Tucker Feels Kinship With the Very White Supremacist Ideas That He Resists Acknowledging
Within hours, wide distribution of the hateful, violent language of the hidden Tucker Carlson text message to one of his Fox News producers had made concrete what all but loyal fans see in the controversial television propagandist: Tucker feels kinship with the very White supremacist ideas that he resists acknowledging.
Disclosure of the message contents by The New York Times immediately spurred new rounds of cable commentators’ tsk-tsking of an anti-social, racist message, while defenders of the Tucker faith felt obliged to try turning the conversation to his brazen bravery in speaking a different kind of truth to power.
Celebrity-gazing aside, the message — in which Tucker described his descent into supremacist feelings while viewing a video of for three Donald Trump supporters beating a supposed Antifa “kid” – was described as contributing to the decision by the Fox management and board to fire the country’s top cable opinion anchor. “It’s not how white men fight,” Tucker wrote, adding, “Yet suddenly I found myself rooting for the mob against the man, hoping they’d hit him harder, kill him. I really wanted them to hurt the kid. I could taste it.”
There were other Tucker messages – Media Matters aired videos — that reflected crude and objectionable behavior and attitudes within Fox, and their collective weight was sufficient for management to part ways with him.
The question that seemed the strangest about the incident was why this message was what sounded the confirming note to the Fox leadership that Tucker Carlson was holding strong positive feelings about race and violence.
Akin to the Casablanca scene in which it was “shocking” to learn of backroom gambling, it was as if the Fox management never actually had watched Tucker Carlson, who regularly has shown and shared these kinds of opinions quite openly.
An Embarrassing Message
The text was kept hidden – apparently even from Fox’s leaders — among many emails, text messages and other documents gathered as part of the Dominion Voter Systems defamation lawsuit recently and expensively settled with Fox News.
From several media accounts, Tucker’s text about the video reportedly set off panic among Fox’s leaders who worried that they could become public and prove embarrassing for the network.
No kidding. Maybe they should be more embarrassed about why they have continuously valued profits over the promotion of false material, misinformation as well as overt support for violence and racial insensitivity.
It remains unclear whether the content of those texts from Tucker Carlson and other Fox commentators would have been disclosed as part of the lawsuit. The Times said only that it learned of the contents of this message from those close to the trial.
While race was not at the heart of the lawsuit, the makeup of the jury being seated was racially diverse, and disclosure of this message clearly would not have helped Fox’s case.
Other cable stations aired edited clips from Tucker Carlson broadcasts that made it clear that he repeatedly aired themes about a Great Replacement Theory, with non-whites and non-Christians taking jobs and positions from Whites; about denial of violence by White supremacist-leaning groups in rallies and on Jan. 6, 2021; about a scourge of immigrant migration to this country, as well as unrestrained support against gun-safety.
As The Times – which last year had run results of a content review of more than 400 of his programs — summarized, Tucker Carlson repeatedly saw the news as part of a larger struggle between “us” and immigrants and marginalized groups as taking political and cultural power from whites. He often attacked Black social justice activists, insisted that immigrants from Central America make the country “dirtier,” and derided gender and identity issues. He asserted that White supremacy was “not a real problem,” likening it to a conspiracy theory.
Clearly, the text messages and the handling of Tucker Carlson are going to emerge in pending shareholder lawsuits against Fox, as well as in the court case being brought by one of his former producers, who is seeking damages for her treatment on Carlson’s program.
Maybe it’s enough to give his next employer pause.
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