
Tucker's monologue was the latest event in a week in the life. So is our tribe's collective shrieking about Santos—about the money he stole from the dog; about where his mother actually was as of September 11.
Santos is an utterly meaningless backbench member of the 435-member House. We'd be inclined to assume that he has some major psychiatric problem, but our journalists don't discuss such matters, nor do they ever consult medical or psychiatric specialists concerning cases like this.
That said, Santos is enjoyable to talk about on a tribal basis. From the standpoint of profit-driven "journalism," these discussions constitute extremely good tribal product.
It's fun and easy to talk about Santos, and it's very good business. In part for those reasons, the beat goes on, then on and on, just as it ever was.
Almost surely, you can't run a giant nation this way—with people like Carlson telling wild tales; with people like Nicolle Wallace scheduling daily echo sessions involving her "favorite reporters and friends."
Our blue tribe tribunes spend the bulk of their time talking to themselves and to no one else. Then too, there are the ghosts of Shaker Heights, those who will not be discussed.
At present, the nation's red tribe tends to run on crazy belief. Our own blue tribe tends to run on the bogus belief we're the extremely good and decent people, especially on matters involving the topic called race.
We say it and say it and say it and say it. That doesn't mean that it's true.
The ghosts of Shaker Heights appeared online at roughly this time last week. The report in question appeared in the print edition of last Sunday's New York Times—in the Real Estate section!
The report was written by Debra Kamin, who we'd say is very plainly a good, decent person. That said, she isn't an education writer, and we'd have to say that it showed.
The ghosts of Shaker Heights are a bunch of the kinds of kids our blue tribe never discusses. (More precisely, we never discuss them unless they get shot, and in that circumstance only if they were shot by a policeman.)
We've been following education writing for the past fifty years. We don't think we've ever seen a serious journalistic attempt to discuss the topic in question, or the children we turn into ghosts.
According to Kamin's report, the ghosts of the Heights are found on the low end of a large "achievement gap." Every once in a while, newspapers like the New York Times publish an article like the one in question—an article which may convey the fleeting impression that our blue tribe actually cares about the kids of the Heights.
In fact, we don't seem to care, though that doesn't make us bad people. It simply makes us people people, but it suggests that we might consider toning down our excessively high self-regard concerning our obvious moral greatness concerning matters of race, as opposed to the snarling racism of The Bad People Found Over There.
The article which appeared in the Times concerns the nation's public schools. Within our blue tribe, we praise ourselves for our racial greatness—and we relentlessly disappear the kids discussed in that Times report.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but our own blue tribe largely runs on such acts of performance. We perform the role of moral exemplars as we conduct self-contained gab sessions with our "favorite friends."
Our tribunes will continue to talk about Santos. It's excellent cable news product.
They won't discuss the ghosts of the Heights. Also, they won't discuss the reasonable questions about immigration raised by Carlson in the midst of last night's pseudo-discussion of the way Richard Nixon went down.
Tucker will continue to do what he does. So will our favorite friends.
Can a major nation function this way? We'd have to say the answer is no. Experts say it isn't clear that there's any way out of this mess.
The ghosts of the Heights were one small part of the most recent week in the life. The report appeared in the Real Estate section, and the ghosts then disappeared.
How we knew: We think it's obvious that Debra Kamin is a good, decent, caring person.
In our view, it's also obvious that she isn't an education writer. In our view, that became clear when we read this passage:
KAMIN (1/15/23): At least 73 percent of Black eighth graders in the [Shaker Heights] district were reading at or above grade level in 2011; by 2021, that number had dropped precipitously to about 27 percent, according to Ohio’s Department of Education.
On their own, those numbers don't tell us anything about the ghosted kids of Shaker Heights. Thanks to decades of not caring, editors at the New York Times show no sign of knowing such things, nor do they seem to care.