CARLSON UNBOUND: It was the sheer stupidity, Stupid!


But also, the danger and the silence: Tucker Carlson was loaded for bear when last Tuesday night's program began.

He began, as he often (though not always) does, with a baldly inaccurate statement. His presentation dealt with NPR—and with the transgender movement:

CARLSON (3/28/23): Good evening, and welcome to Tucker Carlson Tonight.

It was just last week that we noticed that parts of the transgender movement seemed to be getting militant and possibly dangerous. We did a whole segment about it on Thursday night [March 23]. 

That segment was sparked by an NPR segment we had heard and never expected to hear. 

NPR as always, as a matter of editorial policy, completely opposes civilian ownership of firearms, with the possible exception of the IRS agents.  

Yet here suddenly was that very same station, National Public Radio, positively urging trans people to buy guns, as many guns as possible, and if necessary to use them. 

As usual, Carson was warning his viewers that a certain group of Others were becoming very dangerous. 

He began with a bit of snark in which NPR was said to be advocating for heavily armed IRS agents. Then, he described a surprising NPR segment—an NPR segment, needless to say, which had never taken place.

Had Carlson actually heard a broadcast in which NPR "urged trans people to buy as many guns as possible, and if necessary to use them?"

Actually no, he hadn't. Simply put, no such segment had ever been broadcast by NPR.

No such segment had ever been broadcast. But so it went at the start of the evening on the increasingly dangerous, frequently crackpot "cable news" program, Tucker Carlson Tonight. 

As Carlson spoke, his corporate owner, Fox News, was up to its ears in a defamation suit brought by Dominion Voting Systems. 

In the aftermath of the 2020 election, the Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Channel had repeatedly aired crackpot claims about Dominion—crackpot claims which major players at Fox News had privately described as "crazy" and false.

As Carlson went on the air last Tuesday night, this behavior by Fox News had been widely reported and discussed. But here was Carlson, beginning his show with a bogus claim about a nonexistent NPR segment he seemed to think he had heard.

NPR had never aired any such report. At this link, you can listen to the actual segment to which Carlson referred. You can also read a clean, proofread transcript of what was actually said during the actual segment.

The segment described a group of trans people who were training themselves on the use of guns out of fear of anti-trans violence. At no point had NPR's Todd Bookman engaged in the types of advocacy Carlson seemed to think he had scarily heard.

In fairness to Carlson, a person can almost believe that he may have actually thought that he heard a segment of the type he described. 

Carlson's behavior isn't overtly disordered during every broadcast of Tucker Carlson Tonight. That said, his presentations routinely involve leaps of logic and fractured facts in such overt, ridiculous ways as to cause fair-minded viewers to wonder about his mental and medical well-being.

That said, Carlson's presentation was severely disordered last Tuesday night. His claims about the murderous "transgenderist" movement would only become more perverse on the following night.

In even a mildly rational world, it would be astounding to think that a major network like Fox News would put this person on the air at all, let alone at a time when the corporation's behavior is being dismantled in the course of a high-profile lawsuit.

That would be in a mildly rational world. In the universe we all inhabit, an entirely different set of standards and norms seems to apply.

It's going to take us all next week to walk you through the disordered claims Carlson made last Tuesday and Wednesday nights. On a journalistic basis, the sheer stupidity of Carlson's work was matched by its ugliness and by its menace—but of one thing Carlson could be sure:

As Carlson went on the air all last week, he could be sure of this:

No one in the wider press corps was going to say a word about what he was doing on these deranged, disordered broadcasts. He would be able to air his broadcasts without any reporting or commentary in the wider journalistic world.

On Tuesday and Wednesday nights, the sheer stupidity of Carlson's torrent of claims was matched by their irresponsibility and their danger and menace. That said, Fox News could feel fairly sure that no one in the mainstream press would report what Carlson was saying and doing.

On the blue tribe's cable news channel, Carlson's counterparts were happily discussing the topic they ride as a pleasurable hobbyhorse and as a ratings magnet:

Trump Trump Trump Trump Jail!

Blue tribe hosts ignored Carlson's broadcasts. Almost everywhere else, a similar silence prevailed. 

Last Thursday night, Carlson staged his most disturbing broadcast of the week. As we noted in this report, one young journalist at Salon reported what he had said and done.

One very young journalist was alarmed by the Fox star's lack of clothes. At the New York Times and the Washington Post, near total silence prevailed.

It was the (ongoing) silence of the lambs—the lambs of the mainstream press corps and of the blue tribal world. 

