Who gave the Times that one text message?


Weird, troubled star undone: Now that Tucker Carlson's gone, everyone's mouthing off. 

In this morning's New York Times, Charles Blow has a column about the meaning of that (one) text message. But so does A. O. Scott—and he's the Times' film critic!

(For unknown reasons, Scott's piece appears in the Business section, filed under CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK!) 

On cable, other stars are suddenly quite daring. This seems like a very new thing.

For ourselves, we have a question. Who the heck gave the New York Times that (one) text message by Carlson?

In the report in yesterday morning's paper, Peters et al. don't say. 

They do source some rather fuzzy claims about the effect the text message allegedly had once Fox brass finally saw it. Here are the passages to which we refer:

PETERS ET AL (5/3/23): The text message added to a growing number of internal issues involving Mr. Carlson that led the company’s leadership to conclude he was more of a problem than an asset and had to go, according to several people with knowledge of the decision. 


The text message came to the attention of Fox’s board of directors and even some senior executives only last month, on the Sunday before the trial was set to begin, according to two people with knowledge of Fox’s internal deliberations. At the time, Fox’s negotiators were entering discussions about an out-of-court settlement ahead of the swearing in of what was shaping up to be a diverse jury.

First they heard from several people, then they heard from two. That said, they never make any attempt to say who gave them the message itself.

Who gave the Times that one text message, and why weren't they given more? Later, the reporters acknowledge a point of minor bafflement which has been noted before:

PETERS ET AL: It remains unclear how the text escaped more notice earlier, given that the Fox legal team was aware of it and other offensive texts written by Mr. Carlson. Fox’s lawyers had produced the text as part of the discovery process and were involved in the redactions. Mr. Carlson had even been asked about it during a deposition, according to several people who have read the unredacted transcripts of his deposition.

No one who mattered saw the text until the day before! Allegedly, no one knew about it at first, then all hell broke loose.

For ourselves, we note the following point:

Whoever gave the Times that one text message seems to have given them nothing else.

They didn't tell the Times who Carlson sent that message to. If it was a reply to a preceding message, that first message wasn't provided. 

Who was Carlson talking to? What was the larger context of the conversation?

All in all, it was a rather strange text message. It did include that one turn of phrase which stuck the dagger in.

Something has been observably wrong with Tucker Carlson for years. On many nights, though not necessarily on all nights, his work was a ludicrous, sad, screaming mess.

Other cable stars tended to look away. All in all, it seems that it may have been safer not to say such things about Carlson when he was still on the air.

(As we noted a few weeks back, the Morning Joe program completely ignored that first, blockbuster batch of texts from the wider array of Fox stars.)

Now that Carlson's out the door, everyone's speaking up. That includes the chief film critic, providing an instant review! 

Everyone knows what that one peculiar text message means. But who gave the message to the Times, and who was this weird and weirdly troubled figure sending that message to?

The doctor is IN: Tucker Carlson strikes us as weird and weirdly / sadly disordered. 

It seems to us that we bestow a lot of power on people like this when we drop our bombs on their heads.


  1. No, Tucker has not been bestowed with power. Who cares who leaked the text. Now Somerby calls for context.

    Somerby is sadly disordered.

  2. Oh, please. Fox News leaked it.

    1. Cecelia doesn’t have to explain why.

    2. Then we don’t have to accept that Fox leaked.

    3. If I may intercede on Cecelia’s behalf (I will hate myself in the morning) it’s plausible in that they are taking all kinds of heat from the yahoos for dumping Tuck. I WOULD like to hear Greenwald and Megan Kelley defend him now….

    4. Fox is fighting against release of the unredacted texts so Cecelia’s suggestion is inconsistent withthat fact.

    5. Anonymouse 6:39pm, listen to Megyn Kelly’s podcast from yesterday (linked all over Twitter) and read Greenwald on Twitter and Substack.

    6. Anonymouse 6:48pm, there’s a good reason why anonymices sound like characters from a marvel comics movie.

    7. No thank you. I do not consider those reliable sources. Greenwald is scum.

    8. Anonymouse 7:51pm, I wasn’t giving content endorsements, I replied in answer to this “ WOULD like to hear Greenwald and Megan Kelley defend him now….“

    9. We know how white people fight, when they’re not reflexively killing with a gun, they’re choking people to death.

      As my fellow South Carolinians like to say “White makes right.”

