This is sinister, and made more so by the setting. It’s one thing for some liberal activist on MSNBC to spin themselves up into HUAC-vintage demagoguery for an audience of lefty true believers.
But “The View” is a show pitched to stay-at-home moms from across the spectrum. It’s as mainstream as mainstream gets.
The cringiest part comes after Ana Navarro finishes her spiel, when Whoopi Goldberg chimes in with “They used to arrest people for doing stuff like this” — and sounds wistful about it.
This is so deranged. The View calling for Tucker and Tulsi to be investigated by DOJ and suggest prison. pic.twitter.com/t96QRUVKrb
— Watchdog (@LibWatchdog) March 14, 2022
We have (or had) honest-to-goodness Russian state media airing in this country and Navarro wants some sort of criminal investigation of Fox’s 8 p.m. guy?
Without any probable cause to believe he’s a foreign agent apart from his holding garbage authoritarian opinions?
It’s one thing to needle Putin apologists by calling them the “Putin wing of the media.” Criticism is fair game and the anti-anti-Russia squad gives as good as it gets. “Neocons,” “warmongers,” “chickenhawks” — you know the buzzwords. Why, Tucker’s not above taking shots at his own network’s reporters, accusing them of doing stenography for the Pentagon.
Navarro is way beyond criticism. She wants government harassment of dissenters, nothing more or less. The good old days, according to Whoopi.
Carlson’s going to dine out on this clip for days. And he deserves to.
Amanda Carpenter has a piece today about the rash of Putin apologetics in populist media titled, “Russia Doesn’t Need Trolls This Time.” It’s a comforting illusion to believe, as “The View” seemingly does, that someone who would take seriously Russia’s claims about U.S.-made bioweapons in Ukraine could only believe such a thing because they’re on the take. Nonsense. They’re just nationalists who resent Americans’ instinct to favor liberal democracies over autocracies and are doing what they can to get people to question that instinct. When Carpenter says Russia doesn’t need trolls this time, she means Moscow doesn’t need a paid army of Russian sh*tposters posting disinformation a la the 2016 campaign. There are many populist influencers in the U.S. willing to do that for them for free, out of ideological or cultural sympathy:
Recall how the Russia-sympathizing, Q-adjacent, Trump-loving MAGA media machine first railed against Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s election meddling. Russia wasn’t responsible, they said—a computer server in Ukraine ran the operation. Then, in 2020, they accused Ukrainian officials of withholding dirt on Joe Biden’s family. Now they allege that the United States is funding bioweapons laboratories in Ukraine and our government is covering it up.
Make a Venn Diagram of the people pushing each of those three narratives and you’ll find they overlap almost completely. It’s all the same people: fringe Internet figures, Fox News hosts, Steve Bannon and his acolytes, Marjorie Taylor Greene caucus members, and the millions of people who love them.
Most of these people claim to be free-thinking contrarians. But their accusations, questions, and conclusions about the United States, Russia, and Ukraine always seem to go one way: The United States and Ukraine are somehow wrong, and the Russians have their reasons for waging war. If you don’t believe that, it’s only because all the Democrats are lying to you. (Well, all the Democrats except for 2022 CPAC special guest Tulsi Gabbard, anyway.)
They’re not free-thinking contrarians. They’re authoritarians. But so is Navarro. Between her and Tucker, only one of them is calling for their political enemies to draw Justice Department scrutiny.
Exit question: If saying something insensitive about the Holocaust and then apologizing repeatedly is worth a two-week suspension from “The View,” how many weeks should you get for unapologetically trying to weaponize the federal government against felony wrongthink in the third degree?