Javier Morgado, supervising producer of NBC's Today Show, said at the NLGJA conference in San Diego that Tucker Carlson, NBC, and MSNBC have handled Carlson's gleeful
endorsement description of fag-bashing in a park bathroom. From the Washington Blade:
"It didn't go far enough," said Javier Morgado, when asked how he felt about the controversy and the way it was handled. He added that he would like to see Carlson apologize.
Morgado, supervising producer of the top-rated morning show, noted that he received e-mails from gay NBC and MSNBC employees alarmed over Carlson's remarks. He addressed the issue Aug. 31 at the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association convention in San Diego.
MSNBC's response has been appalling. Outside of one statement that was a blatant lie, the channel has remained completely silent on the matter, hoping that the fact that they hire lowest-common- denominator sorts like Carlson and Imus will go unnoticed while they rake in big money by catering to racism, sexism and homophobia. The reason he needs to get off the air for this comment, as I noted earlier, is that he seemed like he was bragging about his violence and gay panic and furthering the idea that queers are the appropriate recipients of violence. The fact that MSNBC can't think of a single thing to say about this is puzzling.
But it won't go far enough just to get him to apologize. Carlson's a serial offender and pathological liar with a rap sheet longer than Don Imus's, Robert Novak's, Michelle Malkin's, James Dobson's, Tony Snow's, WorldNetDaily's as a whole, Pat Buchanan's, Matt Drudge's, and Michael Savage's and almost as long as Ann Coulter's, John Gibson's, or Rush Limbaugh's. The man has no sense of decency and there's really no positive reason to keep him on the air. Are we admitting that there aren't any conservatives in this country who are more responsible than him?
- He loves France only because they killed a Green Peace worker back in 1985. From David Halperin, when people were calling for Carlson to be fired back in 2005 for making that comment:
Having myself worked to defend Greenpeace's right to free speech and protest in Miami, Dallas, and elsewhere, why do I agree that Carlson should be penalized for his words? Because there's a difference between the government censoring or criminalizing speech, and a journalistic enterprise exercising sound editorial judgment. MSNBC, having already edited "The Situation" out of primetime (and pitted it against awesome Carlson antagonist Jon Stewart at 11 pm), should now edit out Carlson completely by giving him the boot.
- Don't forget his juvenile and paranoid comments on the mere existence of trans women. From Pam:
Brad Luna of HRC was interviewed on the show, and Tucker went into a -- excuse me -- completely batsh*t dialog with Luna about transgenders and gender reassignment surgery. Carlson was nearly apoplectic and grabbing his "boys" at the thought of someone wanting to transition (clearly only MTF in his mind) and having surgery to remove male genitalia. It came up in the context of John Edwards answering a question about whether he would support a staff member who informed him that they wanted to undergo gender reassignment.
- Carlson called Canada America's "retarded cousin" back in 2005 when responding to Prime Minister Paul Martin's criticism of the US for not acting on climate change strongly enough. From CTV:
Prime Minister Paul Martin may have been chastised for his blunt talk on U.S. relations, but his comments have sparked a spate of anti-Canada rhetoric south of the border.
Last week, MSNBC host Tucker Carlson told his audience Canada "is like your retarded cousin you see at Thanksgiving."
"He's nice, but you don't take him seriously."
Apparently, the esteemed talking head couldn't really come up with much of an argument, so he just spewed insults. When criticized for it, he called Canada "retarded" again.
- He had this to say about Hillary Clinton:
He also said back in 2006 that Hillary Clinton just "bulldozes" through the Democrats because there are no "real men" among them.
Welcome to you both. Sorry, a little editorial comment had to -- I mean, you've gotta admit, when you watch that, it does get right to heart of people's instinctive problems with Hillary, which don't have to do with policy. It's not like Hillary is some communist or something. You know what I mean? She's no more liberal than [Sen.] Barack Obama [D-IL]. She's more conservative probably in some ways. But there's just something about her that feels castrating, overbearing, and scary.
- In an effort to be seen as a Big Man, Carlson has repeatedly called Obama wimpy.
- And Mr. "Not anti-gay in the slightest" said this of Brokeback Mountain:
[A]t some point, Hollywood should give up its mission as a kind of, you know, evangelist for a political persuasion and just shut up and make the movie.
And that's just on MSNBC, just the offensive comments (I didn't really go into any of the lies that I found), and just some of them. Can someone please explain to me why this person deserves national TV time?
The only peep we've heard from MSNBC on this is Tucker's statement filled with lies. Whether it's true or not doesn't even matter - we'll never really know what happened because Carlson's a pathological liar and because the victim of the gay-bashing can't speak for himself - what he said on the air was that it was that it was appropriate for him to go and get a buddy to go beat up a gay man who "bothered" him. Whether he apologizes or not, we're going to be hearing similar endorsements from him in the future.
But on the statement, the Washington Blade's Kevin Naff said:
What's missing from [Carlson's] statement is an apology. Gay bloggers and activists have demanded Carlson apologize for the remarks to no avail. Perhaps the request from Morgado will increase the pressure on Carlson to finally do the right thing.
The only apology I've ever heard from Tucker is when he thought John McCain was asleep during the SOTU this past year. But we're not going to get one until NBC ramps up the pressure or someone actually decides to get rid of him. Then the profuse, Imus-esque apologies will all come out.
This ultimately comes down to a discussion of what voices we're going to privilege. Television will always give only a handful of people the ability to speak above the rest, and those people should do so responsibly. Carlson used his platform to prove his manhood and advance his agenda through lies. MSNBC can't act surprised when the next offensive remark comes out of Tucker's mouth, and the only people they'll have to blame is themselves.
Here's the email address for viewer feedback at MSNBC: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email a letter to the editor: email@example.com
Email the Abrams Report, the show on which he made his comments: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email Tucker Carlson's show: email@example.com
Email Joe Scarborough, too, and ask him why he laughed on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or if you want to send snail mail, here's the address:
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10112
Remember to be polite - here are some easy-to-follow instructions from Media Matters about how to address these situations.