No, Tucker didn’t discuss Philip Roth’s novel. But he did provide his fellow macho man guest, David Portnoy, with a safe space to complain about allegations of sexual encounters which, like those of the fictional Portnoy, are problematic.
Tucker teased the upcoming segment early in his show when he informed us, “Dave Portnoy, of Barstool Sports, who is waging one of the great battles of all time against repulsive slurs from legacy media outlets that hate him, they're trying to destroy him. He is unbowed.”
Another tease continued the victimhood narrative: “So it's not a surprise that people in the legacy media despise Dave Portnoy. He is more successful than they are, but more to the point, he says exactly what he wants all the time because it's America and you're supposed to be allowed to do that. So ‘Business Insider’ decided to get rid of this Dave Portnoy character for good, they sent out someone to investigate his sex life. Dave Portnoy seems to be still standing, we'll find out for sure when he joins us next.”
Carlson introduced his bro, Portnoy, to complain about the article (behind a paywall) published by Insider (no longer called called “Business Insider”). According to The Washington Post, Insider’s article “accused Portnoy of choking two women during sexual encounters and filming them without their consent.” Since then, The Post reports, “Portnoy is waging an all-out war on Insider, writer Julia Black, global editor in chief Nicholas Carlson, company CEO and co-founder Henry Blodget and even Axel Springer, the German media conglomerate that purchased the online publication in 2015.”
There to help Portnoy play the victim, ignore the allegedly abused women and perhaps gin up viewer death threats against yet another journalist was Tucker Carlson.
In his introduction, Carlson described Portnoy as a “cultural icon” who is “unapologetically American.” (Portnoy’s sports and culture blog, Barstool Sports, was described, by NBC, as “the bible of bro culture” which is “rude, crude, sexist and often mean-spirited.” In other words, right up Tucker’s machismo (!) alley.)
Tucker brayed about how poor Portnoy is being attacked, by a “robot reporter” from a “sleazy little blog, because he’s successful" and a “threat to legacy media organizations” who have “decided to destroy his life.” Carlson framed the attack on Portnoy as an issue that should be of concern to anyone who cares about free speech.
Carlson’s voice rose with indignation as he continued his introductory monologue: “So, I guess the rules are, they don't like your posture, the cut of your jib, your attitude, you don't take orders so they send some little robot to snoop around in your personal life, don't find anything illegal, but print all this stuff anonymously about your sex life and then try to destroy you? Like these are the rules now?”
Naturally, Portnoy defended himself without referencing any of the specific unsavory accusations. (More information on the allegations can be found in these articles.)
Portnoy went on at great length about how this is “character assassination.”
As if on cue, Carlson claimed that Insider’s founder “pled to securities fraud.” Portnoy suggested there might be a connection between the drop in stock prices, for a stock heavily invested in his blog, and the article. (More on this conspiracy theory here.)
Carlson finished with a metaphorical high five and towel snap for his fellow macho bro: "That's just unbelievable. I mean, from my perspective, not involved in your business or any of this stuff, it's just important that people say what they really mean and that we have space for someone who is unapologetically honest and maybe not feminized, and so I just am really rooting for you to survive this and I know that you will.”
At no point during his rants did Carlson, whose attitude about non-consensual sex is a bit casual, mention the violent nature of the accusations, but, rather, presented the issue as a character assassination of a fellow manly man. Given Carlson’s mastery and devotion to the art of character assassination, there is rich irony…
If there were to be a sequel to Roth’s book, this real-life Portnoy would make a great main character!
You can watch it below, from the November 8, 2021 Tucker Carlson Tonight.
Do angry Right Wing pundits not realize that they are now contradicting themselves with every other breath?
That phrase tells me Tucky’s got real problems with women. Big macho men are almost always in that same predicament: women scare the bejezus out of them, period!