Tucker Carlson almost certainly knew he was mispronouncing vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris’ name last night. But when corrected, he dog whistled that he’s “not allowed” to criticize her, with the obvious implication that it's because she’s a Black woman.
As CNN’s Oliver Darcy pointed out, Carlson has a history of mispronouncing names of people he doesn’t like. “It's sort of a feature on his show and it seems pretty intentional,” Darcy noted. Mediaite reported that Carlson has repeatedly mispronounced her name.
Nevertheless, despite continuing to mispronounce Harris’ name even after being corrected, Carlson tried to cover up his maliciousness by playing the victim. The white victim of Black privilege, that is.
It happened during a discussion with Democrat Richard Goodstein in what Fox was going to pass off as fairness to Biden's just-selected VP pick. While trust-fund baby Carlson put his thumb on the scale on behalf of victimized white men everywhere, or at least in his viewing audience.
But Goodstein stopped the discussion at its beginning. He told Carson it would “serve you and your fellow hosts on Fox” to give Harris the “bare minimum” of pronouncing her name correctly. “Her name is pronounced 'comma,' like the punctuation mark, '-la.' Kamala,” Goodstein said.
Whatever you think of Harris, she’s a historic pick with an impressive resumé. But Carlson – who claimed at the beginning of the discussion, “Don’t want to be mean” - responded to the idea of giving her the mere basics of respect by sneering, “OK, so what?”
Then he played the white victim card he was surely only looking for an excuse to play:
CARLSON: Okay, so I'm disrespecting her by mispronouncing her name unintentionally. So, it begins. You're not allowed to criticize Kamala Harris or Kamala Harris or whatever.
For icing on the hate-mongering cake, Carlson mispronounced her name both times he in that last sentence.
Carlson doubled down on suggesting Harris has special privileges: “Look, I unintentionally mispronounced her name but I love the idea that she’s immune from criticism.” Then he feigned the role of tough journalist by claiming, “On this show, nobody in power is immune from criticism.”
“Our political leaders must be held to account,” Carlson the “crusader” continued. “That’s our job.”
Right-wing hosts who claim to be journalists must be held to account, too. And that includes the bare minimum of pronouncing a vice presidential candidate’s name correctly.
When Carlson said he wanted to hold Harris to account, he was embarking on the Fox attack that Harris has no business being the VP pick because she said she believes women who have accused Biden of inappropriate touching and kissing. (In April, 2019, Biden acknowledged the problem and called it his “responsibility” to be “more mindful about respecting personal space in the future”.)
Goodstein had a terrific response that makes you wonder why any Trumper would want to go there.
You can watch Carlson’s phony victimhood below from the August 11, 2020 Tucker Carlson Tonight, via Media Matters.