Further notes on Tucker Carlson!


A stereotype on steroids: If it weren't for all the abnormal psychology, would there be any psychology at all? 

In this passage, Swan and Haberman describe a pair of lost souls:

SWAN AND HABERMAN (4/25/23): The casual news observer would be forgiven for thinking that Mr. Trump and his family no longer had a relationship with Mr. Carlson, given the recent disclosures of the Fox host’s scathing private text messages, which emerged as part of the conservative network’s legal battle against Dominion Voting Systems.

In early 2021, as Mr. Trump desperately tried to overturn the 2020 election, Mr. Carlson texted a confidant that he hated the president “passionately.” He also described Mr. Trump as a “demonic force.”

When the texts were released in March, Mr. Trump was wounded and called Mr. Carlson to talk about them, according to a person familiar with the outreach. But the two men patched it up quickly. Since then, they have talked regularly, exchanged text messages and appeared to have a closer relationship than at any time before, according to two people close to Mr. Trump...

Tucker called Trump "a demonic force"—said he hated him "passionately."

For a New York minute, Trump's feelings were hurt. But the two men patched it up quickly!

We can't evaluate the accuracy of that account. That said, there was Trump on Carlson's program on April 11, rambling on and on and on as Tucker struggled valiantly, fighting to stay awake.

We've been surprised, but not surprised, by some of the reporting about Carlson's departure from Fox. We refer to the accounts of the runaway misogyny which is said to have prevailed inside the badly disordered, tiny-tot world of Tucker Carlson Tonight.

In her new column, Michelle Goldberg describes some of what has been said, but she does hold back a bit. This is her account of Abby Grossberg's lawsuit against Fox, the contents of which have generally been under-reported:

GOLDBERG (4/25/23): Grossberg’s lawsuit had seemed, before Monday, to be at most a footnote to the broader Dominion drama, even though the behavior detailed in it was disgusting. Grossberg describes an environment in which women of all political persuasions were constantly discussed in terms of sexual desirability. One of Carlson’s bookers, she alleges, was told that she should sleep with Elon Musk to secure an interview. She claims that Carlson’s executive producer Justin Wells, also fired on Monday, called her into his office to ask about the sex life of her previous boss, the Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo...

...Contempt for women was part of Carlson’s brand at Fox News; his infamous “The End of Men” special urged men to tan their testicles to ostensibly increase testosterone and thereby rescue society from collapse. It would be fitting if contempt for women is what finally derailed him.

Carlson's disordered contempt for the people he thinks of as women was rarely disguised on his relentlessly dimwitted TV show. That said, it's hard to understand how any intelligent person's attitudes in this area can be as deeply disordered as Carlson's seem to be.

If Grossberg's accusations are accurate, how does Carlson take his mouth home to his wife? In this passage, Goldberg dips her toe in a certain stream, then possibly pulls it back:

GOLDBERG: The similarity of Carlson and Trump’s sensibilities might derive from the similarity of their resentments. Both were children of privilege—Carlson was kicked out of a Swiss boarding school—who sought the respect of the establishment but never got it. It’s worth noting, given his loathing of the putative deep state, that Carlson tried to join the C.I.A. but was rejected. He shifted his ambitions to cable news, but before landing at Fox News, he struggled to fit in. In a 2021 interview, Carlson described having a “kind of meltdown” after being fired from MSNBC in 2008, the latest of a string of failures, and having to sell his house. Speaking of the television industry, he said, “I was living in that world and I was not succeeding.”

In everything from his wardrobe on down, Carlson seems to present a type of stereotype on steroids. As the quintessential over-privileged preppy, he even managed to get himself kicked out of a Swiss boarding school! 

That said, that's hardly where his story begins or ends.

Carlson was indeed "a child of privilege"—unless you consider the fact that he was abandoned by his mother when he was 6 years old. 

She simply walked away from the family. As the leading authority notes, "she moved to France." Remarkably, the child who grew up to be Tucker Carlson never saw his mother again.

In this column, Goldberg plays the shrink game up to a limited point, but she seems to halt there. We'll go ahead and float a question:

Should we be surprised if someone abandoned in that way grows up with a disordered loathing of the type Carlson seems to present?

