I Don’t Care


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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154 Responses

  1. Thank you. This is exactly how I’m feeling. Carlson is awful. But Media Matter isn’t actually trying to make the country better with this. Tip them into an alternative universe to fight each other and maybe we can move on to better things.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

      Too bad we don’t have easy access to an alternate universe.

      You know what we do have access to, active volcanic craters! We could push them all into one of those, let them fight it out in there…Report

    • Avatar pillsy says:

      They aren’t trying to make the county better by doing this, but the fact is that the country will be better if they succeed. Some asshole is going to see this as a win; better it be the one who isn’t a white nationalist with an audience of millions.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      Remember in 2016, when everyone dismissed the leaks about Hillary’s emails because they were intended to help Trump, not to make the country a better place? Good times.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Bubba the Love Sponge brought down Gawker.

    Isn’t there an obligation for him to bring down a right-winger?

    Both sides *NEED* to do it!Report

  3. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    I’m not outraged either, but only because I had already placed Carlson into that same filefolder as Howard Stern and the loudmouth guy who stands outside the liquor store at 5th and Main shouting about bitches and hoes.

    See, the issue here isn’t Carlson. The issue is the millions of people, people in positions of power and authority who share his attitudes and act accordingly.

    Does anyone here think Carlson just sprung up out of the ground?

    Will anyone argue if I say that Carlson is typical of a large number of people who support the President and the people who find every opportunity to lecture us about the tender feelings of white males and how oppressed they are?Report

  4. Avatar bookdragon says:

    I don’t watch him and generally consider him to be a poster child for the kind of low-end mediocity who succeeds because of his family’s wealth and connections that we’ve been discussing on the college scandal thread. And even with those advantages, he still needs to go the wingnut welfare route to succeed, which probably explains the shock-jock idiocy he – as a supposedly mature, educated middle aged adult – was happy to spout for the world to hear.

    That he has his own show on a major network is the sort of thing that makes you despair of journalistic standards, but I can’t really be angry. He’s playing the game that lets him rakes in the $$$ from a demographic that likes the sort of things he’s saying. I also can’t get mad over Media Matters releasing the clips since they provide some useful context for evaluating a lot of the attitudes and positions he takes on his show, especially since he’s been trying to recast himself as upright and respectable since getting the spot.Report

    • Not that important either way, but his career trajectory has kind of been going the other way from Respectable and Upright. Most of what he’s been caught saying actually corresponds with his Fox News persona. Both contradict where he was about ten years ago, posing as a would-be leader of the Thoughtful and Respectable right.

      These clips would have been at least a little surprising then, but are less so now. To the extent that I have a takeaway, it’s that the Fox thing is less of an act than I had supposed. I had kind of figured that when his current ride was over he would try to regain respectability through winks and nods. Which maybe he will, but I’m less sure of it now than I was when I wrote this:

      In that sense, if this had occurred during a campaign on his part to do so – or as with Jeong or Kevin Williamson right on the cusp of getting a respectable job – I would probably have more of a vested interest. But, given that he has said more than enough on Fox News in the very public eye to disqualify him… probably not.Report

      • Avatar bookdragon says:

        That’s what I get for taking impressions only from occasional quotes since I can’t be bothered to follow him. Thanks for more context, though if he went Fox because they reward him for letting his freak flag fly, that’s even sadder. Though it does mean I feel absolved from feeling any pity for him as these particular chickens come home to roost.Report

        • Not following Tucker Carlson is the best way to follow him, really.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

            To paraphrase the old adage, you may not be following Tucker Carlson, but Tucker Carlson is definitely following you.

            That is, there are millions of people who work for a Tucker Carlson, get pulled over while driving by a Tucker Carlson, who seek asylum in front of a Tucker Carlson, whose very life and safety depend on the whims and arbitrary power of a Tucker Carlson.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        He is smart enough to see where the money was going I guess.Report

  5. Avatar veronica d says:

    Here is the basic truth: Carlson is obviously a bigoted shithead. We all already knew this. Anyone who didn’t know this is deluding themselves.

    This was always the case, and this is precisely why he has a show on Fox News.

    Because Fox News is exactly what we on the left say it is. It’s viewers are exactly what we say they are. This is obvious.

    We knew this before these tapes were released. So did you.

    Everything else is theater.Report

  6. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    “It’s viewers are exactly what we say they are.”

    …and that is?Report

    • Avatar veronica d says:

      …and that is?

      It will vary, of course. I’m not going to say “Every Fox viewer is precisely X,” because X is not a simple thing. That said, there are definitely people who do not watch Fox, and people who predictably do.

      Here’s the point. Fox is racist, sexist, paranoid, conspiratorial pablum. So who is attracted to that? Why?

      Of course, your “drunk racist uncle” will watch for different reasons than “evangelical soccer mom,” and she in turn for different reasons from “twenty-something, incel-adjacent Jordan Peterson fan.”

      Is there a common element? (Yes.) Can we name it? Should it be easy to name? If it is hard to name, does that mean it doesn’t exist?

      Resentment from some imagined loss of privilege, perhaps? A victim mentality from those who aren’t actually victims? Just plain old racist rage?

      I think there is a common element beneath all of this. It has something to do with reaction, but it also has something to do with anomie. It’s really bad. In any case, watching Fox is a sign of poor character.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck says:

        I think this exchange is worthy of highlighting:

        “Fox News is exactly what we on the left say it is. It’s viewers are exactly what we say they are.”
        “…and that is?”
        “It will vary, of course. I’m not going to say “Every Fox viewer is precisely X,”…”

        lol so every fox viewer is exactly A Thing, but that thing is not exactly one thing?Report

  7. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    I’m less inclined to attribute ‘poor character’ to people’s choice of cable news providers. I don’t watch Fox News because it’s terrible. On the increasingly rare occasions that I watch cable news, I watch MSNBC, but I also think it is terrible. The only difference is that I don’t think anyone at Fox News believes they are unbiased, while I do think a lot of the people at MSNBC believe they are. So, I guess they get an A+ for good intentions.

    Regarding Fox News watchers, it comes back to the point I have made several times here recently which is that there are a lot of people in the ‘Vast Middle’ that are really turned off by progressive politics. So they look for a safe port in the storm and since we no longer have the steady voice of Walter Cronkite in our living rooms, they find themselves drifting towards a network that is equally unhappy with progressive politics. If they watch Fox for 2 hours and find a few points they agree with, they justify all of the other crap as ‘still better than MSNBC’.

