Claytoonz: Scabbing with Tucker Carlson
Learning that there’s racism within Fox News is like Captain Renault in Casablanca discovering there’s gambling at Rick’s. “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on here!”
Newly revealed racist text from Tucker Carlson to a Fox News producer reportedly “alarmed” the Fox board when they first heard of it. Really? Alarmed? Shocked that there’s gambling here? Please. What they were probably alarmed about was that it was discovered and would be entered into evidence by Dominion Voting Systems. The text contributed to two things: The $787.5 million settlement with Dominion and Tucker’s firing.
In the text, Tucker talks about witnessing a group of white men beat up an “Antifa kid.”
Tucker wrote, “A couple of weeks ago, I was watching video of people fighting on the street in Washington. A group of Trump guys surrounded an Antifa kid and started pounding the living shit out of him. It was three against one, at least. Jumping a guy like that is dishonorable obviously. It’s not how white men fight. Yet suddenly I found myself rooting for the mob against the man, hoping they’d hit him harder, kill him. I really wanted them to hurt the kid. I could taste it. Then somewhere deep in my brain, an alarm went off: this isn’t good for me. I’m becoming something I don’t want to be. The Antifa creep is a human being. Much as I despise what he says and does, much as I’m sure I’d hate him personally if I knew him, I shouldn’t gloat over his suffering. I should be bothered by it. I should remember that somewhere somebody probably loves this kid, and would be crushed if he was killed. If I don’t care about those things, if I reduce people to their politics, how am I better than he is?”
Tucker, you’re worse than that kid. Tucker has always reduced and demeaned people he considers his political enemies.
Tucker has also built a career pushing white nationalism. How many times did he promote the “great replacement theory” on his primetime show? This is a theory that whites are being systematically replaced with darker-skinned people. White nationalists love this theory, as does Fox News, as it fits their agenda of promoting hate and fear.
Fox News being shocked that there’s racism in their establishment is a crock. They would have to be better actors than Claude Rains to pull that one off. Tucker’s text doesn’t just show that he’s racist, but that a Fox News producer is too.
There’s been too many times that I’ve sat at a bar and a white guy next to me, who I don’t know, starts talking to me and drops N-bombs and other racist slurs. I’ve also heard white strangers near me, who are not speaking to me, but are sharing their racism loudly and with confidence. Of course, the racism bothers me, but what also disturbs me is that they’re not shy in sharing their racism…and with me, who they don’t know. It bothers me that a racist will assume I share his viewpoints. Basically, he’s judging me by the color of my skin. It’s not my fault I’m a 97 percent UK mutt.
But in Tucker’s case, he knows this producer. He knows he can send the guy a racist text. He felt safe sending it. He also felt safe creating a hateful and misogynistic environment in his studio. Hell, Tucker felt safe pushing racism on his show. Shocked there’s racism at Fox News? Here are your winnings, sir.
I once had a friend text me a very unfunny joke about auctioning President Obama. I ignored it. A few days later he texted again, “Did you place a bid?” And that’s when I told him I wasn’t cool with that shit. In his case, he knew I wasn’t cool with it and was trying to get under my skin. We don’t talk anymore because I have nothing for him. But I bet Tucker’s producer didn’t reply to his text, “Please stop sending me this racist shit. I’m not on board.” I’d like to see the reply and who it came from.
And speaking of gambling, I’d bet a lot of money that there’s more than one person at Fox News to whom Tucker felt safe sending racist texts.
As for the writers strike, I’m with the writers. I too am afraid of what the future brings, especially regarding artificial intelligence. Basically, every cartoonist is afraid of AI replacing us. And then a few weeks ago, someone shared a bunch of AI-created images of Republicans as drag queens and basically every editorial cartoonist (except for me) shared them.
You don’t fight AI by sharing it on social media. I feel the same way about memes. Some are trying to replace editorial cartoons with them. I don’t share memes.
We should always support good writing. Even though it appears there are too many lazy remakes and shitty TV shows and movies, there’s always good writing out there. For every ten “Two Broke Girls,” there’s at least one “Community,” or “The IT Crowd,” or “The Good Place.” You just gotta search for it.
Writers, I stand with you. I feel your pain as someone who’s in an industry where I can’t organize to unionize or even produce a decent ethics guideline.
Creative note: I watched the first two seasons of Ted Lasso but none of season three. But I am planning on subscribing to Apple TV when season three is over, bingeing it, then canceling the service. It’s what I did for the first two seasons. And speaking of writing, I watched “Cocaine Bear” last night.
Music note: I started to listen to Adam Ant and then turned it off when I tried to think of more stuff to add to this cartoon.
Clay Jones is the 2022 recipient of the RFK Human Rights Journalism Award in Editorial Cartooning, and won a 2021 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists. He was a finalist for the Herblock Prize in 2019 and a finalist for the National Headliner Award in 2020. See more award-winning editorial cartoons from him at Claytoonz.com.