Moving right along from there, is Donald J. Trump a sociopath? How about Tucker Carlson?

As we've noted in the past, a significant percentage of adult men can be diagnosed as such. That said, we live in a journalistic / academic world within which such discussions are forbidden—where we aren't allowed to wonder about how a person as disordered as Carlson came to be that way.

We'll close with the (metaphorical) language from Bob Dylan, as we've sometimes done in the past:
I pity the poor immigrant
Who wishes he would've stayed home.
Who uses all his power to do evil
But in the end is always left so alone.
That man who with his fingers cheats
Who lies with every breath;
Who passionately hates his life
And likewise fears his death.


Who eats but is not satisfied;
Who hears but does not see.
Who falls in love with wealth itself
And turns his back on me.
That wasn't a song about immigration. It was a song about Tucker Carlson—who, we'd say, deserves the pity of the world, but not till his power is stripped.

Full disclosure: We knew quite a few "preppies" in college. Quite a few were extremely decent guys, and quite a few still are.


  1. "A stereotype on steroids: If it weren't for all the abnormal psychology, would there be any psychology at all?"

    Most of psychology is not about abnormal behavior. It is about how we process our world using our senses, how we relate to other people, how our mind works to accomplish decision making, memory, problem solving, how we learn, and so on.

    If Somerby had ever taken a college-level course in psychology at Harvard, he would know what the subject is about. He only uses abnormal psychology for name-calling purposes and he knows nothing about the rest of the field.

    It was just a quip, you say. No, it is why Somerby is so mistaken about so much here every day. And it is deeply offensive that he ignores the knowledge we have accumulated about human behavior, while making up anthropologists in caves to support his deeply ignorant statements.

    1. The term is "mistaken" is subjective and depends on the standards and perspectives of the individual making the judgment. Perceptions of accuracy and reliability are subjective and may vary among individuals.

    2. No, "mistaken" is not subjective. For example, if I were to say that Somerby lives in France, it would not be objectively true, and I would be mistaken. And no, facts do not depend on individuals for their existence. How do we know facts if individual perception is subjective? We depend on consensus among multiple observers all evaluating the same fact from multiple perspectives. A fact is considered reliable when there is such consensus among people viewing that fact in the same context.

      The problem of reliable observation is one that has been overcome by psychologists using scientific methods to control for context and statistics to deal with human variability. These are problems that also exist in the so-called hard sciences.

    3. Your use of the word is subjective. Isn't it.

    4. While it is true that some facts can be objectively verified, such as the example provided of whether or not Somerby lives in France, the statement "Somerby is so mistaken about so much here every day" is a broader claim that is not as easily verifiable.

      Furthermore, while consensus among multiple observers can help to establish the reliability of certain facts, it is still subject to human error and bias. It is possible for a group of observers to come to a consensus based on incomplete or inaccurate information, or to be influenced by cultural or individual biases.

      Thank for sharing your subjective opinions about Somerby.

    5. Scientists don't characterize things using words. They use objective reliable observable measurements.

    6. Arguing with a bot is demeaning.

    7. The bot shows how poorly reasoned your posts are, how pathetic and loony they are. And you spend hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours of your life writing poorly reasoned blather that will have no consequence on anybody anywhere ever. The bot shows the folly in your weird neuroticism. The bot is amazing!

    8. Arguing with you is demeaning too.

    9. You deserve it.

    10. The bot reasons more poorly than real commenters, I pointed this out the other day when I bothered to refute all the bot’s claims, and the bot then admitted it, which is more then you can say about the fanboys and right wingers that comment here who, even after repeatedly pointing how wring they are, stick to their guns (pun intended).

    11. *how wrong they are

    12. Anonymouse 7:05pm, anonymices have tried so hard to turn Somerby into Tucker Carlson’s conjoined twin. Complains about Tucker and his show is Bob’s ploy for getting Carlson’s message out to the greater public, you’ve moaned.

      Now Bob is rejoicing over Tucker being booted off the airwaves for the good of we slubs and your issue morphs back into Bob’s ignorance as to human psychology.

      Well, your psychology…motives…certainly aren’t an enigma. You’re as transparent as glass.

