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Home/Rod Dreher/Tucker Carlson Not Surrendering

Tucker Carlson Not Surrendering

Tucker Carlson, from his Tuesday night monologue

I’m thrilled that Tucker Carlson isn’t doing the usual right-wing thing and crumpling in the face of bad-faith attacks from the media and Democrats. Watch this 15-minute monologue from him last night, throwing the “Great Replacement” smears back in their faces. 

Early in the monologue, Carlson points out that last year, a Syrian immigrant shooter went into a Boulder, Colo., supermarket and allegedly (he has not yet been tried and found guilty) murdered ten people — same number of dead as in Buffalo. Unlike this week in Buffalo, Joe Biden didn’t fly to that crime scene, Tucker said. Why not? Because that mass shooting didn’t fit the Narrative. He was a Person of Color, not a white supremacist. Colorado Public Radio even did a story at the time about how worried Colorado Muslims were of “backlash” because the shooter was Muslim. The Washington Post ran an analysis that pointed out that the Syrian shooter was, in fact, legally white, and an example of “whiteness”. So the Narrative Managers were able to call this an example of white male violence after all!

I also didn’t realize until watching this segment how mentally ill Payton Gendron, the Buffalo shooter, was. Did you know that he was hospitalized for 20 hours as a high school student because he had threatened mass shooting? Did you know that he wore a hazmat suit to school for an entire week? Did you know that his mother once helped him bury a cat that he had tortured and killed? Animal torture is a MASSIVE warning sign! This kid has been priming himself for homicide. But sure, let’s blame Tucker Carlson for this heinous act.

Below is the especially valuable part of the Carlson segment — the one in which he video-quotes passages of Democratic politicians and pundits saying explicitly that non-white immigration is diluting white voting power, and that’s a good thing. Watch:

Carlson smirks appropriately at the end, “So you play clips of them saying it, and you’re the deranged conspiracy nut.”

About the op-eds and media claims about how whites are declining in political strength, and what a great thing that is, Carlson says:

“If you don’t want people to be paranoid and angry, maybe you don’t write pieces like that, and rub it in their face, and give them the finger day after day.”

His point — and it’s a good one — is that the Left is totally gaslighting us on the “Great Replacement” thing. If you believe that whites are being displaced politically by immigration and the growth of non-white communities, and that it’s a good thing, you’re fine to say so. But if you believe that and you think it’s bad — well, you are a white supremacist who encourages loonies to commit mass murder.

Carlson brought up this 2013 story from Politico, which is as mainstream Washington political reporting as it gets. Here is a screenshot of the headline:

From the piece:

The immigration proposal pending in Congress would transform the nation’s political landscape for a generation or more — pumping as many as 11 million new Hispanic voters into the electorate a decade from now in ways that, if current trends hold, would produce an electoral bonanza for Democrats and cripple Republican prospects in many states they now win easily.

Beneath the philosophical debates about amnesty and border security, there are brass-tacks partisan calculations driving the thinking of lawmakers in both parties over comprehensive immigration reform, which in its current form offers a pathway to citizenship — and full voting rights — for a group of undocumented residents that roughly equals the population of Ohio, the nation’s seventh-largest state.

If these people had been on the voting rolls in 2012 and voted along the same lines as other Hispanic voters did last fall, President Barack Obama’s relatively narrow victory last fall would have been considerably wider, a POLITICO analysis showed.

Again, if you notice this from a progressive or neutral point of view, it’s fine. But if you notice this as a conservative, and you say you don’t like it, you are a RACIST.

Check out the headline on this Michelle Goldberg column in The New York Times:

It more or less concedes the white nationalists’ point, and says too bad for them. Excerpts:

Right now America is tearing itself apart as an embittered white conservative minority clings to power, terrified at being swamped by a new multiracial polyglot majority. The divide feels especially stark in Georgia, where the midterm election is a battle between Trumpist reaction and the multicultural America whose emergence the right is trying, at all costs, to forestall.

