What: The care and attention surrounding one pundit’s night of terror.
Who: Tucker Carlson, the media at large.
Why we care: Noted white-people-enthusiast Tucker Carlson constantly cautions his millions of viewers against an “invasion” of their country. Earlier this week, however, the Fox News host suffered an actual invasion of his own when a group of far-left protesters descended on his home.
The group, which apparently calls itself Smash Racism DC, gathered around Carlson’s home and chanted, “Tucker Carlson, we will fight. We know where you sleep at night.” The group proceeded to spray paint an anarchy sign on Carlson’s property and knock on his door hard enough to leave a crack. Now, police are investigating the matter.
Before commenting on the media and police response to Carlson’s situation, allow me to get the obvious out of the way. I don’t agree with this group’s actions at all. Protesting is a right of monumental importance, and although it is not Fast Company‘s official position, it is my opinion that this right extends to restaurants refusing to serve Sarah Huckabee Sanders and that sort of thing. Actually going to Carlson’s house, threatening him, and damaging his property is not only an illegal and morally indefensible counterpunch to his white nationalist tendencies, it actually turns him into a martyr.
Having said all that, it’s also true that Carlson is receiving disproportionate attention and pity for his harassment, compared with certain other people. On the same day that news of Carlson’s ordeal broke, NPR released a piece on Christine Blasey Ford’s ongoing nightmare, and you probably don’t have to guess whose name, between Ford and Carlson, became the subject of national hand wringing. The chief Brett Kavanaugh accuser reportedly has had to move residences four times in the months since she came forward, she’s had to pay for a private security detail, she has yet to return to her job as a professor at Palo Alto University, and she keeps receiving death threats.
As far as the public seems concerned, Ford’s story ended the moment the U.S. senators decided either not to believe her story about Kavanaugh, or that it didn’t matter. The ongoing campaign of harassment against her could be a flashpoint for explaining oft-asked questions like, “Why didn’t she come forward sooner?” and “Why don’t women report their sexual assaults?” Those are the kinds of conversations we could be having, rather than ones about what Carlson’s traumatic experience means for society.