Somnambulant Fox Board Shocked To Discover Tucker Carlson’s Racism!

INSIDE: Dan Scavino ... E. Jean Carroll ... Zooey Zephyr
speaks onstage at IGNITION: Future of Media at Time Warner Center on November 29, 2017 in New York City.
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 29: Tucker Carlson, host of "Tucker Carlson Tonight" speaks onstage at IGNITION: Future of Media at Time Warner Center on November 29, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
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A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

‘It’s Not How White Men Fight’

What to make of the latest Tucker Carlson revelation, a Jan. 7, 2021 text showing him in full racist froth over the beating of a Antifa protestor in DC?

We are to believe, based on the NYT reporting, that this Carlson text “set off a panic at the highest levels of Fox.” Coming as it did on the eve of the scheduled trial of the Dominion defamation case against Fox, we can perhaps attribute some of the so-called panic to the timing. Perhaps.

But after years of Carlson going on the air every weeknight to espouse white nationalism, foment racial hatred, and demean people of color with racist tropes and stereotypes, we’re supposed to accept that the Fox board somehow came to its senses when confronted with a single 18-month-old text?

The key part of the text (emphasis mine):

A group of Trump guys surrounded an Antifa kid and started pounding the living shit out of him. It was three against one, at least. Jumping a guy like that is dishonorable obviously. It’s not how white men fight.

To be fair, the NYT story couches the text not as a smoking gun per se, but reports that it “contributed to a chain of events that ultimately led to Mr. Carlson’s firing.” That leaves a fair bit for interpretation of how much the text contributed and what other things also contributed to the firing.

There’s also this bit of new reporting from the WaPo which seems relevant:

After seeing the message, the board alerted Fox executives that it planned to retain a law firm to investigate Carlson’s behavior, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive discussions.

We’re not in a position to know, with so many of the Carlson internal communications either still private or redacted in court documents, what combination of revelations or notifications to the board prompted it to act finally. But it’s simply way too credulous to pretend this text somehow represents a greater display of racism from Carlson than he displayed on air in front of million of viewers night after night for years, in plain view of the Fox board.

Scavino Sighting At DC Federal Courthouse

Trump Won’t Testify In Carroll Trial

Donald Trump will not testify in his own defense in the E. Jean Carroll trial. Trump’s team may still decide to do a videotaped deposition of Trump in the case at trial.

The jury may get the case as soon as this week, but not before Carroll’s team plays the Access Hollywood tape for them.

Proud Boys Jury Signals Deadlock

In the Proud Boys seditious conspiracy trial, a couple of new jury notes Tuesday suggested that it is being diligent and may be deadlocked on at least one of the charges.

Ex-FBI Supervisor Arrested On Jan. 6 Charges

A former FBI supervisory special agent was arrested in Oregon this week in connection with the Jan. 6 attack and accused of encouraging rioters to kill police officers protecting the Capitol:

“I’m former—I’m former law enforcement. You’re disgusting. You are the Nazi. You are the Gestapo. You can’t see it. … Shame on you! Shame on you! Shame on you!” federal authorities say he told officers before he entered the Capitol. “Yeah, f— them! Yeah, kill ’em! Kill ’em! Kill ’em! Kill ’em!”


A Big Lie-touting elections official in Michigan has been voted out in a recall election in conservative Hillsdale County.

Zooey Zephyr Loses In Court

A state court declined to intervene on behalf of transgender state Rep. Zooey Zephyr after the GOP-controlled House banned her from the floor of the chamber for the rest of the current session:

Judge Mike Menahan, who served in the House as a Democrat before being elected to the state’s First District Court a decade ago, said in a five-page order issued late Tuesday that he did not have the authority to intervene in the legislative dispute.

The current session ends Friday.

Where Things Stand On The Debt Ceiling

  • House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) started the long-shot process of using a “discharge petition” to force a vote on a clean debt ceiling increase.
  • One way out of this seeming logjam – with the Speaker of the House taking the world economy hostage and the President refusing to deal with terrorists – has been obvious all along: Each of them asserts that a final package consisting of some spending cuts and a debt ceiling hike to be true to their own values, declares victory and walks away. We’ll see.


Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is pressing charges against a woman who allegedly threw a glass of wine at him over the weekend back home in Florida.

Ethics Rules For SCOTUS? Gasp!

Senate Judiciary Democrats tried to make a go of elevating the Clarence Thomas scandal and other recent SCOTUS revelations. TPM’s Kate Riga was there.

One highlight of the hearing was former Attorney General Michael Mukasey being 100% on brand:

Feinstein Could be Back Next Week

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) could return to DC as soon as next week, according to … notes Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was holding that reporters spied.

(My own read, since these were notes Schumer prepared for a press conference, is that “We are both hopeful she can return next week” is buying time.)

Nice Little Public Radio Network You Got There …

After NPR stopped using Twitter, Elon Musk emailed an NPR reporter the following threat:  “So is NPR going to start posting on Twitter again, or should we reassign @NPR to another company?”

Abortion Rights Alert

  • North Carolina: After months of closed-door deliberations, statehouse Republicans unveiled a new proposal for a 12-week abortion ban. In a sign of the evolving politics of abortion rights post-Dobbs, the ban is being pitched by Republican women lawmakers as a less-harsh compromise than stricter bans in other Southern states.
  • Utah: A state judge put on hold a first-in-the-nation ban on abortion clinics.

More Jeffrey Epstein Reveals

The WSJ is out with its second installment based on a trove of Jeffrey Epstein documents: “Dinners With Lawrence Summers and Movie Screenings With Woody Allen

2024 Is Gonna Be One LONG Cycle

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