    Suggesting they have poor character because of their cable news choices might exactly be the type of reason they find themselves voting for Republican candidates because at least those folks aren’t calling them bad people for their TV choices. It becomes a chicken and the egg scenario. Are these people watching Fox News because they are bad people or do they choose Fox News because they are tired of being called bad people?Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      I’m less inclined to attribute ‘poor character’ to people’s choice of cable news providers.

      You *are* inclined, however, to attribute a lack of intellectual honesty to “liberal” media producers and consumers. 🙂Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

        Actually, I think progressives are extremely intellectually honest. I think of all the political persuasions they may have the best of intentions in terms of wanting to make the world better. And I think they sincerely believe they have the right answers, but I also think they are incredibly wrong about many of their conclusions. But wrongness alone doesn’t make someone dishonest.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater says:

          “The only difference is that I don’t think anyone at Fox News believes they are unbiased, while I do think a lot of the people at MSNBC believe they are.”Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

            If you think the sky is green and sincerely argue that it is, does that make you dishonest or just wrong?Report

            • Avatar Stillwater says:

              So now the critique is that liberal news producers and consumers are wrong about basic facts of the world?

              You’re digging the “I don’t judge people for …” hole deeper.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

                “So now the critique is that liberal news producers and consumers are wrong about basic facts of the world?”

                LOL. That was a good one. Spoken like one of the faithful.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Spoken like one of the faithful.

                There it is. The circle is now complete.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

                I’m literally saying Fox and MSNBC are both biased and your response is to tell me that MSNBC is just presenting the facts of the world It doesn’t seem like there’s much to discuss beyond that.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Still, I think he’s saying that Fox and progressive media producers (the example given is MSNBC so it excludes most of the main stream media) are both wrong about much of what they are peddling but Fox knows what the sell is bullshit which makes them malevolent whereas progressive don’t which simply makes them true believers.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                North, if you follow the thread you’ll see that I wasn’t disputing his claim that news outlets are biased, but instead his claim that he doesn’t make character judgments about media consumers. Hence, my comment, when he *did* express a character judgment of media consumers, that he closed the circle.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


                As previously said, I’m not attributing intellectual dishonesty to progressives.Report

              • Avatar Pinky says:

                There’s a difference between “the viewers” and “the faithful”, I’d guess.Report

    • Avatar bookdragon says:

      You know, for 30+ years I have listened to people on the right berate anyone left of their own positions as godless, amoral, perverts, deviants, clueless hippies, cucks, libtards, snowflakes (oh the irony!), etc. In fact, just last week you went through the oft repeated performance of psychoanalyzing the entire left and declaring liberalism and/or concern for social justice a mental/emotional/moral defect.

      Tell me, do you ever wonder if conservatives are driving people leftward by constantly calling them bad, defective people?Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

      You really don’t find your attitudes towards Republicans to be insulting, not in the least?

      You describe them like they are fragile, sulking teenagers, who flip the table over and flounce off to their room at the slightest rebuke of their actions.

      At least I view them as adults who are wholly responsible for their behavior and choices.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

        I think that human beings gravitate towards tribes. I often think about it like being in prison. People join the least distasteful gang because sticking to principles gets you stabbed. As someone who comes to OT to get beaten up by liberals and then goes to conservative forums to get beaten up by folks on the Right, I can say with certainty that being a contrarian is a lose-lose proposition most of the time.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

          Ok, so would it be fair of me to say that Fox viewers find open racism less distasteful than someone who says that racists are bad people?Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

            I think that you are probably a LOT more inclined to see racism than the average Fox viewer. Some of that may be ignorance on their part and some of that may be identity politics on your part.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

              So Fox viewers don’t find Tucker Carlson’s views distasteful, but do find those who call Tucker Carlson a racist more distasteful, is that about right?Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

                It stands to reason that if they don’t see racism, then they would see it as an unfair attack on him.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Why is it unfair of me to say that people who don’t see Carlson’s words as racism are bad people?Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

                Making this a good vs. bad conversation is a big part of the problem, which is why I keep comparing progressivism to a religion. Maybe this explains it a little better:

                “This is a pattern that is repeated for many policy debates: affirmative action, free speech, policing, criminal justice reform, pay gaps, and on and on. Imputing nefarious motives to people voicing well-intentioned concerns or preferences is an act of extremism because it causes hostility and polarization. Those who are denigrated as knuckle-scraping bigots understandably become bitter and quite possibly more extreme. And as moral accusations fray trust and goodwill, the center falls apart.”

                Characterizing people that disagree with you on policy as bad is not a rationale act, it’s a religious one.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                *reverts to my conservative self*

                Isn’t the foundation of any civilized society the establishment of norms of behavior, standards of decency and respect for one another?

                Doesn’t that require some form of judgment and moral opprobrium for transgressive behavior, especially behavior that challenges the essential dignity and worth of fellow citizens?

                If Tucker Carlson says that a certain class of our fellow people- brown people-are a lesser beings, isn’t it practically the duty of every citizen to rebuke him?

                The whole point of that Neimoller quote is that the citizens didn’t stand up and defend each other when one group was under attack, and ended up losing their civilized society as a result.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

                “If Tucker Carlson says that a certain class of our fellow people- brown people-are a lesser beings, isn’t it practically the duty of every citizen to rebuke him?”

                Did he actually say that in those exact words?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                He didn’t actually boil it down to 14 words, no.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

                So you read between the lines as an educated and politically-engaged person and reached that conclusion. If someone else lacks the education or experience to arrive at the same conclusion, why does that make them a bad person?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Mike, you have Google right? (And know how to use it?…)

                Write “semi-literate primitive monkeys” into the search bar and hit enter. (Oh, and be sure to listen to the audio which pops up, or if it doesn’t, click on another link! Good luck!)Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


                Did he make that remark on Fox News?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Mike…I was being sarcastic about the “14 words”.

                Eff yes, Carlson has spewed many words that mean exactly that brown people are lesser beings.

                At this point, any “innocent” explanation of his words is preposterous.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

                Could, like, a 5th grader understand what he was saying?Report

              • Avatar Philip H says:

                @Mike Dwyer – This isn’t about 5th graders. Its about Adults. And yeah, most adults can not only read between those lines, but decide whether they agree or not. Or so conservatives keep telling me in arguments about personal agency and such.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


                Are we talking about what he said on a radio show or what he said on Fox? And if we’re talking about Fox, is he saying stuff so blatant that the average person is going to catch it? I mean, I have some family members who are good people but they will eat up anything they hear on cable news. Some are liberal and some are conservative and while I love all of them, they lack the education and life experience to separate the facts from the bullshit. Does that make them bad people?Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                If people who aren’t bad but simply not savvy enough to know that Carlson is a huge fucking racist watch his show, isn’t the fact that he has a show actually a serious problem?

