Tucker Carlson calls for Senator Burr to resign and await prosecution for insider trading if he cannot provide a reasonable explanation for his actions. He goes on to say it appears that Senator Burr betrayed his country in a time of crisis pic.twitter.com/q7yJa5wjuA
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) March 20, 2020
He plays a bigoted thug to perfection on TV, but either Mr. Carlson isn’t quite as dumb as he acts, or he’s at least smart enough to hire competent advisors. Lo, a Damascus moment for one of the richest ‘conservatives’ on Fox News!
Tucker Carlson apparently flew to Mar-a-Lago to personally lobby Trump and his aides to take the coronavirus more seriously and to stop seeing everything though a political lens https://t.co/XO50HpH4qc
— Lee Fang (@lhfang) March 17, 2020
Though it’s hard to believe, Fox News host Tucker Carlson made his very first visit to Mar-a-Lago only a week and a half ago. The resort was hosting a birthday party for former Fox host Kimberly Guilfoyle, also attended by Florida congressman Matt Gaetz, and Donald Trump Jr.,—but Carlson wasn’t there for the party. He didn’t even know about it, he says. Instead he’d come with an urgent message for the president. He was there to pull Donald Trump aside and speak frankly about the dangers of the coronavirus epidemic, the gravity of which had not yet fully registered with Trump or his White House.
For his troubles, Carlson was actually exposed to the coronavirus, along with Senators Lindsey Graham and Rick Scott, all of whom had been in the room with infected Brazilian officials attending the party…
Tucker Carlson started talking more extensively about the virus on his Fox News show on February 3, spurred, he says, by harrowing reports emerging from China. Trump, it seems, was the last to know. A White House adviser arranged for Carlson to meet with Trump so the TV personality could, in essence, penetrate Trump’s bubble. They talked for two hours. The oncoming pandemic, Carlson told him, was an existential threat to the nation. To translate it into Trumpian language, an existential threat to his reelection. Mike Pence joined at one point. Carlson won’t discuss the president’s reaction on the record, but suffice it to say that Trump’s denial went on for another week while the pandemic ballooned and right-wing allies—many of them on Fox News—suggested the virus was a liberal hoax and members of Congress, as recently as three days ago, told people to continue going out in public as if nothing was happening.
I’ve known Tucker Carlson for 20 years, since before his infamous Jon Stewart debate on CNN in 2004 and before his paleoconservative tendencies—he was always sympathetic to Pat Buchanan—found their moment in the election of Donald J. Trump, reanimating his career. Carlson has always been one of the most intelligent and reliably savage observers of Washington—even more so off camera. A canny TV diplomat, he won’t say Trump is terrified, weak, politically doomed, in deep denial and surrounded by toadies and mediocrities. But what he does say is enough to make you realize we’re entering uncharted territory…
A sample of the ensuing tonguebath:
We’re at the point where conservative media and right-wing politicians take their cues from Trump and from the White House. Tell me when you decided that maybe something had gone out of whack.
So a lot of Trump voters believe that all news about Trump is designed to hurt Trump. And they’re absolutely right about that. It’s been monomaniacal, the coverage of Trump. So when the moment came, when there was something that ultimately really didn’t have anything to do with Trump, which is the emergence of a weird new virus from Eastern China, they were trained to believe that all coverage was designed to hurt Trump. Because that’s been true. So it was very hard to convince a lot of those news consumers that this was fundamentally not a political story.