I've written here about seeing a liberal guest on Carlson's show during the 2016 presidential election, and he (I wish I could recall who it was because he was so richly prescient) called Trump a fascist -- and Tucker Carlson turned apoplectic, it was like his head was about to explode. He started fuming and spouting and fulminating and wouldn't let the guest explain why he felt it was an accurate description of Trump -- despite Carlson snapping, "Why would you say that???!!!" and adding how unfair it was. All I could think was that the guest clearly hit a raw nerve with Carlson and that in the midst of all his ranting meltdown, if anyone wanted a visual aid for explaining the Shakespearean admonition, "Methinks he doth protest too much," that video should be put in the Time Capsule vault.
But for all the things I've written about Tucker Carlson, none of it comes close to a virtuoso column on Wednesday in the Washington Post by Margaret Sullivan. In fact, if you only read the title, you could stop there, and it would be the best -- "Tucker Carlson's claim that white supremacy is a hoax is easy to prove wrong. Just watch his show."
You can't get much better than that.
And the thing is, even with a title like that to live up to, Ms. Sullivan is able to ratchet it up with the very first sentence. The article begins --
"In his ongoing and remarkably successful quest to be the worst of the Fox News nighttime hosts, Tucker Carlson hit a new low on his Tuesday show."
-- and then she goes off from there. When quoting Carlson in full denial, "I’ve never met anybody, not one person who ascribes to white supremacy. I don’t know a single person who thinks that’s a good idea” -- she follows that with a pithy, "Hmm. Maybe his sample size is a bit flawed."
The article masterfully takes Carlson apart by quoting him, repeatedly. And she doesn't limit her focus to him alone, but quotes others at "Fox News" showing how it's all of a part of "racist propaganda" and what the result of it is, though always returning the attention on Carlson as the worst of the worst. It builds, is damning and is eloquent -- even bending over backwards to be fair to Carlson by saying that she doesn't know what drives his white supremacist diatribes, and for all she knows he's a lovely fellow, and she doesn't know how much he believes of the hate-filled and divisive things he says, or if it's just to drive ratings by pandering to a racist, raging audience. But she adds that it doesn't make a difference, since the results of his "damaging rhetoric" matter because they have the same impact.
But as good as the whole article is, she tops it with her last line which sums up her thesis in 22 words. You can read it all here.
UPDATE: Since Carlson's broadcast on Monday when he claimed that white supremacy was not a problem in the United States and is a "hoax," his show has lost three major sponsors -- Long John Silver’s, Nestlé and HelloFresh. The program previously lost several sponsors in March after recordings surfaced of him make white supremacist statements on a radio show over the course of several years.