    13. He isn’t rejoicing. He is urging pity.

    14. “At least in theory, we're glad to see that Tucker Carlson is out at Fox News.

      The problem involved what he might do wherever he ends up. We'd be happier if there had been some serious effort, within the mainstream press or on blue tribe cable, to report on Carlson's work while he was still on the air.”

      “It was a song about Tucker Carlson—who, we'd say, deserves the pity of the world, but not till his power is stripped.”

    15. We leftists try to communicate plainly so as to be transparent, appreciate the compliment.

      Our motives should be clear, otherwise, what’s the point?

      Somerby praised Tucker in recent years, all the way until we learned Tucker detests Trump, only then did Somerby suddenly start attacking Tucker.

      To most of us Somerby is transparent as glass, his attempts at coyness aside; a few are fooled.

      If anything, Somerby feigns ignorance of human behavior; having said that, my comment was about besting the bot - I would have thought you’d be appreciative of an expression of dominance.

    16. Somerby has long stated that Carlson’s remarks are illogical, inflammatory, and disordered and should be addressed in the larger media.

      The only “praise” Bob has offered Tucker is to say that this is why it pains him when Tucker is occasionally right.

      I certainly would have appreciated your dominance gesture of besting a bot. Had you managed it,

    17. "The bot reasons more poorly than real commenters, I pointed this out the other day when I bothered to refute all the bot’s claims, and the bot then admitted it"

      Yes, that was really interesting when the bot admitted you refuted all its claims the other day.

      Who could forget that? All of its claims were refuted by your reasoning. That was great. You refuted all the bot’s claims , proving that it reasons more poorly than you.

      I'm anxious to see you do that again and and again - showing the bot how it reasons more poorly than you do. I'll be looking forward to more and more and more of that. Thanks!

    18. LETS START NOW!!!!!!!!!!!

      Refute all of the bots claims!!:


      People may think that simply saying something automatically makes it true because they may have a belief or assumption that their words hold power or authority. This can stem from a variety of reasons, including a sense of entitlement, a lack of critical thinking skills, or a desire to manipulate or control others.

      In some cases, people may believe that their opinions or beliefs are equivalent to facts, and that others should accept them without question. This can be due to a lack of understanding of the difference between subjective and objective statements, or a failure to recognize the importance of evidence and logical reasoning in determining truth.

      It's important to remember that simply stating something does not make it true. Truth is determined by evidence, logic, and critical thinking. It's important to evaluate claims and statements based on their merits, rather than accepting them blindly because they are presented confidently or authoritatively.

    19. Cecelia,

      It's "of us slubs" not "of we slubs". Whatever a slub is.

      your friendly bot

    20. Somerby praised Carlson all the way up to when Carlson was outed as a Trump hater, at which point Somerby did a sudden shift to becoming a Carlson hater.

      Why anyone cares who Somerby praises or hates, in of itself, is a sad testament to right wing lunacy (Dr Bandy Lee calls it Trump Contagion). We only point it out so suckers don’t fall for it, but these right wing looneys, forever enraptured with victimhood, think it’s all about them.

      After refuting the “bot”, “it” admitted it’s claims were wrong. Now y’all right wingers can claim up is down til the cows come home, but as far as the “bot” goes, the chickens came home to roost.

    21. Please show us all where you refuted "all of its claims*.

    22. Muhammad Atta had a worse childhood then Carlson. That's why we excused Atta's actions.

  2. “Tucker Carlson—who, we'd say, deserves the pity of the world”

    Now explain Hannity.

    Or, for female examples:

    Ingraham. Pirro. Owens. MTG.

    It’s apparent that Somerby wants to find some reason to pity right wing figures.

    What about “liberals”, whom Somerby views as disordered/bad actors, like Don Lemon? Was there anything in his formative years that would lead Somerby to “pity” him? Perhaps he was bullied by racists.

    What about Maddow? She was “outed” before she was ready. Any pity for her? No?

    I suspect that Somerby’s pity is a mile wide and an inch thick, and is selectively applied.

    1. Bob’s grasp of compassion has other problems. He seeks to be congratulated for feeling bad when anyone is sent to prison, as if those who disagree in a given instance cruelly wish that terrible fate on others for trivial disagreements. Trump, whose bad behavior he will not examine in any serious way, is the prime example.

