Tucker Carlson’s dog whistle to his white, racist viewers last night was an attack on ESPN host Jemele Hill for calling Donald Trump a white supremacist. For maximum smearing, Carlson teamed up with hate monger Clay Travis who “quipped” that the left considers Michael Sam a “modern day Jackie Robinson” because “he likes to sleep with men.”
In case you missed it, Hill, who is African American, called Trump a “white supremacist” and “bigot” who has “largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists” in a series of tweets Monday. She also said she felt threatened.
Instead of holding an informed discussion about why a prominent African American woman might feel threatened by Trump, Carlson went straight for the racial attack. He also made it the top story on his show last night.
After suggesting that ESPN should stand for “endless stupid political nagging,” Carlson reminded us that the network had pulled announcer Robert Lee off a football game because his name “bore some resemblance to a dead Confederate general.”
But Carlson failed to point out that, as Media Matters noted, “The decision came on the heels of a deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, VA, which centered around the removal of a Robert E. Lee confederate statue. ESPN explained its reassignment of Lee as a mutual decision made by the network and Lee 'simply because of the coincidence of his name.'”
ESPN had already issued a statement calling Hill’s comments “inappropriate” and saying they “do not represent the position of ESPN” before Tucker Carlson Tonight went on the air.
But that was no reason for Carlson not to spend the first 7:38 of his show bashing Hill and ESPN and questioning whether ESPN's claim to “have addressed this with Jemele” signified she had been properly punished.
“It means that nothing actually happened,” Travis argued. “I think this goes all the way to the top.” His “proof” was that Hill is one of only 59 people Disney CEO Robert Eiger follows on Twitter. Donald Trump is another, by the way.
That started a round of conservative-victimhood whining: “If a guy like Curt Schilling comes out and he says, ‘Oh, I disagree with the North Carolina transgender bathroom law,’ he gets fired,” Travis griped. (Business Insider does a nice job of debunking this false analogy along with the claim that ESPN has a liberal bias.)
But if Carlson had bothered to read up on any examples of liberals such as Keith Olbermann being let go or conservative Will Cain getting increased air time (as BI noted), Carlson kept it to himself.
Instead, Carlson furrowed his brow and held up Glenn Beck as a white race victim. “The world stopped and everyone denounced him immediately,” Carlson sneered. Putting the matter of truth aside, Beck called Barack Obama a racist on the air, as a news host (and was validated by Sean Hannity on the air), whereas Hill made her comments on her personal Twitter feed.
From there, Travis embarked on what he surely thought of as an amusing riff on ESPN’s “collapsing” ratings (transcript excerpt via Media Matters):
TRAVIS: [Audiences] don’t want to hear that Colin Kaepernick is a modern-day Rosa Parks. They have don’t want to hear, Tucker, that someone like Caitlin Jenner is a hero that everyone should aspire to be, or that Michael Sam, because he likes to sleep with men, is a modern day Jackie Robinson.
Those are things that ESPN wants to sell. That’s why I call them “MSESPN.” And Look, no, it’s not a strong business strategy. I always like to point to Michael Jordan, a guy who became a billionaire because is he good at putting a ball in a basket and good at dunking the basketball. Do you remember what he said? Republicans buy sneakers too.
Well if ESPN were smart, they wouldn’t be going to war with conservatives and Republicans and Donald Trump voters, they would be acknowledging that that should be the backbone of their brand.
CARLSON: Well, of course.
TRAVIS: Instead, they are pushing 'em away saying that you are white supremacists, you are not welcome here. I don’t know how people who voted for Donald Trump can feel comfortable at all watching ESPN, when they know the values that that network espouses, and how unwelcome their own values are.
CARLSON: No, they sound like the sociology department at Bennington College, I mean, so out of touch with America.
Carlson thanked Travis as someone “with the facts” and moved on to host African American conservative Deroy Murdock. Murdock has previously served as what I call an African-American black attacker on Fox, meaning he does Fox’s racial dirty work in the belief that he inoculates them from charges of racism.
Not surprisingly, neither Carlson nor Murdock wanted to examine some of the things Trump has said and done that might make someone think he’s a white supremacist. Instead, Carlson and Murdock jumped straight to portraying Trump as a racial victim:
MURDOCK: It’s all part of this anti-Trump narrative that he’s a white supremacist and therefore he’s a racist and therefore you can’t cooperate with him and he should be run out of office at the earliest given opportunity. And, of course, this is not held up by the facts.
Murdock’s “proof?” Trump has two, high-level advisors who are Jewish. Also, he campaigned in black neighborhoods last year and “kindly asked for the support of black voters.” Yeah, “kindly asked,” if you think asking, “You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58% of your youth is unemployed—what the hell do you have to lose?” is a kind ask.
Oh, and Murdock mentioned that Trump had kissed black children in Texas after Hurricane Harvey.
So we know, according to Murdock, that Hill’s comments are “just a great, big left-wing lie and it’s all designed to advance the political agenda independent of the facts or reality or the truth.”
I doubt that many black people, assuming any watch the show, felt persuaded by this. But I'm sure Carlson ate up every moment.
Watch Fox News' version of “Some of Trump’s best friends are black” below, from the September 12, 2017 Tucker Carlson Tonight.