Thanks for your resume .@TuckerCarlson and while we note that you have “a wealth of experience in spreading manure”, we have no openings at this time.
— Four Seasons Total Landscaping (@TotalSeasons) April 25, 2023
I have poured one out for Mr. Demographics, a truly vile man who I’m sure will never actually go away. https://t.co/cpsc3dFOEI
— David Roth (@david_j_roth) April 27, 2023
Dave Roth, always a treasure, at Defector:
… It is generally true that people grow and change as they get older, but that’s not necessarily the same thing as saying that they become different. Some people just become more and more themselves, and do not so much grow as build addition after addition onto their home and then decorate all of them identically. The fixtures and finishes might get more expensive, but fundamentally it is the same four walls opening onto the same views. Wherever they go, there they are. They do not, would not and anyway could not, ever leave.
For someone like Tucker Carlson, staying in that space has been something like his job for many years. In that sense, it fits that Carlson’s career reached its apex while hosting a show at Fox News that was, in every facet, an argument against going outside. Outside, things are disgusting and dangerous and depraved; inside, the television relentlessly reinforces this. Carlson, who cackled and leered and seethed on camera in a way that suggested someone who was authentically distraught about every single thing he encountered, was a perfect star for a network whose business model is increasingly leveraged on an ambitious gambit to replace the outside world with a substitute reality that is far worse. This room was like every other in which Carlson has spent his working life—blacked out, a camera trained on his face, very cold—and in it he did the thing that he has done for a living for many years, and which he has been doing for something like his entire life, which is act scandalized and disgusted and aggrieved. Carlson acts like a Republican for a living, for short, and as that has changed, he has changed along with it. Lately this has been a matter of descending and descending again into various sub-basements, taking a look around, and then hitting his mark as usual…
… That Carlson, who was reportedly obsessed with the minute-by-minute ratings analytics that Fox provided, might merely have been giving his audience what they wanted doesn’t exonerate him in the least. The decision “to double down on the white nationalism because the minute-by-minutes show that the audience eats it up,” as one former Fox employee told The New York Times, is revealing about Carlson’s audience but less so about Carlson himself. It’s like talking about whether your dishwasher really hates dirt and grease. Whatever Carlson believes has never really been important, and would only be interesting to people who are not themselves very interesting, or interested in very interesting things. At this point there’s no reason to believe that Carlson actually believes anything at all, or that those beliefs would even briefly complicate his job of Acting Like A Republican. There’s no evidence of it.
Carlson was reportedly fired by Fox News on Monday, and much of the story since then has been more or less gossip. It is, most everyone agrees, unlikely that Carlson got fired for any of the reprehensible and dehumanizing shit that he said on TV every night; it is unlikely, by most accounts, that he was fired for being a shitty bullying boss and generally vampiric workplace presence, because Fox has an exceptionally high threshold for that sort of thing even by television standards. It might be somewhat likelier that Carlson’s offenses against network kayfabe—the public emergence, in the run-up to a lawsuit against the network, of text messages in which Carlson disparages his network’s audience, and the goof crew of swirly-eyed dead-enders the network brought on to support Donald Trump, and Trump himself—were behind the decision, but given the network’s evident faith that it could not merely shape but supplant its viewers’ reality, that feels doubtful. The clubhouse leader, or anyway the funniest option, is the possibility that the network’s 92-year-old owner’s experience of being very briefly affianced to a woman who truly believed Carlson was a prophet and a genius was behind the decision.
Again, though, this is not very interesting, because the people involved aren’t very interesting. They are vain and self-interested and not intelligent in any interesting or insightful ways. It is meaningful, I think, to notice the ways in which Carlson’s job has changed, or metastasized; where Acting Like A Republican once meant going on TV dressed like a child at a Connecticut wedding and sneering at hippies or putting on for small business owners, it now means talking in identically apocalyptic terms about both the immigrant hordes and the now-much-less-sexy Green M&M, and stopping teasingly short of demanding that both be put to the sword. The work product is darker, for sure, but not really different in any meaningful way because the job has not fundamentally changed.
I don’t have to tell you that this job is a stupid, disgusting one, and one in which only someone who is facile and shameless could flourish to the extent that Carlson has. It is a demeaning thing, although it pays well; Carlson was compensated like a mid-career MLB star to play his part as a meat megaphone for the worst and oldest impulses in American politics. That the demands of the job changed in the way they did, such that the erstwhile rich-kid heel became a howling blood-and-soil fascist, is meaningful in a number of ways, but I think most significantly in how it reflects the vacancy and drift that define our increasingly theatrical and abstracted politics…
There is an empty space at his core that mirrors the empty space at the center of American political culture. It is what has made him so good at pretending to be whatever he has to pretend to be, and what keeps both him and the brutal entropic status quo that he has always, always served in place. Finding new and harsher ways of playing pretend, the spinning of bloodier and more all-encompassing fantasies—this is work, but it has no dignity. It’s what happens instead of anything more necessary; it exists to make sure that nothing better will ever replace it. Only a ghoul could flourish in it as Carlson has; only a fool could mistake someone playing his part for anything but an enemy. His future remains bright.
