THURSDAY, JANUARY 19, 2023
In red tents, Tucker Carlson: A week in the life of the national discourse is a journey of many steps.
Quite routinely, the journey involves an imitation of public discourse—on a journalistic basis, an "imitation of life."
Consider the first two reports we read when we sat down, this very morning, before our computer machine.
We'd already been surprised by certain manifestations on today's Morning Joe. But the first two reports we actually read appeared beneath these headlines:
‘I Don’t Want to Die’: Fighting Maternal Mortality Among Black Women
A St. Louis doula program, part of a nonprofit that received funding in the $1.7 trillion federal budget bill, looks for solutions in a benefit largely associated with affluent white women.
Tucker Carlson Announces Jacinda Ardern's Resignation By Mocking Her Appearance
That first report received prominent placement on the front page of today's New York Times. We quickly clicked and read the report because of our growing interest in the topic—an interest which was partially fueled by an implausible claim on a recent NPR program.
As it turned out, the implausible claim was sourced to what turned out to be completely unpersuasive evidence. It was just another run of the mill event in a week in the life!
Obviously, you don't want women to die as a result of giving birth. Also, you don't want major journalists to offer classic "links to nowhere," as the New York Times does early in today's report.
This afternoon, we'll detail this error. (In fairness, everyone makes mistakes.) For now, let's move ahead to the latest disordered behavior from Carlson, the highly popular "abandoned boy" of the Fox News Channel—a disordered performer who now exists in a state of headlong decline.
The second report we read today came by way of Yanoo News. It involves Carlson's comments last night regarding Jacinda Ardern, who has chosen to step down as prime minister of New Zealand.
Yahoo's headline said that Carlson had mocked Ardern's appearance. For the record, that statement is true, as far as it goes.
That said, the craziness of Carlson's conduct went well beyond that familiar type of schoolboy denigration. Complete with videotape of Carlson, this was Ron Dicker's full report:
DICKER (1/19/23): Tucker Carlson reported the resignation of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Wednesday by insulting her appearance, mangling her name and making absurd claims about her leadership. (Watch the video below.)
“And some rare good news: The appalling prime minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern―that’s the lady with the big teeth who tormented her citizens―has just announced she is leaving office,” the Fox News host said in a news alert.
Ardern, popular worldwide for her empathetic leadership, said in a speech that she no longer had the energy for the job. Although her popularity has dropped, she is credited with overseeing a ban on military-style assault rifles after mass shootings there and instituting strict COVID-19 measures that minimized the island nation’s death toll.
Carlson, however, framed her tenure differently. He called her “an appalling abuser of human rights of her own people” who’s the “most authoritarian leader that country has ever had.”
“What are the chances she was a puppet of the Chinese government?” he said. “We don’t have enough evidence to prove that, but we would rate that as about 100% likely.”
Ardern, who became the world’s youngest female head of government at age 37 in 2017, said she will step down no later than Feb. 7.
For the record, Dicker did a bit of editorializing himself. Concerning Carlson's behavior, what would you say? Pathetic? Disordered? Deranged?
However you might choose to score it, Carlson did mangle Ardern's name. Also he did insult her appearance.
For ourselves, we were most struck by the novel he quickly composed—a novel concerning Ardern's imagined role as "a puppet of the Chinese government."
Sad! The Fox News star admitted that he lacks the evidence to prove his claim, but he went ahead and rated that claim "as about 100% likely." This is the kind of disordered behavior the defective fellow displays each night—defective behavior his corporate channel is happy to sell to the public.
Last Thursday night, also sad! On that occasion, Carlson quickly assembled a novel about the classified documents which had been present in an office maintained by President Biden, and at his Wilmington home.
(At present, the number of such documents seem to be about 18. By way of contrast, 325 classified documents have been retrieved from former president Donald J. Trump after a year of serial misstatements and wrangling. Roughly sixty (60) of those documents were classified Top Secret.)
Last Thursday night, the abandoned boy took out his dolls and his action figures and staged a tribally pleasing play about the Biden documents. He invented a pleasing set of claims concerning the (imagined) reason why the documents had come to be found.
Needless to say, Kamala Harris was present in the invented story he told. (He tends to mangle her name too.) You can read and watch the bulk of what Carlson said simply by clicking this link.
The childish Carlson was playing with dolls on his program that night. That said, he engages in such childish play on a regular basis.
Strikingly, his conduct routinely passes without mention or notice from major blue tribe sources.
