The past few weeks have been among the most devastating for Fox News as damning revelations about the flagrant dishonesty at the ultra-rightist network have been publicly exposed. Private internal communications by Fox News executives and hosts were revealed in the course of the billion dollar defamation lawsuit against Fox by Dominion Voting systems.
Perhaps the most damaging disclosures were those wherein Fox’s top primetime host, Tucker Carlson, was found to be a shameless liar who placed his greed and ratings above his obligation to be truthful. The texts and emails that Dominion acquired showed that Carlson, and many of his Fox colleagues, presented themselves to their glassy-eyed viewers as unflinchingly loyal supporters of Donald Trump, while revealing their “passionate hatred” for him privately.
The evidence that Fox News deliberately defamed Dominion is rock solid. They knew that they were lying on the air all along, but did so anyway out of fear of losing viewers. Sean Hannity even admitted that he “did not believe [Trump’s election fraud lies] for one second,” while insisting to his audience that the alleged fraud was real and rampant.
All of this makes Carlson’s commentary Monday night especially disgusting. In his opening monologue, Carlson spent nearly twenty minutes maligning California Governor Gavin Newsom, who Carlson thinks could be the next Democratic candidate for president in 2024. His rant was riddled with typical right-wing lunacies such as his warped explanation for the Democrats nominating Joe Biden in 2020 because “the anti-White party picked the White guy.” Then he absurdly theorized that in 2024…
“[Y]ou would assume the party, the Democratic Party, would replace Joe Biden with someone who embodies their highest values. You imagine a trans-Black woman with a background in corporate H.R. or a Latinx drag queen with purple hair and lots of face piercings.”
A more plausible assumption would be that Carlson is abusing some pretty powerful hallucinogenic drugs. Either that or he’s eaten some rotten frozen fish sticks. Either of those mind altering experiences would still come up short in explaining what he said next. Following a clip of Newsom criticizing Ron DeSantis who, just days after the mass shooting in Nashville, signed a bill that allows people to carry concealed guns without a permit, Carlson unleashed this crackpottery…
“This is what to happens with everything about you, from your physical features to your very soul, has been altered by cosmetic surgery. Just like Joe Biden, but younger. You’ll say literally anything. Words have no connection to reality. There’s no expectation you’re describing something real. You’re merely using words as a tool to gain power. That’s terrifying. It’s dishonest to its core.”
Tucker: You'll say literally anything. Words have no connection to reality. There's no expectation you're describing something real. You're merely using words as a tool to gain power. It's dishonest to its core. pic.twitter.com/nrh4P4rxCd
— Acyn (@Acyn) April 11, 2023
So Carlson thinks that Newsom has had cosmetic surgery on his soul? Setting aside the idiocy of that, Carlson’s criticisms of Newsom sound strikingly familiar. That’s because they are precisely the criticisms that have been leveled at Carlson for most of his career on television. The Dominion lawsuit has proved that his “Words have no connection to reality.” And as for having “no expectation [Carlson is] describing something real,” just refer to what his own Fox News lawyers said about him in a previous lawsuit in his defense…
“[Carlson] cannot be understood to have been stating facts, but instead that he was delivering an opinion using hyperbole for effect. [and that] given Mr. Carlson’s reputation, any reasonable viewer ‘arrive[s] with an appropriate amount of skepticism’ about the statements he makes.”
In other words, Carlson is a notorious liar whose commentaries can be dismissed out of hand as the ravings of an unhinged, warbling whack job. And yet he has the gall to project his glaring character flaws onto others with no coherent connection. Which ironically validates what he said about Newsom, except directing it instead to himself: Carlson is “merely using words as a tool to gain power. That’s terrifying. It’s dishonest to its core.” Indeed!
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