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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Tucker Carlson: How Low Can You Go?

Recently, the TV Talking Head Most Likely to Annoy Me -- Tucker Carlson -- has made two comments on his desperately inadequate ratings debacle The Situation wherein he praised the French government for sending two agents to blow up the Greenpeace Ship The Rainbow Warrior in 1985 when it was used to protest against French nuclear testing at Muroroa Atoll:
June 22: "Actually, I am objectively pro-France. You know, France blew up the Rainbow Warrior, that Greenpeace ship in Auckland Harbor in the '80s. And I've always respected them."

July 15: "Yes, yes. Third, they blew up the Rainbow Warrior. Twenty years ago on Sunday, they blew up the Greenpeace ship, the Rainbow Warrior, in Auckland Harbor. It was a bold and good thing to do."
Bold and good thing to do? Hmmm. Well, that would depend on your perspective I suppose. It probably didn't look that way to the family of the ship's photographer Fernando Pereira, (pictured above with his daughter Marelle), who was killed in the blast.

It also didn't set too well with Greenpeace's John Passacantado, who wrote to Neal Shapiro and Bill Wolff of MSNBC to demand the network hold Tucker accountable. Budding Novak that he is, Tucker was outraged by Mr. Passacantado's impertinence, and placed a call to him:
TC: Your letter is wrong.  It was vandalism, not terrorism…Your point that I support terrorism is wrong.  I don’t support terrorism.  It was not an act of terrorism, that is an important distinction.  Since you are the head of Greenpeace you should do your research.  The French government did not intend to kill anyone, therefore it is not terrorism.  This is an important distinction.  Vandalizing the ship was impressive on France’s part. I don’t support terror. 

JP: Bombing a ship is terrorism.  Killing a man is murder.

TC: You should know about vandalism, you guys engage in it all the time. 

JP: We are a peaceful organization that does not engage in violence to people or property.

TC: Spraying paint on seals is the same kind of vandalism, blocking entrances with your bodies…

JP: So would you call Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi vandals?

TC: I don’t want to make a generalization. 

JP: Just answer two questions for me: are you proud of what you said and would you say it again?

TC: I have answered all your questions.  Unlike you, I am a busy man and have things to do but I know if I hang up you are going to send out a fundraising letter saying that I hung up on you…

JP: Just answer my two questions.

TC: I am not hanging up.  I am returning the handset to the cradle.
Tucker Carlson was cast in the role of right wing fluff job because he fit the suit. He was willing to play the pudgy creep in the bow tie so the shuffleboard crowd could nod approvingly at the "nice young man" who understood his peers were nothing but drug-gobbling Commie porn hounds and did not appreciate the value of a good day's work.

He has been and always will be an opera of mediocrity, the archetypal white male full of rage that his gender, class and race did not automatically confer upon him dominion over the world. Now he wants to throw over the aging Geritol set whose boots he so scrupulously licked for so long in favor of a new "hip" audience and pop culture credibility.

My dad died when I was a teenager. Not a day goes by that I don't miss him and wish I could bring him back if only for five minutes so he could see me as an adult and we could say the goodbyes that circumstances did not afford us.

With his new "it's only terrorism when brown people do it" mantra, I'm sure Tucker will draw in a whole new legion of fans.

I'm equally certain that Marelle Pereira, who this year celebrated the twentieth anniversary of her father's death, will not be one of them.