“Any time there is progress made there will always be moments of retrenchment,” Abrams said to me later on Saturday. But, she added, “what I am more excited about is the counterforce that we’re seeing in the number of people running for office who represent a much more forward-looking, progressive vision.”

Abrams’s goal is to put together a coalition of African-American and other minority voters and white liberals. The potential is there; Georgia is less than 53 percent non-Hispanic white. “Georgia is a blue state if everybody votes,” DuBose Porter, chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia, told me.

More:

On Saturday morning, Abrams closed by reminding the crowd of Kemp’s views on democracy. “He said he is concerned that if everyone eligible to vote in Georgia does so, he will lose this election,” she said. “Let’s prove him right.” In a week, American voters can do to white nationalists what they fear most. Show them they’re being replaced.

You can’t have it both ways, liberal media. I mean, you can, because you usually do, but finally at least some conservatives are not intimidated by your hypocrisy. Take a listen (or a look at the transcript) of how NPR yesterday tried to blame these murders on Tucker Carlson and Fox News. Excerpts:

[HOST MARY LOUISE] KELLY: David, you start. And let’s start there with Tucker Carlson, who – just to be clear, he is not mentioned in this 180-page screed that authorities say the alleged gunman posted online. Right?

[MEDIA CORRESPONDENT DAVID] FOLKENFLIK: Yeah. He’s not anywhere in there, not at all. Instead, he cites the influences of 4chan and invokes what’s called the so-called “great replacement theory,” this idea that these amorphous forces are trying to replace whites – started a century ago in France, moved around, different targets in different places.

KELLY: So in this century, why is why is Tucker Carlson part of this conversation? What’s his role here?

FOLKENFLIK: Because he’s made it acceptable to talk about it. If you look at what leading white supremacists have said, a number of them really hail him for popularizing their views, and particularly on this. I think there are two ways to think about Carlson being part of this. One is through the sheer volume of his coverage. And the other is the influence he has in the Trump wing of the Republican Party on and off the air. He’s one of Fox’s most popular shows. And if you think about him as a political force, people have even – talking about him as a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2024 should Trump not run.

Yeah, so Tucker Carlson isn’t anywhere in the 180-page manifesto the alleged killer left explaining why he did what he did … but it’s Tucker’s fault anyway, according to David Folkenflik. More:

KELLY: Well, let me turn us to the politics of this, which brings me to you, Domenico. How influential is this? How does this filter into the politics of the right in America?

[NPR POLITICAL ANALYST DOMENICO] MONTANARO: I mean, David’s documented pretty well how conservative media, particularly Tucker Carlson, has played a pretty big role in all of this. We have seen his influence with the base of Republican voters, certainly in that Trump base. We’ve seen in polling, for example, that people who watch conservative media far more likely to believe in the tenets of replacement that – and that it’s, in fact, happening in this country. Almost half of Republicans believe replacement is happening, according to a recent AP-NORC poll.

So it’s taken some degree of hold. But the seeds of this go pretty far back. You know, the fights over affirmative action in the 1980s when manufacturing jobs were being outsourced in huge numbers. Blue-collar jobs were becoming increasingly scarce. And that led some politicians to try and exploit that for political gain. I think back to 1990, for example, in this ad run by the late North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms called “White Hands.” Take a listen to part of that.

(SOUNDBITE OF POLITICAL AD, “WHITE HANDS”)

JESSE HELMS: You needed that job, and you were the best qualified. But they had to give it to a minority because of a racial quota. Is that really fair?

MONTANARO: And you see in that a white man in a flannel shirt crumple up a piece of paper. And fast-forward to the fights over immigration in this century, and that narrative really took hold on the right. Here was Donald Trump as a candidate for president three months before the 2016 presidential election, backstage at the Values Voter Summit to the Christian Broadcasting Network.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DONALD TRUMP: I think this will be the last election that the Republicans have a chance of winning because you’re going to have people flowing across the borders. You’re going to have illegal immigrants coming in, and they’re going to be legalized, and they’re going to be able to vote. And once that all happens, you can forget it.