Starting next Monday, we'll spend a week taking you through the various ugly and dangerous claims the Fox ratings star broadcast last week. For today, one early admission:

We won't be able to get to it all. The lunacy was general over CarlsonWorld for three consecutive nights.

Carlson's claims were frequently nutty—but they were also disordered, dangerous. 

The New York Times didn't say a word; the Washington Post was silent. Dating at least to the 1990s, life has been easier, for all concerned, when they choose to avert their gaze. 

"It's the economy, Stupid," a famous campaign bromide once said.

All last week, it was the blinding stupidity you might have noticed first if you watched Carlson's programs. At first glance, It was the sheer stupidity, Stupid on this disordered show.

Also, though, it was the danger, and it was the menace. It was the dangerous air of menace as mainstream press silence prevailed. 

Next week: We'll try to do the best we can. There's no way to get to it all.


  1. So, why would some almost believe they heard what Carlson claims? We could say Carlson’s obvious bullshit isn’t something that would SURPRISE anyone, that’s why you don’t have to watch it every night, nor worry about answering them all the time. MSNBC does point out his garbage from time to time, a fact Bob baldly misrepresents all the time.
    Tuck isn’t the only Fox personality who will testify in the Dominion case, Bob singles him out but he is par for the course at Fox.

    1. Chris Hayes and O’Donnell frequently attack Carlson. There’s no reason they won’t add Carlson’s transgender attacks to their list, if they haven’t already.

    2. The chattier, sometimes too silly Joy Reid does it even more.

  2. “The New York Times didn't say a word; the Washington Post was silent.”


    “The right exploits Nashville shooting to escalate anti-trans rhetoric”

    By Fenit Nirappil
    March 30, 2023 at 6:00 a.m. EDT

    From the article:

    ‘Fox News host Tucker Carlson featured a photo of the shooter superimposed with the words “Trans Killer” on his Tuesday show. The chyron read: “We are witnessing the rise of trans violence.”’

    Apologies or a retraction are in order, Bob.


  3. tl;dr
    "At no point had NPR's Todd Bookman engaged in the types of advocacy Carlson seemed to think he had scarily heard."

    Puh-leeze, dear Bob.

    Gun owners -- and the idea of having guns for self-defense -- are not scorned, not mocked, but sympathized with.

    Sorry, but if this is not advocacy, then we don't know what is...

    1. Don't forget to take your meds, weirdo.

  4. Tucker Carlson told a lie -- stop the presses! The Washington Post kept a running tally of Trump's lies throughout his term in office. The resources needed to catalog all of the lies told by other Republicans would be astronomical. Lying is what they do.

    If the NPR show about fearful trans people could be misconstrued by Carlson to support his mistaken report, then is it a lie at all? The more important question is why Fox harbors a mentally ill cable host who is manifestly unable to hear and interpret experience accurately. Why does Somerby not follow his own statements to their natural conclusions? Somerby should be calling for Tucker Carlson's removal, as he once did for Rachel Maddow (for a much lesser crime of smirking and accepting her salary).

    We are entering a time when it will be trans trans trans trans kill, all the time, and that cannot be good for those trans people who depend on our police to defend them, given their right wing leanings. Shouldn't Somerby be concerned about that, instead of worrying so much about what is said on cable shows about Trump? Surely Somerby should be calling for more positive trans coverage and less Tucker trans-phobia? Even now, Somerby's focus is on MSNBC, who is not persecuting trans people, and that makes no sense at all.

  5. Somerby thinks trans issues should replace the discussion of Trump on MSNBC. The right wing would just love that.

  6. Tucker Carlson says crazy stupid things but it is MSNBC's fault for not monitoring him and contradicting his crap? When was MSNBC appointed Carlson's chaperone? Why isn't it Fox's job to rein him in?

  7. When Tucker Carson distorts the content of a show about trans people and guns broadcast by NPR, he isn't being stupid. He is showing deliberate malice toward trans people and playing off his audience's fear of mass shooting by trans people. The spreading of disinformation about the trans gender status of the shooter in TN was done in advance of any knowledge by conservatives who have been doing that after a variety of crimes. It is part of a right-wing fear campaign, not Tucker Carlson's personal stupidity, as Somerby suggests. By disguising the nature of Carlson's attack on trans people Tuesday, Somerby colludes with Carlson to malign trans people and promote right wing talking points on that subject.

    Somerby is complicit, not MSNBC. This essay today is deflection. Or perhaps it is Somerby who is stupid, stupid, stupid -- but I think it is more likely that Somerby is callous, transphobic and hateful, like Carlson.

