If you’ve been missing Bill O’Reilly’s racial attacks on Maxine Waters, then replacement Tucker Carlson is your kind of guy. Except that instead of O’Reilly’s “James Brown wig” brand of humor, we got straight-on racial character assassination in response to Waters’ call for Donald Trump’s impeachment.
Carlson could not be bothered with the substance of Waters’ position(s). As a huge over-the-shoulder graphic blared, with unintentional irony, “PLAYING THE RACE CARD,” Carlson gleefully set about doing exactly that to Waters.
Transcript excerpts partially via Media Matters:
CARLSON: If you follow politics at all, you probably don’t think of California Congressman Maxine Waters as a moral leader of any kind. There were the ethics problems, the nutty statements, the countless unpleasant exchanges with other people. Her fellow Democrats used to seem kind of embarrassed of her, but no longer. According to the Los Angeles Times, Waters has become “Auntie Maxine” on the left, a folk hero beloved for her wisdom and sassy ways.
Carlson claims his show is the "sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness and group think." But he didn't bother to explain that the reason Waters has become "Auntie Maxine" is because of her fierce and blunt opposition to Donald Trump. Instead, Carlson disingenuously suggested it's her racism that has made her popular.
Carlson played “some actual tape of Auntie Maxine” talking about Attorney General Jeff Sessions. On it, Waters called Sessions “very dangerous,” and a “racist” who “absolutely believes that it’s his job to keep minorities in their place.”
Of course, Carlson didn’t look into what prompted Waters to say that. He moved right along to using her as a vehicle to race bait all Democrats.
CARLSON: So Maxine Waters is calling someone else a racist. Huh. Well, luckily we have long memories on the show, long enough to recall the LA Riots of 1992. Do you remember those? 58 people died, many more were gravely injured, including a man called Reginald Denny, who was a truck driver who happened to be at the wrong intersection at the wrong time, and more than anything, the wrong color. Because of his race, Denny was pulled from his truck and smashed in the head with a cinder block until he sustained brain damage. It was a hate crime if there ever was one. It all happened on video tape, a helicopter caught it, and it happened in Maxine Waters’ city. But she did not denounce the attack. On the contrary, she all but endorsed the attack.
The leader of the mob that nearly murdered Reginald Denny was called Damien Williams. Now, Maxine Waters visited Damien Williams’ mother to offer her support. Williams was sent to prison on a single felony charge of mayhem, but when his accomplices got off, Waters joined in the celebration. Damien Williams was released a few years later and went on to murder somebody else in 2000. He is still in prison today. But Waters did not learn a thing from the experience. She went on to describe the LA Race Riots as, quote, “a rebellion, and in ways understandable.” Including, apparently, the part about smashing people’s brains in for being the wrong color. Yep, that’s the Democratic Party’s new expert on race relations.
Carlson didn’t offer any of the details that might have explained Waters' behavior. For example, her visit to Williams’ mother did not mean she was supporting the son’s crime. Also, just because Waters described the riots as “in ways understandable” does not mean she was pro-violence.
But more importantly, Carlson’s concern about bigotry is disgustingly one-sided. Just a few weeks ago, Carlson gushed over a white bigot who exploited the shooting of some police officers in Paris as a pretext for promoting the candidacy of white nationalist Marine Le Pen.
Fortunately, last night's guest, Monique Pressley, did a great job pushing back against Carlson’s claim that Waters’ racism disqualified her from serving in Congress or even “weighing in on race relations.” Pressley replied calmly, “Well, I don’t know if we’d have our current president if that was the line.” Then she took it from there very nicely.
Meet the new Bill O’Reilly, much the same as the Old Bill O’Reilly below, from the May 10, 2017 Tucker Carlson Tonight.