— El infame Sergacabra (A Parody, of Sorts) (@TheeFantomas) April 26, 2023
dude got a lot of mileage out of squinting sideways like he’d just swallowed a bumblebee atop a chyron reading “LIBERALS WANT TO MAKE RACCOONS TRANSSEXUAL?” or some shit but that’s ultimately all the whole act amounted to.
— kilgore trout, blue check blocker (@KT_So_It_Goes) April 25, 2023
Alex Shephard, at New Republic — “Tucker Carlson’s Firing Was Hilarious”:
… Carlson’s whole deal was premised on the idea that he was fundamentally unaccountable—so popular that there was nothing the network could do to rein him in. He could say whatever he wanted about minorities, women, and his bosses, and no one could bat an eye: Success had rendered him bulletproof. As it turns out, while he may be popular, he’s not as beloved as he thought. He regularly pulled two million viewers, thanks in part to his hateful schtick (that schtick being telling his viewers that they are about to be systematically murdered by their political opponents and/or immigrants while cocking his head like a confounded dog) and thanks in part to his place at the heart of Fox’s prime-time lineup. It didn’t matter. He got knifed anyway…
It’s also funny because Carlson truly deserves it. If anything, this moment recalls the time that Donald Trump caught Covid-19—another moment when someone whose whole deal was premised on never facing consequences for his actions had to face consequences (or at least a version of them) for perhaps the first time. Mostly though, Tucker Carlson getting fired is funny because he’s a terrible person who has made this country a demonstrably worse place…
Whether or not Carlson believed in what he was doing—and he clearly believed in a lot of it, if not all of it—was in most ways immaterial. Tucker Carlson Tonight was a show most notable for its profound cynicism and for its willingness to consistently meet its audience somewhere on the low road. Carlson hoodwinked many into thinking that he was a thought leader, when he was really more of a follower.
I see their error here, they forgot the word “national.” https://t.co/5Nb7D0tGmD
— The Fig Economy (@figgityfigs) April 25, 2023
Yup. Glenn Beck. O'Reilly. Megyn Kelly. All inflated by the platform. At no point has the audience followed.
Tucker might have the personality cult and wealth to somewhat buck the trend but that timeslot was still as good as it gets. https://t.co/wXbx9819Bd
— zeddy (@Zeddary) April 24, 2023
So now we know Rand Paul also wants to fuck M&Ms.
I hate this timeline.
Fuck Tucker Carlson and the bow tie he rode in on. The important news tonight is that the Lakers absolutely demolished the Grizzlies and are advancing in the NBA playoffs! Stay tuned. And they keep trying to say LeBron is too old. Both he and Joe Biden would differ with that assessment…
To see the future, just look at the past. Whomever replaces Tucker won’t be better.
Tucker’s mistake was to drop the bow tie. No jury would have ever found it reasonable to find someone wearing a bow tie liable for anything.
Sister Golden Bear
Just to put things in perspective, Tuckums’ audience was 2 million people. Studies are estimate there’s 1.6 million trans people in the U.S., although that’s a floor-level number given the inherent challenges of studying a population where a number of people are closeted.
They may be rabid, but they ain’t numerous — although Tuckums obviously had a broader influence on the Republican Party.
Memphian here. I am now obligated to cheer for the Lakers to win it all. Let’s go King James!
Poor Tucker – okay he’s not poor. Best quote I’ve read about that slack jawed expression…nevermind.
So if I’m interpreting this post correctly, the dude is an asshole.
Thanks for clearing that up.
@Sister Golden Bear: *Montana*. My mind boggles. This is not the country I grew up in, and thank goodness for that!
Major Major Major Major
Really can’t wait for the real story to come out!
The Libertarian Party of New Hampshire might want to emphasize public education a bit more:
… told Republicans to fight less wars –> … told Republicans to fight fewer wars …
Major Major Major Major
@Jerzy Russian: I assume they’re one of the many state parties that were taken over by fascist entryists last year
I am not a big Lebron or Lakers fan but I am thrilled they trounced Memphis with the execrable Brooks. Maybe Memphis isn’t the dynasty they claimed to be after all.
We need reporters who can do real investigative journalism, instead of weaving unconvincing narratives. Carlson is ultimately Rupert Murdoch’s creature. If he wishes, he can bring him back and give him another pundit job.
This is how Murdoch operates. When Rebekah Brooks resigned as editor of one of Murdoch’s UK papers because of a phone hacking scandal, Rupert paid her a hefty severance, told her to take a year to travel, and then put her in a new position as CEO of News UK.
Major Major Major Major
@Brachiator: you don’t read David Roth for the journalism.
Put in mind of a brief exchange in David Mamet’s State & Main.