                Your basic position here is that Carlson is spewing racist propaganda to an audience that is predisposed to believing it. That seems to be the exact opposite of something that we would want.Report

            • Avatar Zac Schwartz says:

              “Could, like, a 5th grader understand what he was saying?”

              Isn’t the fact that you have to compare your average Fox News viewer to a 10-year-old kind of the ultimate concession?Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

                Given the amount of civic, history and social science knowledge the average American has…no. And that’s my point. People are easily manipulated. Fox News does it. MSNBC does it. Progressive professors, far right ideologues…lots of people have agendas and we have an uninformed electorate.Report

              • Avatar Zac Schwartz says:

                I wasn’t aware people needed advanced education to understand the difference between right and wrong. Sound like something some egghead professor would say. 😉Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw says:

        He also once said Democrats were the “crap” teamReport

      • Avatar DensityDuck says:

        I think people missed the joke here, Chip.Report

    • Avatar veronica d says:

      (Is it me or is the threading here kinda wonky?)

      This is a general response to this topic. First, I’m not saying every single Fox viewer has poor character in exactly the same way. Obviously people vary. I’m talking about the “general weight” of Fox viewership.

      It’s very simple. Fox’s brand is white resentment, with a side dish of male resentment. These are base urges that Fox is happy to fulfill.

      And no, this isn’t the fault of the left. You can say, “I wish the left was better at X,” and sure, you might even be right sometimes. But we didn’t create racism in America. We object to it. The same goes with sexism. Are we too cavalier? Too smug?

      Compare that to the seething bigotry and hate we are responding to.

      Fox is not an accident. They are both driving and responding to existing bigotry and insecurity and rage. It was there in our society. It has been since forever.

      If Fox draws you in, then you already believed those things, or at least you kinda wanted to believe them, or you find believing them triggers some base urge inside you. That’s a matter of character.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


        I was listening to a podcast this morning and there was a guy on who was talking about how his mother was an old hippy, uber progressive, etc but she was saying that she was uncomfortable with trans women playing sports with biological females. He reminded her that was a position that could get her banned from Twitter these days.

        Now, that woman isn’t going to get pushed to Fox News based on that one issue, but imagine someone that is a centrist or moderate conservative or whatever. How long before they get pushed over there in the face of the same progressive overreach? I’ve told the story before about how I was a card-carrying mainstream liberal but I was pushed rightward during the Clinton impeachment and what I now see as early identity politics (the big issue back then was reparations). That pendulum swung pretty far to the right and it was almost 10 years before I began to move back towards the middle, and I like to think I’m a pretty smart guy.

        My point isn’t that Fox viewers have no responsibility for Carlson being on the air by giving him an audience, but I do think it’s really easy for educated people to look down their noses at less-educated people who might be not see him as nefarious as you do.Report

        • Avatar veronica d says:

          Do you realize that you just defined my human dignity as “progressive overreach.”

          Perhaps you didn’t mean to do that, but you did.

          On the topic, indeed transphobia is a gateway drug to further bigotry, which is no surprise. In fact, a lot of “good white progressives” are, when you scratch the surface, bigoted about a lot of things. Furthermore, when they are bigoted about one thing, you often find they are bigoted about a lot more — they just like being a “liberal” wrt “white-people stuff.” They enjoy feeling smugly superior to rural folks, but in fact they are just as bad and probably more narcissistic.

          I find a lot of hippy-dippy types are like this. I know a lot of “burner” types who are pretty sexist and racist, even if they try to hide it. Politically they bump around between Ron Paul and Bernie and Trump.

          They’re “liberals” about drugs tho.

          Regarding transphobic women — yeah they’re a thing. To me it’s exactly as bad as being racist or sexist or homophobic, and should be treated the same way.

          I’ve told the story before about how I was a card-carrying mainstream liberal but I was pushed rightward during the Clinton impeachment and what I now see as early identity politics (the big issue back then was reparations).

          Have you considered that you were wrong to do that, and the fault lies within you?

          Guilt (not shame!) is actually an important emotion. It helps one to grow.Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

            “Do you realize that you just defined my human dignity as “progressive overreach.”

            No, I defined banning people from Twitter because they are questioning trans women in female athletics as progressive overreach.

            “Have you considered that you were wrong to do that, and the fault lies within you?”

            Maybe I should have stuck it out, stayed on the Left and tried to fight problems I saw from the inside. It’s hard to say I was wrong though, since I would not be me without having that experience and I think my political evolution is better for having walked both sides of the aisle.Report

            • Avatar veronica d says:

              You won’t get banned from Twitter for doing that, so you’re not bring a fact-based argument here. Instead, you’re bring a “right wing persecution complex” argument.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

                Sorry, I should clarify. You will get banned from Twitter if you do not use the correct gender pronoun while having that conversation.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                Indeed, although Twitter has been very hesitant to enforce its own rule. Likewise, you will also get in trouble here if you misgender people. This is as it should be.

                Do you feel otherwise?

                I reiterate: this is about my fundamental dignity.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


                But isn’t that policy about forcing someone to accept a concept they don’t agree with? Trans terminology seems to be evolving daily and it’s still very new for many of us. There are a lot of people who don’t agree with using female pronouns for trans women and it isn’t always from a place of hate. I mean, this really isn’t a Left/Right debate. It’s a Progressive/Everyone Else debate. This issue is going to explode next year with the Olympics and I really believe it could get Trump re-elected.Report

              • Avatar veronica d says:

                The rules are clear and easy to understand. You need to use the correct pronouns for trans people. Many forums have such rules. Twitter is correct to have such rules.

                Note Twitter doesn’t usually ban people for first offenses. Instead, they delete the tweet and refer the person to the rules. If the person persists, they will get suspensions. Banning is typically the result of extended bad behavior.

                In other words, they have plenty of chances to correct themselves.

                Regarding blaming trans people for Trump — honestly, that crosses a boundary. Something is deeply wrong with you.

                Trans people are a hated minority who have fought tooth and nail for some shred of dignity in this world. You blame us for the hate we receive?

