Instead of defending his “Patriot Purge” special, Tucker Carlson gave colleagues Jonah Goldberg and Stephen Hayes a proverbial kick in the pants after they resigned in protest over it.
The New York Times has an in-depth article by Ben Smith into the two former contributors’ resignations. “In some ways, their departures should not be surprising,” Smith notes. “It’s simply part of the new right’s mopping up operation in the corners of conservative institutions that still house pockets of resistance to Donald J. Trump’s control of the Republican Party.” In fact, the two have been largely sidelined on Fox. “It’s been years since they were welcomed on Fox’s prime time,” Smith writes.
But really, Fox has gone way beyond supporting Trump with its elevation of Tucker Carlson. He’s the kind of insurrecton-advocating, America-hating, white supremacist-loving and violence-encouraging demagogue Donald Trump could only dream of becoming. And, unlike the TFG, F***y Tucky has a Murdoch-approved, one hour, prime-time platform to spew his poison every weeknight.
According to Smith, Carlson’s “Patriot Purge” pro-insurrection propaganda was the last straw for Hayes and Goldberg.
Mr. Hayes said that he was particularly concerned about Fox lending support to the idea “that there’s a domestic war on terror and it’s coming for half of the country,” he said. “That’s not true.” Particularly disturbing in “Patriot Purge,” he added, “was the imagery of waterboarding and suggestions that half the country is going to be subject to this kind of treatment, that’s the same kind of treatment that the federal government used when it went after Al Qaeda.”
Mr. Carlson “pumped that stuff out into society, and all you need is one person out of every 50,000 people who watch it to believe it’s literally the story about what happened, that it’s true in all of its particulars and all of its insinuations. And that’s truly dangerous in a way that the usual hyperbole that you get on a lot of cable news isn’t.”
Mr. Hayes said he’d been particularly disturbed recently when a man at a conference of the pro-Trump group Turning Point USA asked its leader, “When do we get to use the guns?”
“That’s a scary moment,” Mr. Hayes said. “And I think we’d do well to have people who, at the very least, are not putting stuff out that would encourage that kind of thing.”
I’ve never been a fan of either Goldberg or Hayes. But, in the age of Trump and now in the age of Carlson, I believe in taking allies where we find them. So, like with Liz Cheney, another I never thought I'd raise my hat to, Good on them.
And how did Carlson react to this? With all the grace and character I’d expect from him, which is to say none. More from Smith.
Mr. Carlson called Mr. Hayes’s and Mr. Goldberg’s resignations “great news” in a telephone interview on Sunday. “Our viewers will be grateful.”
Sadly, it’s Carlson who will continue to get the big bucks, the big platform and have the big influence for the foreseeable future.