An aside by Tucker Carlson on Crossfire today perked up the ears of CNN fans. “This, by the way, is the last day James and I are on television together. I want you to know that I’m enjoying every moment of it,” Carlson said. A few minutes later, Rahm Emanuel suggested Carlson invite John Kerry on the show “before you leave CNN.”
But it wasn’t necessarily an indication that Carlson is leaving CNN. Carlson’s last day on Crossfire is coming this Thursday. Today was his last day with Carville; Paula Begala will be “on the left” tomorrow and Thursday. Klein may offer Carlson a deal to stay at CNN later this week — but it won’t be on Crossfire.
> “The wait is excruciating — even worse than the show itself!,” Wonkette smirks.
Carlson occupies the same role for conservatives in the media landscape that Colmes does for liberals. Colmes is a pale-faced, paint-by-numbers loser whose only job is to be a believable liberal for people who live in trailers. Carlson is CNN’s idea of a conservative. His right-wing ideas come from his changeable, expensive brains instead of his stomach. In the same way that the helpless, ineffectual Colmes is a reassuring image to hardcore conservatives, Carlson puts a soothing face on conservatism for educated East-coast progressives—because even the biggest neo-Marxist wanker from Brown takes one look at Carlson and sees the one man in America he would feel sure of being able to kick the shit out of in a back alley.
That same wanker could probably take Savage or O’Reilly, too, but those guys have supplicants and constituents by the millions who would come rushing to their aid. Not Carlson. In a bar fight, no 35-year-old man with a bow tie has friends. Especially not a smart-aleck closet case like Carlson. You would be hard-pressed to find an American who would not leap to his feet to cheer the sight of Tucker Carlson getting his teeth kicked down an alley, which I suspect is the reason CNN picked him to be their champion of conservatism. He is a patsy and a fraud—the kind of public personality totalitarian regimes used to nurture for years in order to execute for a lack of orthodoxy at some opportune historical moment much later on. That MSNBC hires him thinking they’re getting the real thing, a big ticket to red-state ratings, just shows how clueless that network really is.