                Seriously, you are a terrible person. You are everything I despise, a spineless apologists for hate.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Veronica, I respect that this is enormously personal for you (it was for me to a lesser degree a decade and a half ago when it was gay rights as the main subject of conversation) and emotions can run high but I feel like this response, specifically your last and third to last paragraphs, aren’t helpful either for this place or for the cause of trans rights and dignity that you (and I!) support. The third to last paragraph is to my mind, if not a full out misreading of what Mike said, then a highly uncharitable interpretation and the last paragraph is, frankly, an admission of defeat.

                Mike, I don’t think that asking that people be permitted to go to the bathroom that they identify with, or asking that people be call people by one’s publicly preferred pronouns is a very onerous ask; especially on a privately held space like twitter of all places or in a university setting which is the other location I’ve seen it brought up.
                As for trans people in athletics; as I understand it most trans athletes are required by rules to have been transitioned for quite a long time before they can participate in women’s categories. I certainly don’t think that this excruciatingly tiny minority of people should be considered representative of anything significant and I honestly doubt that they’d even be a national subject were it not for the right wingers constantly harping on the subject.Report

              • Avatar ike dwyer says:


                You know, you and I have had our share of disagreements over any number of issues over the years but i think i have always tried to be respectful of you being trans. And I’m sure you are entitled to your anger because you have had a tough life…but none of that makes it okay for you to immediately go to nuclear because I said something you don’t like about the trans community.

                The truth is, there is a tidal wave heading for the trans community and they are going to be the center of a very big wedge issue in next year’s election. I also don’t agree with transgender women competing in female sports, but I’m doing my best to be respectful and open-minded when I bring the subject up. If that makes me a terrible person, you are going to have to come up with a whole different set of adjectives for what you see in 2020.

                In light of what is coming, I wrote and deleted another comment suggesting you try to make allies, not immediately go scorched earth, but that seems pretty pointless.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


                From my perspective, it goes both ways. If someone is entitled to be called by the gender they prefer, could they also demand they NOT be called certain things? Right now Twitter (sometimes) bans people for using the wrong pronoun to describe a trans person. Fair enough. But what if I wanted to call someone a nazi/racist/homophobe/misogynist? Should they be entitled to the same protections? And that is where Twitter seems to be inconsistent. Dave Rubin is a liberal, gay, jewish man who is regularly called an alt-righ nazi on Twitter. Their policies do NOT protect him from that kind of language. But if Dave called a transgendered woman a ‘he’ then he could be banned under their rules.

                And to be clear – i am in favor of free speech. I get called lots of names on this site and I have never reported one of those comments or asked that someone be banned. But that means I would also support the right of someone to call a transgender woman a ‘he’ if they sincerely held the belief that gender is determined only by biology. That opinion should be just as protected as someone else’s opinion that I am a rabid racist.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                “People are mean to Dave Rubin for being a bootlicking shithead, so it’s totally OK to misgender trans people!” is some severely fucked up, craven, whataboutist bullshit.

                You should be ashamed of yourself. If you aren’t, it’s hard to see how veronica is wrong about you.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


                Did you seriously just call him a bootlicker? Wow.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                It took me several tries to come up with a word that mild for a guy who sucks up to the alt-right the way Rubin does.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

                You were probably looking for ‘kapo’ .

                Wow again.Report

              • Sorry, I should clarify. You will get banned from Twitter if you do not use the correct gender pronoun while having that conversation.

                For the record, a deliberate failure to use the correct pronouns will not be tolerated here, either. There is a history and a context there that is different from most analogous situations one might name (including racist, liar, etc). It’s difficult to hash out where the lines are in the latter case – it’s something I have to spend a lot of time thinking about – but the former is really simple and straightforward and can be dealt with the way other simple and straightforward things – (like using the n-word, say) can be.

                Questioning the rules on trans and gender sports, though, is very much in-bounds.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Mike, first let me emphasize we’re talking about twitter here which is a blazing dumpster fire of fecal matter and is only paid attention to because its tiny, miniscule, unrepresentative fragment of the population of users happens to include journalists, noisy college students, political activists, marketing majors and politicians. The whole mass of it could sink into the sea and I think the world would be a better place.

                That said, to your point, if people called Dave Rubin a woman and used female pronouns then they would run afoul of Twitters policy as well and would be subject to the same censures that a person calling a trans woman by male pronouns would. The other names you bring up are simply name calling and would be apples and oranges to the matter at hand.

                And congrats, you’ve gotten me to type far more characters on the subject of twitter than I think it deserves. Never let it be said I don’t like you.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                I’m sorry I’m being insufficiently deferential to a guy who stans for Milo Yiannopolous.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


                Thank you for wading into the cesspool of Twitter discussion on my behalf. You are indeed a true friend 😉

                As for names and name-calling, I want to be clear that I think it’s pretty easy to be respectful of someone’s pronoun choice, so long as they give some guidance to those of us who are still trying to keep up with the terminology (it seems to change frequently). However, to say that people also can’t call Dave Rubin a her is kind of like when SSM opponents would say, ‘”t’s fair because i also can’t marry someone of the same sex.”

                While I may find it respectful to use the pronoun of choice, there might be someone else who simply doesn’t even agree with the concept so it would be like asking them to call a white person black, or something to that effect. I am just troubled by a decision that we will allow name-calling of the worst kind in certain forums, because those people sincerely believe someone is X, but then demand someone alter their beliefs to fit the currently-acceptable PC terminology for something else.

                I think the transgender debate is really in its infancy, but when you have devout left-leaning feminists pushing back against this stuff, it’s not even a Left/Right debate. As I said, I think it’s going to be a HUGE issue next summer, but i hope I am wrong.Report

              • Avatar North says:

                Well that’s the point though. Stifling name calling difficult because A) you have some free speech stuff, B) name calling can get pretty subtle and C) sometimes it’s hard to say if a name is just a baseless slur or has some basis. Preferred pronouns have none of those difficulties the free speech stuff is a lot weaker and identifying it is very easy: either you use them or you don’t. So it’s comparatively easier to police and much easier to defend as a policy (insert another North’s low low opinion of Twitter rant here). And I’d emphasize here that we’re talking about privately owned venues here. So we’re ironically looking at the old gay rights questions being turned on their head where as before social cons would say “leave the laws alone and duke it out with us in society instead” but now society is organically turning left on trans rights and people aren’t even proposing laws to criminalize pronoun use and social cons are STILL screaming foul.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


                I definitely agree that nothing is gained by using the wrong pronoun. It’s a conversation killer. I would much rather call someone by the correct pronoun and then debate them on the issue itself. Banning still feels like a bridge too far though. It’s running from the discussion. I’ve never approved of that, even when the other side are being assholes.

