Carlson praised Kinky Friedman, denounced Ford Jr., over religion-themed ads

››› ››› BEN ARMBRUSTER

While discussing a new campaign ad by Rep. Harold Ford Jr., in which Ford appears in a church, Tucker Carlson criticized Ford for "drag[ging] religion into the political arena." He added that "it's wrong, it's immoral, indeed, Democrats have argued, to imply that God's on your side." But Carlson praised an ad by Kinky Friedman, in which Friedman "quot[ed] Jesus from the Gospel of John." Carlson said, "I'm for it."

On the October 26 edition of MSNBC's Tucker, while discussing a campaign ad from Tennessee Democratic Senate candidate Rep. Harold Fold Jr., in which Ford appears in a church, host Tucker Carlson criticized Ford for betraying what Carlson said is a principle "Democrats have articulated" that "you ought not to drag religion into the political arena." He added that "it's wrong, it's immoral, indeed, Democrats have argued, to imply that God's on your side." Carlson then claimed that if a Republican had run a similar ad, "I would be the first one to say, yuck, get out of church, pal. This is a political ad." Yet, later in the same program, Carlson stated that Texas Independent gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman took "the highest possible road with his ad" that "quot[ed] Jesus from the Gospel of John." Carlson claimed that despite being "one of the weirdest" campaign ads, he also said, "[I]t's one of the prettiest ads I've ever seen in my life," adding, "I'm for it."

Media Matters for America has previously documented similar instances of inconsistencies by Carlson in September. First, Carlson blasted critics of the ABC miniseries The Path to 9/11, which contained numerous outright falsehoods and distortions about the Clinton administration, for favoring "censorship," despite previously criticizing those who decried "censorship" in defending the 2003 CBS biopic The Reagans, which conservatives claimed portrayed former President Reagan in a negative light. Then, Carlson condemned the new children's book Why Mommy is a Democrat as "propaganda," adding that "[i]t doesn't matter what your politics happen to be. Kids ought to be immune from politics." However, in November 2005, Carlson hosted the author of Help! Mom! There are Liberals Under My Bed! (World Ahead Publishing, September 2005) and stated: "I thought I wasn't going to like it, but actually it's a clever book. ... I hope it sells."

From the October 26 edition of MSNBC's Tucker:

FORD [video clip]: I started church the old-fashioned way. I was forced to. And I'm better for it. I'm Harold Ford Jr., and here, I learned the difference between right and wrong. And now Mr. Corker's doing wrong.

CARLSON: That was a campaign ad from Harold Ford Jr. He's a candidate for the Senate from Tennessee and a Democrat. That's right, he's a Democrat. There was a time when you wouldn't expect to see a Democratic candidate shoot a campaign spot in a church, but times have changed. And now some Democrats are looking a lot like conservative Republicans. Is it a winning strategy?

Joining me now to answer that question, Democratic strategist Vic Kamber. He joins us from Washington. Vic thanks a lot for coming on.

[...]

CARLSON: And for many years, my whole lifetime, Democrats have articulated the following principle: You ought not to drag religion into the political arena, or vice versa, because both wind up sullied. And it's wrong, it's immoral, indeed, Democrats have argued, to imply that God's on your side. It's wrong. Now, here, Harold Ford is doing just that.

KAMBER: I didn't hear him say God's on his side.

CARLSON: Oh, come on.

KAMBER: I heard him say he's on God's side, which is a vast, big difference. Remember, we've had a priest, [former Rep.] Father [Robert] Drinan [D-MA], we've had a nun in the Congress before. I mean, religion has always played a part -- [former Sen.] Reverend [John] Danforth, who's a Republican from Missouri. We've had a number of ordained ministers of both parties. Religion has always played a part in American politics. All I heard Harold Ford say is, he's on God's side, not God's on his side.

CARLSON: If there was -- if there was a Republican running an ad, standing in church denouncing his opponent, I would be the first one to say, yuck, get out of church, pal. This is a political ad.

[...]

CARLSON: Well, still to come, in a year of negative campaign ads, a couple from Rick Santorum really stand out. Does his opponent really conduct staff meetings from prison? You'd think so, if you watched one of the ads.

And then there's Kinky Friedman, who takes the highest possible road with his ad.

[...]

FRIEDMAN [video clip]: Folks, I heard an old-time preacher read from the Book of John the other day; he said the good shepherd knows and recognizes his own, and his own know and recognize him. And when the wolves come, the hired hands flee, but the good shepherd stays. Folks, we don't need a politician as governor anymore, we need a good shepherd. I want to be your good shepherd. I'm Kinky Friedman and that's why I'm running for governor of Texas.

CARLSON: God, that ad just gets me. I mean, there's just something about that. I think it's one of the prettiest ads I've ever seen in my life, but also one of the weirdest, Rich [Masters, Democratic strategist], if you think about it. Here is a self-described Jewish cowboy quoting Jesus from the Gospel of John. Literally, that's an extended Jesus quote -- saying how he wants to be the good shepherd, which is, of course, Jesus's name for himself. What the hell is that? I mean, not that I'm against it, I'm for it, but I've never seen anything weirder.

Posted In
Elections
Network/Outlet
MSNBC
Person
Tucker Carlson
Show/Publication
Tucker
Stories/Interests
Propaganda/Noise Machine, 2006 Elections
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