Tucker Carlson, host of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” poses for photos in a Fox News Channel studio, in New York, Thursday, March 2, 2107. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Here’s a good one for you. Media Matters for America, a leftist organization dedicated to deliberately misrepresenting the positions of conservative news outlets to further a political agenda, recently published a piece claiming that Fox News Host Tucker Carlson is opposed to war with Iran because of — you guessed it — racism. In an article titled, “Tucker Carlson’s anti-war posture has been racist since the Bush era,” author Madeline Peltz opined that Carlson’s anti-war stance is motivated by racism, rather than a desire to protect U.S. soldiers.
Peltz discusses the disagreement between Carlson and Fox News Host Sean Hannity regarding a potential military conflict with Iran. But it doesn’t take long for her to inject race into the story. “But getting less attention than the Carlson-Hannity divide is the pernicious ideological foundation upon which Carlson’s anti-war stance rests: racism,” she writes. “He objects not to the human cost of another endless, pointless war in the Middle East or the fact that the government lied to Americans for decades to justify these neo-colonial adventures. Instead, Carlson would rather direct our aggression at migrants, Mexicans, and homeless people than Iranians and Iraqis.”
The author points to recent comments made by Carlson on his show as proof of her claim. In a January 2 broadcast, he said:
“In this case, the very people demanding action against Iran tonight, the ones telling you the Persian menace is the greatest threat we face, are the very same ones demanding that you ignore the invasion of America now in progress from the south. The millions, the tens of millions, of foreign nationals living among us illegally; the torrent, more significantly, of Mexican narcotics that has killed and disabled entire generations of Americans — nobody cares, in case you haven’t noticed.”
She then takes issue with Carlson’s comments related to the influx of dangerous opioids into the United States. “He repeated a similar sentiment the next night, blanketly blaming Mexico and China for ‘ flood[ing] our country with narcotics from which tens of thousands of Americans die every single year,’ a phenomenon he describes as bringing about ‘the decline of our own country.'”
The author then brings up incendiary comments Carlson made in 2008 — twelve years ago — about Arabs living in Iraq in a conversation with Bubba the Love Sponge, a well-known shock jock. Among other offensive remarks, he said he has “zero sympathy for [Iraqis] or their culture — a culture where people just don’t use toilet paper or forks.”
Peltz uses these quotes to support her claim that Carlson opposes war because he is a racist. She argues that his objective is “enacting violence on people in and around the United States.” In her conclusion, she asserts that “we should not oppose war in order to incarcerate migrant families and build a wall along the southern border.”
Of course, there are several flaws in Peltz’s arguments. For starters, Carlson’s comments about the dangers of the drug trafficking trade have nothing to do with racism and everything to do with reality. Fentanyl, a drug that is 50 times more potent than heroin, is killing an alarming number of Americans each year. And where do they come from? That’s right. The majority of these narcotics are coming from Mexico over the southern border and from China through the postal system. The Los Angeles Times reported, “the majority [of fentanyl] is smuggled from Mexico, where it is remaking the drug trade as traffickers embrace it over heroin, which is more difficult and expensive to produce.”
In an appearance on CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman discussed the opioids coming into the country from China. “It’s manufactured in China,” he said. “These are all related to cases that involve the mail or the use of the postal system. So this, somebody put this into a box, sealed it up and sent it through the postal system.”
It is a well-known fact that the majority of the opioids that are killing Americans are coming from Mexico and China. The notion that pointing this out somehow indicates racism is absurd. But what about Carlson’s arguments against illegal immigration?
Some progressives are fond of labeling people who disapprove of illegal immigration as bigots who hate brown people. But several polls show that at least half of the nation believes that the government should implement policies that decrease illegal immigration. Does this mean that half of the country is racist? What about the fact that immigration, both legal and illegal, have a disproportionately negative impact on the black community? If anything, it is lax immigration policies that have racist outcomes. Are there people who oppose illegal immigration because of bigotry? Of course. But the notion that all, or even a significant number of those who are against illegal immigration is false.
Lastly, we can address the comments Carlson made twelve years ago. It’s a tactic used by those who embrace cancel culture. Is there a pundit you can’t stand? Just dig up some old comments or tweets that they said over a decade ago and pretend they have the same attitudes today. It worked on Kevin Hart, didn’t it? But a modicum of critical thinking will tell you that Carlson said these comments when he was a guest on a shock jock’s radio program. Simply put, you’re supposed to say shocking things on these shows; it’s the entire reason for their existence.
Does any of this excuse what he said? Of course not. But there is no indication that Carlson holds these views today. The same people who gave Virginia Governor Ralph Northam a pass for wearing blackface and/or dressing up as a KKK member are the ones claiming that Carlson’s comments from 2008 are still relevant. In the end, Peltz’s article is nothing more than another piece of mindless race-baiting that the left can’t seem to give up.
One would think that a leftist who opposes war would use Carlson’s anti-war stance as another race-baiting opportunity rather than identifying an area of commonality. He is not the only conservative who does not want our soldier involved in an unnecessary military conflict. Shouldn’t we be able to look for a level of solidarity even if we disagree on other issues? Unfortunately, if the rest of the anti-war left is like Media Matters, this might not be possible. This is what we might call a “damn shame.”
Let me know what you think in the comments below!
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