Occasionally Fox News let’s its guard down and airs something that has the distinct ring of truth. There has been very little of that in the past few weeks as the impeachment of Donald Trump has been producing an avalanche of evidence against him. A parade of career diplomats and national security professionals testified under oath before Congress that he abused his power by extorting the president of Ukraine in an effort to smear Joe Biden. And despite his denials, the resulting public opinion of Trump has suffered.
However, on Thanksgiving eve, one of Trump’s most devoted Fox News bootlickers, Tucker Carlson, delivered a monologue (video below) that exposed Fox’s viewers to a portrait of Trump that they rarely see. Carlson began the segment by correctly noting that…
“One of the reasons progressives say they hate Donald Trump is because he lies a lot. Trump, they’ll tell you, is a committed liar.”
Indeed. That is surely one of the many reasons that progressives oppose Trump. Of course, there’s also his bigotry, dictator worship, ignorance, and infantile behavior. These should be reasons that anyone oppose Trump, but Carlson didn’t go that far. In fact, he slammed rapidly into reverse.
Apparently unfamiliar with the concept of truthful reporting, Carlson belittled journalists who document Trump’s dishonesty as being like “obsessed baseball fans.” Carlson noted that the Washington Post has already collected more than 13,000 false or misleading statements by Trump [Update: more than 30,000 lies]. He singled out a particularly memorable lie that Trump told at the very beginning of his term about the size of his inauguration audience being “the largest ever.” But even Carlson couldn’t pretend to believe that:
“We’re not going to lie to you. That was untrue. The crowd at the 2017 inauguration was not the largest ever measured on the National Mall. Sorry, it wasn’t. Why did the president claim it was? Well, because that’s who he is. Donald Trump is a salesman. He’s a talker, a boaster, a booster, a compulsive self-promoter. At times, he’s a full-blown BS artist. If Trump hadn’t gotten rich in real estate, he could have made a fortune selling cars.”
OK, then. We can now all agree that Trump is a “full-blown BS artist.” That much Carlson got right. Although, to be accurate, Trump did not get rich selling real estate. He inherited a fortune from his father that he mishandled so badly he had to declare multiple bankruptcies and take a humiliating job as the host of a reality TV game show. However, Carlson’s conjecture that Trump might have had more success as a shady car salesman hits closer to home.
As to Trump’s penchant for lying, Carlson’s casual admission that it’s just “because that’s who he is,” should be more troubling than he made it sound. That is not a personality trait that is sought in any leader. And Carlson’s attempt to downplay Trump’s lying simply because “most people know this,” and that “It’s obvious,” is downright bizarre. He’s implying that the knowledge that someone is a pathological liar makes it acceptable.
Carlson spent the next ten minutes making excuses for what he portrays as Trump’s truth telling. For the most part that consists of his maligning immigrants, smearing minorities, insulting Democrats, and expressing unfettered adoration for murderous foreign tyrants. And this, as it turns out, was the whole impetus for the entire segment. Carlson believes that Trump’s overt racism is what makes him so honest. And the social “benefit” of that unmasked hatred makes up for all of the blatant lying. So in Carlson’s world – and Trump’s – you can lie all you want so long as you remain faithful to an agenda of white supremacy and hatred. And being a “full-blown BS artist” doesn’t exempt you from leading the Republican Nationalist Party.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.