Really, Tucker Carlson?

I am not a fan of labels or name-calling. I find them to be lazy shortcuts used by the labeler to make people avoid actually looking at the argument of the labeled person. Sometimes, they are used to generalize a demographic group or time period. Often, they are used to denigrate someone or some group.

Fox News opinion host, Tucker Carlson, already being criticized for insensitive Black Lives Matter remarks last month, has made more offensive remarks. This time he is targeting Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth calling her a “moron,” a “fraud,” and a “coward” adding “she hates the country.” Per Carlson, she had the audacity to say we should have discussions around the continued veracity of various monuments.

Let’s focus on the last two labels – the coward one and hating our country, although the first two labels are inappropriate, as well. He called a wheel chair bound Purple Heart veteran a “coward” and said she “hates the country.” So, how did Duckworth earn that Purple Heart?

Per Wikipedia, Duckworth “lost her right leg near the hip and the left leg below the knee from injuries sustained on November 12, 2004 when the UH 60 Blackhawk helicopter she was co-piloting was hit by a rocket propelled grenade fired by Iraqi insurgents. She was the first American female double amputee from the Iraqi War.”

Some coward. A helicopter pilot is often in harm’s way flying close to the ground to transport troops. From Carlson’s Wikipedia summary, I did not find any military service, although it notes his application was turned down by the CIA.

Carlson is entitled to disagree with Duckworth’s position. That is what America is all about, civil discourse over differences of opinion. Those are some of the freedoms our veterans fought for. Yet, calling Senator Duckworth a moron and fraud is bad enough and does not paint Carlson in a good light. It does nothing for his argument and makes me want to consider her argument more.

But, to call a double amputee helicopter pilot who won the Purple Heart a “coward” or question her love of country is beyond the pale. It is highly offensive to Duckworth or any veteran who served, regardless of whether they were injured. It is akin to the president’s horrible insult of Senator John McCain not being a war hero because he was captured.

In my view, Carlson owes Duckworth and other veterans a sincere apology. He was already losing advertisers over his insensitive Black Lives Matter remarks, but this may cause a few more to leave, as well. To be frank, Carlson brought this on himself.

28 thoughts on “Really, Tucker Carlson?

  1. Thank you for this Keith. I’ve been in a rage for the last two days over this latest outrage from Carlson, who unbelievably is being floated as a 2024 potential presidential candidate. As you said, there’s nothing wrong with him criticizing her views and opening them up for debate, but to personally attack her is reprehensible!

    • Thanks. It is enraging. I am hard pressed to see Carlson as a legitimate candidate, but then again I never saw Trump as one either, and still don’t. Keith

  2. I can only agree with your analysis. I often wonder if venting understandable outrage serves only to amplify to Mr Carlson’s. I reckon that wherever he expressed such views was to an audience already inured to the content, not willing or capable of change. Leave well enough alone. Whilst agreeing with your call for an apology, there’ll be none.

    • David, you are right his audience is certainly inured to his name calling and labeling. That is why matter-of-fact retort is essential. You are right it won’t do any good, but more advertising leaving his show may have an impact. Keith

  3. Hello Keith. I think the dog whistles are becoming bull horns. I think these rage inducers are finding it harder to enrage and agitate the base than they have before. The State Propaganda TV business model is to keep its views emotions cranked up on max high anger and fear at all times. If the anger starts to die down then SPTV hosts ratchet up the fear, and repeat, repeat again. Most reasonable people start to see thorough the foreground hype to the fake background scenery, and for the rest it takes more and more hysteria to keep the same levels of anger and fear going. Hugs

    • Scottie, well said. When he was attacking her, I was reminded of the true life story portrayed in the movie “Best of Enemies.” The head of the local KKK co-chaired an integration forum in Durham, NC in the early 1970s. In the end, he decided to vote for integration and tore up his KKK card. A key reason is the KKK forced the shut down of a fellow white committee member’s business, a man who had fought in Vietnam and had a family. It bothered this KKK leader that this was the kind of person we should stand up for and here he was being ostracized because he favored integration.

      People should know what Carlson did is shameful. He can disagree with Duckworth, McCain, etc. all he wants, but when they are name-called like he and the president did, it is just poor form. And, his followers should know that.


  4. Note to Readers: One of the sad things about this name-calling episode is the poor behavioral example elected officials like the president has on children and others. The president prefer a name-calling mud fight than one over issues. He can win the former, but lose the latter. Yet, when he name-calls or labels his arguments lack veracity.

    Trump did not invent name-calling, nor did Carlson, but this kind of conduct is unbecoming and lends very little to their arguments. I urge people to consider the argument of the person being name-called or labeled more rather than less. They deserve the additional due diligence.

      • True. Remember, bigotry has to be carefully taught by the time you are six or seven or eight. You have to be carefully taught to hate the people your parents hate. Keith

      • Yes, I remember … “South Pacific”, right? Apparently many in this country are doing an excellent job of carefully teaching their young to draw boundaries based on skin colour, religion, etc.

      • Jill, it is truly heartbreaking. Yet, some of these kids will go away and outgrow their parents’ bigotry. But, many will not. Keith

  5. Excellent post, Keith. I think that when a person resorts to name-calling, it is because they haven’t the capability to state their argument or disagreement with that person in a well-moderated manner of speech. Much easier to curse and name-call than to actually put the ol’ brain to work. I would like to see Fox fire Mr. Carlson … let him go to work over at Trump’s new favourite, OAN.

    • Jill, sadly, his fan base laps it up. I read he once was a respected journalist who did his homework. Now, he is no better than Limbaugh, Hannity and, at times, Jones. Keith

      • Tucker Carlson … once a respected journalist??? Wow … that stretches my imagination! Yes, he’s every bit as bad as the others you mention … and you’re right that his fan base loves it. Says something about their values, doesn’t it?

      • Apparently, before he joined Fox, he was a different animal. As for the people who watch him now, there is a reason parents are concerned with you hang out with.

  6. Not dissimilar to Trump’s disgusting remark about McCain and Vietnam.
    These comments made by folk who have never experienced warfare are disgusting and onerous. In a better time that remark of Trump’s would have sunk his election campaign there and then in a similar way to McCarthy overstepping the mark during the Korean War.

  7. Pingback: Senator Tammy Duckworth Speaks … We Must Listen! | Filosofa's Word

    • Thanks for the shout out. To others, please check out Jill’s post which includes Senator Tammy Duckworth’s op-ed response to Carlson and Trump. Keith

  8. Pingback: Tucker Carlson Disappears after Top Writer Resigns Over Offensive Comments – The Washington Ledger

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