Do You Think His Bow Tie's On Too Tight, or What?
I think we can all agree that Tucker Carlson is an unintelligent, unfunny little weasel of a man. Lately, the blogosphere has been on fire over his claims that, in his youth, he beat up a gay man in a public restroom. The truth is, I don't really want to pile on Tucker Carlson over this one-- his initial claims were that a man "bothered him" so he grabbed him (by the dick, if I read the euphemism in the transcript correctly) and bashed his head against the wall. Seems kinda vicious, of course, but Carlson later explained that the guy had actually grabbed him first, and he was just in high school, and... Well, I don't think this is the sort of thing anyone should be bragging about (as Carlson clearly was), but it's also not the kind of thing I really want to attack someone for-- if it all happened the way he said it happened, then he fought back against an attacker. Good for him, I suppose.
Nevertheless, I maintain that Carlson-- in his zeal to present hateful, rightwing talking points as "conventional wisdom," is a shiftly little weasel. I mean, take a look at this quote:
"I'm not anti-gay in the slightest, but [gay sex in public restrooms is] really common, and the gay rights groups ought to disavow that kind of crap because, you know, that actually does bother people who didn't ask for being bothered."
Oh, fuck you. By your own admission, in 38 years of using public men's rooms, you've noticed sexual behavior exactly once. That's "really common." Using that logic, I could make the argument that it's "really common" for men involved in the Young Republicans to sexually assault other men while they're asleep-- hey, it's happened once that I know of! That surely empowers me to slander an entire group of people, right?
But I'm even more bothered by some of the crap he was spewing on his TV show last night. To be clear, I'm not a regular viewer of Tucker Carlson's-- every time I happen to catch him, though, he's saying something mind-numbingly stupid. Let's take a look at last night's transcript:
"I am interested in the principle here. Why is it in the public‘s interest to know whether or not Larry Craig is attracted to men?"
"Because he opposes gay marriage, you get to look in to see if he‘s ever had a gay experience, going back to college in 1967, 40 years ago?"
"It just seems to me there ought to be some part of a person‘s life that‘s off-limits without cause from journalistic (inaudible)..."
"Boy, I think it‘s why people hate the press."
Oh, where to begin...?
Look-- if a man devotes his life to hurting gay people, promoting the hurtful meme that homosexuals are "deviant" and "sick" and "unnatural" and "a threat" yet still likes to visit the nearest adult bookstore that has glory holes drilled into the wall... Absolutely. He needs to be outed. He's holding the rest of America to a "standard" he is unable to meet himself; he wants to regulate the romantic desires of other people even when he knows that those desires refuse to be regulated-- hell yeah, out his hateful, hypocritical ass. At least the Newt Gingriches and George W. Bushes have an excuse-- they're fucking ignorant. But the Larry Craigs and the Ted Haggards know the truth-- sexual orientation is beyond the individuals's control, and doesn't inherently make someone a bad person. Yet they continue to promote the lie in order to obtain power and money.
And also-- I'm sorry, Tucker, but you're a conservative pundit. You people are the ones who declared that nothing was "off-limits" in terms of smearing the opposition. Beginning in the 90s when people like you started snooping into Bill Clinton's marriage, the attitude among the right-wing press has been "anything goes"-- at least the mainstream media has built upon a foundation facts when discussing of the Larry Craig case; people like Tucker Carlson and his ideological brethren have promoted half-truths, distortions, and lies for 15 years when discussing Democrats and liberals. Or am I the only one who remembers when they tried to claim that Al Gore said Love Story was based on his marriage to Tipper? Or that John Kerry's wife was "too opinionated"? Or that John Edwards was effectively abandoning his wife on her deathbed in his selfish pursuit of power? Or that Bill Clinton exposed himself to women, raped women, and used law enforcement officials to help him find women to flash and rape?
No, Tucker-- the time to take the high road with regards to a public official's personal life was well over a decade ago. You and your colleagues chose to troll around in the gutter instead. You can't bitch about it now.