Tucker Carlson suggested that some rioting protesters are more dangerous to the country than the grotesque police killing of African American George Floyd. This, just a few weeks after Carlson slobbered over armed, white protesters who stormed Michigan’s capitol and risked contaminating security guards with maskless, close contact.
Last night, Carlson introduced a report from correspondent Mike Tobin, in Minneapolis, by whitewashing (pardon the pun) Floyd’s death:
CARLSON: Rioters cut a path of destruction through Minneapolis last night after a video went viral that showed a man dying in police custody.
FACT CHECK: Floyd did not just “die in police custody.” He almost certainly died because a police officer pressed his knee on Floyd's neck and kept it there even as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe.
Carlson tossed to correspondent Mike Tobin, in Minneapolis. While Tobin was reporting, he got a dose of tear gas. Carlson broke in, saying, “We’re gonna let you breathe for a minute. We’re gonna keep those pictures up. We’re getting reports that there’s looting in other parts of the city. So, I think we’re going to come back to you.”
On the same show, Carlson announced that the Minneapolis demonstration was “a riot” and “not a political protest.” He also said this, as Media Matters noted, after a lot of footage meant to convey Blacks Behaving Badly:
CARLSON: That's what rioting looks like. It happened last night, as you can see, it's happening right now. We want to be clear, we're not showing you these pictures to defend the behavior of individuals on the Minneapolis police department. We're not. We are defending society itself. Rioting is the one thing you don't want.
Ugly opinions, police brutality, officious birdwatchers, rude entitled ladies walking their dogs in big city parks -- all of that is bad, but none of it is nearly as bad as what you just saw.
The indiscriminate use of violence by mobs is a threat to every American of all colors and backgrounds and political beliefs. Democracy cannot exist when people are rioting. Rioting is a form of tyranny. The strong and the violent oppress the weak and the unarmed. It is oppression.
Carlson went on to gratuitously attack CNN, saying it “welcomes” and “encourages” oppression by labeling the “rioters” as “protesters.”
Never mind that Tobin called the protesters “demonstrators,” without complaint from Carlson, as you can see below. But Carlson called it “lying” for CNN to use the term "protesters." He added, “it’s hard to overstate how sinister those lies are or how dangerous they are to all of us.”
Let me be clear: I do not support violence of any kind or under any circumstance. But the protesters were not running around shooting people. Furthermore, Carlson's attitude toward protesters seems to have a lot to do with his politics and bigotry.
Let’s contrast last night’s comments with what Carlson said last month about armed, maskless, white protesters who stormed Michigan’s capitol, potentially infecting security guards, to demonstrate against stay-at-home orders designed to save lives:
CARLSON: This is America. We’re allowed to disagree with what our leaders do however we like. And we’re allowed to express that disagreement in public. That’s our birthright.
[Speaking to one of the (white) protesters] Thank you for coming on tonight and thank you for exercising your constitutionally-protected rights as an American. Bless you.
The Daily Show mashed up those comments with Carlson’s contempt for union protesters storming the Wisconsin capitol.
You can watch all three videos below. The first two are from the May 27, 2020 Tucker Carlson Tonight and the third is from The Daily Show.
(Carlson image via screen grab)
But then in their ‘defense’ it’s a sequel to a bad series of movies showing all over America. The same script plays out over and over and over and over.
Unfortunately, this is another instance where Trump can play the both sides have bad actors card to force a false equivalency and justify cracking heads to suppress blacks back into a comfortable place for his white nationalist MAGA base.
After disappearing entirely from the scene for several hours (ignoring a large fire) a large body of so-called forces of order (local and state police, national guard) arrived at dawn, found very few people around and …. decided to arrest a four-man CNN press team made up of one black journalist, a producer, a videojournalist and a guy they’d hired for security (to keep silly people from trying to get their faces on international TV).
The team was released less than an hour later, with abject apologies from everybody. THAT’S SIMPLY NOT ENOUGH!
And The Donald got his third reprimand from Twitter for having posted “When the looting starts the shooting starts”. To my mind, a lot of responsibility for the unleasing of stupidity can be laid at his feet.
The fully relaxed, self-satisfied, “I’m-da-boss” body language of that policeman simply set my blood boiling, too, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the powers that be will take advantage of disorderly protests (especially the looting) to put their heel firmly on the neck of other folks.
We all condemn the violence. Unfortunately it becomes an excuse for MAGATs like Carlson to deflect into blame the black man, if only they behaved like MAGATs too. Notice Trump deferring any sympathy Floyd’s way. For f—k’s sake no investigative outcome should prevent a statement, even staged, of empathy! Did I miss Tucker’s as well?
Another senseless death. Breeding more mistrust. Nothing will change. (Deep sigh)