Every week is weird, but usually the weeks are weird and seem pretty bad for humanity. So far, this one is weird and, at the very least, kind of entertaining. There’s is the out-of-absolutely-nowhere news that Felicity Huffman, Lori Laughlin, and dozens more have been accused of participating in a college admissions scam, which is sad and depressing but also amusingly random.
And then there’s Tucker Carlson.
Over the weekend, the Fox News staple and bowtie enthusiast was attacked by Media Matters, and by “attacked” we mean the liberal watch group simply dug up shocking and disturbing comments he made about women, non-whites, and underage girls. Since then, there’s been an effort to drive advertisers away from his weeknightly program.
To the enjoyment of those who remember when Jon Stewart destroyed him on Crossfire in 2004, Carlson has not only refused to apologize for his old comments, but he’s tried to paint himself as a victim of monsters who quoted things that he has said.
Tuesday night, on Day 3 of Tuckergate, Carlson was at it again. He came out guns blazing, opening up his program with a lengthy monologue, caught by Mediaite, in which he started by perhaps inadvertently (or not!) comparing himself to the likes of Alex Jones — one of those far right figures “disappeared” because of the things they’ve said. In Jones’ case, those include harassing the parents of slain children of the Sandy Hook massacre, claiming it was all a hoax.
Carlson suggested he may be “disappeared,” too, and if he is, he will blame Media Matters for America, whom he claims are trying to “punish critics of the Democratic party.” In his estimation, they have now moved onto Fox News, who Carlson believes are an oasis of independent thought — “free thinkers, saying something a little different from the party line on CNN.”
Carlson claimed that Media Matters feeds CNN their talking points, especially Brian Stelter, whom he casually dubbed the “house eunuch at CNN.” At the behest of “tiny king Jeff Zucker,” referring to the network’s president, Stelter and the like have helped create an “authoritarian state.” Does he mean they’re working for President Donald J. Trump? No, he means… well, it’s not clear. But Carlson did double down on the authoritarian claim, as though forgetting who’s actually in charge.
“This is the face of state media,” Carlson said. “‘Why does Fox even exist?’ they wonder. ‘We’ve got 11 other perfectly good cable channels, all of them approved by management and obedient to the people in charge. How could anybody watch something different? Fox can’t be legitimate! They must be lying! Their viewers must be stupid!’”
At show’s end, Carlson passed the baton to Sean Hannity, so he could do some “free thinking” rants against liberals, too. Then a curious thing happened: Hannity mentioned Carlson had come in to do his show during his “vacation,” then bid him farewell, asking him to enjoy the rest of his break, to a clearly somewhat confused Carlson.
So…what’s going on? Should Carlson really be on a beach somewhere but instead he went to work, and he’s taking on the libs on his free time? Is Carlson being abruptly furloughed and no one told him? Right now, it’s a mystery, but so are many things on Fox News. One journalist, however, claims to have the scoop: Hannity simply screwed up, in the most weird and suspect way possible.
In any case, Carlson’s comments haven’t escaped notice from those on social media. Those include Stelter, who pointed out exactly what kind of foot soldiers Tucker Carlson commands.
Media Matters, whom Carlson demanded be shut down by some vague means, reminded everyone that all they did was quote him.
Others pointed to the kinds of ads Carlson is garnering these days.
Others mocked the Hannity “bombshell.”