If nothing else prompts Fox News to rein in Tucker Carlson’s poisonous and incendiary rhetoric, his dangerous attacks on Dr. Anthony Fauci ought to.
I have written previously about how Carlson has used his platform to deliberately endanger journalists (with lies, for extra indefensibility) and the mayor of Portland for no good reason, other than malignant hate for America and, probably, ratings.
It turns out Carlson’s cancerous slurs have also endangered Fauci. Carlson has smeared our country’s top infectious disease expert - in the middle of a pandemic, no less – as a “hypocritical buffoon” and a “total” and “complete” “fraud.”
In an interview with The Washington post’s Geoff Edgers today, Fauci was asked about his status as a bit of a folk hero (for much of the country). “I don’t see that part, the hero part, and I don’t pay attention to the death threats and harassments, either,” he said.
That seemingly prompted Edgers to ask about Carlson. Edgers quoted some of Carlson’s less offensive insults: “Lord Fauci” and “Unelected Fauci has been leading this country,” e.g., and asked if that gets under Fauci’s skin. Or, “On a humane level, do you feel threatened or concerned when you see that sort of thing floating out there?” Edgers asked.
Fauci said he’s not concerned about what Carlson says. But maybe he should be concerned: “I think you could say that when he [Carlson] does that, that triggers some of the crazies in society to start threatening me, actually threatening me, which actually happens,” Fauci added.
“I mean, who would have thought when I was in medical school, doing things to save people’s lives, I’d have to be going around with a security detail?” Fauci continued. “I mean, that’s really ridiculous.” Fauci said he didn’t ask for security but that the government decided he needed it “on the basis of the threats that they were tapping into.”
It's probably too much to ask Fox News to have any sense of decency and insist that Carlson behave like someone who respects America, rather than like someone looking to tear it apart without concern for the consequences.
But there's absolutely no excuse for the network not to do so.
(H/T reader Eric Jefferson and Mediaite)
(Fauci image via screen grab)
I rather think, however, that the assassination of Dr. Fauci would not be as well received by Mr. Trump’s base. Times are changing, as demonstrated by the reaction to George Floyd’s killing. Who would have expected big business to perceive the need to respond positively on the issue of racial equality? There’s a coca cola ad on Italian TV that I’m keeping an eye on: it’s a “you can do it” message for the economic advancement of young blacks and browns (replacing the previous focus on white folk having fun). Wow!