Don’t think for one minute that the sexuality-obsessed Tucker Carlson didn’t know what he was conveying.
Last night, Tucker Carlson was part of the right-wing weaponization of the East Palestine, Ohio train derailment, putting forth the phony-baloney claim that white conservatives are being targeted by the toxic spill that resulted.
Media Matters has a good overview:
Thus far, national television coverage of this story has been minimal and lacking in important context about the rail industry’s campaign to loosen the regulations that govern the transportation of hazardous materials. Though right-wing media have suggested that this is because East Palestine residents are white Trump supporters, this inadequate coverage reflects a pattern Media Matters has consistently documented: The media’s coverage of environmental and public health crises — particularly when they affect communities of color — is frequently poor both in quantity and quality.
There are legitimate health and environmental concerns that still need to be addressed in East Palestine. However, right-wing media’s claim that the government's poor response is because residents are white conservatives is unsupported and nonsensical. In fact, mounting evidence suggests that white people receive more aid from the federal government than people of color following disasters. Additionally, right-wing figures responding to the derailment in Ohio have conveniently neglected to mention the communities of color, such as in Flint, Michigan, that have been consistently failed by the government during their public health crises.
CARLSON: East Palestine, Ohio is not a huge place. It's a town of about 5,000 people not far from Pittsburgh. For many years, East Palestine was known as the place that produced dishes and cups and pitchers for America's hotels. The enormous ceramics works there employed much of the town.
That's all gone now. And predictably, East Palestine is a lot poorer for it. The median household income in the town is now less than $45,000.00. East Palestine is overwhelmingly White and it's politically conservative. More than 70 percent of the voters in the surrounding counties supported Donald Trump in the last election.
That shouldn't be relevant, but as you're about to hear, it very much is.
Well, under Pete Buttigieg, the Department of Transportation, which responds to train derailments, took decisive action. Pete Buttigieg announced something called Transit Equity Day. That's yet another day that we celebrate race-based Federal funding, that, despite the train derailment, does not apply to East Palestine because the people who live there are the wrong color.
Was Carlson projecting? Because speaking of facts that should not be relevant in a disaster but were, these 10+ minutes of sympathy and outrage on behalf of East Palestine were nowhere to be found in his comments about the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi. That disaster hit a poor, Black community. Carlson responded by using it to blame and smear the Black mayor.
Carlson could have used this opening monologue for good, to unite the country in a response to this awful situation, to spur real help for those in the East Palestine area and ideas for avoiding any such future calamities. But that’s not what Lachlan Murdoch-pet Carlson gets paid millions for and, as far as I can tell, not what he cares about:
CARLSON: Now, imagine if this had happened in, well, the favored cities of Philadelphia and Detroit. Lots of poor people in those cities. Everyone feels for them. Everyone wants them to be safe.
Imagine at the same time this had happened in Washington D.C., in say Georgetown. Well, the National Guard would be called in. There would be no mushroom cloud of toxic chemicals on the horizon. We can promise you that.
So after all of this becomes public, that the water and the air in and around East Palestine, maybe in the region, could be contaminated, finally -- finally -- Pete Buttigieg and the Department of Transportation decided to weigh in: "Our Federal partners at EPA are on-site and monitoring indoor and outdoor air quality."
Air quality? What about water? Oh, water. What does that have to do with climate change? Well, it's the one thing you can't do without. After about two and a half days, you die. But they're not even checking the water.
Now, Carlson could be right that Buttigieg did not respond properly. But instead of doing any investigation, Carlson defaulted to his hate-mongering, white supremacy with an extra serving of gay bashing. You might notice that Carlson conveniently glossed over and minimized Republicans’ role in safety deregulation.
CARLSON: Well, it is coming out now, and again, we're not exactly sure why this train derailed. But according to a report in "Jalopnik," the train involved in the derailment, Norfolk Southern, lobbied Federal regulators for about a decade so they wouldn't have to improve their emergency brakes. The Biden administration, like the previous two administrations, didn't push the issue, and apparently the emergency brakes on this particular train failed during this incident.
Now, again, there's a lot of propaganda here. There's unions involved. There are a lot of people who will benefit from assigning blame to this disaster. So, we're not going to endorse any theory about why it happened.
Of course, he was not going to endorse any theory – because it wouldn’t fit his political agenda. But Carlson was totally up for a little bit of gay bashing for the sake of his hate-mongering stock in trade.
CARLSON: So [Buttigieg is] completely incompetent. Completely incompetent. There's never been a Cabinet Secretary this flamboyantly incompetent and this so obviously uncaring, almost to the point of evil, if we're being honest about it.
Actually, it’s Carlson who is the evil doer. He’s beyond uncaring about whom he harms, he actually deliberately tries to make it happen.
Meanwhile, Carlson offered no solutions, as nicely pointed out by MSNBC’s Chris Hayes last night. You can watch it in the second video below, from MSNBC’s February 14, 2023 All In with Chris Hayes. You can watch Carlson exemplify everything Hayes is talking about and worse, in the first video below, from the February 14, 2023 Tucker Carlson Tonight.