Tag Archives: Tucker Carlson

Golden Rule, anyone?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

This story almost got past me, but I want to offer a brief response to what I believe is a growing trend among those who feel personally aggrieved by comments delivered by public figures.

Fox News talking head Tucker Carlson reportedly was accosted by a fellow who objected to the blowhard’s comments, presumably about the COVID-19 virus. Carlson was shopping with his family. The guy who berated him I suppose believed that since Carlson speaks to all of us via TV that it’s all right to speak to him in any venue, in any context, at any time.

Wrong! I harken back to the Golden Rule, the item in Scripture that instructs us to treat others as we would want to be treated. Therefore, I venture to suggest that no human being would want to be hassled, harangued and hectored by total strangers even if they are in the public eye spouting public policy.

I am not wired to confront individuals in that fashion. Other public officials have suggested that it’s OK to get in the faces of those who say objectionable things. I believe they are mistaken.

I also believe that everyone — even those in the public eye — are entitled to spend private time with family members.

Don’t lecture me about the First Amendment’s free speech clause. I know what it says and what it means. My reading of it, though, tells me it does not give anyone license to verbally assault other Americans whenever they damn well feel like it.

Let’s show some respect, man.

Libs have blowhards, too

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I recently called Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson a right-wing “blowhard,” which drew rebukes from my friends who believe he is right and others of us are mistaken about the state of affairs.

It all got me to ponder something. Do I aim my “blowhard” epithet only at right wingers and if so, am I being fair to them? I want to lay down a predicate, which is that we all are fueled by our own bias. So, when I toss out an epithet such as “blowhard,” or “gasbag” I usually am talking about righties with whom I disagree.

As I scan the political commentary landscape, I find far fewer such left-leaning targets. However, the field isn’t devoid of left wing blowhards.

In the interest of fairness, I want to offer you this example: The Rev. Al Sharpton. 

I am no fan of Sharpton. He runs the National Action Network. He has become a “civil rights leader” of some repute and renown. Sharpton shows up at protest marches to extol the virtues of Black Lives Matter. He delivers eulogies to victims of police brutality. He speaks on behalf of what I consider to be noble causes.

However, every time I see the Rev. Sharpton, I cannot erase one incident from my memory: Tawana Brawley. Do you remember her?

In the late 1980s Brawley accused white New York City police officers of brutalizing her, of raping her, of dehumanizing her. She is an African-American. At that time, up stepped Al Sharpton to raise holy hell on her behalf. He and others accused the cops of behaving in a disgraceful, despicable manner.

It turns out that Tawana Brawley made it all up. The cops sued Brawley and others, including Sharpton, for slander and defamation. They won their case!

Has the reverend ever apologized for taking part in that monumental charade? Nope. Not a word. Instead, he parlayed his 15 minutes of fame into a role he has embraced as a “civil rights leader.”

This has not a thing to do with the causes for which he speaks. I happen to endorse most of Sharpton’s platform. If only, though, he hadn’t emerged from such a scandalous event — in which he was on the wrong side of a contentious dispute — to bask in the celebrity status he enjoys today.

So, there you have it. I have just declared that lefties have blowhards, too.

Fox blowhard loses his mind

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Tucker Carlson is no expert … on anything.

He hosts a show on the Fox News Channel, which I guess buys him some gravitas among millions of Americans. Therefore, it is incumbent on other commentators — such as me — to weigh in on one of the more bizarre rants many of us ever have heard.

Carlson went on a weird tangent Monday night in which he declared that parents who require their children to wear masks in this pandemic era need to be arrested for, uhh, child abuse.

What a fruitcake, man.

The criticism of Carlson’s baloney transcends the cosmic divide between liberals and conservatives. One right-wing commentator, Bill Kristol, wrote this via Twitter: The masks stuff is performative idiocy and demagoguery. But the key sentence in Carlson’s rant was this: “It’s our job to restore the society we were born in.” The destructive power of reactionary nostalgia jet-fueled by grievances real or imagined shouldn’t be underestimated.

