Sometimes I wonder why it feels like we’re living in two different countries within the same common borders. And then I watch some of Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News, and the utterly nonsensical begins to make just a little sense.
Carlson, whose show played for a full hour without commercial breaks on Thursday night so that his viewers would be less likely to change the channel to one of the many other networks televising the first public hearing of the January 6 committee, attacked Washington Commanders coach Ron Rivera last night for finishing defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio.
Mediate.com has the clip. I’ve decided to hold my nose and transcribe it.
“Jack Del Rio is a football coach, he’s defensive coordinator for the Washington Commanders, formerly known as the Redskins ’til for some reason that was unacceptable,” Carlson said. “So a few days ago Del Rio pointed out that nobody seems to talk about the BLM riots anymore. Instead they’re pretending to care about January 6. Well, he was attacked for this, ’cause you’re not allowed to like tell the truth on any level whatsoever. So he came back and said he stands by his comments. Here’s what he said.”
The show then rolled a short clip from Del Rio’s Wednesday press conference. It starts with Del Rio saying he’s respectfully expressing himself. It ends with Del Rio saying, “What did I ask? A simple question. Why are we not looking into those things?”
Curiously (or not), the clip ended before the point where Del Rio dismisses the January 6 insurrection as a “dustup at the Capitol.”
“Oh, he thought he had a right to respectfully express himself in the land of the free,” Carlson continued. “But it turns out, no. Just hours ago, the coach of the Washington Commanders, a fascist moron called Ron Rivera, announced that Jack Del Rio has no right to talk, and he’s being fined $100,000 for doing it. Rivera began by claiming that, quote, ‘Lives were lost on January 6,’ which is a lie.
“Then he continued this way, quote, ‘Our organization will not tolerate any equivalency between those who demanded justice in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the actions of those on January 6 who sought to topple our government.’ If you can think of a line more filled with cant dishonesty and propaganda than that, send us a text and tell us what it is, ’cause we can’t. I mean, that’s just flat-out Maoist. Basically what he’s saying is, ‘Shut up. You’re no longer allowed to talk. If you disagree with the orthodoxy, you will be punished.’ This is an NFL team. And it’s happening everywhere.”
To summarize, Carlson’s staff omitted any reference to Del Rio calling the insurrection (or, as one of Carlson’s Thursday night guests suggested, an FBI plot to entrap supporters of Donald Trump) a “dustup.” Also, Carlson called a respected, two-time NFL Coach of the Year a “fascist moron.” Finally, Carlson said it’s a lie to claim that lives were lost on January 6.
And Carlson works for Fox News. Sister company of a major NFL broadcast partner. And yet the NFL, which frankly has no qualms about complaining about me to NBC whenever it sees fit, never says a word about Carlson.
Maybe the NFL is complaining about Carlson privately. If it is, it’s being brazenly ignored. As evidenced by last night’s comments about Ron Rivera and the Commanders.
We’ll be asking the league and the team for a comment in response to Carlson’s attack on Ron Rivera. Chances are that neither will have anything to say. And that’s unfortunate. At a time when not nearly enough people are telling the truth, those who are committed to it need to be willing to stand up and be counted.