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Stephen Colbert Defends Tucker Carlson’s Right to Shout Fire in a Crowded Theater.

In yet another display of establishment hypocrisy, the Nixon fanboy,* Stephen Colbert, has denounced a group of people who, allegedly attempted to break into the home** of Fox “News” proagandist and irresponsible ally of Trump’s bigotry and fascim, Tucker Carlson.

Colbert makes the following point: “Fighting Tucker Carlson’s ideas is an American right. Targeting his home and terrorizing his family is an act of monstrous cowardice. Obviously don’t do this, but also, take no pleasure in it happening. Feeding monsters just makes more monsters.”

This of course is a textbook example of privilege. White, wealthy, male, corporate privilege. Not everyone has a hunk of prime time real estate and millions of dollars, and the protection afforded by wealth, the dubious, if problematic, security of a major corporate sponsor and the relative safety of fame. Listening to Colbert admonish the victims of a court jester who pimps for state terror, to be civil, is like listening to a pedophile priest deliver a sermon on chastity.

Tucker Carlson has spent the better part of several years advocating state terror disguised as conservative opinion. He is aligned with a delusional, racist, fascist gangster whose idea of civility is attacking journalists, fabricating evidence of an assault, revoking their access as a means to intimidating his critics and stopping scrutiny of the regime. This is done against a backdrop of systemic corruption, environmental genocide, and spasms of domestic terrorism, about which no one of any public stature is asking, how can a government that devotes hundreds of billions of dollars to mass surveillance keep missing the flashing lights of impending violence, when it’s committed by White men in America?***

Tucker Carlson is in effect screaming at an enraged atavistic mob, that the foreigners, the queers, the women, the Jews, the Blacks, and the Latinos are all coming to get them, and when victims of his, shouting fire in a crowded theater rhetoric, get enraged, and show up at his front door to say, hey mother fucker, stop inciting mob violence or it will come to you, Colbert is there to wag his finger in America’s face.

He’s right of course, violence is not the answer, which is why we expect him to demand that Carlson stop ginning up mob violence, stop making excuses for bigotry and tyranny, and that the only way to stop it is through civil disobedience, and that, he is going to demonstrate his concern for our fragile republic, and his contempt for Carlson’s fascism, by going on strike, and staging a series of acts of disruptive civil disobedience, including but not limited to, organizing his wealthy White liberal friends, to stage sit-ins, occupations, and other actions that force the Democrats to act in defense of the Constitution, relieving the rest of the country of the need to defend itself against tyranny, through increasingly desperate and drastic means.

But of course, that’s a joke because the truth is, Colbert is a liberal hypocrite who will go on cracking jokes, having Sean Spicer and Henry Kissinger on as guests, waxing nostalgic for Nixon, and lecturing the victims of Carlson’s Father Coughlin style terrorism, that some people can shout fire, in a crowded theater, and everyone else has the right to be trampled to death.


*For a look at Colbert’s affection for Nixon, see the following:

**Crucially, the media, and Colbert could not be bothered to point out that there is now contrary evidence suggesting that no one attempted to break into Carlson’s home, no damage was done to his property and that the entire episode was an example of wealthy White boys pissing themselves because someone told them to shut the fuck up and stop inciting violence.

***Our colleague, David Benjamin Steele makes the valid point that the FBI et al have been open (within the limits of both legitimate security and illegitimate, systemic, mendacity) about the threat posed by White Nationalist Terrorism. Many individuals in the security establishment are perfectly well aware of the threat, the byzantine and corrupt politics involved and work to do what is right.

That of course does not change the fact that the system is corrupt and as a result, between bureaucratic lethargy, deliberate cynical indifference, and authentic right wing, neo-fascist support, the same machinery of surveillance that has locked the American left in a virtual gulag, is also used to enable the threat and use it as a pretext for an ever expanding system of control.

This is hardly unique. Writing about such situation nearly a century ago, Joseph Conrad gave the world the novel, The Secret Agent. And in terms of federal agents going so far “undercover” as to become, de facto agents of terror, one need only consider Conrad’s Mista Kurtz or his later iteration in Apocalypse Now – based not only on Heart of Darkness but on the ugly truths of Operation Phoenix – the CIA orchestrated, Vietnam based death squads, to see that the very nature of counter-intelligence, counter-terrorism, and their bureaucratic architecture are flawed at the level of their DNA.