KELLY: So he’s not actually using the word replacement – not using it explicitly – but clearly talking about it, and then taking that and moving into the White House.

MONTANARO: Right. And when he was in the White House and when he campaigned again, he’s been – he did it in very intentional ways and continues to do it. I mean, earlier this year, Trump was at a rally, and he exaggerated what was happening with a COVID program in New York. He claimed that whites were being made to go, quote, “to the back of the line” for therapeutics. So I called up Casey Kelly a professor at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, who has studied Trump’s language. He says what Trump has tried to do to exploit white grievance is to reframe experiences of alienation that many in rural America feel that pop culture doesn’t reflect who they are anymore and show it as something purposeful that’s being done to them.

I remember when that Helms ad was controversial, and I understand why it was controversial. But here’s the thing: that’s what affirmative action and quota hiring do! This is the most amazing thing about the liberal/progressive mind: they celebrate things that actively stigmatize and discriminate against people on the basis of race, sex, and sexual orientation … but if you are one of those stigmatized and discriminated against, and you don’t agree that you deserve it, then you are a bigot for saying so!

Notice that what Donald Trump said in the quoted piece above is pretty much what Politico said in 2013, and what a panoply of liberal politicians, academics, and pundits have been saying for years. But when Trump says it, well, shut the front door, that’s RACIST!

About the Covid comments from Trump, here’s an MSN report from when he first said it, and the context in which he said it:

Speaking during a rally in Florence, Arizona, Trump alleged that coronavirus vaccines and treatments are being unfairly “rationed” and withheld from white Americans in some states.

“The left is now rationing life-saving therapeutics based on race, discriminating against and denigrating, just denigrating white people to determine who lives and who dies,” Trump said during his speech. “You get it based on race. In fact, in New York state, if you’re white, you have to go to the back of the line to get medical help. If you’re white, you go right to the back of the line.”

The former president’s comments came in reference to a recent New York state policy that allows health-care providers to consider race as a risk factor when administering limited supplies of antiviral treatments to those most in need.

That policy states that “non-white race or Hispanic/Latino ethnicity should be considered a risk” due to “longstanding systemic health and social inequities” that increase the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19. The guidelines come after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that Hispanic or Latino people are 2.1 time more likely to die from COVID-19 than white people, while Black people are 1.9 times more likely to succumb to the virus.

Did Trump “exaggerate”? Maybe. But note this Jan. 7 Wall Street Journal op-ed from left-wing academics John Judis and Ruy Teixeira, criticizing the very New York state policy that Trump criticized. Excerpts:

New York state recently published guidelines for dispensing potentially life-saving monoclonal antibodies and oral antivirals like Paxlovid to people suffering from mild to moderate symptoms of Covid-19. These treatments are in short supply, and they must be allocated to those most in need.

According to these guidelines, sick people who have tested positive for Covid should be eligible to receive these drugs if they have “a medical condition or other factors that increase their risk for severe illness.” These include standard criteria like age and comorbidities like cancer, diabetes and heart disease—but, startlingly, they also include simply being of “non-white race or Hispanic/Latino ethnicity,” which “should be considered a risk factor, as longstanding systemic health and social inequities have contributed to an increased risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19.”

Consider the following cases: A middle-aged investment banker born in Colombia shows up at a physician’s office in Manhattan; a laid-off middle-aged worker of Italian ancestry shows up at a doctor’s office in Rochester, N.Y. Neither has medical risk factors, but both have mild to moderate symptoms of Covid-19. The wealthy Colombian-American could be given Paxlovid; the laid-off auto worker would be turned away. You can construct thousands of these comparative cases using well-off Hispanics, Asians or blacks and working-class whites.

