Tucker Carlson appeared with Joe Scarborough last night on Dan Abrams' MSNBC Live (click thru for video) to discuss Larry Craig's speech. Normally I rarely watch Tucker; he never fails to irritate. But Abrams' program is frequent evening viewing for us, as he directly follows Olbermann, and Olbermann is a must-see (my teenage son loves his show especially}.
Carlson finished the segment by bragging about gay-bashing someone when he was in high school. Tucker relates a story about how he was approached, as a high school student, by a gay guy in a mens' room in Georgetown. Carlson described how he left the room, got a friend, and they proceeded to return to the mens' room and beat the man up.
And then Abrams - MSNBC's feckin' News Director! - and Scarborough and Carlson all had a good chortle about it!
When did committing a hate crime become a amusing anecdote to brag about on a national cable news cast?
Tucker Carlson should be FIRED by MSNBC ,and Abrams should have to explain why on national tv. One man admits committing a hate crime. The others laugh like it's all good fun and and the victim got what he deserved.
Would the news director be sitting there laughing as some pundit described the fun he had as a kid going to a KKK rally? Would he be giving another news caster the high-five after the fellow described how he broke up a NOW meeting by setting the building on fire? Tucker Carlson admitted on national television that he attacked another man because the man expressed sexual interest in him. Rejecting a would-be suitor is one thing, but leaving and then returning to beat him is a premeditated assault.
Tucker Carlson admits committing a criminal hate crime and his compatriot, Scarborough, and his boss, Abrams are laughing about it like it is both perfectly reasonable and amusing. This is beyond the pale for a news organization.
I had to explain to my son that you do NOT beat up people that may make a pass at you. You say, "No thank you. Please leave me alone." And LEAVE THE ROOM. And you do NOT go back with a friend to harass the person or assault them.
I am disgusted with the performance of all three of these "newsmen". I am especially appalled that Abrams, the News Director, would laugh at this criminal action.
I will no longer watch Tucker Carlson’s program, period. He is a thoughtless, violent, completely self-unaware jerk, apparently, who doesn’t have the intelligence to realize that he committed an assault. (His protestations of his gay-friendliness to the contrary.) He should be fired immediately.
Someone should explain to Carlson that there are a lot of annoying people in the world: panhandlers, street squeegee guys, folks begging on subway cars, loud teenagers in the street, and people who litter, to name the more harmless. Because you are annoyed, irritated or even nervous does not give you the right to assault them.
That is the exact opposite of the message MSNBC delivered last night.
But if Dan Abrams does not acknowledge that he made a mistake, and apologize for giving the impression that Carlson’s actions were appropriate and amusing, the tv get tuned to CNN instead, for good.
If this appalls you as much as it did me, please write a letter or an email to email@example.com, asking that they immediately fire Tucker Carlson and have Dan Abrams explain why the man has been canned. In my case,if MSNBC will not, they will have permanently lost a long-time viewer who has praised their news coverage in the past - even if it means no more "Countdown".
Sorry, Keith. But these guys' behavior - on your channel -was beyond the pale.
UPDATED: Tucker Carlson, through an MSNBC spokewoman, has emailed a self-defense memo to Media Matters, which broke the story.
Let me be clear about an incident I referred to on MSNBC last night: In the mid-1980s, while I was a high school student, a man physically grabbed me in a men's room in Washington, DC. I yelled, pulled away from him and ran out of the room. Twenty-five minutes later, a friend of mine and I returned to the men's room. The man was still there, presumably waiting to do to someone else what he had done to me. My friend and I seized the man and held him until a security guard arrived.
Several bloggers have characterized this is a sort of gay bashing. That's absurd, and an insult to anybody who has fought back against an unsolicited sexual attack. I wasn't angry with the man because he was gay. I was angry because he assaulted me.
We all heard what you said last night, Tucker, and this explanation doesn't wash. You were angry because you described being approached and being "bothered" in a public restroom.. You at no time described it as an "assault", or mentioned that you were scared of bodily harm. You said you were "bothered" - and you didn't ask for being "bothered." You never mention being touched. much less attacked, which implies violence. YOU are the one insulting "all those who have fought back against an unsolicited sexual attack", by comparing some guy making a pass at you to actual rape.
The fact that Tucker is now defending himself by describing this incident as an "assault", and that he is attacking bloggers' comments as "absurd", shows that MSNBC is hearing our feedback. Thank you, fellow Kossacks.