January 29, 2023

TUCKER TAKEDOWN: Addressing Carlson’s warped version of history

TUCKER TAKEDOWN: Addressing Carlson's warped version of history

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Tucker Carlson has beaten me again – every time I think he couldn’t possibly be more of an idiot, he proves me wrong.


“The order has gone out – Biden is done,” the Fox “News” host declared on Thursday, adding that “Biden is the most destructive president in American history.”

Not James Buchanan, who did nothing to stop slavery or the Civil War.

Nor Andrew Jackson, who pushed Native Americans off their lands.

Or Andrew Johnson, who impeded the rights of black citizens for generations.

And not Donald Trump, who tried to overthrow the government.

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No. Joe Biden, Tuck says, whom he blames for every problem existing in the world today.

“If you’re looking for crimes that Joe Biden has committed, there is a very long list,” the right-wing pundit intoned, proceeding to name a bunch of terrible things Uncle Joe has supposedly done.

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Now, all of his assertions are generally idiotic, of course, if not insane. But see if you can identify the main idiocy, let’s say, from Schmucker’s list:

“Our country is being invaded. The world is on the brink of nuclear war. American cities have become slums. Our economy is in shambles. Even our airplanes no longer take off on time.”

If you need to, read that list twice.

I’ll pause the writing.

Ok – we’re back. Do you have it?

Yes! None of those things are crimes!

They’re all “situations,” you might say, but crimes? No.

This is putting aside the nonsensical claims of “invasion,” designed to appeal to the racist element in Carlson’s audience (about 93% of watchers, I would guess); the fact that, despite reasonable fears that the war in Ukraine could lead to a nuclear engagement (in fact, Putin ally Dmitri Medvedev just hinted at such a possibility), we did go through something called the Cuban Missile Crisis and this period Tucker may have missed known as the Cold War; American cities have not become “slums”; the economy is far from in shambles, with the unemployment rate down to 3.5% (it was at 6.3% when Biden took office); and – this will come as a shock – airplanes didn’t always arrive on time even before Pete Buttigieg became Secretary of Transportation.

But wait! There’s more!

We’re not even close to the level of stupidity Tucker would attain with this one inane and insane segment.

Tucker then showed a clip of a woman discussing how she apparently had to brandish a high-powered assault rifle because three migrants smiled at her while passing her property.

Carlson – and Fox in general – like to note that 250,000 “illegals” are “encountered” every month at the Southern border.

What they never note is that “encountered” means that they were caught and either immediately expelled or set up for a judicial hearing. Instead they purposely allow their audience to believe that all of the migrants are getting into the country.

What is true is that Biden is immediately expelling a lot less people than Trump because the administration is, frankly, more humane and does not want to throw people back into potentially dangerous situations.

Tuck then transitioned to blaming Joe Biden for all drug deaths, claiming that all fentanyl pills come through the “open border.”

This will shock you: that’s also false.

Most drugs, including fentanyl, go through the mail or through legal points of entry.

The conspiracy-inspired host theorized that “permanent Washington” (his alias for the “deep state”) helped Biden keep the open border policy. And since “they” really run things, Tucker says, they’ll seal Biden’s fate.”

But please, wait for it.

The craziest is yet to come.

Here’s Schmucker:

“[I]f you want to know why they don’t teach history anymore, one thing you should know is that the most popular president in American history was…” he paused for effect, “…Richard Nixon…Richard Nixon,” he repeated.

No, Tucker. I did not know that. And you know why? Because it’s complete and utter horseshit.

Now, sometimes, dear reader, ole Tuck, like many Republicans, says something that has so many levels of stupidity that you have to peel back the layers like an onion, trying not let your eyes tear up too much from how laughable it all is.

Let’s dive in, though.

Tucker’s basis for this – as he later states – is that Nixon had the biggest popular vote margin of victory in history in 1972.

First, some points here:

One: It wasn’t the biggest popular vote victory – in fact there were several who won by more.

The crown for biggest popular vote margin winner by percentage actually goes to Warren G. Harding, who was an awful, awful president whose administration was haunted by scandal from about Day 1.

Nixon’s victory was the biggest electoral vote win in history, so perhaps this is why Tucker is a bit confused.

Or perhaps he doesn’t understand that our population increases and is just going by pure numbers. Who knows?

Deciphering Tucker is like undoing a Gordian Knot of stupidity.

Second point: Nixon ran against McGovern, and the 1972 Election proved more how unpopular McGovern was than how popular Nixon was.

