42 votes

Tucker Carlson: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

28 comments

  1. [7]
    TooFewColours
    Link
    I think this video is bad rhetorically. It's possibly a good as an introduction for Carlson for those who haven't seen his content before, and I think it at least begins to explore the...

    "It's important to remember that what Tucker is saying is fucking outrageous."

    I think this video is bad rhetorically. It's possibly a good as an introduction for Carlson for those who haven't seen his content before, and I think it at least begins to explore the implications of being supported by abhorrent groups and what that says about what's being implied vs. what's being literally said. The latter is easily wiped away by saying 'people can take whatever anyone says and run with it'.

    It never actually dismantles any of Carlson's talking points. The closest thing to it is a dissection on a glib comment Carlson made about forks 13 years ago.

    It's not good enough to point at something someone says and just respond 'I can't believe you said that, it's fucking outrageous', you need to give people the tools to actually dismantle those points. Anything else and you're just furthering the divide by failing to understand, because when put up against those who agree/consume this content it simply isn't enough to say something is bad because it is.

    Tucker says 'I don't want to grow up in a country that looks nothing like the country I grew up in, is that bigoted', and Oliver says it's the equivalent of describing yourself as a possum and asking if you're a possum. Please don't think this is some great 'own'. If anything it does a massive disservice to anyone pushing a progressive agenda. It's basic human nature to associate yourself with what's familiar (as wrong as it might be), and what Carlson says taps into the hearts of millions of people - it is not the definition of 'bigoted' just because of it suits Oliver's argument that it should be. Plenty of those who grew up in the Soviet Union/East Germany are unhappy with the since reformed states - are they objectively bigoted?

    Very frustrating. Be outraged, but understand the arguments why, if for nothing more than to ground your own beliefs.

    23 votes
    1. [3]
      RNG
      Link Parent
      I think it depends on your audience. If Tucker Carlson decided to pick up phrenology or some other racist psuedo-science, I think it'd be more clear to us that engaging in some sort of "scholarly"...

      It's not good enough to point at something someone says and just respond 'I can't believe you said that, it's fucking outrageous', you need to give people the tools to actually dismantle those points. Anything else and you're just furthering the divide by failing to understand, because when put up against those who agree/consume this content it simply isn't enough to say something is bad because it is.

      I think it depends on your audience. If Tucker Carlson decided to pick up phrenology or some other racist psuedo-science, I think it'd be more clear to us that engaging in some sort of "scholarly" debate with them or their ideas can lend them legitimacy they don't deserve. We don't need to have Douglas Murry or Richard Spencer on our show to debate their ideas, nor do we need to tear down their "ideas" point-by-point. It is sufficient to just categorically reject their ideas as racist nonsense. Maybe if you describe yourself as a "rationalist thinker," you'll find this dismissal dissatisfying intellectually. However I think that the success of "point-by-point tear downs" are often overstated, and likely don't offset the harms of potentially legitimizing the position by providing that type of response.

      Of course, there are folks who take it yet one step further than I who'd say that John Oliver is unnecessarily platforming Tucker Carlson, a criticism that I think John successfully argues against at the beginning of the segment. I think we can condemn white nationalism directly and effectively without ever needing to engage with white nationalist talking points. White nationalists want us to engage with their ideas, I simply find no good reason to do so.

      11 votes
      1. [2]
        TooFewColours
        Link Parent
        It doesn't need to take much. HBomberguy and his 'fucking aquaman' clip is quite possibly the most successful takedown of Ben Shapiro. I'm less concerned about what's scholarly and more about...

        It doesn't need to take much. HBomberguy and his 'fucking aquaman' clip is quite possibly the most successful takedown of Ben Shapiro. I'm less concerned about what's scholarly and more about what's rhetorically effective. There's none of that here.

        I can't imagine anyone arguing that that 'platforming' Tucker could be unethical when he already possesses what might be the largest possible platform a human can obtain apart from head-of-state or papacy.

        9 votes
        1. vektor
          Link Parent
          I think what was rhetorically missing was to tie it in to the last sentence before that that Tucker made. "I'm for tolerance[..], but I also think that if things radically change, it's ok to say...

          I think what was rhetorically missing was to tie it in to the last sentence before that that Tucker made.

          "I'm for tolerance[..], but I also think that if things radically change, it's ok to say [..] I don't want to live in a country that looks nothing like the country I grew up in, is that bigoted?"

