Tucker Carlson Has New Target In His Crosshairs, Because He Is A Stochastic Terrorist
Tucker Carlson last night demanded that conservative folk hero Roger Stone receive an undeserved pardon. Stone was convicted of witness tampering and obstruction, which are still crimes even if you're white and friends with Donald Trump. Carlson insisted that the person who truly deserves punishment isn't Stone himself but the judge who presided over his trial, Amy Berman Jackson.
Carlson smeared the US district court judge as a "Democratic activist wearing robes" and argued that Jackson should be impeached. Ever since Trump's justifiable impeachment, conservatives have wanted to impeach anyone, even a ham sandwich, in retaliation. (Remember when all of a sudden the GOP talking points were that the Supreme Court is composed of "nine unelected judges IN ROBES"? That was weird. I don't know if they were trying to make them sound femme or satanic, probably both.)
CARLSON: Stone's sentence was delivered by an Obama-appointed judge called Amy Berman Jackson. You often hear people say that our justice system has been infected by politics. Amy Berman Jackson is living proof that it has been. She's an open partisan who has so flagrantly violated the bounds of constitutional law and fairness that it's shocking she's still on the bench. If there's anyone in Washington who deserves to be impeached, it's Amy Berman Jackson.
These are, of course, all lies inconsistent with Jackson's actual record. Carlson's "proof" that Jackson's a "liberal hack" is how she apparently persecuted Rick Gates and Paul Manafort "before they were even been convicted of anything." Jackson revoked Manafort's bail and issued him striped pajamas because the prosecution accused him of witness tampering, which I repeat for the legally impaired is a crime. There's zero evidence Jackson was especially harsh to Gates. True, she didn't offer him a massage or anything, but this was federal court not a resort and spa that caters to Trump's corrupt associates.
Carlson contends that Stone's 40-month sentence is "more than many murderers in this country serve in jail," which is so absurd you're not actually surprised Carlson would say it on television. Amber Guyger is a former police officer and still currently white, and she was recently sentenced to 10 years for fatally shooting Botham Jean. She'll do at least five. Roger Stone might resemble the Penquin from the 1960s Batman TV series, but the real world doesn't share Gotham City's revolving prison door for murderers.
Carlson said more easily disproved nonsense about the Stone case, but what stands out to me is how Carlson demonizes Jackson and comes repulsively close to directly inciting violence against her. In the Fox News World Order, the criminals are the good guys and anyone who dares enforce laws that inconvenience them are the villains. The only relevant question for modern Republicans is whether you stand with Trump.
CARLSON: During the Mueller investigation, Jackson placed Rick Gates and Paul Manafort under house arrest pending their trials. Both are middle-aged men with no criminal history. Neither was a flight risk. Meanwhile, this very moment, tonight, countless violent predators in New York and California walk free without even posting bail.
This clown is such a racist. He's not even subtle. What is this imaginary dystopia within Carlson's tiny head where "countless violent predators" in states with brown people roam free without having to worry about bond. Black people have rotted in jail for months or even years while waiting for a trial. Gates and Manafort had "no criminal history" only because they are well-connected white men who skirted accountability for decades. They were never busted for smoking weed in a public park or loitering too long outside an apartment building. They avoided the stamp of CRIMINAL, PLEASE TREAT ME LIKE GARBAGE FOREVER AND EVER. Many working people save up for years to afford a weekend away in lodgings half as comfortable as where Gates and Manafort were confined for their house arrest. Carlson, who is not a federal judge, declares that neither was a "flight risk," but Jackson did believe Manafort might skip town because of his significant ties and assets abroad.
Carlson accused Jackson of lying on the bench. He accused her of pursuing a partisan vendetta against Stone. He warned that if "they can do this to Roger Stone and win accolades from CNN as they do, they can certainly do this to you. Maybe some day, they will." I don't know how much of a cautionary tale Roger Stone's sentence provides, considering he's guilty of everything. Stone is also the same asshole who posted threatening and vaguely anti-semitic photos of Jackson on Instagram during the damn trial. That's why Jackson rightly forbade Stone from speaking publicly about the case again, but Carlson omits that fact and instead claims that Jackson has "revoked" Stone's First Amendment rights.
CARLSON: What you're watching is the capricious authoritarianism of a Democratic activist wearing robes. It's terrifying.
None of this is "capricious." What's terrifying is the president of the United States actually pardoning his buddies who were prosecuted for their criminal efforts to protect him. Carlson's segment on Jackson was especially appalling and that's saying something. Jackson isn't a politician, but Carlson is demonizing her as part of the existential threat to everyone who watches his show. He does this without any concern for her reputation or her safety. The facts and simple common decency don't matter to Carlson, whose show still improbably has advertisers.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."