Hurricane Irma, one of the worst storms ever recorded in the Atlantic, has caused catastrophe in the Caribbean and is headed for Florida, but Fox News host Tucker Carlson “covered” Irma with 10 minutes of fear mongering that the governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands will be confiscating guns and leave residents powerless against looting.
Carlson "covered" Hurricane Harvey’s devastation by focusing on looting. I think he outdid himself this time by attacking the governor in the middle of Hurricane Irma over a non-existent gun ban.
While the U.S. Virgin Islands reel from Hurricane Irma, Carlson smears the governor
Carlson spent a few minutes with meteorologist Rick Reichmuth discussing the path and intensity of the storm but immediately thereafter moved on to attacking the governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
CARLSON: In advance of the storm’s arrival, the territory’s governor ordered the National Guard to prepare for the coming catastrophe by suppressing certain Constitutional rights. In an executive order issued on Tuesday, Governor Kenneth Mapp, empowered the Guard to seize guns and ammunition from citizens, all to maintain public order after the storm, says the order.
With Mapp on the phone, Carlson was thoughtful enough to ask for an update before attacking him.
Irma sounded horrific indeed. Mapp said the winds were “at least 150 miles per hour, with gusts in excess of that that.” He further said there has been damage to hospitals and fire fighting stations and “a good number of homes have lost their roofs.”
Carlson showed absolutely no interest in the damage or the progress of restoration. He sounded impatient as he said, “We’re certainly rooting for you, Governor, it’s a beautiful place.”
That was at about 2:06 into the segment. Carlson spent nearly six minutes attacking Mapp afterward.
Instead of politely asking an undoubtedly stressed governor to explain the order, Carlson started out nasty: “Why does confiscating citizens’ guns make this catastrophe better?” he asked snarkily.
There was several minutes of back and forth as Mapp tried to explain, not in the clearest possible way, that the order does not authorize the seizure of guns of citizens. Whether or not the order Mapp wrote giving the National Guard authority to obtain guns was vague or ambiguous, he insisted he didn’t have the power to authorize the seizure of guns from citizens and there was very little doubt that that was the intent.
But Carlson refused to let it drop.
CARLSON: Just to be clear … I want to explain this in a way that our viewers can understand. What I hear you saying is that your National Guard soldiers might not have enough guns so they might need to seize them from gun stores. Is that what you’re saying?
And later, after Mapp said the National Guard has plenty of munitions at its armory:
CARLSON: You’re saying this [order] gives them the authority to take weapons that the government of the Virgin Islands already owns .
Finally, Mapp explained that the order authorized the National Guard to purchase arms or whatever else it might need during the emergency without having to go through the normal procurement process.
Carlson accepted that.
Carlson suggests looting is the biggest danger from Hurricane Irma
Carlson moved on from non-existent gun confiscation - not to how the American citizens of the USVI were faring but to fear mongering about (black) looters.
CARLSON: When Hurricane Hugo rolled through the Virgin Islands, in the late 80s, there was a lot of chaos and violence and law enforcement in the Virgin Islands were not able to cope with it. And people were getting hurt. And so the federal government had to send the U.S. Army down there.
MAPP (annoyed): With all due respect, with all due respect, Tucker, in 1989 when Hurricane Hugo went through the Virgin Islands, 98% of the homes and buildings on the island of St. Croix lost their roofs. There was never any experience of hurricanes in the U.S. Virgin Islands, prior to that time, up until 1929. And so police officers and law enforcement people were scrambling in terms of what they were gonna do in terms of sheltering the family in all of that rain. So there was disorder. But there was no seizure of any weapons.
Carlson closed the segment with a final swipe at Mapp:
CARLSON: OK, well I appreciate that clarification. It’s not at all clear from reading [the order] but we’re grateful that you told us what it means.
Carlson got together with Mark Steyn for more bashing of Mapp and more fear mongering about looting
Immediately following Mapp, Carlson hosted rightwing radio host Mark Steyn. You may recall that Steyn smeared shooting victims at Virginia Tech back in 2007 as being too passive, saying, “They’re not ‘children.’ The students at Virginia Tech were grown women and—if you’ll forgive the expression—men.”
So why would Steyn show anything but contempt for a governor facing the worst hurricane in a lifetime?
STEYN: It was a fantastically obfuscatory interview, despite your best efforts. …If I was a resident of the U.S. Virgin Islands, I would not be altogether reassured by that performance because I think, as we’ve seen in the last couple of weeks, the difference between what happened with Hurricane Harvey and what happened with Hurricane Katrina is actually the confidence and competence of the local officials there on the ground. So I would hope that when he has more pressing aspects of this phenomenon to attend to that he’s slightly more clear on what his intention was and the reason for it.
CARLSON: I covered Hurricane Katrina. I was there right after the storm. And Ray Nagin, the then-mayor of that city, as you know, who’s I think now in jail, but confiscated the guns of citizens in the city and then the police melted away the second the levees broke and there was widespread crime, some of it violent and horrible. So maybe the lesson is, you do need to protect yourself when a catastrophe hits.
STEYN: Yeah, I think that’s absolutely true.
After the discussion completed, Carlson teased the next segment which was about Hillary Clinton’s book. Because Fox keeps acting as though she’s the most important person in the world, even as Irma heads for the U.S. mainland.
Watch Carlson suggest that the single most important thing in a hurricane is a gun below, from the September 6, 2017 Tucker Carlson Tonight.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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