Tucker Carlson tried to cloak his white nationalist agenda as a desire for national unity, even as he distorted comments by Joy Reid and Don Lemon in order to smear them as black racists.
May 12, 2020

Even on Fox News, Carlson stands out for his malice and divisiveness, often in matters involving race and ethnicity. So his opening remarks, which served as a pretext for the Reid and Lemon smears, might have caused a giant coffee spray in living rooms across America. At least in living rooms where anyone with even the weakest of BS detectors was watching.

CARLSON: If there’s anything positive to come out of the tragedy, it is the renewed closeness that many Americans suddenly feel with one another.

That’s threatening to some of the people in charge. This is an election year, remember and they profit most when we are divided against each other. Encouraging us to hate our neighbors takes the focus off of their many failures.

Was Carlson referring to his spread of racist disinformation that resulted in crucial pandemic research getting halted? His desire for Americans to face death in order to go back to work and help Trump get his economy going again – even as Carlson works remotely?

No, Carlson was thinking of two African American hosts who know that reopening businesses in the middle of the pandemic forces workers who can’t work at home to choose between illness and starvation – which disproportionately hurts black and brown people.

Instead of trying to understand either's point of view,, Carlson went straight to race baiting:

CARLSON: On Friday, one anchor over at CNN decided that the real lesson of this pandemic is that we need more racial division.

Carlson played a clip of Lemon noting the disproportionate number of African Americans suffering from COVID-19 and asking, “Why should African Americans care about opening up this country and rebuilding the economy if you’re going to rebuild the economy on our backs when we are the people who are dying?”

Before he got to Reid, Carlson baselessly accused her network, MSNBC, of trying to distract from the fact that New York State prosecutors are investigating sexual abuse at the network. This from the guy who completely erased Roger Ailes’ sexual predations at Fox when he died.

CARLSON: So they turn their entire hour over on the weekends to an open race hater who spins lunatic conspiracy theories about plots against citizens based on their skin color. Every week.

Carlson played a clip of Reid blasting conservatives “at least among a certain cohort of white guys” who think it is their “God-given right” to go to hair salons, restaurants, golf courses, etc. and that “those rights which they claim were conferred upon them by God require a disproportionately black and brown labor force to return to work … and risk death in order to serve them and return them to their comfortable lives.”

With his furrowed brow and a hushed voice designed to simulate thoughtfulness, Carlson sounded like a classic case of projection.

CARLSON: None of that is true. It’s vicious. NBC knows it’s not true but telling the truth isn’t the point of the segment. The point is to make us paranoid and divided. That’s always the point.

[There’s] a theme here, which is the media would very much like Americans to be divided into categories and to hate each other. Why do you think they push that so often?

Carlson asked that last question to guest Zaid Jilani, a freelance journalist formerly of The Intercept. You’d think Jilani would know enough and have enough journalistic integrity to confront Carlson on his phony-baloney unity charade. But no. Jilani explicitly validated it with comments such as, “I think cherrypicking statistics to kind of focus social concern only on one group risks dividing us at a time when we have to be united and it also risks redirecting us from government officials who are failing on the job.”

Jilani must have really made Carlson’s day by saying that the suicide rate for whites is much greater than for other groups but we don’t call it a “white issue.”

At one point, Carlson was so excited by Jilani’s comments that he interrupted to say, “The real inequality is economic and it’s wrecking the country, in my opinion. They never talk about that. Why is that?”

But really, anyone with any sense, without a racial agenda, can see that economic inequality was the point of both Reid's and Lemon’s comments. They just made the added point that economic inequality inordinately harms people of color. It says a lot that neither Carlson nor Jilani disproved that point.

But Jilani went on to attack Lemon for using the word “we” when he is young, healthy and well off. And Carlson ended the discussion by calling Jilani “so smart.”

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