Third: Nixon’s approval rating had sank to 24% by the time he resigned.

Fourth: A poll by C-SPAN ranked Nixon the 31st most popular president. Don’t worry, though, Tricky Dicky – you did better than Trump, who ranked 41st, just ahead of two pre-Civil War era presidents known to have done nothing to prevent the war or stop slavery and one immediately following it who was a rabid racist: Franklin Pierce (42), and Andrew Johnson and James Buchanan, mentioned earlier (43rd and dead last, respectively).

But I have to move on.

If I get completely caught up in Tucker’s idiocy, we may be here for months.

He next put forward that because Nixon was forced to resign, “we went from the most popular president to one nobody voted for.”

Whew! That onion again!

Ok. First off, it was Nixon himself, you putz, who chose Ford.

And, according to Gallup, Ford’s approval rating was 71% immediately after taking over. In other words, a guy with a 24% approval rating was replaced with one the country had a lot more confidence in.

But we’re just getting to the best part: the REAL reason, Tucker says, that Nixon was forced out:

“Richard Nixon believed that elements in the federal bureaucracy were working to undermine the American system of government and had been doing that for a long time. He often said that. He was absolutely right.”

The host went on to assert that Nixon had threatened the head of the CIA, Richard Helms, that he would reveal who really killed Kennedy.

Now, Carlson has a degree in history awarded by Trinity College in 1991, but apparently you can wipe your ass with it, because he appears not to know shit from Shinola.

Nixon met with Helms to try to threaten him, but not like Schmucker makes it.

Instead, Nixon wanted to pressure him into believing that he would reveal some of the CIA’s deepest darkest secrets – including its attempts against Castro’s life – and how they may have triggered the JFK assassination.

Nixon was forced to resign because he tried to get the CIA to stop the FBI from investigating Watergate, as proven by Nixon’s own recordings. (Seems quaint compared to Trump, but it was indeed a terrible abuse of power.)

Also worth noting is the fact that Nixon may have actually done considerably worse than that, even: we now know that he was actively working to derail peace talks with Vietnam in 1968 while seeking the presidency.

But the Fox host ignored the facts and dove right into conspiratorial thinking:

“Nixon further implied that the CIA was directly involved in Kennedy’s assassination, which we now know it was.”


Tucker then referred to the “dishonest” Watergate stories that did Nixon in and exposed the REAL criminal…

Wait for it. Waaait for iiiiittt…

Bob Woodward!

Schmucker says that the Woodward of our favorite journalistic duo, Woodward and Bernstein, was a “deep state” saboteur.

His evidence? Woodward was once in the Navy and, as a journalist, was once assigned to the Pentagon.

Boom! Case closed.

Woodward is Don Corleone and Keyser Soze all wrapped in one.

The Fox “News” host went on to claim that Spiro Agnew was a victim of the same conspiracy, though no one but Tucker denies that Agnew was guilty as sin.

After this conspiracy taking down the poor innocents Nixon and Agnew, says Schmucker, the deep state took over the government and has been running it since, persecuting others who have done absolutely nothing wrong, like Michael Flynn.

But who doesn’t deserve our sympathy? he asks. Joe Biden, of course.

He finishes with: “When people nobody voted for run everything, you are not living in a free country.”

So Fox’s #1 putz has now gone full Trumpian deep state.

The implications are obvious: Trump did nothing wrong and it’s all actually “permanent Washington.” But Schmucker’s logic doesn’t hold up with this terribly flawed analogy: Trump was never popular – he lost the popular vote – TWICE. And he’s even more unpopular today.

Here’s Tucker’s full video, followed by some additional comments:

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Worse still, this belief in the “deep state” gives everyone who commits a crime a “get out of responsibility free” card.

In New Mexico, a man named Solomon Peña, who lost his election for representative to the state House by about fifty points, then claimed it had been stolen from him and led a group of men taking shots at the homes of those he blamed.

Another guy – Donald Trump – maybe you’ve heard of him – sent a mob to attack the Capitol. But Schmucker can’t see anything that guy did as wrong. It was all the “deep state.”

I’m pretty sure by this point Carlson has gone off the deep end.

Schmucker sure isn’t going to like Ross now! But you can have some fun by following him on Twitter. Just click on @RossRosenfeld to find him there.

Ross Rosenfeld

is a news analysis and opinion writer whose work has also appeared in the New York Daily News and Newsweek. He lives in New York.

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