                As I said, we used to be a lot more tough. People used to not need so many safe spaces and not feel so compelled to nuke every debate that goes in a direction they don’t like.

                Excuse me while I go back to my rocking chair on the front porch dreaming wistfully of the old days of vigorous debate without so many hurt feelings.Report

            • Avatar Philip H says:

              Your evolution may be pleasing to you, but you seem awfully willing to call out the left for the sins of the right. Republicans have – in my life time – claimed innumerable times they are the party of family values and the party of the yoke and mantle of Christ, all the while doing the very things Christ explicitly told us not to do. Republican tax and economic policy has consisted only of consolidating economic gains at the top, and refusing to adequately fund anything close to a moral society. They have not – as Christ directed – fed the hungry, tended the sick, or lifted the boats of the poor. They have legislated against people loving each other; they decry government intrusion into peoples private lives and yet pass and tout laws regarding who can use what toilet where. A republican think tank authored every major idea in the ACA, and once a Democratic president tried to actually to pass it they recoil and tried to defeat it. that’s immoral hypocrisy and we as a nation will not move forward by ignoring that.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


                The Left has been asking for two years how we ended up with President Trump. It seems that their theory is starting to distill down to, “There are a lot of mean/bigoted/hateful people in America and they all voted for him.”

                As someone who did not vote for him, I still find that a very intellectually lazy conclusion. The general opinions of folks in this thread about the people who watch Fox News sort of proves my point.Report

              • I tend to agree with the voices on the right that an excessive hair-trigger on various accusations was something that muddied some waters and contributed to the rise of Trump. It would be nice if more people recognized that (or cared). However, it was one of many things. Other things – bigger things, in my opinion – are the very real racism to which they refer and a tendency of people on the right – including those who detest Trump – to immediately and reflexively run interference for it or jump to its defense.Report

    • Avatar pillsy says:

      If someone decides to support Donald Trump because some liberal somewhere slagged Fox News viewers, they are, in fact, a not only terrible person, but also a thoroughly ludicrous one.Report

  8. I don’t judge Tucker watchers individually. I know didn’t people who watch him for different reasons. Some for the express purpose of criticism. Others are willing to overlook the worst because of some special nugget of insight they believe he provides.

    Those people aren’t enough to make Tucker successful. For that he needs people that like watching him trash talk minorities, women, and marked identities of all sorts. They don’t watch him despite that or with indifference to that but because of that. Tucker thinks so, too, which is at least partly why he does what he does.

    Those people I do judge. If their response to that is to go vote for Trump I feel little responsibility. We started from a place a place where they like to watch Tucker treat immigrants as barbarian hordes. The interaction did not start with me observing that their decision to do so has implications.Report

  9. Avatar Pinky says:

    I don’t watch Fox News. I don’t have cable, and I probably wouldn’t watch them if I did. I don’t care for Tucker’s interviewing style. I’ve never trusted the guy ever since I started noticing that his site, The Daily Caller, published a lot of what we now call “fake news”. I don’t think he’s a bigot, and I don’t think he targets bigots. He’s just a self-promoter. He might have conservative principles, but if he didn’t I don’t think he’d act any differently. If he was in the business of selling conservatism, he might hold my attention, but he’s in the business of selling Tucker, which isn’t an interesting product.Report

  10. Tracy Downey Tracy Downey says:

    “But remember what I said just one paragraph ago about rewarding bad behavior? We’ve been doing a lot of that lately here, too. These comments were made in a shock-jock context. Shock jocks exist out of enjoyment of making people uncomfortable. It is a dirty, ugly cultural phenomenon. That’s an old manifestation. We saw a newer manifestation on the left recently with Sarah Jeong gaining notoriety by making outlandish comments and riding that notoriety to a job at the New York Times. We see it in the comments that David French points to in one of the earlier links, with Tucker’s accuser having engaged in some of the same things. Shrugging this sort of thing off creates all upside and no downside for anti-social behavior.”

    I agree with this. Outrage over *everything* is destroying civility and overstepping bounds. Let’s just push Tucker to the side for a moment. For Media Matters its not about Tucker’s comments, is about embarrassing the right not about reporting on facts.

    Carlson’s misogyny is well-known here in Vegas. This is nothing new. To equate this as “locker room talk,” no, more like “this is Dennis Hof’s idealism, how strippers are spoken to, how women are seen through a machismo lens in Vegas. And it’s nothing new to see. Now, does Carlson’s hypocritical stance pretending to be all about family values and be morally upright bother me knowing that to put it bluntly, “he’s a pig?”

    Not really. That’s Fox News’ problem. I can comment on it but I’m not going to call up Fox News to get him fired. I’m not going to obsess over it because I’ve seen and heard worse five feet in front of me. This is Howard Stern gutter speak nothing more.

    I miss the bubble I used to live in where people just reported the news or kept their privacy close to the vest. During my 40 days of spiritual growth I’m learning that if I allow anything and everything to bother me, I cannot enjoy my own life.

    I’m not fond of yellow journalism taking over classic substance. I think it demeans us all as a whole, and nobody wins. If it’s legit news that’s one thing, and those are rare nowadays.Report

  11. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    I’ve mentioned that I am avoiding comparisons to Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia because they are freakish outliers.

    But I am seriously concerned that America can, if trends continue, slide into a version of one of those countless 3rd World regimes, where there isn’t a Holocaust or mass famine, but just an unending grinding cycle of corruption, brutality, and incompetence.

    When I read memoirs of people who have been there, they describe how the populace reaches a level of learned helplessness and passivity.
    Like where the President gives the national telephone company to his brother, or the mayor’s mistress wins a beauty pageant, or a protestor is gunned down, and there isn’t outrage or protest, but everyone just sighs and shrugs in impotent defeat.

    This behavior is learned and taught and rewarded with sticks and carrots. I see a lot of that happening now, when old norms of behavior are regularly broken through, and shrugged off. Not denied outright, just given perfunctory mumbled defenses and whataboutisms.