…But what is truth? Eh? In’t that the thing? What is true?
It’s the truth that you should never trust anybody wears a bowtie. Cravat’s s’posed to point down to accentuate the genitals, why’d you wanna trust somebody, [whose] tie points out to accentuate his ears…?
A different scene, from the movie version. (Pretend Alec Baldwin is Tuck-Tuck.)
David 🌈 ☘The Establishment☘🌈 Koch
How can this be, I was repeatedly told it was economic anxiety not racism
I heard that Fox sent trucks to Woodstock, Maine to get the equipment in his studio. Not sure if it’s true, but I like to think Murdoch is petty enough to do that.
Tucker’s house is on Bryant Pond in Woodstock.
@Major Major Major Major: Truth. Roth utterly slays me. I savor his rants in much the same way “Cracked” or “Mad” magazines were devoured as an adolescent some forty somethingsomething years ago.
Also too, he may single-handedly restore the semi-colon to its rightful place of honor in the pantheon of run-on sentences.
Usually David Roth is spot on, but I found this to be petty and mean spirited. I guess if people don’t share Mr. Roth’s opinions about what is worth caring about…
@ian: Read that same sentence a number of times. Concluded it was a kind of swipe at the “midwestern diner interview” phenomenon. As in ‘Tucker fascinates the mundane and those fascinated by the mundane.’ So, an equal opportunity offense attempted (without grace) by Mr. Roth?
@ian: I work in the belly of the Tucker watching beast: an Indiana farmers market. And that sentence captures the Carlson demographic perfectly. They know what they know, dammit; and have no need to travel, meet new people, go further in school, or even watch PBS to be told differently. They are intensely uninterested and uninteresting people and they work pretty hard to stay that way.
@Chetan Murthy: And the “I paid for my blue check” crowd is piling on.
@ian: Seems that those who chose to watch Tucker were pretty content with the limits of their understanding. Folks didn’t watch because of their intense curiosity about the issues of the day or a desire to broaden their horizons – it was an hour long ‘two minute hate’. They wanted their dose of fear and loathing. So, no, I don’t think Roth was out of line, I think it’s bang on.
I am interested in and find interesting how much of his bullshit Carlson believes. It is useful to keep tabs on why people do what they do, and the relative power of greed and hate. How else can you predict or appropriately react to them as a whole? Alas, I doubt I’ll ever know with this kingpin of hate. We know he and all of Fox knew the Dominion thing was a lie, so he’s not all in on huffing his own farts.
The Thin Black Duke
Tucker is a big turd in a small bowl who just lost the best job he’s ever going to have.
Sooooo… the New Hampshire Libertarian Party went full Greenwald?
West of the Rockies
Yup. Twitter appears to be overrun by neo-Nazies and patriarchal chest-puffers who all think junior high bullying is the apogee of wit.
West of the Rockies
I hope Hannity is existentially terrified for his own wretched career and persona.
@Sister Golden Bear:
I wish there were a law that kept them out of my bathrooms.
The Thin Black Duke
@Baud: I wish we could keep them out of the voting booths but we can’t because we’re the good guys.
Remember Jon Stewart’s prescient scolding of Carlson: “This is show business. You’re wearing a bow tie.”
After decades of trying, he found his meal ticket and let it go to his head. Kinda like that MSNBC guy who ended up going to RT…
It really doesn’t matter if he believes the stuff he says. What matters is that he uses that position to say it. His words serve those who want to destroy the commonweal. That makes him an enemy.
That guy who confronted him in that store in Idaho (?) was exactly right.
Was that before or after they lost the town of Grafton to bears? Fifty thousand years of pushing the carnivores out of our caves and huts, and the Libertarians throw it all away in two years.
I think I’ll take this thread as a “sign-off” for Carlson, and not comment further on him, or waste any time on that waste of protein.
Well, unless he does something to get Murdoch mad, and Fox releases the tapes of him taking a suitcase of cash from Putin, or whatever it is they have on him. Then I will join the gloating.
@Frankensteinbeck: I think it’s fair to say that he’s all in on hating everyone who isn’t a white Christianist man. The rest are just details.
“ wherever they go, there they are”.
Superb Buckaroo Bonzai reference. Kudos!
@Sister Golden Bear: I read that “two million viewers” line and thought, that’s less than Hillary beat Trump by. In other words, Tucker, two million… isn’t enough.
They learned everything they need to know by 4th grade, there isn’t anything going on in their lives after that level so why bother. Every thing in their tiny towns is below that same 4th grade level anyway, possibly because they never paid one second of attention past that, now have zero idea how to go any farther and are satisfied that they have learned everything they need to know.
Gonna read the whole article, because Dave Roth.
Still sniggering over the term “meat megaphone.”
Still can’t believe my friend Michelle Brane actually went on Carlson’s show and managed not to choke the MF with his own bowtie.
hes like a reverse Howard stern