          That context drives it over the line into outrageous territory. He essentially says "I'm for tolerance, but if my country changes too much as a result and I don't like it, is that bigoted?". But that first part isn't really present anymore by the time you arrive at John Oliver's response.

          4 votes
    2. [3]
      Thunder-ten-tronckh
      Link Parent
      So well said. I know that a common critique of liberal media/talking points from conservatively-minded people is that liberals sometimes pass judgment from a self-assumed position of moral...

      So well said. I know that a common critique of liberal media/talking points from conservatively-minded people is that liberals sometimes pass judgment from a self-assumed position of moral righteousness. They can call someone a bigot or a racist with minimal rhetorical justification. Watching this video, all I could think of was that it would only further cement that mindset among people who think that way.

      And it makes me wonder, what's the purpose of this John Oliver segment? To change peoples' minds? Or to preach to the choir? Because the effect is certainly preaching to the choir, but I'm not sure if that's the intention.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        RNG
        Link Parent
        I think to a degree, John Oliver both informs and motivates progressive/liberal folks to become more active in politics, voting, and participating in democracy. I think he both educates...

        what's the purpose of this John Oliver segment?

        I think to a degree, John Oliver both informs and motivates progressive/liberal folks to become more active in politics, voting, and participating in democracy. I think he both educates progressives about issues from an unapologetically progressive position, and inoculates progressives against reactionary talking points. John Oliver's intended audience is liberals. If you are relatively apolitical, utilizing humor and satire is a highly effective way to communicate your message.

        White nationalists aren't going to watch John Oliver, and if they were to have, they almost certainly wouldn't have changed their minds. In my opinion, progressives are far more likely to multiply their efficacy by motivating their own base to take action, rather than spending tremendous resources trying to sway white nationalists or those ideologically adjacent to them. The people who watch Tucker Carlson, by and large, aren't the same sorts of people who are swayed by strong arguments.

        Maybe you can convince me that there should be programs focused on persuading the hearts and minds of the far right, but we also absolutely need unashamed progressive voices who are willing to articulate strong progressive positions without watering them down enough to be palatable to a reactionary audience.

        5 votes
        1. wervenyt
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          In the context of the "radicalization pipeline" paradigm of Fox and similar right wing media, which Carlson typifies, the simple division of people into "liberal-progressive-leftist" and...

          In the context of the "radicalization pipeline" paradigm of Fox and similar right wing media, which Carlson typifies, the simple division of people into "liberal-progressive-leftist" and "conservative-alt-right-white-supremacist" strata doesn't seem incredibly meaningful. This sort of video is most definitely targeting people further away from the extremes of politics, like most all cable programming. For people who identify with the "Red Tribe" primarily due to a huge lack of historical understanding and/or actual political ideology, this sort of clear demonstration of conceptual overlap with people who are obviously despicable might do a lot of good in inoculating them against Tucker Carlson's brand of bullshit.

          2 votes
  2. [17]
    dubteedub
    Link
    I think this was one of John Oliver's best segments in a long time and just a fantastic breakdown of Tucker Carlson's constant appeals to white supremacy. Tucker's show has been called the "White...

    I think this was one of John Oliver's best segments in a long time and just a fantastic breakdown of Tucker Carlson's constant appeals to white supremacy. Tucker's show has been called the "White Power Hour" for a long time now and a lot of these clips were used by the successful campaign by Sleeping Giants to get advertisers to drop their ad spots on his show and Fox News as a whole.

    The President of Media Matters for America did a great Twitter thread the other day showing just how much Fox News is subsidizing Tucker's hateful show at this point.

    So, I went through every single one of his ads for 2021 so far. Here's the thing: He has lost so many advertisers already that he doesn't really have any left to target.

    His top paid advertiser is MyPillow and his 2nd biggest "paid" sponsor is Fox News.

    Yes. Tucker Carlson has lost so many advertisers that in addition to reducing the number of paid ads on the show due to not enough advertisers, Fox News is now buying up ads on Tucker's show...so many...that they're his second largest advertiser.

    https://twitter.com/GoAngelo/status/1370226840674131969

    One thing that I thought should absolutely be brought up about Tucker Carlson and his show that John did not cover in his segment is that Tucker has actually had to fire his top writer Blake Neff in 2020 because he was secretly a rabid white nationalist online.

