The competition for “The Stupidest Person on Fox News” is always a heated affair with way too many deserving candidates. With people like like Sean Hannity (a perennial leader, but ratings loser), Laura Ingraham, Steve Doocy, Lou Dobbs, Jeanine Pirro, etc., in the running, it’s may be impossible to name a single winner. But if anyone holds the inside track it’s usually Tucker Carlson.
On Tuesday Donald Trump caved in again to his superior, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, over the funding for his idiotic vanity wall along the southern border. The deal that the bipartisan committee in Congress hammered out actually allocates less money to the wall than the deal Trump rejected before his shutdown. So in an effort to draw attention away from yet another example of his pitiful negotiating skills, Trump went back to his whining about the numerous investigations of his criminality that are in progress. He tweeted this on Wednesday:
The Senate Intelligence Committee: THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF COLLUSION BETWEEN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN AND RUSSIA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 13, 2019
Of course that tweet, like almost everything Trump says, is totally false. The Senate Intelligence Committee did not make the statement that Trump is attributing to them. It was just the opinion of Sen. Richard Burr, the Republican chair of the committee. The Democrats disputed Burr’s opinion on its face and noted that their probe is not even complete. What’s more, Burr didn’t even say that there is “no evidence of collusion.” He said that he hadn’t seen any “direct” evidence. Which leaves plenty of room for circumstantial evidence or the simple fact that they had not seen the volumes of evidence that special counsel Robert Mueller has.
Naturally, Trump isn’t interested in the complexities of the truth. His mission is to simplify and distort everything to the point where his dimwitted Deplorables can be fooled into thinking he’s winning. He previously tweeted a “Thank You” note to MSNBC for airing a segment that reported Burr’s comments. But Trump cut off the video just before it went into the detail that exposed the very real legal jeopardy that Trump faces.
Enter Tucker Carlson. It won’t surprise anyone that Carlson acted out his sycophantic infatuation with Trump as he always does. He agreed with Trump’s mistaken comments about the Senate committee’s non-conclusion. And he went into great (but malformed) detail to make his point. He insisted that, according to the Senate committee “There is no evidence whatsoever that the Trump campaign conspired in any way with the government of Vladimir Putin during the last presidential election.” As noted above, none of that is true. But what makes Carlson’s suck-up a candidate for awards in stupidity is how he frames his phony argument:
“If you’ve been following the story at all, and of course you have been, you will not be surprised by this. “No Russian collusion” is a lot like the moon landing actually happened, or the abominable snowman was probably a long-haired mountain goat. You knew that already because you are not an idiot.”
So Carlson is arguing that the proof that there was no collusion is that it’s self-evident, that that’s just the way it is and everyone knows it. Never mind all the indictments, convictions, and disclosures of secret meetings with Russians by dozens of Trump associates. You just know it couldn’t be and, therefore, it wasn’t.
And here is where the dumbness becomes Olympic-grade. Carlson later quotes former Navy intelligence officer, Malcolm Nance, saying on MSNBC that there was no direct evidence implicating Benedict Arnold in treason, but that “everyone knew it was treason when they caught the man.” Carlson found this out-of-context soundbite so absurd that he repeated three times. And not once in those repetitions did he realize that he was ridiculing exactly the same reliance on something being self-evident that he relied on himself a few minutes earlier. He apparently has the attention span of brain-damaged gnat.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
What’s really disturbing is that this is precisely the sort of logical malfunction that works so well among Trump’s cult followers and Fox News viewers. They won’t catch the obvious contradictions or cognitive failures that define the right’s crackpot ideology in the Era of Trump. But they will follow along blindly with whatever their Dear Leader and his State TV surrogates tell them is the truth. Which makes one wonder whether their stupidity is even worse than that of Carlson, Fox News, and Trump.