The Height of Irresponsibility: Tucker Carlson Says It Seems Like the Vaccines Don’t Work and the Government Is Hiding That From You
Here’s the short version of my rant:
Even as this soulless punk tries to convince his millions of viewers that the vaccines don't work, you know for a fact he got his own ass vaccinated long ago https://t.co/oYdGbUYyeM
— Patterico (@Patterico) April 14, 2021
The natural response from Tucker defenders is going to go something like this: that’s a Media Matters for America clip, but if you watch the whole segment he is asking some pretty legitimate questions. Like: why do Fauci and other health experts keep saying we need to stay locked down if the vaccines still work? And why did the feds pause Johnson & Johnson after a handful of blood clotting episodes? None of this makes sense!
In my view, that defense fails. What Tucker Carlson is doing here is evil. I’ll explain.
First, if you’re worried about context, you can get all the context you want in a ten-minute clip embedded here. But the heart of why this is evil is fully contained in the clip above that I retweeted, and it can be found in this quote:
So maybe it doesn’t work and they’re simply not telling you that. Well you hate to think that, especially if you’ve gotten two shots. But what’s the other potential explanation? We can’t think of one. We know the Prime Minister of Canada has decided, after thinking about it a lot, that vaccines just don’t work — and we know that, because he said it out loud.
Uh, no, he didn’t, you lying scumbag. Here’s what Trudeau said:
I think it’s really important that we work from facts and understanding of the science around things. We know for example that the UK is ahead of just about everybody else on vaccinations and yet they maintain very strong restrictions and are facing a very serious third wave. Vaccinations on their own are not enough to keep us safe, we need to engage in the right kind of behaviors. Do things that the conservatives aren’t always good at like wearing masks, keeping distances and obeying public health rules.
Saying that vaccines, in a population that has not been fully vaccinated, should be accompanied by other non-pharmaceutical interventions is not the same as saying “vaccines just don’t work” and it is a lie for Carlson to say otherwise. It is the height of simplistic and even stupid thinking to equate “having a portion of the population vaccinated will not immediately stop the virus in its tracks” and “vaccines just don’t work.”
I don’t think Carlson is so stupid he can’t tell the difference. I don’t think he truly thinks vaccines don’t work. He’s just pandering to the fringier parts of his massive audience for ratings. Period.
So why are health experts saying we still need to be careful for a while, even if vaccinated, and why are they encouraging the continuation of non-pharmeceutical interventions for a period of time after vaccination? Is it because “vaccines just don’t work”? No, it’s because they are concerned about variants and still-ongoing local spikes of cases.
People could have a discussion about whether Fauci has been overcautious. I’m not as convinced as most on the right seem to be that his caution is *necessarily* awful, I read a book about COVID by Nicholas Christakis, who knows a thing or two about public health, and he has consistently been of the view that a vaccine is not going to return us back to normal with a snap of the fingers. With spikes recurring in certain areas, and variants on the loose in parts of the world, if the public health experts want to signal that some caution is in order for a while longer, I’m not going to get too huffy about it. As I have always said, COVID has a longer attention span than Americans do.
And while concern motivated by businesses going under is a genuine issue, I am really put off by the people who act like wearing a mask is some great sacrifice and infringement of our freedom, and I accord very little weight to their whining. Hurting businesses are a different matter, and we can certainly debate government caution in light of the economic suffering so many have felt for so long.
But all of that has little to do with Tucker’s trafficking in conspiracy theories to appeal to an audience of three million people, with an outsized contingent of vaccine skeptics. He could phrase his argument the way most on the right are these days: obviously the vaccines work, as the evidence of their efficacy is stark and overwhelming . . . so why all the caution?? Instead, he panders to anti-vaxxer sentiment.
Social norms do not allow the adequate response. I can’t find words — at least words that I can repeat without being drummed out of polite society — to properly convey the depth of my contempt for this punk in light of what he did here.
And the best part is, although I can’t find evidence of it, that you know he has been vaccinated. I’d bet a year’s salary on it. But it’s probably a closely guarded secret, because it might cut into his ratings if people found out.
Tucker Carlson is just a truly terrible, awful person, and what he has done here is evil.