What does a Republican senator such as Josh Hawley do when he’s under fire for his role in inciting an armed insurrection at the Capitol? Why, pretend he’s a victim who wants to unite the country and go on Fox News for a rehab session, in this case with the happy-to-oblige Tucker Carlson.
Let’s be clear about what Hawley did and for what he has not expressed contrition. In a good explanation of how he was the most prominent Republican lawmaker “to question democratic norms without evidence,” The Washington Post’s Amber Phillips writes:
Fourteen senators before the invasion [of the Capitol] had signaled that they’d support challenges. Afterward, a half-dozen of those changed their minds. And it was Hawley still leading the way. Taking to the Senate floor that Wednesday night, he was unapologetic about questioning election results, despite the fact that McConnell had warned earlier in the day that if the objections overturned results, that would put democracy “in a death spiral.”
What [Hawley] and others fail to mention, and what became sharply clear after the violence of Wednesday, is that the “concerns” Hawley speaks of didn’t arise because of how the election was carried out. Trump’s own former attorney general said he saw no major issues, and dozens of court challenges affirmed the results. It was Trump’s unfounded claims that the election was stolen, tacitly supported by lawmakers such as Hawley raising questions about how elections were conducted, that drove such “concerns.” They ultimately manifested in a historic breach of democracy.
In some quarters, Hawley’s willingness to sell out the country for the sake of his MAGA political ambitions is not sitting well. Last week, I noted that two prominent supporters have publicly denounced him and publisher Simon & Schuster has canceled his book deal.
But Tucker Carlson was right alongside with Hawley in selling out democracy and the country for politics, or maybe just for ratings and Carlson’s already fat pocketbook. As Crooks and Liars' John Amato put it, “To Tucker Carlson, the idea that a publisher canceled Senator Hawley's book deal was more urgent and important to our nation than Hawley's role to help incite a riot and insurrection at the Capitol that left at least five people dead.”
Right off the bat, Carlson depicted Hawley as a martyr, rather than the seditionist he is.
CARLSON: So, you're now one of the most despised people in America. So, I appreciate your taking the time for being hated to come on the show tonight. But I want to ask you specifically about what happened between you and Simon & Schuster. And I should say, I've published with Simon & Schuster. I have a book contract for a future book with Simon & Schuster.
It's making me very uncomfortable watching what they did to you. On what grounds did they cancel your book contract?
Let me pause to point out that Carlson made no effort to get Simon & Schuster’s side of the story. Clearly, he only cared about opening the door for Hawley to play the victim and to posture as a uniter - even as he demonized half the country or more:
HAWLEY: Well, they don't like the exercise of free speech, Tucker, I think is at the end of the day. I mean, this is really about the First Amendment. It's really about free speech. And Simon & Schuster didn't like me doing what Democrats in Congress did in 2001 and 2005 and 2017, when Democrat Members of Congress objected during the certification process in order to try to have a debate about election integrity. You know, that's the First Amendment at work. That's democracy at work.
But Simon & Schuster, and unfortunately, a lot of people on the left now decided that the First Amendment is something that they no longer support. And I'll just say this Tucker, at a time of division, we've got to rally around the things that unites us as Americans, and I think the First Amendment and free speech has got to be at the top of that list.
Phillips points out the speciousness of the “Democrats did it too” defense:
Democratic challenges to electoral results aren’t out of the ordinary — that is true, but only on the House side. [A senator is required to force a debate and vote on challenges.] It had been 15 years since a Democratic senator challenged results. Her fellow Democrats voted then-Sen. Barbara Boxer (Calif.) down rather than join in. It also didn’t happen in the context of an outgoing president trying to strong-arm his way into staying in power.
Carlson claims to be the “sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness and group think” and to “ask the questions that you would ask - and demand answers.” But he never asked a single question about Hawley’s dangerous and dishonest behavior, much less demand any answers.
Instead, Carlson signaled his alliance.
CARLSON: So if some creepy, low IQ politician says I want to shut down a news site, okay, I get it. But a publisher is literally the guardian of the First Amendment. If you're a publisher, you exist because of the First Amendment. Your duty is to protect the First Amendment.
But the people who run Simon & Schuster are now so crazed with ideology that they can't bear to hear a contrary view expressed? I mean, what does that portend for the country?
Hawley continued to pretend he’s all about unity:
HAWLEY: Well, I think it really shows, Tucker, that we're in a period where the First Amendment values and principles of freedom of speech, also freedom of worship, freedom of religion, these things are really under attack by some quarters -- by many quarters.
And again, I come back to the fact that this is something -- the First Amendment is something that unites us, as Americans. And in this time of division, in this time of chaos, we've got to stand strong for that.
“Sworn enemy of lying” Carlson was fine with that BS, too. He closed the segment with an explicit nod of approval to lying seditionist Hawley:
CARLSON: Man, I hope in their little cubicles at Simon & Schuster, they are so ashamed of themselves, having woken up this morning with an ideology hangover, that they reverse course and bring you back into the public conversation. I hope so.
Senator, great to see you tonight. Thank you.
You can watch Carlson sell out his country right along with Hawley below, from the January 11, 2021 Tucker Carlson Tonight, via Crooks and Liars.
Hawley is a stunning contrast to one of Missouri’s greatest Senators, Stuart Symington, who stood up to Joe McCarthy and to Trump’s mentor, Roy Cohn. As Trump is the anti-Lincoln, so Hawley is the anti-Symington. Missouri’s truly classy Republicans (now mostly retired as far as I know), like John Danforth (Symington’s successor in the Senate) and William Webster, condemn Trump. As you may have read, Danforth says supporting Hawley for Senate was “the worst mistake I ever made in my life”.
Trump has been silenced on social media.
Why has he remained silent on Fox?
He very frequently made hour long phone calls to his favorite clan at Fox.
No phone calls to the Curvey Couch crew.
No phone calls to Tucker.
No phone calls to Hannity.
No phone calls to Ingraham.