Tucker Carlson Very Disappointed In Sexual Assault Victims. Yes, Victims.
Last night on the Tucker Carlson Bad Takes Happy Hour, our host weighed in on the accusations against Brett Kavanaugh by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, and also expressed his surprise that she didn't -- along with millions of other women across America who have been assaulted or raped -- just go to the police and have their assailants put in jail. Oh gee, why ever would that be?
Transcript, via Media Matters:
We've got a legal mechanism for doing that. It's not flawless but for almost 250 years our justice system has functioned pretty well. In fact, better than any other country in the world. It's pretty straightforward. If you believe a crime has been committed against you, you report it. That would include theft, embezzlement and, yes, sexual assault. Go to the police. It's not always easy, obviously, but it's still your obligation as a citizen, not at least to protect the rest of us from whomever you believe did it. The police investigate and a judge or jury renders a verdict. That's due process, its the cornerstone of our system.
Carlson then goes on to explain, ever so patiently, that it is very unfair for Brett Kavanaugh and others to be tried "in the media" or in the court of public opinion rather than in a proper courtroom setting. This, of course, is ridiculous, as people who are tried in the courtroom are also often judged in the court of public opinion. Sometimes people not sitting on juries have different opinions on whether or not justice was actually served. Does Tucker Carlson sincerely think there is no one in this country who thinks OJ was guilty? Or, indeed, that some of us believe there are quite a few people sitting in our prisons right now who are actually innocent? The idea of an actual court being the end-all be-all of innocence and guilt is a fallacy.
People are allowed to have whatever opinions they want on this, or any other topic. Our opinions are not sending people to jail. Just as Tucker Carlson is allowed to believe that Brett Kavanaugh is innocent and Christine Blasey Ford is guilty of lying, I am allowed to believe that she is telling the truth. As wrong as he is on this subject, Donald Trump is allowed to believe that the Central Park Five really were guilty, despite the fact that another person confessed and their convictions were vacated. Innocent until proven guilty is for prison, not for personal opinion.
Of course, Tucker Carlson hasn't said a darn thing about the right-wing conspiracy theories accusing prominent celebrities and politicians of being child molesters. That, apparently, is just free speech. He also does not appear to be at all concerned about Brett Kavanaugh's endorsements of bizarre conspiracy theories related to the Clintons and Vince Foster. That, too, would fall under the category of "free speech," I suppose. Innocent until proven guilty in a literal court of law is, I suppose, a right reserved for people Tucker Carlson likes.
Let's just say though, hypothetically, that Blasey Ford did go to the police that night. That, back in the 1980s, she went and told the police that Brett Kavanaugh, the well-heeled, prep-school attending son of a judge, had attempted to rape her. At a party, where drinking was involved. What, exactly, does Tucker Carlson think would have happened? Because my guess is that there would have been a lot of laughing, along with an admonishment of Blasey Ford for having gone to such a party to begin with, because what did she think was going to happen. After all, boys will be boys.
There is a very, very big difference between going to the police and saying you were sexually assaulted and going to the police and saying someone robbed you. The police will never ask you if the robber was perhaps confused and thought you wanted them to rob you. If someone walks up to you with a knife and demands you give them your wallet, the police will say, "Yes, you did good there, better your wallet than your life." They will not say you did not protest enough about having your purse stolen and therefore who can really tell that you didn't want the mugger to take it. They will not say "Well, you were walking down the street with a Louis Vuitton purse, what did you expect?"
When I tell people the story of how I had my cellphone stolen on the bus one time, no one asks me if I am sure I am remembering it correctly.
I have a theory on why women are the primary audience for true crime, for why we are the primary audience for crime procedurals. It's because justice, for us, is a kind of escapism, it's a kind of fairy tale -- about as likely to happen in real life, to us or to anyone we know, as a pumpkin turning into a carriage. Nearly every single woman I know who has reported a rape or a sexual assault to the police has been told, more or less, to fuck off, nearly every one has been retraumatized. We have hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits, just hanging around in warehouses.
For the record, a quick Google search on "Tucker Carlson rape kit backlog" does not turn up anything. In case you were going to check.
#MeToo, is at heart an anarchist movement. It is a movement that says "Your system didn't work for us, and now we are burning that motherfucker down." It is Marx's theory of history playing out on a small scale. People can only take so much bullshit before they revolt and upend the system entirely. Naturally, those who the system has "worked" for are going to take offense to that -- because people don't like to think of themselves as having had any more advantages in life than anyone else.
If Tucker Carlson wants to live in a world where survivors go to the police more than 40% of the time, out of an obligation to protect others, then he needs to be pushing for a system in which they have some kind of a chance to see justice. That, however, seems extremely unlikely to ever happen.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse