Tucker Carlson's 'Moron' Guest Kicks Him In The Crotch (WITH VOTES)
Tucker Carlson has recently dressed himself in the borrowed robes of an anti-elitist crusader. He thought he'd intercepted another kindred spirit like Glenn Greenwald when he invited Dutch historian Rutger Bregman onto his Fox show. It didn't work out that way and Carlson wound up screaming obscenities at Bregman. The segment never aired ... until now. Bregman recorded the interview and shared the whole thing yesterday through NowThis News.
The video's been viewed more than 6 million times so far, and the average audience for Carlson's show is roughly half that. Smart move there, Tucker. The entire exchange is delightful. Carlson started out giggling like a school boy because Bregman stuck it to those hypocrites who fly in private jets to a global summit on climate change. He even said he'd take his hat off to Bregman if he were wearing one. He's practically flirting with the guy at this point. We're just five minutes away from a total meltdown. Is Bregman going to start describing sexual encounters with Carlson's mother? No, he just suggested that rich people in America should pay more taxes.
BREGMAN: The vast majority of Americans for years and years now, according to the polls -- including Fox News viewers and including Republicans -- are in favor of higher taxes on the rich. Higher inheritance taxes, higher top marginal tax rates, higher wealth taxes, it's all really mainstream. But no one's saying it on Davos, just like no one's saying it on Fox News, right? And I think the explanation for that is quite simple, is that most of the people in Davos, but also here on this channel, have been bought by the billionaire class... You're not meant to say these things.
Carlson is clearly taken aback. How could Bregman, who told reasonably distinguished people at Davos that they're full of shit, actually claim that Carlson and everyone on his hack network are also full of shit? It boggles the tiniest of minds. Bregman points out that America had much higher tax rates during the so-called "golden age of capitalism." Carlson then tries to explain history to the historian.
CARLSON: But this country was sustained -- and since you're an historian I guess you would know this -- by an industrial economy at the time that was broad and deep, that created a middle class. That doesn't exist anymore. It's an entirely different economy. I wish it did exist.
BREGMAN: That's not really an issue.
CARLSON: Would tax rates work with an entirely different economy.
BREGMAN: I think it would. America is still pretty much the most powerful country in the world, right?
We're now more than halfway through and it's a pretty tame segment. But the tide turns when Bregman attacks Donald Trump, a president who "doesn't even want to show his own tax returns." Bregman wonders how many "billions [Trump] has hidden in the Cayman Islands or in Bermuda." Bregman insists the issue is one of corruption and of people being "bribed."
BREGMAN: What the Murdoch family really wants you to do is scapegoat immigrants instead of talking about tax avoidance.
Carlson probably took this personally because that's the TV Guide blurb for his show: "Tucker Carlson Tonight: Scapegoating immigrants instead of talking about tax avoidance."
CARLSON: Uh-uh. And I'm taking orders from the Murdochs, is that what you're saying?
BREGMAN: No, it doesn't work that directly.
Bregman delivered this line as if he were talking to a small, dumb child.
BREGMAN: But I mean you've been part of the Cato Institute, right? You've been a senior fellow there for years. You've been taking their dirty money. They're funded by Koch billionaires, you know.
CARLSON: How does that work?
Well, first they get their checkbook out, and then they find a pen ...
Bregman then explains how bribes and corruption work. He describes Carlson succinctly as a "millionaire funded by billionaires." He says he's not "part of the solution." He's "part of the problem."
BREGMAN: All the anchors on Fox. They're all millionaires! How is this possible.
Yeah, seriously, how is that possible?
Carlson is now screaming at Bregman, calling him a "moron." Bregman is just amused and keeps his cool in that laidback Dutch flowers way. Carlson claims that Fox "does't even play where [Bregman] lives." This is the rhetorical equivalent of "she doesn't even go here." Bregman reminds Carlson that the Internet exists. He did his homework and watched Carlson's crappy show, but he's not been convinced by Carlson's recent railing against the "elite." Probably because he has the sense to recognize white nationalism in populist drag.
CARLSON: Why don't you go fuck yourself, you tiny brained—and I hope this gets picked up, because you're a moron. I tried to give you a hearing, but you were too fucking annoying.
Last night, Carlson responded to the release of the video. Originally he claimed the segment was yanked because Bregman was rude and personally insulting. He had too much respect for his viewers' time to air it -- though he does respect their time enough to rant about the "scromiting" epidemic.
The video demonstrates that Bregman's "rudeness" is obviously not true, so Carlson now claims the segment was pulled mostly because of the vulgar language he used when he lost his cool. Fox apparently has no access to bleeping technology. It is however a bastion of freedom and self-expression, so he takes great exception to Bregman's claim that his "corporate masters" tell him what to say. This isn't what Bregman said at all, you'll remember. The millionaires funded by billionares comment reaffirms the reality that Fox hosts are paid good money not to speak truth to power but to repeat lies for the powerful. Carlson laughably suggests that Fox grants him "total freedom" to say whatever he believes, but like Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity, everything he does believe is gross. That's convenient for Fox. It defends him when advertisers bail in disgust after one of his racist tract monologues, but they'd cancel him during a commercial break if he started bashing the NRA or endorsing Elizabeth Warren's childcare program.
After clearing the air, Carlson then returned to providing the high quality entertainment we've all come to expect.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Seattle. However, he's more reliable for food and drink recommendations in Portland, where he spends a lot of time for theatre work. His co-adaptation of "Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins is playing NOW at Pioneer Square's Cafe Nordo. All Wonketters welcome.