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Posted by on Mar 21, 2018 in Blog, Essays, Politics, What's Left | 5 comments

Tucker Carlson is Full of Shit

 

 

Occasionally, I subject myself the cruel misfortune of watching the FOX News Channel.

It’s excruciating.

The disgraced propaganda machine popular “news network” once domineered by two serial sexual predators (Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly) is the longtime love nest of Republicans.  It’s beloved by fundamentalist Christians.  It’s the media harbor and spotlight for ideological conservatives, which comprise the vast majority of its dwindling and dying off elderly viewership.  It’s a favorite media hangout for on-air screwballs willing to junk all the customary standards of journalistic decency in exchange for national fame and a quick buck.

FOX News has become the Pravda of the Trump Administration.  Desperate for constant fawning adoration which hints at something far more deeply troubling, President Trump compulsively watches the network several hours each day.  FOX News eagerly parrots any plausible-sounding lie and pimps every conspiracy theory that stands even a remote a chance of being swallowed up by millions of haters who faithfully line up at the trough willing to lap up the network’s crackpot dogma.

For example, FOX News frequently promotes various “Deep State” plots.  On-air personalities routinely try to debunk the science of man-made climate change.  The network has repeatedly been exposed for manipulating photos and videos.  FOX demonizes anyone construed to question the “America First” agenda.  They’re tucked deep inside the pocket of the Koch Brothers, the Blackwaters, and religious kooks.  And, they continue to bang the war drums against anyone outside their diminishing circle of wackos — including former President Obama, liberals, intellectuals, Hollywood, the European Union, immigrants, Muslims, minorities, high school students, Blacks, civil rights activists, the cast of Hamilton, and their all-time favorite punching bag, Hillary Clinton, even though it’s been 15 months since she was relevant about anything.

Indeed, FOX News is a rats nest of disinformation.  A self-parody of truth.  A black comedy.

What follows isn’t merely an honest mistake, which does sometimes happen in journalism.  This is a news story which is intentionally misleading.  The story is willfully intended to conjure up fear.  It instills hate.  Watch this short “news” segment which aired last night on FOX News on the subject of immigration and how some neighborhoods in America are changing.  The clip runs only 1 minute and 21 seconds long, so it’s a quick view:

 

 

The story is one-sided.  But at first glance, it sounds plausible.  A small American town is changing rapidly because of a recent influx of new immigrants.  This is happening in many communities across the country.  There’s no denying this.

The problem is, Tucker Carlson is lying.  He fabricates fear.  He wants to scare the hell of out people — mostly old White people who see new immigrants moving in next door and shit their Depends.

Don’t take my word for it.  Here are the facts.

Carlson cites the Pennsylvania coal town of Hazelton.  The town once had a tiny Latino population, which in recent years has become a majority in number.  According to Carlson:  “People in Hazelton return to a town where they can’t communicate with the people who now live there.”  The claim is that most of the new immigrants don’t speak English.

That’s not true.  Data from the American Census Bureau which took about 2 minutes to pull up on Google reveals that 84 percent of Hazelton residents speak English well, which isn’t much of a change from the same data source decades ago.  But wait, there’s more, especially for those who know something about the history of this region of the country.  The real irony is that Hazelton exists only because it was initially populated in very large numbers by Eastern- and Southern-European immigrants, a majority of which didn’t speak much English when they arrived.  Those are the ancestors of most who live in Hazelton — immigrants who didn’t speak English very well.  Hence, 100 years ago Carlson might have been right.  Most of Hazelton’s population had difficulty communicating in the English language.  So, Carlson ended up being correct — albeit a century too late.

Typical conservative….always behind the times.

There’s more misleading innuendo.  All these new immigrants made Hazelton’s crime rate soar, right?  Again, credible data exists which clearly refutes this.  Despite an obvious demographic shift in local population (more immigrants), crime is down significantly over the past two years — by a whopping 40 percent.

READ STORY AND WATCH VIDEO:  Crime down by 40 percent in Hazleton (Jan. 18, 2018)

To be clear, this nation must have a serious discussion as to acceptable levels of immigration in the United States.  We should be debating this.  That’s a topic with legitimate points of view on multiple sides worthy of contemplation.  But let’s do this with facts, not falsehoods or hyperbole.

Let’s not get sidetracked by lazy talking heads like Tucker Carlson on FOX News who constantly muddy every issue they take on with their misleading agendas.  Falsely asserting the residents of a community can’t communicate with each other because of new immigrants panders to the worst instincts in people.  It stokes hate and fear.  Implying immigrants make our cities more dangerous is junk journalism.  What makes these wrongs so utterly detestable is — they are not true.  There is clear evidence to the contrary.

This problem isn’t just emblematic.  It’s a pandemic of most conservative media.  Virtually none of the millions of regular FOX News viewers who viewed the misleading report will fact check anything.  They’ll eagerly turn on the likes of Carlson, and Hannity, and the rest of the Right-wing hate parade and willfully march along.

They believe whatever they’re told.

_____

 

5 Comments

  1. Heartfelt thanks for calling out the assholes at FOX News. It doesn’t happen often enough. Their persistence is perverting the meaning of conservatism, to the point of effectively brainwashing tens of millions of viewers, has to stop. It just has to.

  2. It also appears that the total population of Hazelton, Pa. remained stable, at about 25,000, from 2000 to 2017. Now what should that tell you? But for the influx of immigrants, the place would likely be on its way to becoming a ghost town, with a declining population of aging blue collar whites, formerly employed in now moribund industries, ekeing out a living on Social Security and Medicare, while its young adults migrate (as in ‘flee’) to the cities, where they can find education, employment and a diverse cultural experience.

    The places in rural America that are avoiding that fate – isolation, inevitable stagnation and eventual demise – are the ones that have welcomed an influx of immigrants who bring new blood and life to their communities.

    Duh, Tucker. Duh.

  3. Nolan,
    I think you are being a bit over the top here. I was watching Tucker last night when the comment was made. I doubt the second statement was fact checked, nor was it meant to be taken literally.

    Analogy: Bartonville has gone from having 1% Texans to 50%. Now you go back there and everyone is wearing a 10 gallon hat.

    I would assume the 1% to 50% was accurate and the 10 gallon hat was metaphorical.

    Even people as dumb as us Fox viewers realize that many or most Hispanics also speak English.

    • NOLAN REPLIES:

      Thanks for posting an alternative opinion, Barton. That’s always welcome.

      I see nothing wrong with good-natured hyperbole, within reason. Unfortunately, Carlson’s diatribe fits a long anti-immigrant narrative that fuels the “America First” movement. It’s not heavy-handed, but the outcome is the same. The base is misled into believing “the problem” is much worse than it actually is.

      Once again, feel free to comment anytime. It’s often refreshing to get a reasonable perspective from the other side.

      — ND

  4. Once again you’ve nailed it. With the possible exception of Shep Smith, that “news” station is populated with frauds who have sold their souls in pursuit of ratings and a corrupt agenda. And what to make of Fox’s viewership that allows itself to be lead around by the nose evidencing not a shred of ability to think critically? We can only hope that entire organization comes crashing down when the Democratic Party sweeps in November and Trump meets his inevitable demise. And let’s not forget Limbaugh’s role in this. He pioneered the model of delusional and divisive right wing media talking points which Fox extrapolated for TV.

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