NYT, 30 April 2022: Inside the Apocalyptic Worldview of ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’
Subtitled: “Night after night, the host of the most-watched show in prime-time cable news uses a simple narrative to instill fear in his viewers: ‘They’ want to control and then destroy ‘you.’
A New York Times analysis of 1,150 episodes reveals how Tucker Carlson pushes extremist ideas and conspiracy theories into millions of households, five nights a week. He’s done so since the beginning, but the show has gotten darker. Mr. Carlson, 52, has one of the largest megaphones in all of cable television. When President Donald J. Trump left office, Mr. Carlson filled the void on the fight.
Here’s how the show works.
“They want to control and destroy you.” Isn’t this the definition of paranoia? They are out to get you?
This is a long piece that I’m not about to sit through — it’s a series of video clips, with quotes and texts in the corner — but as discussed before I’m pretty sure Carlson himself isn’t paranoid. He’s a con artist. He’s playing to the paranoia of his audience. He’s a fundamentally dishonest person. He’s admitted as much.
It’s another example of how it seems that conservatives live in a fantasy reality.
Here’s another example, from yesterday’s paper.
NYT, 28 April 2022: G.O.P. Concocts Fake Threat: Voter Fraud by Undocumented Immigrants, subtitled, “Far from the U.S.-Mexico border, Ohio’s Senate primary shows how the Republican obsession with the fiction of a stolen election has spawned a new cause for fear of illegal immigration.”
Print title: “Republicans Devise Fake Threat To Election, by Way of the Border: Distorting Immigration Fears of Ohio Voters.”
Republican leaders and candidates are increasingly claiming without basis that unauthorized immigrants are gaining access to the ballot box.
Voter fraud is exceptionally rare, and allegations that widespread numbers of undocumented immigrants are voting have been repeatedly discredited. Yet that fabricated message — capitalizing on a concocted threat to advance Mr. Trump’s broader lie of stolen elections — is now finding receptive audiences in more than a dozen states across the country, including several far from the U.S.-Mexico border.
There are many ways to respond to this, but one is to wonder why Republicans are so afraid that immigrants will vote Democratic. Ponder that. Yes, that’s the obvious reason. But keep pondering.
And ponder why so many of these people want to move to the US, as so many emigrants from Europe have done over four centuries (including my own ancestors, from England and Ireland and elsewhere in Europe, in the mid-19th century. In the era when Irish immigrants to the US were demonized — “No Irish Need Apply”).
For one, I think the same forces that drove so many in Europe to emigrate to the US, are the same forces driving people from Central and South America to go north and find refuge in the US. It’s to escape religious or political intolerance, or it’s to escape unlivable conditions. The last one is the key, currently.
It’s a complex issue, and conservatives have difficulty with complex issues, but here’s one factor I’m pretty sure they have disregarded until now.
Climate Change. As things warm around the globe, there will be a migration, across the globe, from south to north. As the south becomes unlivable, as crops fail. It’s happening here in North American; it’s happening in Europe.
Conservatives, of course, dismiss the idea. Or rather, it never occurs to them, and if it’s explained to them, they wave it off.
Here’s one more, on the same basic theme.
Robert Reich on Substack, 7 April 2022: Why Republicans are obsessed with pedophilia, gender identity, gay people, and abortion, subtitled, “From Ron DeSantis to Josh Hawley to Greg Abbott, they’re fixated on sex. Here’s why.”
Oops, I see I covered this when Reich posted the same content on Facebook, back on my April 7th post. But it’s consistent with the theme here in which Republicans focus on incidental cultural issues at the expense real problems the nation and the world faces. So it’s worth quoting again.
Most importantly, a culture war over sex allows Republicans to sound faux populist without having to talk about the real sources of populist anger — corporate-induced inflation at a time of record corporate profits, profiteering and price gouging, monopolization, stagnant wages, union busting, soaring CEO pay, billionaires who have amassed $1.7 trillion during the pandemic but who pay a lower tax rate than the working class, and the flow of big money into the political campaigns of lawmakers who oblige by lowering taxes on the wealthy and big corporations and doling out corporate welfare.