Friday August 04, 2017
No Nip for Tuck
I finally got around to reading Kelefa Sanneh's profile of Fox host Tucker Carlson, “Tucker Carlon's Fighting Words,” which was in the April 10 issue of The New Yorker—the one with the Barry Blitt drawing of a fat-assed Pres. Trump golfing on the White House lawn.
Was it worth it? Did I learn anything?
Well, I learned that Carlson's father was a former U.S. Marine who became a journalist and then, when Tucker was 10, married Patricia Swanson “of the frozen food Swansons.” (Tucker's mother left when he was 6 and he's never seen her again.) I learned that Tucker “loves rascals”—from Rev. Al Sharpton to Roger Stone—and that he sees himself in that light. I like this description of him by Sanneh: “'Old money' describes Carlson's aesthetic but not, exactly, his circumstances.” I learned that he often flummoxes guests on his show by asking them questions that are tough/impossible to answer—such as, to Bill Nye, what percentage of global warming is caused by human activity?—and that he's more offended by liberal reaction to Trump's incompetence/buffoonery than he is by the actual presidential incompetence/buffoonery.
But the piece wasn't hard-hitting enough. In the Jon Stewart/“Crossfire” contretemps, Sanneh seems to favor “Crossfire,” which is odd, and his descriptions of right-wingers are unseasonably mild. Milo Yiannopoulos is “the crusader against political correctness”; the Roger Ailes sexual harassment suits are part of “a series of embarassments” for Fox.
Bradlee: You don't have it.