One of my dirty secrets — well, not really dirty and not actually a secret — is that despite making a substantial portion of my income these past few years from covering the news, I don’t watch a lot of it. Outside of events like election night, I don’t sit at my desk with the TV on.
What I watch is Twitter, which tells me what I need to tune into and points me in the direction to catch what I miss.
Last night, at the instigation — word chosen advisedly — of my friend journalist Linda Tirado, I turned on Fox News to watch Tucker Carlson coming completely unglued at the slow-motion demolition of the basket he put all his eggs into defending.
Linda’s timeline from last night has several clips giving the highlights, or lowlights, or whateverlights.
The thing that struck me about the whole sad, awkward display is just how deeply embedded in an artificial alternate reality Tucker and his collaborators are. At one point he spoke of the Democratic Party “forcing a man who is incapable of leading a country onto our country, and yelling at us for not accepting it.” Not a hint of irony, not a trace of self-awareness.
At another point he claimed that the “entire case” against Trump was that he’s a white supremacist. Which, I mean. That’s enough of a case. It would be sufficient reason to remove him from office. But it’s not the whole case.
He believed he could dispense with that case by pointing out that Trump’s vote percentage among demographics of color had improved between 2016 and 2020, which is its own barrel of wrong, but let that go. Just for the sake of argument, let it go for a minute. Half a million people dead on Trump’s watch, and he’s still trying to cancel our healthcare. His plan for both dealing with covid and for protecting pre-existing conditions is to tell us his plan in “very soon” and “in two weeks”… and Tucker Carlson earnestly believes that if he can disprove racism, nobody has any reason to vote against Donald Trump?
The thing that really struck me about the programming I watched — which was part of Carlson’s set and a little bit of Hannity’s — is that they’re desperately trying to concoct a world in which an election their side is losing is one that has shattered the Democratic worldview into a thousand tiny pieces, that the seemingly inexorable electoral math that by all appearances is leading to a Biden victory and a defeat of Trump needs to be some kind of reckoning for the liberal universe.
In short, it was an act of desperate denial.
The count is long and slow and a torturous slog, but no matter how much anxiety you have over the numbers, I hope you can take some solace in the fact that it’s even less fun for them over there than it is for us on this side of the aisle. Trump and his enablers are definitely having the worst times of their lives, so far, and it’s likely to get worse for them from here on out.