Tucker Carlson’s very childish and dishonest follow up to his debate about allying with Russia to fight ISIS proves that he’s another bully who can’t take what he regularly dishes out.
You may recall that Carlson had a contentious argument with Lt. Col. Ralph Peters on the subject last week. The unspoken but obvious backdrop was the Trump family’s enthusiasm for Russia and Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian agent.
Peters had called Russian President Vladimir Putin “malevolent” and “evil” and said, “I don’t understand why any American would want an alliance with Russia.”
Carlson had argued, “Hard to see why he’s a threat to us” and, “Why not just accept that people who are bad people share our interest and side with them?”
Peters shot back, “You sound like Charles Lindbergh in 1938, saying, ‘Hitler hasn’t attacked us.’”
Things got rather heated after that and the argument went on for several more minutes.
The next night, Carlson brought on conservative foreign policy expert Max Boot. According to his website, Boot has served as an adviser to such Republican presidential candidates as John McCain, Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio. But Boot had the audacity to agree with Peters and criticize Carlson for not taking Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russia seriously.
That meant that instead of having a serious discussion, Carlson decided he was on a mission to destroy his guest’s credibility. Instead, Carlson more than demonstrated why he deserves none.
It started with the introduction in which Carlson falsely said that Peters had “suggested that anyone who disagrees with him on Russia would probably be very much like a Hitler sympathizer.” That is not at all what Peters said nor was it what he meant.
But Carlson was either desperate to “regain” his foreign-policy mojo, desperate to validate Trump’s friendliness toward Russia or desperate to boost his disappointing ratings. Or all three.
Here’s how the interview began (transcript via RealClearPolitics.com, with minor edits). Right in his opening question, Carlson took exactly the kind of cheap shot he accused Peters of having taken (which he had not):
CARLSON: I think it’s fair to disagree about whether or not cooperating with Russia in the fight against ISIS is a good idea. But to dismiss anyone who doesn’t share your view as a Nazi sympathizer seems cheap and a short cut and not really befitting a self-described genius like yourself. Why would you say something like that?
BOOT: Well, rest assured, Tucker, I’m not actually saying that you’re a Nazi sympathizer. And the one thing that I would disagree with Colonel Peters about is, I don’t think that Putin is comparable to Adolf Hitler because there was only one Hitler. But what I do believe is that Mitt Romney was right. I was a foreign policy advisor on the Mitt Romney campaign in 2012 when he said that Putin is the number one geopolitical threat that we face.
I think that’s true today. And I’m very disturbed, Tucker, when I see you at the top of the show, you and Mark Steyn, yukking it up over the fact that Putin is interfering and meddling in our election process. Undermining the sanctity of our elections to try to get Donald Trump elected. And that Donald Trump, Jr., when he’s told that Putin’s government wants to support the Trump campaign, he doesn’t pick up the phone to the FBI, he says “I love it.” That to me is very disturbing. But what’s even more disturbing is that you don’t think it is disturbing.
Things went downhill from there. Carlson started making ad hominem attacks on Boot such as ”to dismiss people who disagree with you as immoral which is your habit, isn’t a useful form of debate, it’s a kind of moral preening, and it’s little odd coming from you, who really has been consistently wrong in the most flagrant and flamboyant way for over a decade.”
Well, then why bother having a guy like that on your show? If Carlson really felt that way and was not just show boating, the only reason to host Boot was to try to denigrate him on the air. And if that isn’t “dismissing people” with “moral preening,” I don’t know what is. It’s not the first time Carlson has engaged in such dismissive preening with a legitimate expert, either. It's actually his modus operandi with people he disagrees with.
Carlson continued in the same vein: The moral preening and the generalizations are tiresome … This is why nobody takes you seriously … You’re humiliating yourself, Max … It’s almost impossible to have a conversation with you because your responses are so childish.
If you ask me, Carlson is the one who’s a big baby. Because instead of debating like a man, he hurled puerile insults to create a smoke screen that hid the real and serious issues.
Watch Carlson’s cowardly aggression below, from the July 12, 2017 Tucker Carlson Tonight.
So much irony in that poo flinging segment I’ll let the accidental satire speak for itself.
I seem to be missing much mention in any media—certainly not Fox—that Don Jr. advising the Russians as to the timing release of stolen oppo research was, right there, full out collaboration. Period, but not end of story. It was a degree of collaboration that—had it occurred between the Trump campaign and a pro-Trump Superpac—would have been illegal.