Rather than condemn the alt-right neo-Nazi white supremacists whose Charlottesville, Virginia, rally ended in deadly violence this past weekend, Tucker Carlson used his show to tar the counter-protesters, doing everything he possibly could to help promote the president’s message that “both sides” were to blame.
Carlson seemed even more concerned than Trump was that statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson—“an indisputably great man”—could be next to come down if liberals get their way. He accused “fanatics on the left” of wanting to “purge” Jefferson from history because of the “moral taint” he carries as a slaveholder. “Watch out, Abraham Lincoln, you’re next,” he added.
“To be clear, as if it’s necessary, slavery is evil,” Carlson declared. That line sounded a lot like the begrudging “racism is evil” declaration Trump read off his teleprompter on Monday.
Apparently, it was necessary, because Carlson spent the next several minutes making the argument that slavery was “the rule, rather than the exception around the world” until 150 years ago, and therefore should be… what? Cherished?
“Now, none of this is a defense of the atrocity of human bondage,” he assured his viewers. “The point, however, is that if we are going to judge the past by the standards of the present, if we’re going to reduce a person’s life to the single worst thing he ever participated in, we had better be prepared for the consequences of that.”
The moral equivalence between the neo-Nazis and those who oppose them became even more stark later in the show.
“One of the things I don’t like about some of these white supremacist groups is that race is at the center of their worldview,” Carlson said. “But I see the same on the left,” he added. “I see people with signs attacking white supremacy—it’s always about race for them as well. They seem every bit as race-obsessed and angry as the people they are fighting. But nobody acknowledges that, for some reason.”
In Carlson’s world, which apparently closely mirrors Trump’s, because progressives want to remove confederate statues and monuments from public spaces, they are just as contemptible as white supremacists.