Tucker Carlson came up with a tissue-thin excuse to echo Donald Trump’s baseless conspiracy theory about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dying wish, without actually repeating it.
As we've previously reported, Donald Trump baselessly claimed yesterday that Ginsburg's dying wish, that she be replaced after the next presidential inauguration, was a Democratic hoax. I'll bet Carlson was told by management he could not repeat the claim. But for whatever reason, Carlson found a way to convey the same message without explicitly stating it.
Carlson opened his show last night with a pretense of sorrow over Ginsburg’s death and respect for her life.
CARLSON: It was a sad moment because death is always sad no matter who dies. Death is coming for all of us someday. For that reason, we ought to mark a person's passing with a bow of respect. Take a moment for humility and perspective, meditate on the fragility of our own lives and the lives of those we love.
Remember that death is the one thing that unites every human being. No matter how powerful we imagine we are, at some point, we will be gone, all of us.
In our case, we almost never agreed with Justice Ginsburg's decisions. But on Friday night's show, we did our best to show some reverence because that's the right thing to do.
Carlson immediately proved that his so-called reverence was only an excuse for smearing and demonizing the very people Ginsburg would have called her own.
CARLSON: The left by contrast, made no attempt at all. Prominent progressives immediately descended into hysteria and rage, unbridled rage. They told us that Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death was more than sad. They said it was a national crisis that imperiled this country's freedoms.
Carlson played clips of Joe Biden and some other Democrats, including AOC, supposedly giving him justification to start smearing Ginsburg.
CARLSON: So turn down the volume and consider for a moment the reasoning here, the argument that they're making. Nothing is more important than our Constitution. That Constitution is in grave jeopardy. That's why we must substitute an 87-year-old woman's final wish for the constitutionally prescribed process for filling a Supreme Court seat.
That's what they're arguing. Got that? Pretty amusing.
Keep in mind, we don't really know actually what Ruth Bader Ginsburg's final words were. Did she really leave this world fretting about a presidential election? We don't believe that for a second. If it were true, it would be pathetic, because life is bigger than politics even this year.
We wouldn't wish final words that small on anyone. So we're going to again choose to believe that Ruth Bader Ginsburg didn't really say that, that in real life, she was thinking at the end about her family and where she might be going next. Human concerns, not partisan ones.
This is disgusting on so many levels. First of all, we do know what Ginsburg’s final words were. Her granddaughter has said, on the record, that Ginsburg said, shortly before her death on Friday, "my most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.” NPR’s Nina Totenberg confirmed it with Ginsburg’s doctor.
Second, as Aaron Blake wrote in The Washington Post, “To argue that Ginsburg actually didn’t say this, then, is to suggest that her grieving granddaughter’s first major action upon her grandmother’s death was to lie about her grandmother’s dying wish. That’s a pretty stunning charge.”
I’ll say it’s worse than “stunning.” It’s shockingly irresponsible and mean-spirited. Carlson claims he's being respectful by refusing to believe Ginsburg would say something so "pathetic." Oh, please.
Carlson also claims we can’t really know what Ginsburg said but that it's safe to assume, without him doing a lick of his own investigation, that Ginsburg’s granddaughter lied. That, despite the fact that, as Blake also noted, the comments were “entirely in keeping” with other comments she had made.”
But wait, there’s more Carlson dishonesty and smearing. Ginsburg was not being partisan, as Carlson claimed. She didn’t say it was her fervent wish to be replaced by a Democrat. She didn’t say it was her fervent wish to see Joe Biden in office. Clearly, she was advocating about the Supreme Court, not Democratic politics.
But Carlson wasn’t through demeaning Ginsburg’s memory:
CARLSON: But in practical terms, it's irrelevant what she said. Ruth Bader Ginsburg doesn't get to pick her replacement from her deathbed. That's not how it works. We have a Constitution we're supposed to be defending, remember? And that's the whole point of the Constitution. …
On some level, Democrats know all this, all this talk about Ginsburg's dying wish is ridiculous and insulting to all of us and our country, and they'll stop soon.
Actually, Tucker, what’s really ridiculous and insulting is your smears of a Supreme Court Justice with a lazy, made-up excuse that you can’t even be bothered to look into.
You can watch this disgrace to cable news and to America below, from the September 21, 2020 Tucker Carlson Tonight.