Update: 12/18/18

Perhaps Colbert will comment on this:

6 comments on “Stephen Colbert Defends Tucker Carlson’s Right to Shout Fire in a Crowded Theater.

  1. “how can a government that devotes hundreds of billions of dollars to mass surveillance keep missing the flashing lights of impending violence, when it’s committed by White men in America?”

    Many have asked that question. The government hasn’t missed anything. If you recall, there was an FBI report put out under the Bush administration. It warned against the violent threat from right-wingers, veterans most of all. The government was as open as it can be about such things and all the remarkable for coming out under Republican watch. But it was simply an honest appraisal.

    Those in power know that violence will most likely come from the right, not the left. That overlooks the simple fact that they don’t mind violence, as it justifies more oppression and surveillance from the state. The less violent left is a greater threat in that they might advocate for actual change. The threat of democracy, the threat of reform or revolution, even if completely non-violent, is more horrifying to the ruling elite than mass terrorism.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. rauldukeblog says:

      I should have parsed my point with more precision though I was aiming for what you said – they are doing it deliberately.

      I don’t think for three seconds that they are unaware of these lunatics and I believe they have infiltrated the White nationalists.

      Case in point, the major drug dealers in Baltimore are eyes and ears for the feds who as a result are in the drug business.

      Same with “Terrorism Inc.”

      I don’t think as a policy they want violence but two things are systemic. First there are agents who go down river like Kurtz and become de facto terrorists. Second, the line between agent provocateur and not, is wafer thin.

      But in the end as you say, authentic revolution is worse to the system than terrorism.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is an interesting thought:

        “I don’t think as a policy they want violence but two things are systemic. First there are agents who go down river like Kurtz and become de facto terrorists. Second, the line between agent provocateur and not, is wafer thin.”

        What the intelligence agencies present themselves is not entirely what they are. Any organization, vast secret bureaucracies most of all, are operated by individual actors. And those individuals exist within complex overlapping systems built on personal relationships and agendas.

        It’s not only that the public and most government officials don’t know what these agencies really do behind the scenes, most of it with zero oversight and funded with dark money. It’s much worse than that. Even the hierarchy of the agencies themselves don’t likely know all that goes on within.

        Secrecy tends to create collective ignorance. Much of these agencies likely are acting autonomously through long chains of plausible deniability. There are agents with so many ulterior motives and divided loyalties that even they don’t know who they serve or maybe what purpose they are trying to achieve.

        At some point, an agent provocateur is no different than a terrorist and criminal informer is no different than a cog in the machine.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. rauldukeblog says:

        This is 100% the case. What’s completely absent from the public discussion and the sham debates are the extent to which individual agents or groups within agencies set their “off the books” agendas.

        In his autobiography Bill Clinton described such an event vis the bombing of the PRC embassy in Belgrade during the “NATO” air war in the “Former Yugoslavia.”

        BC said that the then president of China told him: Bill I don’t believe you ordered your air force to attack out embassy. I believe someone at the CIA deliberately gave your air force the wrong coordinates so they would hit our embassy.

        And Clinton said: I could not tell him he was wrong.

        This is staggering in its implications and of course has received zero public debate because of what it means coming from a former president.

        Additionally I’m convinced that the true story behind Newt Gingrich and the Lewinsky coup was Clinton’s bureaucratic war with the spooks.

        Get ahold of a book called, The Plutonium Files and another called The Pinochet Files.

        They sandwich the Clinton regime and contextualize the era.

        Clinton spent 8 years locked in a bureaucratic siege with the spooks demanding they release the files from the 60s and other key decades and of course they resisted.

        It creates an important nuance to Clinton as “only a neoliberal triangulator.” He was those things but he was still a 60s character – and on several occasions he’s made subtle public comments about the spooks having a private agenda and there being cadres within the agencies who operate on their own.

        I added a note to the post mentioning your point – and developing the point that there’s a systemic structural problem in the DNA of “undercover” work

        Scorsese’s The Departed (based on a Hong Kong film) is a perfect illustration of the dilemma. It’s based on Whitey Bulger but it’s fascinating and revealing that we call it “the Whitey Bulger” story when the more authentic narrative focal point is that it’s the “FBI story” in which Bulger is a character or that at least both are valid and authentic narrative focal points.

