Tucker Carlson, host of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” poses for photos in a Fox News Channel studio, in New York, Thursday, March 2, 2107. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Over the weekend, Tucker Carlson appeared at a rehearsal for Purgatory called the Politicon conference. Before an audience, he took on the story of the death of Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi, just to recap, was a Washington Post op-ed writer who apparently was killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. The details are sketchy because the details are being spooled out by the Turkish government and media outlets who are in Erdogan’s pocket. So far there have been more retracted stories than those that have been verified. For instance, at first, we were told Khashoggi was cut up and shipped to Saudi Arabia via diplomatic pouch. Today the Turks are claiming they found a body. To date, the alleged video and audio tapes of the incident have not been made available to any neutral third party for technical analysis. While the Washington Post is trying to portray him as some sort of a liberal-minded reformer, Khashoggi was a fan of bin Laden until after 9/11. He was a vociferous supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood (this is a tell that his devotion to a free press and liberal politics was simply a fraudulent front). He was a virulent anti-Semite who denied that the Temple had ever existed in Jerusalem. In short, he was pretty much a dream addition to the Washington Post’s stable of op-ed writers.
Anyway, this is how Carlson characterized the story:
“The whole game is people who have no basis for moral superiority sort of impose their moral superiority on you,” Carlson said of the widespread media backlash to Saudi Arabia. “The outrage is so false.”
He said that “Jamal Khashoggi” is a name nobody knew two weeks ago. “They use that to bully you into submission,” he said of the unified outrage. “It’s a game. Don’t play along.”
“Just stop lecturing me,” Carlson said, before miming, “You don’t care enough about Khashoggi!”
Carlson, who appeared at the Politicon conference along with Democratic strategist James Carville, conveyed no surprise at Khashoggi’s grim fate, reportedly at the hands of individuals close to the ruling Crown Prince.
“The Saudis, and I don’t mean this as a compliment, are acting entirely in character with their character,” he said. “That’s what they do.”
Carlson called the Saudi kingdom “a primitive evil theocracy in the desert,” and said he’s not “pro-Saudi.”
This drew wounded howls from some, particularly Washington Post’s Fact Checker, Glenn Kessler (this is the guy who rated a Romney statement “true but false”):
In annals of stupid comments, this ranks pretty high. Before his murder, there were about 100 references in The Washington Post and 50 in the New York Times, plus numerous interviews with him on CNN, BBC, NPR, etc. He was even interviewed on Fox (Bret Baier) after OBL was killed https://t.co/Zl05DoZkCR
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) October 22, 2018
Tom Bevan of RCP, rightly notes:
C'mon. Per the last NBC/WSJ poll, one in four people don't know who MITCH MCCONNELL is. Of course no one knew who Khashoggi was. And to think they would bc of 100 mentions in the Washington Post is the height of arrogant insiderism. https://t.co/QSWtWS3tW8
— Tom Bevan (@TomBevanRCP) October 22, 2018
Let me say that I really don’t care what happened to Khashoggi. The guy was a terrorist sympathizer. I really don’t care what Saudi Arabia does to its own citizens so long as they don’t do it on American soil. There is no doubt that Saudi Arabia under Mohammed bin Salman is just as capable of brutality and self-defeating stupidity as it has ever been. But this is not to say that the way the Post and other outlets are using the story is particularly honest. Because it isn’t. This outrage is fake and it is driven by the same people who used that paper to campaign for the Iran nuclear deal. In 2014, the Post’s Iran bureau chief, Jason Rezaian, was arrested by the Iranians and eventually spent two years in prison. The Post has already written more stories on Khashoggi than it did during the entire time Rezaian was imprisoned. The Saudis blundered their way into this mess, but let’s not think for a second that the Post’s outrage and the outrage of other national media has anything to do with them caring about him. This is about blocking Trump’s developing Middle East policy to the benefit of Turkey and Iran.
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