It's easy to forget that Tucker Carlson is still out there, poisoning minds while gleefully cackling at children’s skinned knees and the government’s latest feline leukemia statistics. When Fox News decided in April that it had had its fill of insensate evil (or at least its financial risk) and fired Carlson, he slithered into a dark, yawning abyss of perduring woe—i.e., the social media platform formerly known as Twitter—and started doing a show for select members of his He-Man Woman-Haters Club.
And while Fox News let him get away with cheerleading the COVID-19 virus and propping up murderous war criminal Vladimir Putin, the network apparently had some limits—and Carlson’s latest blatherings clearly show why they’re better off without him.
Since the timeless indignity of former President Barack Obama’s tan suit wasn’t quite enough to permanently tarnish the former president’s legacy, Carlson recently brought up a long-debunked and wholly implausible 2008 accusation.
Carlson unearthed the allegations, which were initially made by Larry Sinclair before then-senator Obama's first presidential election, on Wednesday. Sinclair claimed he smoked crack with Obama before they had sex in 1999.
"In 2008, it became really clear that Barack Obama had been having sex with men and smoking crack," Carlson said on The Adam Carolla Show. "A guy came forward, Larry Sinclair, and said, 'I'll sign an affidavit,' and he did, 'I'll do a lie detector,' and he did."
"'I smoked crack with Barack Obama and had sex with him,' that was obviously true," Carlson continued on Sinclair's claim, alleging the media was scared to report the allegations due to fear of losing "access" to the rising political star.
Needless to say, it wasn’t “obviously true” that Obama had done any of this. If anything, it was obviously false. Because Sinclair, the accuser, is a known scam artist who’d spent time in prison for fraud, and who had an active arrest warrant in Colorado at the time he made the accusations. And yes, Sinclair did take—and fail—a lie detector test. For some reason, Tucker felt the need to leave that minor detail out.
In June 2008, just before Sinclair hosted a press conference to discuss his wild allegations, Politico ran a story exposing his long history as a criminal and a huckster.
The Duluth, Minn., resident is the sort of figure who appears at the margins of every presidential campaign, and both Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton had their own obscure accusers with dramatic allegations. But as the old media ignores him, Sinclair has taken full advantage of the Internet, and a video in which he makes his claims that have been viewed more than 900,000 times on YouTube.
Sinclair’s biography, though, may get in the way of that pitch: Public records and court filings reveal that he has a 27-year criminal record, with a specialty in crimes involving deceit. The record includes forgery charges in two states, one of which drew Sinclair a 16-year jail sentence. The Pueblo County, Colo., Sheriff’s Office also has an outstanding warrant for Sinclair’s arrest for forging an acquaintance’s signature and stealing her tax refunds.
Long story short, Sinclair’s press conference was a technicolor shit show that proved exactly nothing, and he was arrested on an outstanding warrant immediately afterward. In fact, the story was so out there, even Greta Van Susteren—whose career has taken her from CNN to Fox News to Newsmax to doodling pictures of grossly misshapen genitalia on bathroom stalls at highway truck stops (to be fair, that’s just a prediction based on her current trajectory)—refused to cover the story.
But it’s a different era now—one in which Fox News has competition from its far-right flank—and manufactured Democratic scandals are currently all the rage.
Then again, right-wingers have been at this for some time. It’s a tried-and-true tactic Republican rat-fuckers have used on everyone from former Sen. John Kerry (the Swift Boat “scandal”) to former Sen. Hillary Clinton (Benghazi, et al.) in order to take a candidate's perceived strength and turn it into a weakness. Former President George W. Bush apparently avoided serving in Vietnam by joining the Texas National Guard, and was later suspended from the Guard for missing his annual physical. So Kerry’s military service was largely seen as a political plus. The dishonest Swift Boat campaign largely neutralized that advantage.
And after Hillary Clinton burnished her foreign-policy bona fides by serving as secretary of state, House Republicans attempted to turn her tenure into a liability. Current House Speaker Kevin McCarthy even admitted at the time that the Benghazi hearings were all about tanking her poll numbers.
Well, they’re doing it again—this time to President Joe Biden. The long-established narrative about Biden is that he’s a decent, compassionate government servant with the deep experience needed to get things done. The current wild, and entirely unproven, accusations right-wing media outlets are leveling at him—that he’s a corrupt money-grubber who trades U.S. policy for cash—goes right to the heart of this perceived strength. And the fake narrative Republicans are trying to establish is also a welcome distraction from Donald Trump’s myriad legal problems and clear, scarcely concealed corruption.
Similarly, Sinclair’s accusations—which were largely ignored by even right-wing media outlets at the time—appeared designed to tarnish Obama’s solid reputation as a decent family man. Gay sex is hardly incompatible with decent family men, but logic is not what fuels the twisted, homophobic little minds who believe anything Carlson says.
Of course, anyone can play this game. For instance, in 2016, a woman accused Trump of raping her when she was 13 years old. If anything, that accusation was more plausible than any of the recent bribery allegations made against Biden. Trump was a well-known Jeffrey Epstein confederate, and the woman in question was all set to go public before canceling a scheduled press conference in the wake of alleged death threats.
It’s a story that Carlson might call “obviously true” had it involved a Democrat, even though the accuser presumably didn’t have a “27-year criminal record, with a specialty in crimes involving deceit” like Sinclair did. And it’s a story that isn’t continually repeated on MSNBC or other left-leaning outlets, because there was no firm evidence to support its veracity. And when your whistleblower backs out or disappears or can’t verify your wildest fantasies about your opponent, the responsible thing to do is drop the story.
But the GOP is allergic to responsible governance these days. And as a result, they need to throw up as much dust as they can to make it look like “everyone” is corrupt—when, in fact, only one party’s presidential frontrunner currently faces 91 felony charges across four separate jurisdictions.
Tucker surely knows this, of course. He may be evil, but he’s not completely dense. Though, sadly, he appears to think most of the rest of us are.
Check out Aldous J. Pennyfarthing’s four-volume Trump-trashing compendium, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link. Or, if you prefer a test drive, you can download the epilogue to Goodbye, Asshat for the low, low price of FREE.