If someone were looking to concoct a scenario that would result in today’s most toxic cable news personality engendering sympathy across the ideological spectrum, one would be hard-pressed to come up with a better one than what happened Wednesday night.
Just to catch you up, a group of anti-fascist protesters showed up in Tucker Carlson’s tony D.C. neighborhood while the conservative commentator was prepping for his Fox News primetime program. As he was at the studio, Smash Racism D.C. was outside his house screaming. Some members pounded on his door and actually cracked it.
The only person at home at the time, Carlson’s wife, believed there was a home invasion, causing her to lock herself in a closet and call 911. Meanwhile, in a series of since-deleted videos — the group’s Twitter account has been taken down and Facebook removed some posts — a person could be seen using a bullhorn leading the group in a chant: “Tucker Carlson, we will fight! We know where you sleep at night!”
That wasn’t all. Besides chanting outside his home and reportedly carrying signs revealing Tucker’s home address, Smash Racism D.C. also tweeted out Carlson’s private information, as well as the addresses of his brother and Daily Caller co-founder Neil Patel. They also demanded that the “racist scumbag” leave town because he was promoting “an ideology that has led to thousands of people dying.”
“Tonight you’re reminded that we have a voice. Tonight, we remind you that you are not safe either,” read one tweet.
While local police have said they will be keeping an eye on the neighborhood to make sure nothing escalates, law enforcement is also reviewing the incident as a “suspected hate crime.”
Six hand-written posters from the protestors were seized by police during the incident, which was characterized as "anti-political" and a "suspected hate crime."
— Jeremy Barr (@jeremymbarr) November 8, 2018
For his part, Carlson has called the actions by the Antifa group a “threat” and that they went “too far.”
“I don’t think I should be threatened in our house,” he pointed out. “I think I should fight back, and I plan to. I’m not going to be bullied and intimidated.”
Following the reports of the incident, media figures far and wide, including prominent critics, rallied to Tucker’s side. CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter wrote in his nightly newsletter that Tucker “does not deserve this.” CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy called it “detestable” and “disturbing” that many people “can’t see this is wrong.” The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple, a prominent critic who Tucker has regularly mocked, said “this kind of doorstep intimidation is reprehensible.”
Here’s the thing. This whole incident plays perfectly into the narrative Tucker has been weaving for the past several months. If you’ve watched his show on even a semi-regular basis, you’d know that a standard feature is railing against the “out of control” left. Any time there’s a bad tweet by a college professor or someone tossing chocolate milk on young Republicans, Carlson ties it all to the left writ large while painting Democrats as violent radicals. At the same time, he purposely turns a blind eye towards the ever-increasing incidents of right-wing terrorism and extremism while claiming white supremacy is a fictitious problem.
Going forward, Tucker and his Fox News cohorts will point to the invasion of his privacy and threatening of his family as proof that the left are the REAL terrorists. They’ll continue to brush aside the recent domestic terrorist attacks by right-wing extremists and racists and spotlighting comments by prominent Democrats, all while excusing the inflammatory and divisive rhetoric by the president. This will become the rallying cry from conservative media that liberals have finally GONE TOO FAR.
So, hope you’re happy, Smash Racism D.C. If you could have figured out a more counterproductive plan, I’d love to hear it. You played yourself…and the rest of us. Hats off.