  8. Nuns have come out in support of trans people but not the Catholic priests.

    1. Gee…wonder why?

      “More than 150 priests, others in Baltimore Archdiocese abused over 600 kids, Maryland AG report says”

  9. "In fairness to Carlson, a person can almost believe that he may have actually thought that he heard a segment of the type he described."
    Send your kids to Harvard, ladies and gentlemen, and one day they might write (and think) like this....
    I THINK I know what Bob is trying to say here, as he descends into the eighth circle of special pleading hell, but it its hard to be sure. i guess it means Bob thinks NPR sometimes almost totally invents crazy segments like the one we can almost imagine Tucker thinks he heard something that was almost like the one he made up, but Bob offers (surprise!) no evidence of this.
    Side note: Elon Musk has signed off on Tucker's cut on January 6th. Bill Maher slavishly celebrates Musk as a free speech hero And that;s how the big old evil world goes round....

    1. Or... Bob is saying Tucker is "disordered" and cannot distinguish what he has and has not heard (we must never saying that he is lying or even driven by hatred). The Dominion texts strongly refute this.

  10. Hayes presented this a few weeks ago:

    “Chris Hayes: The Tucker Carlson villain origin story”

    Moral: Carlson failed trying to create an accurate, unbiased right wing news source, and ultimately cashed in at Fox by selling what their audience really wanted.

    You don’t have to imagine that Carlson is disordered or stupid, or that his mother leaving when he was 8 caused him to become the persona he is on Fox, which differs from his off air persona, as we see from the Dominion evidence.

  11. By the way, last night’s MSNBC shows were almost entirely devoted to the two guys removed from the Tennessee legislature, partly via live coverage. I’m sure Somerby will mention this (lol), when he can figure out the right wing spin.

  12. I predict that Carlson will do a segment on this tonight.

    1. The reality is never quite what Carlson says it is.

    2. New York Post

  13. The second amendment is evil.

  14. Hello I greatly recommend you Via our ongoing Invitation to join our Great Illuminati and become Rich and Famous.

    With help of Bryan George Steil make me believe that illuminati is real, when you come across wrong person’s you will think that life is not real but when you are with the real one you will experience the goodness of your life, Mr Bryan George Steil has made me discovered my purpose of life. Welcome to the great brotherhood of Illuminati and everyone in other Countries can join the Illuminati brotherhood to get rich and famous, Are you a Business man/woman, retirement pensioner, musical artist, student, footballer Pastor, pianist, engineer, scientist, lawyer, Politician, Model, Music Teacher, Photographer, Musician, Doctor, fashion artist, Footballer, pilot, Swimmer, social media influencer, philanthropist, filmmaker, and podcast host, producer, tv host, comedian, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), e.t.c? Do you want to be a Famous Artist or an Actor or whatever occupation you do, you want to be rich, powerful and famous in life. Illuminati can grant all your heart desires to join the Illuminati to become rich and famous in life, Illuminati will make you achieve all your dreams to become rich and protected all the days of your life…… BENEFIT GIVEN TO A NEW MEMBER WHO JOIN THE ILLUMINATI a new dream car valued at $200,000.00 USD a dream house to build in any country of your own choice one month holiday (fully paid) to your dream tourist destination. One year golf membership package a V I P treatment in all airports in the world a total lifestyle change access to bohemian grove, a membership benefit funds amount $1,500,0000 USD to start of a business that will be bring profit to you monthly, one month booked appointment with our leaders and some celebrities» JOIN ILLUMINATI YOUR FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES ARE BROUGHT TO AN END. WE SUPPORT YOU BOTH FINANCIALLY AND PHYSICALLY SPIRITUALLY TO ENSURE YOU LIVE A COMFORTABLE LIFE . IF YOU ARE INTERESTED CONTACT Email: For immediate response… Note: There aren't any Human sacrifices and no bloody involvement.

    The Club of the Rich and Famous; the world oldest and largest fraternity. We are one Family under one father who is the Supreme Being. In Illuminati we believe that we were born in paradise and no member should struggle in this world. Hence all our new members are given Money Rewards once they join in order to upgrade their lifestyle.; interested viewers should get instant initiated to the Illuminati Brotherhood membership profit funds, sum of $1,500,000.00 USD to start off a business that will be profitable.

    After Illuminati membership profit funds, a sum of $1,500,000.00 USD was given to me to start a profitable business, I now earn a daily profit of $50,000 USD for just inviting new customers to The Club of the Rich and Famous and being part of this life changing opportunity.

    Invite customers Get reward 100% guaranteed and legitimacy

    Please note, Kindly make sure all your responses are sent directly to the Illuminati secret Authorities email stated above only at: For more instructions on our membership process.