    I guess that’s why I find the calls for less outrage disturbing. Every day, things are happening that would have destroyed any other administration, but we keep getting hushed and admonished that this is fine, nothing to see here, and besides everyone is corrupt and everything is rigged and nobody is able to change anything.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      I keep wondering if there’s a point at which the people making these dire predictions will ever be willing to say “oh, we should probably do some sort of secession deal”… or if that idea is much, much worse than merely being a 3rd World regime, where there isn’t a Holocaust or mass famine, but just an unending grinding cycle of corruption, brutality, and incompetence.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Are you speaking about people deciding to Leave, or Exit, the Union?Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          I suppose I’m talking about states deciding to leave it.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater says:

            So, something like a referendum for *a state* to Leave, or Exit, the Union, then.Report

          • Avatar Road Scholar says:

            Jaybird, the problem with that idea is that our political/cultural divides don’t really break along state lines; the divide, geographically, is between urban and rural (with the suburbs leaning one way or the other). Practically every state in the union, save for a couple of small Northeastern states and Hawaii, would be deep red if you carved out the metro areas. Upstate NY, Downstate Illinois, Central and Northern California, Oregon without Portland, Washington without Seattle, etc, etc. And coming at it from the other direction, Salt Lake City is pretty Democratic despite the LDS, the big cities in Texas, Atlanta, etc. The pattern is pretty clear.

            So I ask you, which states should secede and how would that actually help?Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              Oh, I understand the argument that divorce isn’t on the table either.

              But if compromise isn’t on the table, and if divorce isn’t on the table…

              Well, maybe we can kick the can down the road a ways more.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

        Why do you wonder that?

        Aren’t you able to imagine some other scenario besides those two?Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          Because I think that two (or five) countries (or, hell, Federalism For Real This Time) would be preferable to being a 3rd World regime, where there isn’t a Holocaust or mass famine, but just an unending grinding cycle of corruption, brutality, and incompetence and I’m always surprised by the people who take it as a given that it wouldn’t be preferable to that.Report

          • Avatar pillsy says:

            So basically breaking the country into smaller pieces and letting some of them get caught up in unending cycles of corruption, brutality, and corruption is peachy keen?

            If not, maybe Chip’s second question is worth some thought.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:


              (I suppose compromise might be on the table What would you be willing to give up? If the answer is “no, only the other side should give stuff up”, then I guess compromise isn’t, exactly, on the table.)Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                Why are you demanding we give stuff up, instead of telling us what you think they should give up? Or for that matter proposing things that we should consider giving up?

                I don’t see how Chip and I negotiating with ourselves is going to be a useful exercise.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Why am I demanding we give stuff up instead of telling you what I think they should give up?

                Because I want to know if compromise is on the table.

                If it’s not, then it’s not. No skin off my nose. I get to go back to saying “Divorce or War”.

                (But that means I’m back into wondering how “this ain’t sustainable” will stop being sustained and what that looks like.)Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                Fine. I am willing to give up some unspecified things in return for other unspecified concessions from the Right.

                Does this mean you stop with the “Divorce or War” nonsense?Report

              • Avatar JoeSal says:

                Meh, no secession, three out of ten people leave the country. Two out of ten die/disabled in the war.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Eh, not really. I don’t get the idea that compromise is something that is actually desired.

                Again, I understand not wanting a compromise. Those people are bad and wrong and we’re good and right and there’s no freaking reason whatsoever that we should stop doing the good things that they don’t agree with when they are the ones who need to stop being bad.

                Let’s just wait it out. Many of them will be dead soon.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                Of course “compromise” isn’t something that’s desired. It’s a compromise!

                But now you’ve moved the goalposts from “on the table” to “desired”, ensuring that I won’t possibly be able to answer your question, meaning you can go back to concern trolling me, Chip, and anyone else who is part of Team Blue and dares think of Trump’s GOP as anything worse than honorable adversaries who are really such wonderful people that we should be champing at the bit to make policy concessions.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Isn’t it silly to ask for compromise when you haven’t even identified what issues are being disputed?

                Tucker Carlson (the subject of this post) is asserting that white males should be at the top of the social hierarchy, and brown people and women can be treated with disdain and mockery without consequence.

                What on earth would be anyone’s idea of “compromise” and why would it even enter your mind to demand one?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                dares think of Trump’s GOP as anything worse than honorable adversaries who are really such wonderful people that we should be champing at the bit to make policy concessions.

                The original comparison was to Nazi Germany and/or Stalinist Russia.

                It’s right up there. You can scroll up and see it.

                My question about “would divorce or compromise be preferable to this?” is not a question about whether divorce or compromise would be preferable to America being a Trumpian Utopia for people who miss the golden days of the 700 Club.

                It’s about whether divorce or compromise would be preferable to Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia.

                Especially since the pendulum will swing back in 2024 (and hard) and you’ll get to enjoy listening to the right-wingers squeal.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Isn’t it silly to ask for compromise when you haven’t even identified what issues are being disputed?

                Well, the issue that I was responding to was your comment comparing the path we’re on to the path that Germany and Russia were on.

                Is there anything you’d give up to get off the path?

                Or is it preferable to stay on the path than to entertain the thought of giving something up?

                (Or were you using hyperbole?)Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                The original comparison was to Nazi Germany and/or Stalinist Russia.

                Yes, it was a comparison in the sense that it argued that our situation is not like that of Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia. That’s absolutely a kind of comparison and you are technically correct, the very best kind of correct.

                I’m not sure why that makes you think it’s useful to endlessly concern-troll OT’s few partisan members of Team Blue for daring to notice the fact that Trump’s GOP is a corrupt, bigoted, and incompetent shitshow.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                What I’m saying is that the issue on the table is the basic human rights and dignity of a good portion of American citizens are being challenged, and you’re asking me what I’m willing to give up?

                Seriously, is that what you are saying?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                If you’d prefer Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia, that’s cool.

                Or, I suppose, civil war.

                I guess that’s still on the table too.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I’m not sure why that makes you think it’s useful to endlessly concern-troll OT’s few partisan members of Team Blue for daring to notice the fact that Trump’s GOP is a corrupt, bigoted, and incompetent shitshow.

                It’s more that my theory is that we’re headed towards a war and the more that I see people saying that we’re headed toward being Venezuela or something similar the more that I suspect that they see something similar too.

                And then when I ask “should we change to get off of this path?”, the answer always comes “why should *I* change? It’s the other guy who sucks!”

                Fair enough.

                Have you learned to shoot, yet?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Jaybird, I think the US has been involved in what you call a “war” since its inception.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                So what you are saying is that the Trump supporters are willing to go to war rather than recognize the basic human dignity of a plurality of their fellow Americans.

                Man, between you and Mike ardently telling us these people are too stupid to be racist, Jim Hoft needs to sue y’all for slander.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Fair enough.

                I see no reason to update my thoughts on the whole divorce/war thing.

                (I’m really looking forward to the democratic nomination process due to trends that I’m seeing. We’ll get to watch that sort of thing happen in real time.)Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Stillwater, that’s a good point.

