A one-minute clip of Tucker Carlson’s interview with Donald Trump hints at a new low point for both.
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If a brief clip of his interview with Donald Trump is any indication, Tucker Carlson will hit a new low tonight.
Judge for yourself. Here is the clip the right-wing demagogue released a few hours before the full interview with the former president is supposed to air on Twitter in an effort to draw attention away from the year’s first Republican debate:
Donald Trump. Tucker Carlson.
Debate Night in Bedminster
8:55pm ET pic.twitter.com/w8nGhOfEdv
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) August 23, 2023
The issue isn’t the leading questions or the trademark befuddled look on Carlson’s face when he asks them.
The real problem is that Carlson is trying to pour gasoline on a fire that has already gotten people harassed, threatened, injured, and even killed.
By far the most troubling part of the interview is when the former Fox “News” entertainer is raising the issues of civil war and political assassinations, which is the kind of thing many people on the right (and some on the left) are itching for.
“It started with protests against you, and then it moved to impeachment, twice, and now indictment,” Carlson said. “Are you worried they are going to try to kill you? Why wouldn’t they try to kill you?”
Let’s break that down.
Protests are a form of expression protected by the First Amendment. And the ability of regular Americans to protest the actions of their government is a staple of whatever is left of US democracy.
Next, Carlson makes it sound as though the two impeachments of Trump were an extension of these protests and not the result of his own actions.
That’s obviously false.
First, Trump dangled the promise of military aid (which we now know was much-needed) in front of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to get him to dig up dirt on Joe Biden in order to give himself an advantage in the 2020 election. Then, after Trump lost, he was impeached again for trying to overturn the results of that election.
You may be seeing a common thread emerge.
Because, while Carlson attempts to characterize these things as some kind of effort to “get Trump,” they are the opposite.
Both impeachments and three of the four indictments are all related to Trump’s lawless behavior rooted in his attempts to get elected and stay in power.
The New York case is about concealing the hush money payments to a porn star with whom Trump had an affair, which is something he tried to keep hidden from voters in 2016.
And both the DC and the Georgia indictments are directly related to the former president’s coup attempts.
But Carlson tries to paint Trump as the victim and not the perpetrator of a concerted effort to undermine US democracy at every turn.
That’s not even the worst part. That comes next.
“Are you worried they are going to try to kill you? Why wouldn’t they try to kill you?” Carlson asks.
First of all, who are “they?” That’s the vague language of the conspiracy theories that are fueling the MAGA rage.
Once again, Trump is the victim here. And, this time, Carlson introduces the element of political violence, which has primarily been a tool of the political right.
Finally, even raising the specter of an assassination of Trump is the height of irresponsibility. There are so many nutjobs in the country right now with nearly unrestrained access to weapons that this is not the kind of idea anybody should be planting into the minds of political fanatics.
Of course, neither Carlson nor Trump cares. The former just wants to thumb his nose at Fox News, the network that fired him earlier this year and is hosting the debate.
And the latter, because it satisfies his needs as a malignant narcissist, has always relished the idea of people getting violent on his behalf.
Let’s just hope this odious pair doesn’t actually get more people killed with their irresponsible rhetoric tonight.