In a prime time exhibit of why Democrats should never, ever consider holding a primary debate on Fox News, Tucker Carlson weaponized criticism of Paul Manafort’s lenient sentencing to smear Democrats as potentially violent enemies of Fox viewers. Special counsel Robert Mueller is some kind of accomplice.
Just a few weeks ago, a self-identifying white nationalist Coast Guard officer, Christopher Hasson, was arrested for wanting to kill Democrats and MSNBC and CNN personalities and that he intended “to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country.”
And correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t recall Carlson ranting about the dangers of right-wing rhetoric or even about the danger of Hasson at all.
But because many liberals were shocked and dismayed that Paul Manafort was only sentenced to 47 months in prison, when the federal guidelines called for 19-24 years, and the sentence raised issues of sentencing disparity in our criminal justice system, Carlson decided to “cover” the matter in the most pernicious, divisive and inflammatory way possible – by suggesting Democrats are out to kill Trump supporters.
CARLSON: Have you ever considered what these people think of you for voting the way that you did [i.e. for Trump], for daring to be insolent and disobedient?
How would they punish you if they ever got the chance? Ever think of that?
Well, wonder no more. Yesterday, Paul Manafort received four years in prison for bank fraud and tax evasion. Manafort will be 70 years old in a couple of weeks. He’s got no criminal record of any kind. …
By the time Manafort gets out of prison, he will be elderly, broke and disgraced.
But for our ruling class, that’s not nearly enough punishment. Manafort briefly managed Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. And for that, they believe he must die in prison. Anything less cannot be allowed.
Of course, it’s hilarious for born-into-the-1% Carlson to act as though he’s not part of the ruling class. I’d love to know the last time he took a stroll into a lower-class neighborhood, bought anything at a second-hand store, visited a public swimming pool or flew economy. Think he and his wife do all the housework and childcare? But I digress.
CARLSON: Paul Manafort must die. That’s what they’re demanding. Robert Mueller agrees with them. Mueller asked that Manafort receive up to 24 years in prison. For perspective, that is more than twice what the average murderer in this country spends behind bars. That’s a death sentence.
FACT CHECK: Mueller did not recommend any particular sentence for Manafort.
CARLSON: Is there a single person who believes Manafort would be going to jail if he hadn’t run Donald Trump’s presidential campaign? Everyone in Washington knows that.
After making a “just kidding” suggestion that “somebody” look into whether Democrats ever “fudged a deduction” on their tax returns (as if that’s all Manafort did wrong), Carlson wrapped up his monologue and left his viewers with the suggestion that Democrats are out to “crush” them.
CARLSON: This isn’t about taxes, obviously. … It’s about using power to crush your political opponents in order to get more power. …
I’ve got no problem with someone arguing that Manafort’s sentence was appropriate. In fact, I’d be interested in such a discussion. But, clearly, Carlson’s main motivation here was to smear Democrats and Muekker with violent imagery.
That’s not only distasteful and repulsive, it’s reprehensible.
Watch it below, from the March 8, 2019 Tucker Carlson Tonight.
There. A longer sentence than that demented old judge gave Paul Manafort.
The only reason Tucker can say Manafort was facing a “death sentence” was because of his age relative to sentencing guidelines. It has nothing to do with the actual sentencing guidelines Manafort faced since none of them had anything to do with capital punishment which, last time I checked, Tucker (and Fox News conservatives in general) favor. Correct me if I’m wrong but Tucker never mentions the sentencing guidelines to give the entire story context. Also notice none of the liberals Tucker quotes calls for Manafort to remain in jail until he dies. That’s just an invention by Tucker. Though I have seen commentators on competing cable channels mention that was an expected outcome based upon sentencing guidelines.