I am all in favor of favor of having a statute of limitations for dumb things we’ve said, written, or posted in the past, especially in our callow and stupid youth. But I’m not sure even a generous amnesty for past dumbf***ery would cover Tucker Carlson, whose performance of bravura awfulness took place in 2006.
We’re not talking about a night of binge drinking bad liquor at St. George’s. His serial insults, slurs, and bad takes on Bubba the Love Sponge’s show, were made when Tucker was a grown man, an established professional, and the host of a cable television show.
So the outrage mobs were martialed with the goal of getting him fired from his job as a Fox News host. In turn, the outrage mobs, rallied to his defense after Carlson refused to apologize and defiantly accused his critics of trying to censor his unpopular ideas.
“The left’s main goal, in case you haven’t noticed is controlling what you think,” he said in his defensive monologue. “In order to do that, they have to control the information that you receive.” Fox News is, at least for now, standing behind their top-rated host. And, indeed, the source of the embarrassing audio is the bounty-hunting Media Matters for America, which quite explicitly does want to shut down Tucker Carlson by having his show cancelled and the host fired. There’s nothing covert or secret about their motives or their agenda.
So, the usual tribes are rallied for our latest ritualized Two Minutes Hate; imprecations are hurled, boycotts threatened, postures struck. And in a few days we will likely forget about it. We’ve been to this play before.
Given all that, it’s probably a very bad idea to weigh in on this. But I’d still like to make a quite modest point, if you can bear with me.
Two things can be true at the same time: (1) MMFA does not want to debate ideas with Tucker Carlson, they want to destroy him and (2) What Carlson said was appalling and vile.
It is also possible to think that (1) Carlson ought not to be fired, (2) he ought to be held accountable and apologize, and (3) and (3) conservative shouldn’t die on this hill.