What sorts of claims does Carlson make? In the course of answering your question, let's run through a few events—red and blue—in our current week in the life:
Tuesday, within our pathetic blue tribe, Stormy Daniels returned! On Deadline: White House, Nicolle Wallace and her "favorite reporters and friends" were hope-hope-hoping that Alvin Bragg was going to change his mind and charge Donald J. Trump with a crime for the payment he made to Daniels back in 2016.
As we've long noted, Deadline: White House routinely examines exactly one topic:
Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Jail!
As we'll further note tomorrow, the friends display little interest in anything else. On Tuesday, the friends were thrilled by new indications that Bragg might be returning to this topic in the quest to throw Trump in jail.
For us, this pitiful conduct raises two questions. Our first question would be this:
Why hasn't Daniels herself been charged with the crime of extortion?
Quickly, let's review. According to Daniels, she engaged in one (1) act of consensual sex with Trump. (Trump says the number is zero.)
According to Daniels, this one (1) act of consensual sex occurred in 2006. Now it was the fall of 2016, and she was trying to get paid.
Daniels told Trump that she'd go public with her claim if he didn't give her a bag of money. We saw this conduct described on Fox as a textbook case of extortion.
We return to our original question. Why hasn't Daniels been charged with extortion? We aren't lawyers, but it does seem to us that that's what Daniels did.
Our second question is this:
Over here in our pitiful tribe, can this possibly be the way we want our elections to work?
Really? Do we really think that our White Houses elections should turn on unverifiable, last-minute claims about who may have had consensual sex with someone ten years earlier? Because that's the profoundly dumbnified world currently being erected by Wallace and her Mouseketeer-adjacent friends.
Over here, in our own tribe's tents, Stormy Daniels was back! In fairness, that constituted only one moment in the current week in the life.
Yesterday, a different moment occurred. Wallace actually presented a serious topic for viewers to review! She presented Rep. Eric Swalwell, speaking about the types of death threats he and family receive.
Quickly, the conversation focused on allegations against Kevin McCarthy.
McCarthy has removed Swalwell from the House Intelligence Committee, but why did McCarthy do that? Here's the start of what Swalwell said:
WALLACE (1/18/23): You were stripped of your committees. Why?
SWALWELL: Political vengeance. You know, Kevin McCarthy seems to want to heat up the leftovers of a story that goes back to Barack Obama's first term.
The FBI has said three different times, and in a rare forum—they never talk about investigations—that all I did was help them. Never suspected of wrongdoing.
Today, the Washington Post fact-checker, Glenn Kessler, put out a story giving McCarthy four Pinocchios for his claims. But the consequence of his claims is not just that I'm not on the committee... It inspires these death threats. People parrot what McCarthy is saying when they call and make the threats.
Swalwell went on to say that McCarthy has been told about this problem, but that he just doesn't care. We can't verify those claims. We can tell you this:
It's true! Kessler did fact-check McCarthy's recent statements. Also, he did give McCarthy four Pinocchios for the various things he has said.
Kessler even cited the most inflammatory part of the backstory, in which people like Tucker Carlson have said that Swalwell was involved in a sexual relationship, way back when, with a smokin' hot Chinese spy.
McCarthy didn't make any such explicit statement. Just last week, Tucker Carlson did. But no one mentioned Carlson's behavior on yesterday's Deadline: White House and, as a matter of policy, Kessler only fact-checks public officials. No "journalists" need apply!
What did Carlson say last week? You can see his presentation here.
He offered no verifiable evidence for the claim he loves to make about Swalwell. In the end, though, he did say this:
"If you're having sex with a Chinese spy, sorry, you can't be on an intel committee. It's that simple."
Thus spake the prominent pundit, even as he jumped to the present tense.
Carlson has never produced any verifiable source for this accusation, which he has made for the past several years. Also, Jacinda Ardern was a Chinese puppet, and Biden is in trouble with the documents for the (wholly imagined) reasons Carlson broadcast last Thursday night.
Long ago, Carlson became an abandoned boy. We all seem to be paying the price for that plainly unfortunate event.
At any rate, his conduct went unmentioned on yesterday's Deadline: White House. Also, it went unmentioned by Kessler. Carlson fabulizes night and day, and other stars tend not to say so.
The fact that Carlson's fabulizations go unremarked is a fairly typical part of a modern week in the life. In this case, it was a week which featured Daniels' return over here in our own tribe's tents.
Going all the way back to Rush Limbaugh, we've said that it should be front-page news when people disinform millions of people in the way Carlson does. That said, the ship of discourse sails ahead, with our major news organs strongly inclined to stay in their own safe lanes.
It's all part of a week in the life! Our public discourse is deeply disordered—and the vast disorder of which we speak isn't all found Over There!
Tomorrow: Banquo's ghost (and Shaker Heights)