Tucker Carlson’s longstanding feud with Trump-hating Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, a man he once worked for, reached a whole other level when his former boss raised the “R” word to describe what the Fox News host has “become.”
During an interview with CNBC’s John Harwood, Kristol was describing the political situation at Fox News when his thoughts gravitated toward his former reporter.
“Tucker Carlson began at the Weekly Standard,” Kristol said. “Tucker Carlson was a great young reporter. He was one of the most gifted 24-year-olds I’ve seen in years. I edited the magazine. He had always a little touch of Pat Buchananism, I would say, paleo-conservativism. But that’s very different from what he’s become now. I mean, it is close now to racism, white — I mean, I don’t know if it’s racism exactly — but ethno-nationalism of some kind, let’s call it. A real silly combination of dumbing down, as you said earlier, and stirring people’s emotions in a very unhealthy way.”
So no, Tucker wasn’t about to take that lying down, addressing it first thing on his Tuesday night show:
“As the debate over immigration has risen to the top of the news in recent weeks, a number of figures on the left have denounced the show as racist,” Carlson said. “It’s notable that not a single one of them has offered any evidence to support that slur or even bother to rebut the arguments we make every night. They just make loud noise white supremacy and assume that’s an argument. Of course, the rest of the media dutifully repeat that.”
The Fox News host then launched into Kristol’s attack, calling the Weekly Standard editor a “former intellectual who now exists primarily on Twitter.”
“The latest to attack the show as immoral is former Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol. Now, there’s an awful lot of ways we could respond to Kristol, a former intellectual who now exists primarily on Twitter, and we considered them, but why? Kristol discredited himself years ago, that’s why he no longer has a full-time job. So instead we thought it might be more edifying to restate what we actually believe about immigration and you can decide for yourself what you think of it.”
Then, just to be clear, the host of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” went into a detailed discussion of what he and his show believe regarding immigration. Far from the “R” word, it’s actually similar to the views of a majority of Americans.
The point of our immigration policy, the point of all of our policies is to help Americans. Watching out for our citizens is the only reason we have a government in the first place. If people in other countries enjoy and benefit from what we do, that’s great. That’s an added bonus and we welcome that always, but it can never be the main point of what we do. Americans are the main point. That’s always true no matter what the issue is.
When the concerns of foreigners take precedence over the needs of Americans, our government is betraying us and has become illegitimate. Of course, that’s what’s been happening. Voters understand this and they hate it. That’s why they elected Trump. To permanent Washington, election results last year were a hard slap in the face, a rebuke they could not accept and refuse to learn from. So instead they decided their own country was irredeemable and its population should be ignored. That’s how we wound up with immigration policy that most Americans don’t support because the people making the policy don’t care if you support it or not.
Immigration clearly has upsides, and we try to note that. Many immigrants are impressive people, really impressive people, and add greatly to this country. We know a lot of immigrants like that. We also know some who shouldn’t be here. Not all immigrants are the same. Just like not all college applicants are the same. Some are worth admitting, others are not. Americans get to decide who makes the cut. It’s our country, it’s our call. That’s the main point we’re making.
Maybe you sincerely believe importing millions of poor people from around the world will make America richer and more stable and maybe you’re right. But before you do that, before you import them, you should explain exactly how that’s going to work. You’re not allowed to change America profoundly and forever without showing the rest of us how it’s going to make our lives better. That’s an honest question and you can’t avoid it forever simply by shrieking racist.
Finally, using the medium he primarily exists on now, the Trump-hating former “conservative” took another shot at Carlson Thursday evening:
“Our government is betraying us and has become illegitimate.” Tucker knows that sort of demagogic and inflammatory rhetoric is deeply irresponsible. He might want to stop and rethink the path he’s gone down. Tucker’s better than that. At least he once was.https://t.co/utj9BccP4Y
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) January 26, 2018
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