The blowback from across the nation was immediate. Forbes wrote: It began after Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on Monday suggested it was “unacceptable,” “dangerous” and even potentially “illegal” for children to be forced to wear face coverings outside. Carlson further said that viewers should report such sightings to the police or child protective services, even as it is still recommended that masks be worn at all times by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New Debate Over Masks Trending On Social Media Following Rant By Tucker Carlson (forbes.com)

It all gives me pause to wonder how in the name of parental discretion can this guy be taken seriously? Here’s the tough answer, which is that millions of Americans do listen to the bluster, bloviating and bellowing from loudmouths such as Tucker Carlson.

I need to stipulate once again this point, which is that Carlson has no particular standing as a childhood behavior specialist. He is just a guy with a large audience of devoted followers who are going to high-five each other when they hear the crap flowing from this individual’s pie hole.

Tucker Carlson has, in the well-aimed words of one progressive critic, “lost his mind.”

Blowhard treads where he shouldn’t go

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Tucker Carlson is a right-wing gasbag who quite often bloviates on matters of which he knows nothing.

I’m a bit late entering this kerfuffle, but Carlson has waded into a thicket that has drawn deserved scorn from military veterans.

The Fox News blowhard had the stones to say the other day that women who serve in the military downgrade the quality of the nation’s fighting force. He had the very bad taste to suggest that pregnant women in particular are a detriment to this nation’s readiness.

Whoa! Dude, you stepped in it.

You see, Carlson never has served a single nanosecond in the nation’s military. Thus, he has no actual knowledge of the military culture, let alone the value that all our men and women bring to the defense of the nation.

Career military officers and non-commissioned officers alike have slammed Carlson for his remarks. I want to join them in that rebuke.

I need to stipulate that I served at a time — from 1968 to 1970 — before women became integrated fully into all the military occupational specialties that the Army offers. However, I do retain some familiarity with the culture that drives the military. I have no doubt as to the readiness of our nation’s armed forces, which are the most formidable on Planet Earth; and, yes, the women who serve contribute to our nation’s readiness.

And I speak with personal knowledge that a dear member of my family, a woman who served with valor and honor in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, is every bit as capable as any man with whom she served in the United States Army.

Tucker Carlson would do well to examine his own qualifications before he pontificates on matters with which he has no experience.

How dare he say this about Sen. Duckworth?

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth favors removing statues and other monuments to slave owners and Confederate soldiers.

The Illinois Democrat has been vocal in her belief. She has drawn a sharp rebuke from Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson, who said this, according to Yahoo.com:

“You’re not supposed to criticize Tammy Duckworth in any way because she once served in the military. Most people just ignore her. But when Duckworth does speak in public, you’re reminded what a deeply silly and unimpressive person she is,” Carlson said, adding, “It’s long been considered out of bounds to question a person’s patriotism. It’s a very strong charge and we try not ever to make it. But in the face of all of this, the conclusion can’t be avoided. These people actually hate America. There’s no longer a question about that.”

Well, consider this, too. Duckworth flew helicopter for the U.S. Army and in 2004 her chopper was hit by an Iraqi rocket-propelled grenade. She lost both of her legs.

Is that the kind of sacrifice one makes if they “hate America”?

I don’t think so.

Sen. Duckworth is an American patriot who bled for her country. Tucker Carlson, I should point out, did not serve in the military.

Let’s not slam the door shut

Tucker Carlson’s intemperate blast at immigrants brings to mind an argument I have heard from others who share the Fox News talking head’s view.

Carlson had the bad form to say on the air the other day that immigrants make the country “dirtier” and “more divided.” Advertisers have been pulling out from Fox News sponsorships as a result of Carlson’s intemperate remarks.

However, he seems to speak on behalf of an alarming number of Americans who want the country to stiffen the standards for entry to all immigrants who seek to come to the Land of Opportunity.

