Fox News host Tucker Carlson announced he’s taking a vacation, starting today, in the middle of the week, just as he came under heavy criticism both for his white supremacist rhetoric and his denial, even in the aftermath of the El Paso shooting, that white supremacy is a problem.
At the end of Wednesday’s show, Carlson announced, “By the way, I am taking several days off, headed to the wilderness to fish with my son, catch some brook trout. Politics is important, fishing with your son sometimes more important so I’m doing it.” He'll be back on August 19, he said.
It just so happens that this vacation, like Laura Ingraham’s, Bill O’Reilly’s and Jesse Watters’, is occuring when the host is being heavily criticized, in this case for calling white supremacy “a hoax” that is ““actually not a real problem in America” the night before.
Among Carlson’s many critics, The Washington Post’s Margaret Sullivan wrote, “In his ongoing and remarkably successful quest to be the worst of the Fox News nighttime hosts, Tucker Carlson hit a new low on his Tuesday show.
You know Carlson was feeling the heat because he tweeted a video telling people, “For the sake of the nation, calm down.”
This from the guy who wouldn’t pause his inflammatory, white-nationalist hate mongering while the country is still mourning two mass shootings. And let's face it, even this message is hostile, not soothing. In case anyone missed the point, the text of Carlson’s tweet said, “There’s been a tremendous response to last night’s show. The left wants to silence us. They won’t.”
You know Fox was feeling the heat because Carlson went on to admit, “Yes, racism is one of America’s problems.” Uncharacteristically, Carlson did not go on to argue that it’s racism against white people that is the problem. He did suggest that racism is no biggie compared to the “fading middle class,” a “terrifying drug epidemic” and national debt.
“This country is not on the brink of genocide,” Carlson said, implying that otherwise, racism is no biggie (unless it's against whites, of course). Squinting his eyes with disgust, Carlson said, “This is not a country plotting the slaughter of its own people.” Never mind that Carlson has repeatedly suggested that immigrants and liberals are plotting just that.
“Like all people,” some of them make “bad decisions from time to time,” Carlson added. He never specified whom, exactly, he was referring to, but I think we can guess who was forefront in his mind. “But they mean well and they generally try their best. So going forward, give them the benefit of the doubt, even when you disagree with them, maybe especially when you disagree with them. These are your fellow Americans. Cut them a break. They deserve it. And remember, the alternative is disaster.”
Well, you first, Tucker.
So it’s not just the timing but the new Tucker “tolerance” (we’ll see how long it lasts) that makes me skeptical his vacation had nothing to do with the controversy.
However, don’t worry, white nationalist fans: When Carlson announced, “some of our favorites will be here while I’m gone,” he meant your kind of favorites. The roster includes Brian Kilmeade, who just tried to legitimize “invasion” rhetoric as fact, and Mark Steyn, an immigrant-hating soul mate who once whined that he can’t be as racist as he thinks African American Joy Reid is.