In Which Tucker Carlson Nurses A Grudge

Some years ago, back when Tucker Carlson had a show called Crossfire, Jon Stewart was a guest. Stewart eviscerated Carlson (who was still affecting his idiotic bow tie in those days) for being a yammering lipflap with nothing more to say than shouted slogans from the extreme edge of the ultra-right.
The clip is legendary, both for the sight of Carlson being gutted with the truth and for his inability to cross swords with anything approaching the skill and wit of a clear intellectual superior. Apparently Tucker is the sort to carry a grudge…for a long time.

Writing in The Daily Beast, Carlson finally gets to vent his swollen little spleen at Stewart over the appearance of Jim Cramer (CNBC) on TDS.

The climax came as Stewart put up a number of grainy clips of Cramer describing how to artificially (and unethically) depress a company’s stock price. The video was damning. Cramer looked sweaty.
Stewart summed up the significance of what Cramer had said on the tape: “You can draw a straight line from those shenanigans to the stuff that was being pulled at Bear and at AIG, and all this derivative-market stuff,” he said sternly.
Except that you can’t draw any such line. In the video, Cramer hadn’t mentioned derivates or securitized loans or credit-default swaps, or any of the other exotic financial instruments that caused the fall of AIG and the current recession. There’s no evidence that Jim Cramer had anything to do with any of that, and Stewart didn’t offer any.

What the fuck is wrong with the brains on the right? There just isn’t any reasoning in there. Stewart never accused Cramer of being directly responsible for the specific exotic instruments which led to the collapse of AIG. He DID accuse Cramer of backing the sort of shady, unethical, fucked-up-prioritizing that underpins the entire Wall St. ethos…which directly resulted in the collapse of AIG. But, of course, Tucker has never been one to bother with subtlety when there’s a Hannity-esque exception to play.

As the reader of Tucker’s little revenge piece clicks over to the page two the motive not only becomes clear, Tucker comes right out and says it:

I know this from my own run-in with Stewart, on CNN’s Crossfire a few weeks before the 2004 election. Stewart spent a couple of segments lecturing Paul Begala and me about how we were somehow “helping the politicians and the corporations,” a charge that baffled me then (I’ve never particularly liked either one), as it does now.

More willful blindness here. Tucker simply refuses to accept that his and Begala’s phony X-Treme Debate bullshit was well characterized by Stewart as being part of the problem. There was never any subtle discourse on Crossfire – never any attempt to find common ground. It was Begala making the argument from the LEFT and Tucker bloviating from the RIGHT, the twain never to meet, anywhere, over anything, for any reason. And that, sadly, was being passed off as thoughtful political analysis. Nothing thoughtful about it, nor anything analytical. But, and of course, Tucker takes that criticism of form and makes it out to be a personal attack…without bothering to ask, “Gee…perhaps ultra-partisan ranting really doesn’t do anything to raise the level of political discourse, public awareness, or find workable solutions to real problems.”
I’ll post the clip below, but you can see that Tucker does not care for being scolded, considers himself smarter than Jon Stewart (a highly doubtful proposition…good comedians are fuckin’ smart), and takes a run at trying to be funny (hehe…the attempt is amusing). In any case, Tucker had his ass handed to him, and he has clearly not gotten over it. He has, however, ditched the bow tie.

Tucker continues: Stewart fails to ask the tough questions!
Pay attention, bow tie…Stewart is not a journalist. His show is not a real news program. He is not an attack dog, despite being better at it than you are.
Carlson accuses Stewart of preaching to the converted; not going after the new administration with the same venom he had for the old one.
Are you still paying attention, Tucker?
1. Perhaps you need to see the clip from last night’s TDS, in which Stewart covered Obama’s proposal to cut the health benefits of veterans who have private insurance. I believe the phrase was, “What the fuck is wrong with you?”
You should recall that phrase…one assumes you hear it often.
2. Perhaps when the new administration has cocked up everything it touches over two full terms and crushes America into financial disaster, war, torture, lying, illegal wiretapping, the suspension of habeous corpus and the shredding of the Constitution, there will be a bit more venom. I mean, really, Tucker…you must admit that Bush provided a target rich environment.

Tucker concludes with something of an obituary:

Like most sermons, Stewart’s showdown with Jim Cramer ended with a neat moral lesson. Once journalists who cover business regain their sense of responsibility and “start getting back to fundamentals on the reporting,” Stewart said gravely, “I can get back to making fart noises and funny faces.”
But it’s too late. The great comedian is gone, maybe forever. Jon Stewart is stuck in lecture mode.

LOL. Stewart’s ratings are through the roof, and I have some bad news for you, Sunshine…those folks aren’t tuning in for the lectures.
The great bow tie is gone. Tucker Carlson is stuck being a parody of his former self, desperately hunting for something controversial to say. You can smell the jealousy from Taiwan. Carlson would love nothing more than for Jon Stewart to attack him! Maybe then people would start paying attention again…they’d start listening again. Sure they would! Because Tucker Carlson is a smart, funny man…smarter than that phony Jon Stewart, who gets all the attention and doesn’t really do anything or ask the tough questions!
Fucking Jon Stewart. He doesn’t even wear a bow tie!

Here’s the clip: Jon Stewart making Tucker Carlson his bitch. Classic. Also worth noting – this entire bit by Carlson in The Daily Beast is nothing more than a rehash of the same lame accusations and spindly defense he raised on Crossfire. He got no traction then (being obviously wrong and out of your depth tends to be like that), and time has not sharpened the points at all.


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