    2. Literal whataboutism.

  3. Somerby wants to blame Carlson's mother for his disordered adulthood, but there is a problem of directionality. Did Carlson become a rotten person because his mother left him, or did his mother leave him because he was already a rotten little boy? Personality is inborn. We show personality traits that will persist throughout life in our earliest months. Experience can channel personality but it doesn't create it.

    Tucker and Trump are both narcissistic sociopaths. Sociopathy shows in childhood and so does narcissism. It may be that Tucker's mother left the family because they didn't care about her or whether she came or went, as is true for those who cannot form normal relationships. We know that Trump was an awful kid from Mary Trump's biography. What was Tucker like? What might have caused his mother to believe he wouldn't care if she left, or to think perhaps that he didn't want her there at all? I don't condone a mother leaving a child, but I can see how the mother of a difficult child who was not attached or affectionate, might believe it would be better to leave, especially if the father offered no emotional support. We wouldn't hear about it, if this were the case. Tucker had a stepmother shortly after his mother left. And yet, he was sent to boarding school, just as Trump (whose mother was continuously present) was sent to military school. I suspect they were both extremely difficult kids to raise.

    Kids who have disabilities, and narcissism and sociopathy would be disabilities, are frequently abandoned by parents, usually the father, but often the mother too, when parents feel overwhelmed and unable to cope with the child's behavior. If Somerby were serious in thinking about what is wrong with Tucker and Trump, he could consider the impact on the family, not simply blame the mom for causing something that they couldn't have caused, even had they wanted to do so.

    There is a study of the impact of adult drinking on child school behavior. As expected, there was a correlation between drinking and acting out at school -- the more parents drank, the more child misbehavior. But when they look closer at the results, examining directionality of the effect using more sophisticated statistical analysis, they found that the direction was reversed. The kids were driving their parents to drink due to the difficult of coping with their acting out, not vice versa. Parents were drinking because of the difficulty parenting misbehaving children.

    Somerby has no idea what happened to Carlson or Trump, but it is simplistic to think that there was a single cause, such as divorce, and not ongoing problems that prevented both men from developing relationships with others, doing well in a satisfying career, and normal behavior. Both men are fortunate they were born wealthy or their criminality and dysfunctionality might have resulted in prison instead of great wealth and celebrity.

    1. The Trump era has brought us many new rules, most of them quite unwelcome. Anyway, it’s still important to note that pre Trump Bob viewed this sort of armchair psychology, if practiced by a political writer, as a provocation for absolute derision.

    2. Personalities likely develop in stages, and this field of study has many theories since there is no consensus on an objective truth or model explaining personality development. Recent studies show that heritability only accounts for at best 40% of personality differences; broadly, it is thought that temperament may be mostly inborn, whereas character may be mostly influenced by environment and experiences.

      Personality disorders generally develop from trauma.

      Somerby fav, Dr Bandy Lee, in a recent interview, said that Republicans do not operate from ideology and that they suffer from something she terms Trump Contagion. She says that Republicans are stuck in survival mode and that rational persuasion has no effect on them. She says Republicans are leading our country down a death spiral.

      Dr Bandy Lee’s take is dramatically different than Somerby’s, one wonders if he will refer to her in the future.

      It’s laughable that anyone would fall for that pr bs saying Carlson and Trump have patched things up, apparently Somerby would like an audience of suckers.

    3. Yeah, that’s it. Carlson’s mother didn’t abandon him, she fled from him!

    4. Temperament is part of personality.

    5. Temperament is an aspect of personality thought to largely be inborn, this is unconfirmed, but is the general consensus, while other traits, like character, are thought to develop from environment and experience.

      Broadly speaking, most of personality development happens after birth.

    6. It was confirmed by Jerome Kagan at Harvard.

      Personality is defined as a consistent behavioral response to environment that persists across the lifespan. The term “development” implies change. It isn’t possible to measure personality before birth. If this comes from a bot, it is writing nonsense.