        Additionally I’d say we’re now in an era similar to Eastern Europe in the decades+ prior to 1989 – everyone “knows” and the system (evidenced by Trump Inc) is cannibalizing itself.

        The “protect Mueller” progressives have no idea that they sound like they fell out of a Milan Kundera novel about life in Czechoslovakia in the late 70s and early/mid 80s.

        “Mueller” has to be protected but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s up to his gills in shit and so are the rest of the spooks.

        Calling it a Greek tragedy sounds too pat but the structure of a Greek tragedy is based on a representation of “fate” in that the system chews itself up – he idea being that the imperial system from JFK until now is gangster Inc or Murder incorporated and it can’t be both that and a system of “checks and balances” because they are at cross purposes and trying to walk the middle produces “Trump” – sprung from the sewer of New York business – NYPD, FBI, DEA, ATF, Narcotics, Vice, Italian mafia, Irish mafia, Russian mafia, Jewish mafia, Asian, Jamaican, Latin, crooked restaurants (Bourdain’s stories of how drug addled the culinary world is – is a regurgitation of Hunter Thompson and Damon Runyon – it’s all crooked), the crooked media, the corrupt city pols and bureaucrats – in other words, America Inc.

        But redefining the Market as “Organized Crime” is verboten.

        The spooks, the DOJ, the whole rotten mess, proves Benjamin correct – civilization and barbarism are different sides of the same coin.

        The other parallel is Weimar. Alfred Doblin’s Alexander Platz novel captures it – the raucous shambolic mess of an entire rickety system.

        “At some point, an agent provocateur is no different than a terrorist and criminal informer is no different than a cog in the machine.”

        The official is by definition a criminal even when being honest.

        Sympathy for the Devil and Dylan’s Absolutely Sweet Marie with the line: “to live outside the law, you must be honest” I see as being, in part, symptomatic of the social anxiety that is generated by the condition of modern society – we must pretend we are unaware of how corrupt the system is – that our technology is manufactured by slaves, that the “free” west exploits the subservient southern hemisphere, that “elections” that cost billions are a modern bread and circus act, etc.

        the anxiety of modern man, say the edgy era of late 19th century Europe where all of sudden instead o the village witch you went to an alienist, or Freud because for “no reason” you couldn’t walk.

        The “past” of course is still “now.”

        Will leave off here as either must write a torrent or perhaps too little.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I was in the middle of writing a detailed response when my glitchy Kindle Fire shut down the browser and erased my comment. To simplify my original thought, I was making the point that intelligence agencies are an extreme form of modern society.

        Dissociation/splintering, like repetition-compulsion/addiction, relates to anxiety-driven consciousness. That relates to Jaynes’ view on habitual unconsciousness, which relates to the veto theory of the will. It is what causes consciousness that, pushed to the extreme, that makes consciousness so disturbed. Consciousness magnifies unconsciousness.

        One of the best insights about this comes from PKD’s A Scanner Darkly. He has some brilliantly portrayed scenes about the splintered self attempting to come to terms with itself, specifically the self spying upon the self as part of a system of social control within a surveillance state.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. rauldukeblog says:

        Betrayed by technology is a constant.

        The nature of consciousness and its connection/impact on foreign policy is a non-topic in our shallow national discourse.

        Apropos of our discussion I read a piece last night on the “Sonic” attacks in Cuba and buried in the article was a casual euphemistic mention of how the spooks have their own agendas and that within the agencies individual agents have their own agendas:

        The culture of the spook agencies are both the Orwellian cliché and counter-intuitive – exactly the opposite of what both left detractors and right cheerleaders would assume.

        But the primary issue is that they are so far from James bond that it’s like the difference between a lion and a slug. The definitions of knowledge and intelligence and what constitutes “data” are all different for them.

        Case in point (may have mentioned this) it turns out that in the mid 80s the CIA was looking at Foucault, Derrida, and Barthes among others and, ironically, saw them as great tools of anti-Marxism.

        That blows up Peterson and co but I also was annoyed and amused to rea dhow the left misread the CIA reading of the French, for their own ideological ends.

        So again we see the dog chasing its tail – the consistent inability to be self-aware.

        Liked by 1 person

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