                I imagine it should be more surprising that there hasn’t been even more organized bloodshed than the rather shameful amount we’ve got already.Report

            • Avatar pillsy says:

              And then when I ask “should we change to get off of this path?”, the answer always comes “why should *I* change? It’s the other guy who sucks!”

              Change what? What change do you think will avert the future you’re predicting?

              If you don’t answer that I don’t see how anyone can meaningfully answer your question, which means I don’t see how I’m supposed to differentiate it from concern trolling.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Pillsy, if someone says “I see us on a road to destruction”, and I ask “do you think you should change anything?” and the answer comes “CHANGE *WHAT*?”, I’d say that my question is pretty much answered.

                If we’re on a path to destruction but we don’t even know how to think about changing… well. There you go.

                I recommend the CZ 2075 Rami or the Smith & Wesson m&p Shield m2.0. The former for if you don’t have to conceal it, the latter for if you do.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck says:

                Remember that conversation we had about healthcare, where Jaybird said that reformers would have to accept a two-tier system, and you said “well of course we’d accept that”, and then further discussion found that you assumed everything would be in Tier 1? This is that conversation, again.

                Although, y’know, maybe it’s different. Maybe Jaybird is asking what you’d give up to prevent a war and you’re replying “why would I want to prevent the war?”

                Which makes sense; I mean, nothing brings out clarity of moral and purpose like a war, and there’s nothing so good as winning one.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                This is where I post a clip from Independence Day where the president asks the alien what we can do to reach a compromise, and the alien responds “DIE!”

                The Tucker Carlsons have one goal, and only one goal, which is to make every nonwhite person a second class citizen.
                They refuse to accept anything else.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                I remember a conversation that is similar to the one you described, in that it involved a hypothetical two-tier health care systems, but my position in it was not remotely what you described.Report

          • Avatar Road Scholar says:

            I’m still left wondering why you believe splitting into some number of smaller countries would actually solve anything, regardless of whether or not it’s actually “on the table”. Are smaller countries demonstrably more politically stable? Aren’t the countries that are “a 3rd World regime, where there isn’t a Holocaust or mass famine, but just an unending grinding cycle of corruption, brutality, and incompetence” already on the smallish side compared to the U.S.?

            It seems to me that the political fighting is just as intense within our individual states as on the National Stage (TM) so how is Divorce even a theoretical solution? (And tbh I’m a little vague on what the problem you’re trying to solve is…)Report

            • Avatar Stillwater says:

              It also overlooks the fact that any VoteLeave state would necessarily need to compromise (internally) on the terms of the exit as well as the new governing principles and institutions.

              Add: on re-reading I see you included that in your comment.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird says:

              Well, the problem that I see it solving is the “is this better than people killing each other? I guess it would be” problem.

              “We would rather not tell you how to live nor have to put up with you telling us how to live and have our relationship be more like the relationship with Mexico. Maybe tourism, maybe trade… but we don’t see how we should pass laws dictating how you should do your day-to-day living. And versa-vice.”Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Well, I think this whole “Divorce or War” thing is a bit overwrought.

                Coincidentally, Trump today was inspired by reports of the socialist government of Venezuela being supported by violent motorcycle gangs, and openly dreamed of a similar setup for his own self.

                But, looking at American history since 1865, there just isn’t much stomach for anything more than low level violence against easy soft targets.

                We had massive waves of immigrants from 1890-1920, and nothing;

                Forced integration of the military in 1949- nothing

                Court ordered integration of schools in 1954- nothing;

                Massive civil rights legislation in 1964-1970- nothing;

                Gay rights, women’s rights up to and including same sex marriage and unisex toilets- nothing;

                The election, and re-election of Barack Hussein Obama- still nothing.

                And during all this, for the past 100 years, we have heard dire talk, and endless talk, and shrill hysterical talk of states rights and secession and an uprising against the ZOG, but….nothing.

                I’m just not seeing anything approaching a serious insurgency movement.

                And more, I’m not seeing any triggering event, something that galvanizes and radicalizes the insurgents.

                The 2020 election of Elizabeth Warren? nah.
                Her promise to break up the tech companies, or regulate Wall Street? Nah, nobody’s gonna risk life and limb for Zuck and Bezos.

                A return to an Obama regime of carefully regulated immigration and asylum processing? Nope, just not seeing it.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                Well, I think this whole “Divorce or War” thing is a bit overwrought.

                I’ll let you get back to saying that you see us on a path to turn into one of those countless 3rd World regimes, where there isn’t a Holocaust or mass famine, but just an unending grinding cycle of corruption, brutality, and incompetence, then.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                That’s how things go I think.

                With a whimper not a bang.

                Again, not to be overly pessimistic- I think the chances of that are much less than the chances of a course correction.Report

  12. Avatar pillsy says:

    If Carlson’s comments are disturbing to our national psyche and cause for consternation, it isn’t Carlson putting them out there right now. It’s his critics. We really didn’t need to know any of this. Media Matters just wanted us to. This is behavior I am tired of seeing rewarded.

    This seems to tread very close to the old liberal parody of conservatives as people who think the real problem isn’t racists, but instead people who complain about racism. So close, in fact, that I’m having a lot of trouble distinguishing the two.

    As for the necessity of knowing this, people in these very comments have suggested that it’s unfair to expect Carlson’s viewers to know that he’s a racist and white nationalist because he hasn’t quite come out and said the 14 Words or literally flashed #WhiteGenocide in a chyron. I’d have to say those people desperately need to hear that he said this:

    Iraq is a crappy place filled with a bunch of, you know, semi-literate primitive monkeys, that’s why it wasn’t worth invading.

    But Canada’s a solid place with good-looking women and good fishing. We should invade.

    Of this:

    I hate the war. You know, I’m not defending the war in any way, but I just have zero sympathy for them or their culture. A culture where people just don’t use toilet paper or forks.

    Now it sounds like this guy from MMFA is actually a complete shithead, but I simply don’t see why that means that people shouldn’t be aware of these comments. As for whether it needed to be them who did this, well who else was going to?Report

    • Avatar pillsy says:

      Shorter me: it can be that people who like Carlson and his show aren’t necessarily horrible bigoted pieces of shit, or it can be that nobody needs to hear these old comments that are much blunter than what he says on his show, but it really can’t be both.Report

  13. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


    You are welcome to criticize Rubin, but your language choice is borderline anti-Semitic. Maybe just, as a matter of practice, resist the urge to label everyone you disagree with?Report

    • Avatar pillsy says:

      {Redacted by Trumwill}Report

      • Avatar pills says:

        are you kidding me with this shitReport

        • Avatar pillsy says:

          My language is “borderline anti-semitic” because I called Dave Rubin a bootlicker, but also people are too eager to take offense.