    10. Maybe move to Charleston or Colombia?

    11. Re: Tucker vs. Fox News
      Make Dueling Great Again

    12. Bigger than anonymices vs Bob?

    13. Somberly and his hordes (jk) of fanboys lost out to the commenters ages ago, now they’re just a combo of gluttons for punishment, and sad and lonely lost souls, weirdly aching to simultaneously be cucked by the libs, own the libs, and get attention from the libs.

      Example case study: a fanboy that pretends to be a woman, can barely use the English language properly, makes odd non sequiturs while claiming them to be zingers.

      With enemies like this who needs friends. It’d be more amusing if it weren’t so sad.

    14. Anonymouse 9:32am, you’re here lambasting a blogger about everything short of his underpants.

      I like the blog and I like the blogger. The people you call fanboys do too.

      It’s anonymouse logic that going to a site you like is the sign of a lost soul, but going to a place you despise in order to froth at the mouth is “normal”…

      Oh, you’re a genius.

      ..,,scratch…,burp…adjusting my equipment….

  3. Most of what is sad and pathetic about Bob’s love of Trump (which is really just his hatred of the left) can be well captured in this thankfully brief post. The first defense of a scoundrel in our political world is always “WHO was the leaker??!!” Well, if it is ever established the Times made up the text, I guess I will owe Bob a big apology. Otherwise, see “sad and pathetic.”
    Then he complains we might have known about the text sooner and bitched about it then. This assumes the false claim that Bob has made here and has been corrected many times: that nobody critiqued Carson’s loathsome show before Fox finally showed him the door. It’s hard to imagine even Bob really believes this, he only seeks out what he views as exceptions and harps on them.
    Then Bob cries context, and claims there is something sinister about the cruel twisting of the knife on the phrase he can’t bring himself to repeat, I guess white men won’t fight that way.
    Then Bob cries context, and here he may have a little bit of point. Of course the white men bit is being played up by the left press, and maybe just the normal press.
    But looking deeper at the text, things look worse for Bob and Tuck. Carlson is making a twisted, ridiculous plea for his own humanity. “I didn’t want to see three men beat the hell out of one man, what an insight into my own compassion!!” Given some of what he has written in recent years, it is a little surprising Bob did not attempt to defend Carlson on that level.
    Bob had once again taken us back to Matthau’s speech at the end of “The Fortune Cookie.”.
    Walter got a well deserved Oscar. The true scoundrel can be revealed but never quite silenced. If only Bob were that good an actor.

  4. The second amendment is evil.

  5. Carlson was discussing three men beating up one man. He said something like, "White men don't fight this way." I interpret that as meaning that white men are expected to be nicer or fairer than non-whites. This is racist, and gratuitously so. There's no need to bring race into the comment.

    I'm reminded of a comment in an old work of fiction, a time when standards were different. The story has a character describe another character as "the laziest white man in..." To me, this is clearly racist. It implies that non-whites are lazier than whites. The comment simply meant that so-and-so was very lazy. There was no reason to mention race, except to gratuitously denigrate non-whites.

    1. Hey, thanks for explaining that David!!

    2. in defense of Carlson, I would point out that this was a private comment to a single individual. It would have been much worse if he had intended the comment to be publicly released.

    3. Private conversations are not made using work devices available to your employer.

    4. Obviously it’s a Mel Gibson like moment. Those like Bob and David who have gone to great lengths defending all kinds of borderline racism, look very foolish. So take a deep breath, David, before you get back to the Biden crime family.

    5. That defense of Carlson would have to ignore the routine content of his show, promoting racism and white supremacy.

    6. Bob would find that comment unhelpful.

    7. The idea that it would be much worse if he had made the comment for public consumption is why? This comment gets to how right wingers generally need to curate their racist beliefs, allowing only those trusted to share them to have access to them. If I feel comfortable sharing an abhorrent thought privately with a friend or small audience that later becomes widely publicized, that comment made me no less worthy of censure for having kept it private. But having kept it private implicates the audience in having a shared mindset that accepts the validity of that abhorrent thought. If I tell a racist joke privately I assume that my audience will be similarly racist and accept it as funny. So, no, Carlson is no less culpable for keeping a racist remark private, but in so doing he operates under the assumption of shared racist beliefs with his audience. In this case, his racist audience is private, but in the broader sense, and on a regular basis, his (no longer) Fox viewership, similarly racist, was most commonly his target.

  6. Republicans should support statehood for Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

  7. Defund the Supreme Court.

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