I have sought to argue that it is patently un-American to slam the door shut on those who want in. The Statue of Liberty still invites the rest of the world to send us the dispossessed, those who “yearn to breathe free.” Yes, the president wants to build a wall along our southern border to stem what he describes as an illegal immigration “crisis.” I am not yet convinced that the “crisis” that Donald Trump alleges is any more severe now than it has ever been.

Then we hear from the likes of Tucker Carlson, who has a cable TV forum to spout the nonsense seemingly about all immigration.

I stand proudly as the grandson of Greek immigrants. Not a single one of them made this country “dirtier,” nor did they seek to “divide” themselves from the rest of the society they sought to join. They all became U.S. citizens. My maternal grandfather did so by enlisting in the U.S. Army in his quest to get into the fight in the waning days of World War I. His wife, my Yiayia, became a fervent U.S. patriot who idolized Presidents Kennedy and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

To be sure, my grandparents weren’t the only immigrants who found a better life. They weren’t alone in their quest for opportunity. They were among millions of others from throughout the world who sought and found their proverbial end-of-rainbow treasure.

Do these xenophobes actually seek to deny other immigrants the opportunity to become Americans by choice? How can they say the things they say, make arguments that Tucker Carlson echoed the other day, that immigrants make dirty the nation that traditionally has kept the light on for those seeking entry?

I will not tolerate that kind of bigotry. Nor should anyone else.

Immigrants built this nation. They continue to improve on what our forebears erected.

They are dirty? They divide the nation? Ridiculous.

‘Poorer’ and ‘dirtier,’ eh, Tucker Carlson?

Tucker Carlson fancies himself as a provocative commentator for the Fox News cable network.

His provocativeness is now costing his employers some serious dough. Sixteen advertisers have pulled out of supporting his nightly talk show on the Fox News Channel because of some remarkably intolerant remarks he made about immigrants.

He made some anti-immigrant remarks this past week without apparently qualifying them. He wasn’t talking about illegal immigrants. I guess he meant all of them.

Hmm. Strange, don’t you think? I wonder where Carlson’s forebears came from? Were they here when the Pilgrims landed? Or when Columbus landed ashore? Or when the Vikings were terrorizing the upper east coast in the 12th century? Um, probably not.

The advertisers are hitting Fox where it hurts, in its corporate pocket book.

I am not a fan of boycotts. As a rule, I don’t believe they work.

I wonder, though, whether these advertisers are going to teach Carlson — a youngish conservative firebrand — a lesson that sticks.

Finally, as the grandson of immigrants to this country, I take huge personal offense at any suggestion that my grandparents made this country dirtier and poorer when they came here in pursuit of a better life.

Memo to Carlson: POTUS mustn’t talk like that

I certainly expected right-wing TV host Tucker Carlson to give Donald Trump a pass on his “s***hole” comment about Haiti and nations in Africa.

The Fox News host/commentator said the president “something almost every person in America agrees with.” Trump, as you know by now, griped out loud during a White House meeting on immigration about the nation accepting so many immigrants from “s***hole” countries; he mentioned Haiti and those in the continent of Africa. He then lamented whether the United States should encourage more immigration from “countries like Norway.”

I will not argue the point about the quality of life in the nations Trump disparaged in such a reprehensible manner, except to say that the people who live there deserve a level of respect that Donald Trump is incapable of giving them.

However, I want to make a point about what Carlson said in response to the president’s hideous remarks.

Whether “almost every person in American agrees” with what Trump said totally misses a critical point.

I am one American who believes that presidents of the United States shouldn’t make such statements in public. I cannot prevent presidents from thinking such things. However, for crying out loud, the current president needs to exercise some semblance of discretion when discussing issues of keen importance to the United States of America.

That he would make such a ghastly statement reveals what many of us have believed all along about the president: Donald Trump is an ignorant racist.

So, to Tucker Carlson, I will say: Read my lips, young man. I don’t give a damn what you might think of some portions of the rest of the world … but I certainly do care when the leader of my beloved country pops off like a tinhorn thug.