If Tucker Carlson’s Fox News program was everything that his miserable critics in the rest of the media say it was, it would have been canceled within days of its launch. Instead of having the biggest prime-time audience in cable news, he would have been doing Joy Reid numbers, and Fox executives wouldn’t have tolerated it for a week, let alone for six years.
Immediately after Fox announced Monday that it had unceremoniously kicked Carlson to the curb, leftists on every competing channel and in every prominent publication were sure to repeat ad infinitum that the host’s show was “racist,” “xenophobic,” and a place for rampant “conspiracy theories.” That it’s a requirement to use those terms, applicable synonyms, and nothing else outside of them, is not an overstatement.
To wit, the left-wing American Prospect magazine this week ran one of the more thoughtful reflections on Carlson, describing him as, “an entertainer equally skilled at skewering comfortable pieties on the left and right” and his show as “an outlier in corporate-owned cable news” that “declined to play the gatekeeping role that many of Carlson’s detractors demand of mainstream media platforms.” In other words, Carlson was an engaging host who shirked conformity.
That innocuous depiction was greeted by the Prospect’s fellow liberals with relentless derision and scorn. So much so that the magazine’s executive editor was intimidated into publishing a statement apologizing for the piece and promising to “work hard to earn back whatever trust has been lost.” Then he allowed two other writers to write a “response” attacking the original article and, of course, asserting the mandatory vocabulary when discussing Tucker: “racism,” “xenophobia,” and “conspiracy theories.” (I’m not including a link to the follow-up piece because the writers attacked their colleague in it and, out of spite, refused to link back to their own publication. They don’t deserve the respect.)
If Carlson’s show was simply about hating non-whites and spreading fantasies that bear no semblance to reality, it would have been no more relevant to the national dialogue than whatever Keith Olbermann is doing these days.
Saying something racist is not interesting. “I hate black people” carries the same weight as “That’s racist.” As with every deception spouted by the media, the truth about Tucker is far more intriguing. All of his viewers know it, and so do the people who lie about him. He told the truth about the things that matter. The media don’t hate anything more than that.