Tucker Carlson knows insanity when he sees it. Twitter video screenshot.

Fox News hosts can't seem to keep their metaphors straight as they fulminate about the untold horrors the government may impose on Americans in response to the newly recognized Omicron variant of the SARS CoV-2 virus. In mere reality, the nation's public health experts are saying it's concerning, but we need to know more about Omicron (particularly how transmissible it is, and how well current vaccines work against it) before we make any policies to deal with it. There's a hell of a lot we don't know yet, but we do know for certain that the Delta variant is still killing people, so the best thing people can do is get vaccinated or get their booster shots.

Fortunately, wingnut media is happy to fill the current lack of certainty with extra-large helpings of speculation and conspiracy theories, like the loony notion that there is no new variant of the virus at all, it's all just an excuse to steal the 2022 midterms, because somehow South Africa and the world medical community are secretly run by Nancy Pelosi.

So now Fox News faces a bit of a rhetorical dilemma. The network gets its highest ratings when people are terrified, but since it's also committed to insisting that COVID-19 is a big nothingburger (but the vaccines are scary), Fox can't go the easy way and hype the potential threat of Omicron. Instead, Fox is back to its usual game of hyping the threat that the government is just itching to use Omicron as an excuse to impose lockdowns, force everyone to wear a mask in their own homes, take your guns, and have Taylor Swift write a new woke national anthem. For starters.


As usual, Fox has gone in for another round of demonizing Dr. Anthony Fauci, who just might be the greatest threat to America since Critical Race Theory and the War on Christmas combined! Monday evening, Fox Nation host Lara Logan carefully explained that Fauci was exactly like Dr. Josef Mengele, the Nazi who carried out horrifying experiments at Auschwitz (and was also involved in deciding which arriving Jews would be sent to slave labor, and who would go straight to the gas chambers). Not to be outdone, Tucker Carlson, in a long rant that was incoherent even for him, kept up his insistence that people who refuse to be vaccinated are now being targeted for extermination, just like the Kulaks were in Soviet Russia. Unable to stick with a simile for more than a fruit fly's heartbeat, Carlson then proclaimed Fauci to be not like Joseph Stalin, but instead "an even shorter version of Benito Mussolini," even though Mussolini was 5' 7" and Stalin more around 5' 4" (or 5' 5", or even 5' 6", according to the googles).

Fauci is 5' 7", in case you were wondering. No, Carlson didn't explain what exactly made Fauci into Mussolini, except for pointing out that in a "60 Minutes" interview, Fauci referred to himself in the third person and pointed out that rightwing media have an easier time attacking people than science, so the attacks on science tend to come in the form of attacks on Fauci. The nerve of that guy, saying that he personifies science!


"Clearly, something deep inside Tony Fauci has changed. The man now believes he's a deity, accountable to no one," Carlson outgassed very convincingly.

Why, Fauci even laughed at Ted Cruz for saying Fauci should be prosecuted, even though Cruz was elected to office and therefore is much more of an authority about things. Fauci brushed off the comment (with, yes, a tu quoque fallacy, shame on him) by suggesting that if anyone should worry, maybe it's members of Congress who egged on the January 6th insurrection. Carlson pretended that wasn't Fauci's point, possibly because Latin confuses Tucker even more than logic, and claimed that Fauci believes that anyone who questions Mad King Fauci is trying to bring down the government.

Sorry, got all rhetoric-y there. TL;DR: Tucker Carlson is a asshole whose dishonest distortions might make for a dandy dissertation, provided the poor grad student managed not to be driven mad by pondering them, like a character in Lovecraft.

Lara Logan, that great war correspondent who was shitcanned by "parted ways with" CBS News after a fake Benghazi story that embarrassed "60 Minutes," brought her great knowledge of world history to an appearance on Fox's "Prime Time" in which she explained that Fauci was actually a lot more like Josef Mengele, what with all the choosing who lives and dies, the obscene medical experimentation on humans, and the telling Americans to get a free, safe, effective vaccine to protect against serious infection or death. The parallels between Mengele and Fauci really are astonishing! Everyone tells her so, mostly in hipster coffee shops we guess:

You see, Logan "explained," COVID is really not much of anything, no more deadly than "seasonal flu" — as long as you consider "far deadlier than the flu" to mean "about the same" as seasonal flu. (Logan also believes that the COVID vaccines aren't "really a vaccine," because she is an immunologist, too.) So since COVID is no biggie — except for the dying, permanent organ damage, long COVID, and high death toll — monsters like Fauci have tried to justify their continued advocacy for things they haven't actually advocated since the early days of the pandemic, like total lockdowns, business closures, and transports of Jews to the East.

What you see on Dr. Fauci – this is what people say to me: that he doesn’t represent science to them. He represents Joseph Mengele. Dr. Josef Mengele, the Nazi doctor who did experiments on Jews during the second World War and in the concentration camps. And I am talking about people all across the world are saying this because the response from COVID, what it has done to countries everywhere, what it has done to civil liberties, the suicide rates, the poverty, it has obliterated economies.

We have a theory! Nobody liked the very brief period of partial lockdowns that occurred in the US, although most lockdown orders were over and done by June or July of 2020. But since those were the most consistently hated aspect of the COVID response (they closed the churches!!!!!!), rightwing media just can't stop insisting that all efforts to fight the virus — masking, vaccines, contact tracing, limits on indoor occupancy, and even testing — amount to "lockdowns," because wingnuts are doomed like Sisyphus to spend eternity on a slippery slope.

Nobody in a position of authority in the USA is advocating new lockdowns, and considering how badly we complied with the brief lockdowns early on, it's unlikely they'd be ordered even in states that haven't outright banned health authorities from imposing them. But the very idea kicks Fox News viewers right in the ol' limbic system, so it's fear of lockdowns all the time.

That, or they've all just come unstuck in time.

Correction: Story updated to spell Lara Logan's name right, Dok had a brainfart and Wonkette regrets the error.

[Joe.My.God. / MediaMatters]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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