Tucker Carlson Will Never Be Held Accountable

Tucker Carlson

A man apparently shot 13 people, killing 10 of them, at a grocery store in Buffalo. He live-streamed it (of course). And he left what appears to be a white supremacist manifesto that discusses the Great Replacement conspiracy theory, popularized by Fox News star Tucker Carlson.

On Twitter, people made the connection. Many demanded that Carlson be taken off the air. But we all know that won’t happen, right? I wrote to a friend:

“All that will happen is that Carlson will air a segment in which he notes that his name was never mentioned and that the true outrage is that liberals are attacking him. And it will be over.”

Apologia Begins!

Well, within an hour, I saw this:

On one level, she’s right: there is no way to know if the shooter got the idea from Tucker Carlson. In fact, my guess would be that he didn’t.

But that’s not how information spreads. Information comes via an ecosystem. I fully absorbed the popular ideas of postmodernism by the age of 12 without ever having read any philosophers or even heard anyone talk about it explicitly.

This is one of the big reasons why we need to signal, as a community, that the ideas of fascism are wrong. All the happy talk about the “free market of ideas” is the road to social collapse. (Of course, I know that all the big proponents of the “free market of ideas” are the first to want to silence any ideas they don’t personally like.)

This is why Tucker Carlson should have been taken off television long ago. He spreads fascist propaganda. We don’t need 10 people to die to know that is harmful.

Useless Media

But our media industry requires that Tucker Carlson be holding a good deal more than a smoking gun. They require something to the effect of “Patriots should murder people of color in order to protect our race!” They will be fine with, “Well, you can’t prove he got the idea from me!”

The bigger problem is that we live in a country where a large part of the population believes fascism is good. For many years now, I’ve felt like I was living in a bad production of Rhinoceros.

Tucker Carlson by Gage Skidmore under CC BY-SA 2.0.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

2 thoughts on “Tucker Carlson Will Never Be Held Accountable

  1. Carlson: Patriots should murder people of color in order to protect our race!

    Some guy murders people of color “in order to protect his race”

    Carlson: When I said “Patriots should murder people of color in order to protect our race”, I didn’t really mean it like that! I meant it in a way that I couldn’t be blamed

    His public: Oh. Okay, then. He shouldn’t be held accountable

    >a large part of the population believes fascism is good

    Depressingly accurate. Mostly right-wingers. In fact, more and more it seems like an unspoken GOP position plank. But as a left-winger, I can’t say my side is totally immune to this desire…

    • No, we’re not immune. I personally think that every problem on Earth would be solved forever if I were declared Planetary Emperor.

      However, that’s unlikely to happen. And, what’s a key difference here, leftists don’t want to prevent right-wingers from voting. We’d merely like to curb some of the things giving them an unfair advantage (like corporate spending on elections, etc.)

      Right-wingers do want to stop us voting. In one sense, that’s largely what this “great replacement” nonsense is about. Claim leftists are filling the country with furreners to win elections, justify terrible anti-voter laws and procedures aimed at those poorer people more likely to vote for Democrats.

      Talk to a Republican who believes there’s voter fraud and they’ll tell you it’s all immigrants. Significant numbers of people think this is happening — and that immigrants are draining government funds with all the generous free money they receive.

      Right-wing think tanks pushing this stuff know it’s gibberish. They also know it’s effective gibberish. If you can get someone who leans “mildly racist” (and all of us are, at least to some degree) to believe immigrants are corrupting elections, bankrupting Social Security, whatever, you can get them to at least tolerate the rank xenophobia of a Carlson. If I were convinced that wine snobs were killing all the beer stores in my neighborhood, I might be inclined to resent and fear wine snobs, and agree with those who say we need to stop those grape goblins. (Instead of just finding wine snobs rather confusing, as I do.)

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