          In my 41 years of life as a Jew, I’ve never once heard that one. Thanks for taking the time to educate me! Especially when you were so clear before that people are so eager to take offense and shut down conversations.Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

            If you were black and called someone an Uncle Tom it would be just as gross. Like I said, maybe just avoid labels in general. You could have made the same point in a lot more civil way.

            And if that is a conversation ender for you, that is strikingly ironic.Report

            • Uncle Tom clearly has racial implications and anyone who uses the phrase knows it.

              I can’t find anything on “bootlicker” having anti-Semitic origins.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

                Rubin has been called a ‘kapo’ for a couple of years now. Bootlicker is real close. As I said, borderline, but I’m happy to be told that I was wrong to suggest something might be racist. I’m not usually on this side of the discussion so this is all new territory for me.Report

            • Avatar pillsy says:

              Yeah I’m sorry I’m not interested in creating a safe space for, um, Dave Rubin fans.

              And to be slightly less blunt than my redacted comment but still pretty goddamned blunt: you are doing exactly what you always accuse (white) progressives doing when the subject is police violence or the Washington Redskins or any of a million other things.

              And this isn’t a conversation ender for me, it’s a conversation ender for you, according to you. Let’s roll some tape:

              As I said, we used to be a lot more tough. People used to not need so many safe spaces and not feel so compelled to nuke every debate that goes in a direction they don’t like.

              Maybe harden up a bit yourself. Rubin endlessly capes for grotesque racists and authoritarians while hiding behind a laughable facade of “liberalism”.

              You talked before about what people sincerely believe and how there should be space for people to express that?

              I sincerely believe that Rubin is a bootlicking piece of shit and have precisely zero interest in civility norms that preclude me saying so. Promoting scum like Milo and Stefan Molyneux is the sort of thing people who want civility don’t do.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


                There are LOTS of liberals out there that are getting accused of being alt-right because they are pushing back against progressives. No different with Dave. You can call him whatever pejorative you want (since it seems to kind of be your thing at the moment) but the truth is that he is facilitating a lot of really interesting conversations with people who want to have civil debates. I’d rather wade through the interviews with Milo to get to a lot of other ones that are thought-provoking and interesting. I mean seriously, go through this list and tell me how many of these offend you:


              • But Rubin isn’t liberal in any meaningful sense (apart from “classical liberal”). Rubin’s whole pose is the guy who seems to always identify as liberal before the “but”. (One of many such examples, existing on both sides.)

                I wouldn’t call him alt-right from what I have read, but if I’m looking for an example of the left eating its own for heterodoxy Rubin isn’t who I would pick. Jesse Singal has a reasonably strong case. Rubin is playing his audience as genuine liberal heterodox Matt Jameson has been chronicling.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                Saying Milo has no white supremacist views (after Milo said the Jews control the media even if it was before his emails leaked) and letting Molyneux say black people are genetically inferior to white people without any pushback isn’t “promoting civil debates”. It’s just broadcasting alt-right propaganda.

                And it’s one thing to push back against progressives. It’s another thing to push back against progressives while not pushing back against actual members of the alt-right.

                As for the other debates, well, I’m reminded of the old joke about the guy who built a thousand houses.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


                I’m starting to lose count of how many interviews I read or listen to with self-identified liberals who are being accused of being secret conservatives because they don’t agree with social justice/progressives. It becomes a silly thing of how many boxes do they need to check, are they ever allowed to be contrary, etc. For example, Rubin was talking to Tim Pool recently and they did the checklist thing:


                Tim considers himself to be a social justice liberal and he has also been called alt-right. I don’t think I’m being hyperbolic to say this feels like a purging of the heretics.



              • Avatar pillsy says:

                Rubin describes himself as a “classical liberal”.

                Now, look, there are definitely some self-described classical liberals who I respect and like a lot.

                But they are a pretty different ideological breed from left-liberals or progressive.

                Not even gonna try to thread the needle on Singal, except to say that I would never describe him in the terms I used for Rubin.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:


                Have you never heard of giving someone enough rope to hang themselves? I would rather Rubin allow a few bad actors to freely talk and expose themselves than shove them into some dark corner. Rogan accomplished something similar with Alex Jones.

                But when I look at people like Bret Weinstein who, along with his wife, have been labeled alt-right for what happened at Evergreen State and afterwards, it’s clear that we have moved past reason. Good take on that here:


                This quote might also be good for you to read (emphasis mine):

                “But my leftist understanding can not include name-calling, or the unwillingness to listen to the other side, which we are getting way too familiar with on our side.”Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                I would rather Rubin allow a few bad actors to freely talk and expose themselves than shove them into some dark corner.

                Expose themselves to whom? Audience members who can’t be expected to have a more than fifth-grade understanding of the issues, and are incapable of parsing out Tucker Carlson’s not-very-subtle white nationalism?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater says:

                Boom. Full circle.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

                The Rubin Report and Fox News are not the same forums.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck says:

                “Audience members who can’t be expected to have a more than fifth-grade understanding of the issues, and are incapable of parsing out Tucker Carlson’s not-very-subtle white nationalism?”

                lol. for all that you’re telling us how comparisons to Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany aren’t on the menu, the idea that censorship is necessary because people are too dumb to avoid consuming evil is right out of the doctrine of both those regimes.Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                The Rubin Report and Fox News are not the same forums.

                Aren’t you worried about the reaction of Fox News viewers when you say they’re a bunch of simpletons, unlike the witty sophisticates of YouTube?Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

                Turning on cable news is a bit different than seeking out long-form political discussions on YouTube.Report

          • Avatar pillsy says:

            “Censorship”, in this case, being negative judgements and harsh criticism of David Rubin, and advocating that a private corporation use it’s free speech differently by giving someone other than Carlson a show.

            I was always taught that the cure for bad speech is more speech, but you and Mike actually want us to respond to bad speech with respectful silence.Report

  14. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    I’m remembering James Gunn, and how some old nasty jokes resurfaces and he was very quickly fired from his position as director of an insanely successful movie series (a success which it was pretty well universally agreed he was responsible for).

    So, y’know, maybe I’m not so worried about the same thing happening to Carlson, just so long as we all agree that the same rules ought to apply to every player in the game.Report

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