Caught in the Crossfire?
Good news on the mass media front: The situation for Tucker Carlson is not looking good.
In an attempt to cash in on the resurgence of liberalism in the U.S. (mainly as a backlash to the last seven years of abject stupidity on parade in Washington) MSNBC is moving gradually to the left in an attempt to be to the rising liberal tide what Fox "news" has been to the right. They started with Keith Olbermann declarations that the emperor has no clothes and slowly but surely are creeping to the left. Chris Matthews - who has been a notorious right-wing mouthpiece - is now trying to convince us he's always disliked Bush and been against the war.
The one fly in the ointment is Tucker, who they are never going to be able to pass off as anything but a rightist.
Ever since Jon Stewart ate his lunch on CNN, things have been in a bit of downhill slide for Tucker. I guess smarmy just isn't selling these days as well as it used to.
While the bitch-slapping Jon Stewart gave him was one of the great moments in media of the last ten years, one of my favorite bits of Tuckerness is this little gem:
Tucker Carlson's exchange with ESPN radio host Max Kellerman on MSNBC's The Situation Dec. 15, 2005
CARLSON: All right, first up, a war of words gets heated, and it sounds like our neighbors to the north are mad. That, of course, would be Canada, for those of you following along at home. The prime minister of that country, Paul Martin, says he will—quote—“not be dictated to” by the U.S. over, of all things, lumber tariffs, which are a big deal in Canada.
It‘s the latest salvo in an increasingly pitched battle that had David Wilkins, our ambassador to that country, strategy—quote—“It may be smart election-year politics to thump your chest and criticize your friend and your number-one trading partner constantly, but it‘s a slippery slope. And all of us should hope it doesn‘t have a long-term impact on the relationship.”
Here‘s the problem, Max. Here‘s the problem with telling Canada to stop criticizing the United States. It only eggs them on. Canada is essentially a stalker, stalking the United States, right?
CARLSON: Canada has little pictures of us in its bedroom, right? Canada spends all of its time thinking about the United States, obsessing over the United States. It‘s unrequited love between Canada and the United States.
We, meanwhile, don‘t even know Canada‘s name. We pay no attention at all.
CARLSON: Canada thinks we‘re married; we don‘t know it exists. Every time we tell Canada to knock it off, it just feeds the fire.
KELLERMAN: Well, yes. I very much like your “Canada, the adults are talking” stance. I—I like that.
KELLERMAN: However, we really do have to engage them on this.
And this is—this is the devil‘s-advocate position, but I may actually believe this.
CARLSON: All right.
KELLERMAN: They make us look bad internationally. And it‘s really not fair.
We have the—the longest, friendliest border, you know, for the—for the longest time in the history—in recorded history, really, with Canada. And they get to sit on their moral perch, you know, take the moral high ground, say, oh, United States, shame on you about Iraq.
They—they had—they must take no—virtually no responsibility, certainly in terms of their military, around the world. We have to do all the heavy lifting. And then to have them, our—one of our really strongest allies, when you think about it, internationally...
KELLERMAN: ... to the north, constantly criticizing us and making us look bad internationally, it needs to be addressed.
CARLSON: First of all, anybody with any ambition at all, or intelligence, has left Canada and is now living in New York.
Second, anybody who sides with Canada internationally in a debate between the U.S. and Canada, say, Belgium, is somebody whose opinion we shouldn‘t care about in the first place.
Third, Canada is a sweet country. It is like your retarded cousin you see at Thanksgiving and sort of pat him on the head. You know, he‘s nice, but you don‘t take him seriously. That is Canada.
KELLERMAN: No, you don‘t. You don‘t. But what if the rest of the family does? In other words, yes, the United States can rely on...
CARLSON: That‘s their problem.
KELLERMAN: ... England, Australia, Israel, a few staunch, important allies internationally. But we have lost a lot of international support.
And Canada, by others in the global family, is, for some reason, taken seriously. They have about 30 million people. They have some natural resources.
CARLSON: Oh. They have dogsleds and trees, and that‘s it.
KELLERMAN: And comedians.
CARLSON: Look, I like Canada.
KELLERMAN: Tucker, they have comedians.
CARLSON: Every single comedian in Canada is now living in the United States.
KELLERMAN: Well, that‘s true.
CARLSON: Every one of them. They sneak over the border and live among us unseen. It‘s actually kind of scary.
Big talk for a man who stole his sartorial splendor from Pierre Burton. A word to the wise Tuck, you need to be pretty butch to pull off a bowtie. You look a lot more like mama's boy George Will than you probably want to. To paraphrase Jack Palance, Pierre Burton crapped bigger than you, you sad pathetic frat boy poseur. Get off the airwaves and get yourself preppie talk show on the campus station at Andover or Choate. Maybe there's an opportunity to start your own Frat TV network.