Fox may have done Tucker Carlson a favor by firing him.
I’ll have more to say on Carlson’s supposed bombshell text The New York Times says sent Fox into a panic and “contributed to a chain of events that ultimately led to Tucker Carlson’s firing.” Spoiler alert: I don’t think the racism in the text was the proximate cause for Carlson’s firing.
However, the text was indisputably racist. It's below, via The New York Times. But what stood out for me was the part I put in bold. :
A couple of weeks ago, I was watching video of people fighting on the street in Washington. A group of Trump guys surrounded an Antifa kid and started pounding the living shit out of him. It was three against one, at least. Jumping a guy like that is dishonorable obviously. It’s not how white men fight. Yet suddenly I found myself rooting for the mob against the man, hoping they’d hit him harder, kill him. I really wanted them to hurt the kid. I could taste it. Then somewhere deep in my brain, an alarm went off: this isn’t good for me. I’m becoming something I don’t want to be. The Antifa creep is a human being. Much as I despise what he says and does, much as I’m sure I’d hate him personally if I knew him, I shouldn’t gloat over his suffering. I should be bothered by it. I should remember that somewhere somebody probably loves this kid, and would be crushed if he was killed. If I don’t care about those things, if I reduce people to their politics, how am I better than he is?
Carlson has many obviously awful qualities. One of them, I have long said, is that he is a charlatan. Not that he isn’t a real white supremacist and extremist but if we've learned anything about him lately, it’s how deliberately he tries to dupe viewers with BS.
I’ve also long felt that Carlson was deeply unhappy in his role on Fox. I’m sure he relished the power that he seemed to gleefully wield over other powerful people. But I never got a sense that he really enjoyed his job or found deep, meaningful, satisfaction from it. Say what you like about Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham or Jesse Watters but they all seem to like what they do. I never felt that about Carlson.
So will getting fired from Fox and the subsequent drip, drip, drip of embarrassing, behind-the-scenes behavior cause a reckoning for Carlson? I certainly hope so, for his sake and ours. But I’m not holding my breath.
(Carlson caricature by DonkeyHotey via Flickr and Creative Commons license)