Without Fox News, Tucker Carlson Takes Man Cave Rants to Twitter Show — to Smaller Results

Tucker Carlson — who was booted from Fox News in April — has made a serious pile of cash practicing what I like to call the conventional wisdom of the counterintuitive take. His worldview can be whittled down to this: everything you ever heard is wrong. And I mean everything. (He still believes the English alphabet has 26 letters but give him time.) 

Last night, he began the Twitter phase of his lucrative career. Carlson was broadcasting from an undisclosed man cave of a studio — complete with unfinished wood and fishing rods that clashed with his preppy tie and blue blazer attire. It made him look like the country club money man wandering into a meeting of the Secret Society of Maladjusted Lunkheads who all loom right off-camera. 

He then provided his rote 10-minute grocery list of Greenwald-meets-Greene grievances. It’s not clear if the speech was preplanned or tied to the news of the destruction of the Kakhovka dam on the Dnieper River, but Carlson used the catastrophe as his gleeful jumping off point. It was less than 24 hours since the incident and Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy denounced the act as Russian terrorism. 

Anyone who has ever watched Tucker knew where this was going. Carlson argued that it was likely — surprise! — a Ukraine terrorist operation. He said the largely held worldview that Zelenskyy was a courageous defender of his homeland was completely incorrect. Instead he is a “sweaty and rat-like comedian turn oligarch, a persecutor of Christians.” Not nice! Notice the drive-by quality of the “persecutor of Christians,” which is a classic Carlson fact-free zone created by, uh, Tucker Carlson.

Carlson’s long-honed strategy is to call bullshit on his enemies — in this case Bill Kristol and Sen. Lindsey Graham — for sculpting the conventional view that the dam explosion was a Putin operation. He then provides his own bullshit report from the upside-down world. His theory for Zelenskyy being responsible is that Putin isn’t dumb enough to do this and you’d know this if you, dear watcher, weren’t bought and brainwashed by corporate media. Carlson offered the Nord Stream pipeline explosion as precedent for Zelenskyy blowing things up. The small problem is it has not been proven that Zelenskyy or Ukraine destroyed Nord Stream.

From there it was the worst cover version of Leonard Cohen’s “Everybody Knows.” Everybody knows 9/11 didn’t go down as you believe, everyone knows Oswald didn’t mow down JFK, everyone knows some “skinny dude in a dress is a girl.”

It all built up to a Carlson crescendo. The biggest news of yesterday isn’t climate crisis, transgender wars or Ukraine. No, it is the discovery that the Pentagon has UFO aircraft and the alien bodies of UFO pilots in their possession. “We know in a normal country, this news would qualify as a bombshell the story of the millennium, but in our country, it doesn’t,” said Carlson in his faux sad voice. 

Here’s the thing. A mid-level bureaucrat claiming the Pentagon has aircraft and bodies stashed away is a well-versed song by UFO guys for over 30 years. If you have seven hours to kill, I wrote about it in 2020. The thing is the story is always a “heard it from a friend who heard from a friend” account. No one has firsthand evidence and to believe this is to believe that the notoriously leaky Pentagon has been able to keep this a secret for my entire lifetime. Think of it as the “Seinfeld” episode in which Jerry demands Kramer to actually “show me the levels” he could build in his apartment.

Carlson wrapped up by proclaiming our country is filled with well-meaning folks “manipulated by lies, silenced by taboos. It is unhealthy and it’s dehumanizing, and we’re tired of it. As of today, we’ve come to Twitter which we hope will be the shortwave radio under the blankets.”

And that’s Tucker on Twitter’s central problem, well, besides the lies. His act works best when it is accompanied by the graphics and bombast of an actual network news program. Carlson’s followers on Twitter praised Tucker’s return, but some said it was real bummer to have the family gather around the iPhone in order to watch. Demagogues work best on the big screen or in torch-lit stadiums. 

Poor Tucker. He was big and then the picture got small.

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