    Neff was not the only white nationalist that has worked for Tucker, who owns the far-right publication The Daily Caller. In fact, Tucker had published a number of works by the neo-nazi Jason Kessler who organized the 2017 Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, among plenty of other altright figures.

    It honestly baffles me that Tucker is allowed to have the platform he does considering how often he traffics is racist white nationalist speech and with so many connections to altright figures.

    19 votes
    1. [15]
      joplin
      Link Parent
      I really hate myself for having watched the whole segment. Even in small clips like that with appropriate commentary, Carlson is toxic. On the Media (which is a great radio show/podcast) did a...

      I really hate myself for having watched the whole segment. Even in small clips like that with appropriate commentary, Carlson is toxic. On the Media (which is a great radio show/podcast) did a segment on him as well. (I think that's a July, 2020 follow-up to the one they did in 2019?) Anyway, it makes most of the same points.

      That's really interesting about his advertisers. When Rush Limbaugh died a few weeks ago, I wondered here if there was anyone the right respected to take his place and it was suggested that people like Tucker would fill his shoes. I have to wonder how long Fox will subsidize him? It would be hilarious if they "deplatformed" him not for his racist rantings but because of a lack of advertisers.

      11 votes
      1. [11]
        psi
        Link Parent
        Since you mentioned OTM, you should check out this episode: Slaying the Fox Monster. Basically the lack of advertisers doesn't actually matter -- Fox News can survive without them.

        Since you mentioned OTM, you should check out this episode: Slaying the Fox Monster.

        [BOB GARFIELD] This is On the Media, I'm Bob Garfield. To recap, we're discussing how the marketplace might force Fox News Channel into responsible behavior or even into financial catastrophe. Most of that discussion tends to focus on advertiser boycotts, but Media Matters Angelo Carusone has just redirected our attention to Fox's real cash cow. Say Moo, it's you.

        [ANGELO CARUSONE] They can have zero commercials and still have a 90 percent profit margin because they are the second most expensive channel on everybody's cable box, and Fox is in the process right now of renegotiating 40 to 50 percent of all of their contracts.

        [BOB GARFIELD] Fox commands about twenty dollars per cable subscriber per year, not per viewer per subscriber. As long as your cable system embraces Fox to deliver its steady, loyal audience – you, basic cable subscriber – are underwriting Fox and Friends. So if this is truly an inflection point, it may be that we can't depend on advertisers to inflect, but instead the cable companies themselves. Comcast, Charter, Cox, Verizon and so forth. Yes, imagine your cable company, which you almost certainly hate for reasons that have nothing to do with politics, as a savior of American democracy like King Kong versus Godzilla, only Godzilla, is late for your service window.

        Basically the lack of advertisers doesn't actually matter -- Fox News can survive without them.

        19 votes
        1. [9]
          Akir
          Link Parent
          It's also a reminder that pay TV + commercials is literally double-dipping, and we should not support these business models.

          It's also a reminder that pay TV + commercials is literally double-dipping, and we should not support these business models.

          9 votes
          1. [8]
            grahamiam
            Link Parent
            I agree with not supporting cable for a lot of reasons, but having more than one source of income seems arbitrary? Lots of businesses do this. Off the top of my head, Costco's sales + membership.

            I agree with not supporting cable for a lot of reasons, but having more than one source of income seems arbitrary? Lots of businesses do this. Off the top of my head, Costco's sales + membership.

            4 votes
            1. Akir
              Link Parent
              First, one of the original selling points for cable was that it was supposed to offer you commercial-free programming. Second, introducing advertisers to a television station pressures the...

              First, one of the original selling points for cable was that it was supposed to offer you commercial-free programming.

              Second, introducing advertisers to a television station pressures the operators to cater their content to please advertisers even when it might compromise what the viewer might want.

              Third, the introduction of advertisements degrades the viewing experience, often dramatically if they are put during the middle of a show (which is common).

              Fourth, many, if not most, advertisements you are actually seeing (depending on the channel) are inserted into the stream by your local cable operator, meaning that the income is actually going to the middleman instead of the people who are presumably producing the shows you want to watch.

              1 vote
            2. [6]
              frostycakes
              Link Parent
              IIRC Costco barely makes any profit at all off of their goods sold, it's all membership revenue.

