Tucker Carlson’s Calvacade Of Fail

Everyone’s least favorite NeoConfederate sh*t stirrer is having a REALLY bad week.  Hot on the heels of his epic “EXPOSE!” of Eric Holder (in which he reveals that Holder participated in ACTIVISM!!), he teams up with Drudge, Hannity, and Jake Tapper to lay this cycle’s version of the Whitey Tape on us, because it was like totally suppressed by the LIEBRUL MEDIA (even though Hannity’s and Tapper’s own outfits covered it back in 2007):

On the eve of the first presidential debate, the conservative website The Daily Caller Tuesday circulated previously unreported clips of a five-year-old speech in which then-Senator Barack Obama praised his controversial former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and suggested the federal government discriminated against the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

“I’ve got to give a special shout-out to my pastor. The guy who puts up with me. Counsels me. Listens to my wife complain about me. He’s a friend. And a great leader,” the president said of Wright in an address to the Hampton University Annual Ministers’ Conference in Hampton, Va., in June 2007 in video posted by The Daily Caller and first aired on Fox News.

ABC News ran that clip in a March 2008 piece on “World News Tonight with Charles Gibson.” At the time, prepared remarks of Obama’s speech were released by the campaign and a local newspaper posted a nine-minute edited video of the address. What ABC News and many others, including The Daily Caller founder Tucker Carlson, covered at the time was based on that edited video and the prepared remarks.

As ABC News reported at the time, Obama implied the Bush administration had ignored what he called “quiet riots” in the United States — serious instances of poverty and hopelessness that had gone unaddressed by the federal government.

But the full version of the speech, posted on The Daily Caller website this evening, shows Obama taking that argument a step further, suggesting the federal government overlooked the needs of residents of New Orleans suffering in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, as opposed to victims of other disasters in other parts of the country.

“Down in New Orleans, where they still have not rebuilt 20 months later,” Obama says, “there’s a law, federal law — when you get reconstruction money from the federal government — called the Stafford Act. And basically it says, when you get federal money, you’ve got to give a 10 percent match. The local government’s got to come up with 10 percent. Every 10 dollars the federal government comes up with, local government’s got to give a dollar.

“Now here’s the thing, when 9/11 happened in New York City, they waived the Stafford Act — said, ‘This is too serious a problem. We can’t expect New York City to rebuild on its own. Forget that dollar you got to put in. Well, here’s 10 dollars.’ And that was the right thing to do. When Hurricane Andrew struck in Florida, people said, ‘Look at this devastation. We don’t expect you to come up with y’own money, here. Here’s the money to rebuild. We’re not going to wait for you to scratch it together — because you’re part of the American family.’ … What’s happening down in New Orleans? Where’s your dollar? Where’s your Stafford Act money? Makes no sense. Tells me that somehow, the people down in New Orleans they don’t care about as much.”

Carlson told Fox Tuesday night the clips were evidence the then-candidate was “whipping up race hatred and fear. Period.”

Joan Walsh had one of the better responses to this nonsense:

…we need to give most white people the benefit of the doubt: Most of us aren’t in revolt against multiracial America, or the president who heralded its arrival before many were ready.

But sadly, some white people are just that crazy, and Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson are their Pied Pipers, leading them off a cliff.

[***]

…they engaged in the most rancid racial fear-mongering I’ve seen in a long time. Hannity hailed the speech as “a glimpse into the mind of the real Barack Obama,” and he tried out his own black preacher voice for special effect. Carlson insisted Obama was preaching racial division to his black audience and sputtered, “This is not a dog whistle, this is a dog siren!”

He would know.

Mainly, their complaint came down to: How dare a black president (or at the time, presidential candidate) talk to a black audience about black poverty and suffering! And the legacy of slavery, and the endurance of racism! Has he no shame?

[***]

Side note: What we have here is an epidemic of white guys ruling on the correct way for other people to identify themselves in ethnic terms. First Scott Brown insists Elizabeth Warren “obviously” doesn’t have Native American heritage because she doesn’t look like she does. Now Tucker is telling us he knows how Obama really talks. On Twitter, Adam Weinstein quipped: “Scott Brown and Tucker Carlson should start a ‘School of Telling People What Indians Look Like and Blacks Sound Like.’”

Joan goes on to sum up the REAL takeaway from the Kouncil Of Konservative Kommentator dogwhistling vuvuzela honking:

It pains me to pay attention to Carlson and Hannity. They’re hucksters and I mostly ignore them. And Matt Drudge too, who hyped the video much of Tuesday evening. They’re all trolls. But they’re singing from a GOP hymnal that we’ll hear more from before Nov. 6. It’s getting uglier, but it’s also getting dumber. They’re losing, and they know it.”

And now, a moment of thanks to Jon Stewart for starting Tucker on a slide away from respectability that with any luck is nearing its end:

(h/t Joan Walsh, John Cole, Anne Laurie, Zandar, Ta-Nehisi Coates)

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