    7. It's consistent and it persists, but it's not an assistant and it doesn't resist.

  4. When Somerby describes Dylan's poor immigrant, he is talking about a materialistic person who sees others only in a transactional way, valuing people only for what they can do for them, and seeing them only as tools or pawns to be used, not valued because of who they are, human beings. This is typical of sociopaths, who are an extreme version of a tendency to lack empathy towards others, to not see that other people too have needs, interests, feelings, lives.

    But is it right to pity them? Trump is happy when he wins, achieves his goals, manipulates others, gets more money. Dylan seems to be superimposing his own emotional reactions onto the immigrant, but sociopaths also have different emotional responses to the world. They tend to have less anxiety, lack conscience, have no concern for how others see them because they are immersed in a grandiose fantasy about how people regard them. Trump no doubt believes he is envied not pitied, admired, loved for his greatness. He values loyalty when others give it to him, because it is his right, but he offers loyalty to no one. Trump's idea of reciprocity is that everything in life is a deal or a transaction and the terms are what is important. His marriage to Melania is a deal, not a romance. She "loves" him when she does what he wants and needs -- the word does not relate to emotion at all. And he is happy when she does that. It would be messy and annoying if he had to relate to her on an emotional level.

    Trump's money, power, manipulations, celebrity all make him happy. Yes, he is missing what normal people feel, but since that is not available to him, he doesn't miss it. So, on what basis should Trump be pitied? And when Trump has done so much harm to others in his quest to meet his own needs, there is no counterbalancing knowledge that Trump is suffering due to his deficiencies -- be he is not suffering.

    Dylan's song sounds like a misguided attempt to comfort poor people by telling them that at least the wealthy suffer from their pursuit of money -- but they objectively do not. Their personality defects protect them.

    1. Somerby may just have grabbed this song because it has the word "pity" in it and refers to wealth. He wants us to pity Trump and Carlson. Somerby won't care if the rest of the song lyrics don't fit this situation.

    2. Bob had brought this song up a million times, and I don’t think he gets it. I think the singer is an immigrant who has come to the new land and brought everything that made him a failure in the old land with him. He has ambition but only for money, he likes the freedom but has no use for community. So the US makes his situation that much more bitter, and he can’t even empathize with his friend who has gone through all the same trials. Pity is a judgment a level below contempt.,

    3. Should have said, the singer is also and immigrant, singing about his former friend.

    4. Quoting Dylan is pretentious.

    5. Some say Dylan is pretentious. Apparently his pity song is a ripoff of other folk songs he heard while traveling, with a few Bible verses thrown in. When asked what inspired the song, Dylan responded by saying he had no idea. This makes sense since the song has no real consistent theme or notion.

      Led Zeppelin came along in 1968, saving us from having to listen to nonsense like Dylan.

      We in the blue tribe avoid pitying since it has connotations of condescension.

    6. Well, you have crappy taste in music, but mediocre people generally don’t get Dylan.

    7. 12:24 having your own little pity party I see, perhaps the greatest insult-intent-converted-into-a-self-own in the history of comments, kudos!

    8. Dylan is a Nobel Laureate. That means he stinks.

  5. The second amendment is evil.

  6. Let’s see if Nichole Wallace’s interview with Abby Grossberg doesn’t turn Bob into Tucker II ! 😊

  7. Tucker Carlson envies Don Lemon’s naturally tan scrotum.

  8. GOP should support DC and PR statehood.

  9. What’s with the negative attitude toward preppies?

  10. Bob writes, "If Grossberg's accusations are accurate..." He has written an entire analysis based on accusations that he himself won't vouch for.

    1. You’re just now catching on to Somerby’s fakery?

    2. Why did Fox can Carlson? They became too woke.

  11. Tucker Carlson—who, we'd say, deserves the pity of the world, but not till his power is stripped."

    Tucker Carlson's worth $420 million. A good chunk was made spewing hate as a Fox employee.

    Somerby allegedly spent some of his life teaching poor Black children in the inner city. Now he has decided to turn his blog into a campaign to serve and generate pity for super-rich right-wing hate mongers and politicians.

    Interesting. What would cause such a dramatic, some might even say deeply disordered, change in thinking?

    1. The passage contains multiple instances of errors in reasoning and logic.

  12. Fox firing Tucker for lying to their audience doesn't make sense. That's Fox News' entire business model.
    Expect a scandal involving an underage boy to come out in the next week.