If the 2018 holiday season taught us anything, it’s that red can be a dangerously divisive color in the political world. One only needs to look back at Melania Trump’s blood-red Christmas trees, which drew comparisons to both The Handmaid’s Tale and The Shining, for proof.
The image of Melania walking alone through the bloody handmaid trees seriously made my morning pic.twitter.com/4KQOFPDIEI
— Laura Bassett (@LEBassett) November 26, 2018
On Thursday night, as Mediaite notes, Joe Biden delivered a scathing speech from Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, in which he took aim at the “MAGA forces [that] are determined to take this country backwards.” When it was over, however, the only thing those “MAGA forces” — including Tucker Carlson and his fellow Fox News hosts — seemed to want to talk about were the aesthetics of the proceedings, which included a red background behind Biden’s podium, with two Marines standing guard. (The latter of which was hardly unprecedented.)
— Steve Grzanich (@SteveGrzanich) September 2, 2022
As Carlson was on the air at the same time as Biden, he didn’t actually listen to his speech. But he got enough of the highlights to make a dark assessment of its content, and the president himself:
We made fun of it at the top of the show, because we didn’t really know how else to respond. But Joe Biden really has crossed over into a very dangerous — very dangerous — place. Tonight, he declared in a speech in Philadelphia that anyone who disagrees with him is a threat to the country.
Unsurprisingly, that is not what Biden said. What he did say — which Carlson showed a clip of — was that “too much of what’s happening in our country today is not normal.” (Yep, sounds about right so far…) “Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic. But the Republican party today is dominated, driven, and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans. And that is a threat to this country.” (Bingo!)
Tucker Carlson reacts to Biden's speech: "Yeah, 'they're a threat,' says the guy with the blood-red Nazi background and marines standing behind him. It's a complete outrage … This is truly nuts and threatening to the future of the United States." pic.twitter.com/SzmLiSMYzh
— Scott Morefield (@SKMorefield) September 2, 2022
Carlson, clearly irked by what he was hearing — perhaps because it hit a little too close to home? — decided that extra snark was the best reply, which is where that harmless red background became the story of the night. As Carlson noted:
Yeah, ‘they’re a threat,’ says the guy with the blood-red Nazi background and marines standing behind him. It’s a complete outrage that this is being sanctioned as a White House event. In other words, that this is the approved position of our government. It’s totally immoral.
And then the guy who encouraged riots in 2020 accused ‘MAGA Republicans’ of somehow threatening the rule of law in the United States… This is truly nuts and threatening to the future of the United States. It’s hard to believe he just did that, but he did.
Of course, Tucker wasn’t the only talking head on Fox News to take umbrage with Biden’s… choice of background color. Monica Crowley, Trump’s former treasury assistant secretary, described it as being “almost Satanic with that blood-red lighting and the two marines behind him. It was just insane.”
“The imagery was almost satanic with that blood red lighting and the two marines” pic.twitter.com/gdLbHxCheA
— Acyn (@Acyn) September 2, 2022
Former Trump speechwriter/37-year old man still on his parents’ cell phone plan Stephen Miller, meanwhile, praised his former boss for “pour[ing] his heart, his soul, his spirit everyday to build a better America,” then castigated Biden for delivering what Miller deemed “the speech of a dictator, in the style of a dictator, in the visual of a dictator, using the words of a dictator.”
Miller: President Trump poured out his heart and his soul everyday to build a better America… President Biden gave the speech of a dictator.. pic.twitter.com/CJ83ydCJxy
— Acyn (@Acyn) September 2, 2022
Back up: Donald Trump has a soul?