Is Tucker Carlson trying to get people killed? Threats to Rep. Eric Swalwell, one of many Tucky targets, suggest that’s exactly the plan.
On Thursday Swalwell got a threatening phone message specifically mentioning that it was in response to comments from Tucker Carlson: “They just showed you on Fox News, on Tucker Carlson” defending the officer who shot insurrectionist-turned-rightwing-martyr Ashli Babbitt, the male caller said. After referring to Swalwell as an “Obama n*****, ass-licking pig” and “you little fa***t b*tch,” he said this:
Listen to this. It’s the Tucker Carlson effect. Tucker attacks me. His fans respond with threats to kill my family. And Tucker knows exactly what he’s doing. pic.twitter.com/PsSLYbctXa
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) October 22, 2021
On Friday, Swalwell discussed with Nicolle Wallace how he receives “hundreds of threats” but that this one stood out because the caller revealed the connection to Carlson’s rhetoric.
We know that Carlson knows the dangerous effects of his rhetoric. In July, for example, Swalwell texted him that after his attacks on Swalwell’s wife, she started getting death threats. Carlson responded by calling Swalwell a “coward” for refusing to come on the Tucker Carlson Tonight show because of that.
Swalwell also told Wallace he had tweeted support for Carlson after demonstrators protested outside his house a few years ago (after which Carlson was apparently so terrified, he falsely claimed they had broken his door). But Carlson deliberately incites far worse behavior.
“He knows the effects of his lies,” Swalwell said. “I think he likes to do it. I think in a sick way he derives pleasure in knowing his viewers will aim their threats at lawmakers and whoever he's attacking that day.”
“I wish he would understand that is no way to have a civil discourse in our country and it could lead to another day like January 6th at our Capitol or any other state capitol across the country,” Swalwell continued. He added that Carlson knows what his viewers are capable of because so many of the January 6th insurrectionists cited Donald Trump and Fox News as the drivers of the attacks on the Capitol.
Carlson’s “powerful sway over so many millions” means he “doesn't have to be the one who carries out the violence himself” in order to cause more violence, Swalwell said. “He knows what he is doing. That's what makes it more disturbing, nothing has seemed to temper him or to reduce the vitriol that he puts out and then is collaterally or followed up subsequently aimed at lawmakers.”
But it's not just lawmakers. I’ve long written at NewsHounds about how Carlson has deliberately endangered journalists and Dr. Anthony Fauci. His incitements are not bugs, they are features and part of his larger war on America.