Behold a smug, smarmy little prick, drunk on his apparent impunity:
So now the crazed MAGA cultists have it in for the United States Armed Forces. Didn’t see that coming.
But then, why not, if the military wusses are going to keep carrying on as if White nationalist fascism isn’t really their cup of tea? Take the present target. General Milley is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (and a Trump appointee), who last week was testifying before this or that House Sturm and Drang Committee, when the Republican members set upon him over the current curriculum at West Point, which, it seems, includes discussion of Critical Race Theory, the GOP wedge issue du jour. Milley responded with a rather impassioned defence of intellectual curiosity and the imperative to understand the nation he’s sworn to defend, including the less savoury aspects of its history, as a way of comprehending today’s ongoing strife. Why, for example, did a rabid mob of MAGA insurrectionists assault the Capitol last January and take out their White rage on what used to be the peaceful transition of power? What are the implications for unit cohesion within the ranks of his own organization, which, after all, is composed of a representative cross-section extracted from society at large? Delving into such things doesn’t make you “woke”, said the General, not in the pejorative sense the Republicans use the term, any more than reading Marx makes you a Communist.
Such sentiments brand the General as the purest embodiment of everything MAGAWorld despises. If pressed, no doubt, the uniformed louse would also insist that the Army has no business turning its gatling guns on BLM and Antifa street protests, probably on account of some supposed Constitutional right. Coward.
Perhaps, then, Tucker Carlson’s unhinged editorial later that night should have come as no surprise, given the trends, and the effluent that’s generally flowing out of his sneering frat boy pie hole, but still, when Brian Williams played the attached extract on MSNBC – the only way I was ever going to see it – I frigging near fell off my sofa. I literally gasped. Honest, it’s been a while since anything’s made me quite so angry. Now, don’t get me wrong, I of course spend most of every day consumed with rage, and unless you’re reading this in solitary confinement I’m quite confident that you’ve never once been as angry in your whole life as I am just by virtue of waking up in the morning, but this, well, thank Christ for my blood pressure medication. I was ready to throw something heavy at the flatscreen. So, obviously, was Williams’s guest, sane conservative pundit Charlie Sykes of The Bulwark, whom I’ve grown to like and respect a great deal despite our many philosophical differences, none of which extend to whether it’s tolerable to call an honourable man with that many combat tour hashmarks on his sleeve a “stupid pig”. I wish I could find a video of the reaction shot. Sykes didn’t just scowl, he winced, the sort of shocked, pained, narrow-eyed, jaw-clenched wince you’d see on a decent man’s face if he came upon a punk slapping an old lady around, and couldn’t do a damned thing about it. At that moment, I figured I looked about the same:
So it goes, from bad to worse. The thin line that used to separate the merely mendacious blowhards on Fox News from the certifiable internet loons like Alex Jones and Rush Limbaugh has been all but obliterated, perhaps because competition from even less reputable cable “news” services like OANN and Newsmax has been siphoning off a significant portion of the MAGA crowd, and the old troupe of bloviating idiots like Tucker, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity are looking increasingly like clowns in a circus that everybody’s already been to see hundreds of times. How to keep drawing them in? The rubes are restless out there. They’re bored with the same old same old. They’re tired of the pie in the face bit. They’ve seen the fish down the trousers. The big floppy shoes aren’t funny any more, and that thing on the unicycles just isn’t as impressive to the now jaded crowd, not when the sequinned maniacs under the rival big top across the street are juggling operating chain saws and pulling the pins before swallowing the hand grenades. Gotta compete! Gotta ratchet things up! The pressure only gets worse when Trump himself disses the network at the rallies he can’t stop holding, which Fox, now suddenly on the outs with Donald, has chosen not to broadcast – we’ll see how long they stick to that policy.
Murdoch’s pet project is under some pressure, no doubt. Maybe, long term, Fox News is even on the wane. Maybe, over the long haul, the Tucker Carlson problem solves itself. It’s been reported all year that advertisers are fleeing his show, and this latest assault on the military hierarchy can’t be helpful on that score. Yet for now, Carlson remains wildly popular, the biggest draw not just on his network but in all of cable news. Every night about 2.7 to 3 million brainwashed Caucasians tune in to lap it up as he tears away at the Republic’s frayed social fabric, sowing discord, fomenting hate, and spreading outright lies, all with the smirk of a juvenile delinquent whose rich daddy has the cops on the take. By any sane calculation he’s doing more damage to the common good than anything ever inflicted by the millions of Americans who find themselves either tossed into lightless cages or strapped into strait jackets, but instead of suffering any sort of consequence, even to his reputation and professional standing, he makes a fortune dishing out his nightly banquet of chaos and pernicious misinformation. He touts White nationalist replacement theory. He stokes vaccine skepticism and outlandish pandemic hoax conspiracy theories. He promotes the lie that Trump actually won in 2020. He sells the story that actually there was no insurrection on January 6. He whips his credulous viewers into a lather, cackling all the way. He’s an evil parasite, and he doesn’t even believe what he says, nor would anybody sensible out there in TV Land, as his lawyers have stressed in successfully defending him in court. The problem is, his disciples aren’t sensible people; they adore him, they believe him, and for the moment he appears indestructible.
What’s to be done? Boycott his remaining advertisers? Maybe, but the millions who tune in every night are a powerful lure, and if, say, Papa John’s and T-Mobile decide to take their custom elsewhere, well, there’s always MyPillow. Other possible remedies, while obvious and satisfying to contemplate, aren’t legal and certainly aren’t advocated here. Certainly not! I don’t know, perhaps some altruistic multi-kabillionaire out there could make Rupert Murdoch an offer he can’t refuse, buy the network lock stock and barrel, and send Tucker and the rest packing? That doesn’t sound terribly likely, does it? That’s not the sort of deal through which your average multi-kabillionaire got rich to begin with, and anyway, one senses that Murdoch isn’t just in this for the money. The old bastard is on a mission. He’s at war with the future. Apparently, like Trump, he’s also immortal, and will outlive us all. Besides, the whole sordid crew would just migrate to one of the other right wing cable propaganda cess pits, and barely skip a beat.
For now, I’m at a loss. Thoughts, anyone? Bright ideas gratefully accepted, because by Christ, somebody has to do something. The dickhead is laughing at us. All the way to the bank.