              IIRC Costco barely makes any profit at all off of their goods sold, it's all membership revenue.

              1. [4]
                Akir
                Link Parent
                I strongly doubt that. Costco's products aren't that cheap. If anything, the membership is a mechanic that encourages you to buy more there because you've already sunk cost into it.

                I strongly doubt that. Costco's products aren't that cheap.

                If anything, the membership is a mechanic that encourages you to buy more there because you've already sunk cost into it.

                2 votes
                1. [3]
                  teaearlgraycold
                  Link Parent
                  I always assumed it was like a gym membership or AOL - most of your revenue comes from customers that aren't using the services but haven't yet cancelled the monthly payment.

                  I always assumed it was like a gym membership or AOL - most of your revenue comes from customers that aren't using the services but haven't yet cancelled the monthly payment.

                  2 votes
                  1. Akir
                    Link Parent
                    Costco membership is annual, and AFAIK doesn't have an auto-renew option. Typically people don't even know their membership is up until they're at the register trying to checkout (which also acts...

                    Costco membership is annual, and AFAIK doesn't have an auto-renew option. Typically people don't even know their membership is up until they're at the register trying to checkout (which also acts as a high-pressure sales pitch).

                    Honestly, the biggest reason why I don't like recommending people to shop at Costco is because they are the masters of psychological manipulation. It's easy to think you're saving money while also buying a bunch of stuff that you normally wouldn't.

                    3 votes
                  2. Omnicrola
                    Link Parent
                    A reasonable assertion, but I think the scale of it is wrong for that to be true. Costco is $60/year. Gym memberships vary, but they're usually at least $20/month ($120/year). Granted a lot more...

                    A reasonable assertion, but I think the scale of it is wrong for that to be true. Costco is $60/year. Gym memberships vary, but they're usually at least $20/month ($120/year). Granted a lot more people are probably members of the average Costco than the average gym, but just in terms of real estate used I don't think it would work out.

        2. joplin
          Link Parent
          Wow, that's bleak. I am actually getting ready to switch providers and cut the cord at the same time (once it's safe to have tech in my house again). I will definitely let both providers know that...

          Wow, that's bleak. I am actually getting ready to switch providers and cut the cord at the same time (once it's safe to have tech in my house again). I will definitely let both providers know that I don't want their cable TV service because it pays money to Fox.

          7 votes
      2. [2]
        post_below
        Link Parent
        Based on John's segment, Carlson's show is crazy (fighteningly) popular. They're less subsidizing him and more using his appeal to draw and keep viewers, which they make plenty of money on even if...

        Based on John's segment, Carlson's show is crazy (fighteningly) popular. They're less subsidizing him and more using his appeal to draw and keep viewers, which they make plenty of money on even if it's not when they're watching his show.

        5 votes
        1. dubteedub
          Link Parent
          Honestly, for the most rabid of Trump supporters, Fox News is no longer their news source of choice because they have pulled back from the Big Lie that Trump actually won the election. A lot of...

          Honestly, for the most rabid of Trump supporters, Fox News is no longer their news source of choice because they have pulled back from the Big Lie that Trump actually won the election. A lot of them are abandoning Fox for even more far-right / conspiracy minded sources like OANN and Newsmax. For a lot of them Tucker's show is the only one they will still come to Fox to watch.

          5 votes
  3. Jedi
    Link
    I have been wanting John to do a segment on Tucker for so long. I’m honestly disappointed by how it came out, but I’m still happy to have seen him cover it nonetheless. I suppose if he were to run...

    I have been wanting John to do a segment on Tucker for so long. I’m honestly disappointed by how it came out, but I’m still happy to have seen him cover it nonetheless. I suppose if he were to run for president there’d be a more scathing episode reminiscent of Trump’s all-out episode, not that that’s what I expected here, but I’d love to see it.

    3 votes
  4. [3]
    wcerfgba
    Link
    Regionblocked :(

    Regionblocked :(

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      wcerfgba
      Link Parent
      Alternative link: https://vidcloud9.com/videos/last-week-tonight-with-john-oliver-season-8-episode-5
      8 votes
      1. jcdl
        Link Parent
        That website is incredibly awful without an adblocker. It sent me to about 100 different phishing and "singles in your area" spam sites.

        That website is incredibly awful without an adblocker. It sent me to about 100 different phishing and "singles in your area" spam sites.