On the January 3 edition of Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume commented that his "message" to Tiger Woods -- who Hume mentioned is "said to be a Buddhist" -- would be to "turn to the Christian faith, and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world." Since then, several conservative commentators have endorsed Hume's remarks or defended them from criticism.
Jacksonville, FL: When did Brit Hume go crazy? Tiger woods should embrace Christianity and we will forgive him?
You say this on the air?
Tucker Carlson: Crazy? No. John Wayne Gacy was crazy. Judy Garland and Ezra Pound were crazy. Recommending that someone in distress adopt a mainstream religious faith is pretty conventional advice.
I'm not really sure what Carlson means by "mainstream religious faith." According to the CIA World Factbook, 5.84 percent of the world is Buddhist -- slightly more than are Protestants, and vastly more than the number of Jewish people.
Over the past week, Fox News figures have repeatedly asserted that emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia that critics have dubiously claimed undermine the scientific consensus on climate change were "leaked" -- citing no evidence for their claim -- or have described those emails as having been "revealed," "uncovered," or "discovered." In fact, CRU has stated that the emails were stolen from CRU's servers by one or more hackers.
From the December 3 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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From the October 19 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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Fox News employee Tucker Carlson weighs in on the White House/Fox News flap:
Tucker Carlson: In the long run it doesn't hurt any news organization to find itself on a White House enemies list, but Fox didn't start this. Anita Dunn did. Very foolish I think.
Regardless of what one thinks of the White House strategy for dealing with Fox News, nobody who has watched more than ten minutes of Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity can seriously think Anita Dunn "started it."
Did Dunn and the White House escalate "it"? Sure, maybe. Was it a good idea? I'm actually not sure; there are reasonable arguments both ways. But to say "Fox didn't start this" doesn't just strain credulity -- it takes credulity out back and beats it to death with a shovel, as Beck might say.
From the September 25 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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Via Funny or Die:
The Uncler has returned to Washington D.C to find out how his country is doing by talking to some of the experts of the political landscape.
As FishBowlDC notes:
From the August 31 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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In his forthcoming book, former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge reportedly claims that politics may have played a role in the question of whether to raise the terror threat levels on the eve of the November 2004 presidential election -- echoing contemporaneous allegations made by several progressives. Media Matters for America presents a sampling -- by no means exhaustive -- of media personalities who at the time portrayed those progressives as suffering from "cynicism" and "paranoia" and obsessed with a "conspiracy theory," despite credible evidence that the Bush administration was using the War on Terror for political gain, particularly in the months before the 2004 election.
On Fox News' Hannity, contributor Tucker Carlson called the idea that "town hall meetings are somehow being infiltrated by industry, opponents to the plan, and their shills, basically, working on behalf of trade groups" a "conspiracy theory" and "absurd," and agreed with host Sean Hannity that the protests are "organic." However, both Carlson and Hannity ignored evidence that insurance companies and other conservative groups are sending people to town halls to "rebut" the White House and Democratic leaders.
Tucker Carlson, on Henry Louis Gates:
What happened to him likely had little to do with race, but it's still appalling. His crime? Failing to be polite to a policeman. Except that's not a crime, or shouldn't be, and the rest of us ought to do all we can to make sure it doesn't become one.
I have no idea how much, if at all, race played a role in Gates' arrest, so I won't endorse Carlson's assessment of its likelihood. But the rest of Carlson's statement seems spot-on, and illustrates the way the media mishandled this story.
See, Barack Obama said all along that he didn't know if race played a role in the arrest. And he said the arrest was stupid anyway. That's almost self-evident -- Gates was arrested in his own home, and charges against him were dropped.
But the media pretended that Obama had said something hugely controversial -- and they did so by ignoring the fact that he had gone out of his way to make clear that he was not saying race played a role in this specific arrest. They just disappeared that part of his comments, and often suggested the opposite.
Had the rest of the media approached this the way Tucker Carlson did -- understanding that it's completely obvious that Gates shouldn't have been arrested -- their coverage would have been much better.
On the other hand, Carlson describes Gates as a "self-righteous whiner who probably cries racism every time he gets the wrong order at Starbucks." I tend to assume that if any 58-year-old African American had spent his life "crying racism" every time he encountered it (let alone every time he got the wrong cup of coffee) there would be enough examples to fill a book. As that isn't the case with Gates, Carlson's assessment of the professor seems ... odd.
Questioned by a reader about that description of Gates, Carlson pointed to a statement in Gates' Yale application. I'm reasonably sure that by 1970, Henry Louis Gates had experienced racism more significant than getting the wrong order at Starbucks, and almost as sure that Tucker Carlson knows this. When a reader pointed that out, Carlson took issue with Gates' use of the word "Whitey" in that application. Seems a little silly for a wealthy white man in 2009 to get so upset about a black man who grew up in a segregated town using the word "Whitey" 40 years ago, but that's Tucker Carlson for you.
The generous view of Tucker Carlson is that, faults aside, he is at least a principled libertarian. Carlson himself is the most vigorous advocate for that view of Tucker Carlson, but he undermined it badly during today's Washington Post online discussion with a series of comments about his hometown:
Tucker Carlson: I love Washington. My wife and all four of my children were born in Northwest. I hope I never leave. But let's be honest: The city's not ready for democracy, much less statehood.
Katy, Tex.: Non Palin question. Considering that the Washington, D.C., crowd continues to elect Marion Barry to publicly paid posts, why does anyone think it is a good idea to let them elect a full-fledged representative to the House?
Tucker Carlson: Of course not. It's insane, not to mention unconstitutional. As a resident of the city, I'm happy to have taxation without representation.
So, Carlson is content to have 600,000 American citizens subject to taxation without representation because he doesn't like the way those citizens would vote if given congressional representation? That isn't principled libertarianism, that's run-of-the-mill unprincipled Republicanism.
(And that "unconstitutional" bit is nonsense, as Carlson well knows. The District of Columbia could certainly be granted statehood, and the two Senators and a Representative that would go along with it. Even if one stipulates that there are Constitutional hurdles to congressional representation for DC residents, the Constitution comes equipped with a handy remedy: the amendment process. That's how DC residents gained the right to vote for President, after all. One might expect a principled libertarian to take the stance that if the Constitution mandates taxation of US citizens without representation, the Constitution must be changed.)
Tucker Carlson has stated that Sonia Sotomayor made a "racist statement" in a 2001 speech and suggested that she might be a "racist kook." On Crossfire in 2002, Carlson stated that "dismissing your opponents by calling them racists and bigots" is "name calling" and "beneath contempt."
Numerous media figures have pointed to a sentence from a 2001 speech by Sonia Sotomayor to characterize her or her comments as being "racist" while ignoring the point of Sotomayor's speech, which undercuts their criticisms.