This is unfair and possibly illegal. With these kinds of regulations, the Democrats who control New York reinforce the racial and ethnic divisions that grew during Donald Trump’s presidency. These state officials have been abetted by social scientists who collect survey data in a manner that, intentionally or not, confirms their presuppositions.

Judis and Teixeira cite data pointing out that disparities are more due to class than race. More:
All this suggests that the racial lens on Covid disparities is inadequate. A broader lens that included class factors would be unlikely to suggest to public health officials that the Indian-American CEOs of Alphabet and Microsoft ought to get priority over white Walmart clerks and hospital orderlies. Who should receive scarce Covid treatments should be based on genuine medical risk factors such as age and comorbidity, but class disparities can be relevant to deciding where to spend money to increase access to public-health benefits including vaccination and testing.

Liberal political scientists and many Democratic officials seem determined to ignore class divisions and instead divide the country up by race and ethnicity. This practice, which is unpopular outside elite media, universities and nonprofits, contributed to the rise of Mr. Trump. If it continues, Democrats could pay a lasting political price, which could threaten the welfare of groups Democrats want to help.

So Trump might have exaggerated, but his basic claim was true — and here you have two prominent left-wing commentators warning the Left not to go down this route, because it helps Trump.

Back to the NPR story. Here is Folkenflik griping that Fox won’t fire Tucker Carlson:

KELLY: And what about media on the right? Let me bring it back to you to close us out, David Folkenflik. Is there any pushback? Is there any – say, at Fox News, which employs Tucker Carlson, is there any sign that they’re addressing this rhetoric?

FOLKENFLIK: None whatsoever. Fox News almost invariably – and again, in this case today – doesn’t comment, just points you to what Carlson has had to say on his show about this subject. In his case last night, Tucker Carlson called the shooting horrific, said the accused shooter was racist and also mentally ill. But he’s turning the tables, essentially using this to lay into President Biden and Democrats for playing what he says are racial politics. The parent company, Fox Corporation under Lachlan Murdoch, says this is just all part of an open, lively debate and discussion, won’t really engage on it now. But in reality, Fox News has stripped away restraint. And you aren’t seeing repercussions for Carlson. And what that means is you’re seeing other opinion hosts dip into these waters. And some news anchors essentially allow guests to propagate the same racial replacement racist theories without any pushback or contradiction. And in doing that, they’re simply following Carlson, who is clearly the leader of the pack at Fox.

This is how they roll, the Left. They want to fire people who say things they don’t like. They want Tucker Carlson cancelled because he notices the same things they all notice, but he thinks it’s bad, not good — and says so.

This leftist crybullying increasingly doesn’t work anymore. At last!

I urge the usual left-wing commentators to watch the 15-minute Carlson monologue before phoning in your usual complaints.

UPDATE: Excellent observations by commenter AnnieOfArc:

In 2006 I identified as left-wing. When I went to live in Texas it became apparent the state would be purple and then blue within the next 20 years. My friends and I would delightedly chuckle about this, though I quickly started to laugh a little quieter. I remembered what happened to my lower middle class neighborhood flooded by immigration a few years earlier.

Years passed and I was less and less able to avert my eyes or close my ears. My life is full of lovely, wealthy liberals, all of whom have gloated and boasted about demographic change leading to blue party dominance. They brag about themselves moving to places like North Carolina to turn it blue, and then sneer about the parochialism of the locals. But the colonists are proudly saying they hate them, attempting to dispossess them, and then want them to be congratulated for it!

Of course I’m no longer a partisan of any party. The sins and virtues of all peoples are more than enough to contemplate in their complexity for many lifetimes. But the particular colonization techniques of elite liberalism leave a particular feeling of disgust in my mouth. Colonialism, by any means possible, is alive and thriving, and they will shriek for your banishment if you notice what they bragged about 90 seconds ago.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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