Friday, 21 November 2008

Why I like Tucker and why he's wrong

Most British politics followers will not be familiar with Tucker Carlson. He's an off-the-charts conservative pundit who works for MSNBC and writes for various magazines including Esquire and The Weekly Standard. He also used to have his own show, Tucker, which was my compulsory lunch time viewing.

I like MSNBC a lot. It gets a lot of criticism for being partisan and for being 'in the tank' for Obama during the election. Much of that criticism was unfair. Tucker had his own show, as did, and does, former Republican congressman, Joe Scarborough, and they balanced out the liberal anchors such as Keith Olbermann and the wonderful Rachel Maddow.

But Tucker couldn't find an audience and his show was axed. That's a real shame.

Tucker was wrong about almost everything. On the one small shred of common ground between me and the Republican party -- that America should be an internationalist country -- we even disagreed. But I really enjoy his analysis, his humour, his back and forth with guests and his willingness to be polite and friendly to those which whom he disagreed. It is a really pity MSNBC axed his show and I hope he finds an outlet on TV for his punditry soon.

Turning to specifics I wanted to refer to a recent interview Mr Carlson gave (see below for clip). He was asked for his thoughts on Obama's election and said he was disappointed in the media coverage of the victory because it implied that if McCain had won America would have been a less good country.

Yep, it often did imply that. And it would have been true. It's a shame that none of the other guests on the show pointed out why. Not because America needed to elect a black man to the presidency in order to assuage its guilt for past crimes, but because if McCain had won it would only have been because Obama was black and he, McCain very wasn't.

McCain was supposed not to win. The Bush factor, the war in Iraq, the desire for change, the need for health care reform, economic crisis. If McCain had won even with all of those handicaps there would only have been one reason.

That is not to say, as Tucker implies we are trying to say, that everyone who voted for McCain did so because they didn't want a black man in the White House. But taken as a whole, if America had voted for McCain this year it would have proved something about America that we desperately wanted them not to prove.

So, wrong again, Tucker. But keep it up! My lunch times really aren't the same without you anymore.


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