Is Tucker Up to Keeping O’Reilly’s #1 Cable News Rating?

Published April 24, 2017

As published in the New York Times on Wednesday, April 19, 2017:

Tucker Carlson, a conservative provocateur who joined Fox News’s prime-time ranks only three months ago, has been tapped to replace Mr. O’Reilly at 8 p.m. Eastern, beginning on Monday, the network said. Mr. Carlson has become, seemingly overnight, one of the network’s most vital players, a remarkable turnaround for a pundit whose bow-tied heyday had seemed behind him.

About a week or so ago I discussed with CA political writer and humorist, Burt Prelutsky, my observations regarding Tucker Carlson’s Fox cable show.

Illinois Review readers were first introduced to Mr. Prelutsky and his one-of-a-kind writing though my review of his bookAngels on Tap, on Monday, March 27, 2017.  Angels on Tap is now a delightful, family-oriented movie with religious overtones. (Lacking yet is a distributor)

Perceived was a decided change in Tucker Carlson’s manner from the more aggressive stance he first took when his show premiered until now. But did Tucker really tone down his show, or did perhaps some of the novelty of a new Fox face lead to a false perception?

As Burt Prelutsky suggested, perhaps booking more guests would help.  By so doing Tucker wouldn’t have to waste so much time with some of his self-righteous pinheads guests. Prelutsky used Tucker’s Wednesday, April 20th show as an example. When interviewing the woman who thought there was no limit to Muslim immigrants Europe should be welcoming, Tucker kept demanding the woman answer his “core question,” belaboring the point like a dog with a bone.  As Burt wrote in his typical witty fashion:

But if people don’t care to answer, you have the option of either asking a different question or tying them down and hitting them with rubber hoses.  It felt like the segment went on for half an hour.

Food for Thought: 

  • We both perceive that Tucker is showing a tad too much fear about a war with Russia.  It makes him sound too much like a liberal.  Most people don’t want to go to war, but by standing up to naked aggression, we have less chance of a war than we had under Obama, who encouraged our enemies by never standing up to them.
  • Tucker repeatedly misses cues, as when he fails to mention Hillary’s turning over 20% of America’s uranium in exchange for a bribe to the Clinton Foundation when a guest slanders Trump for his alleged bromance with the Russian despot.
  • With Tucker taking over Bill O’Reilly’s highly prized time slot, viewers will have to decide if he’s ready for primetime.  On balance, we both feel that an hour spent with Tucker is worthwhile more often than not.

Burt Prelutsky granted me permission to share his blog post about Tucker published on Monday, April 17, 2017, demonstrating Prelutsky’s fact-filled and humorous way of writing, which defines all of what Mr. Prelutsky’s writes. .


Nobody was happier than I was when Tucker Carlson replaced Megyn Kelly on Fox.  But I am beginning to lose patience with him because he’s reminding me of the famous little girl with the curl, the one who was very good when she was good, but when she was bad, she was horrid.

The other night, (Monday, April 11, 2017) we got to see both Tuckers in the same hour.  He did a good job of ridiculing Brad Sherman  who just happens to be my congressman.  After Sherman theorized that Trump had tomahawked Syria, not for humanitarian or militarily strategic reasons or even to send a clear signal to China and North Korea, but simply to deflect claims that he’s in bed with Putin, Tucker did a splendid job of mocking him as the ignoramus I know him to be.

But Sherman, whose skin must be nearly as thick as his head, appeared unfazed.  In fact, when Tucker asked him if he didn’t agree that the pinpoint attack on the Syrian airfield was a good thing, Sherman replied: “After the chemical bombings of civilians by Assad, any president would have done the same.”

I, and I suspect the majority of Carlson’s viewers, sat in stunned silence when the host failed to point out there had in fact been a president, a member of Sherman’s own party in fact, who, even after drawing a red line in the sand, had done absolutely nothing.

But missing his cues has become something of a habit with Carlson.  A few nights earlier, when another left-wing congressman accused Donald Trump of playing footsies with Putin, Carlson failed to mention that not a single Democrat in Congress complained when Secretary of State Clinton handed over 20% of America’s uranium to Russia in exchange for a huge bribe to her family’s foundation.  As mortal sins go, most people would agree that playing footsies, even if true, would pale by comparison.

I wouldn’t want anyone to get the idea that Carlson’s case is hopeless.  After blowing it with Rep. Sherman, he made something of a comeback when he had on a New York City public defender whose client is an illegal alien who had been convicted of sexually abusing a child and deported.  As so often is the case, the schmuck snuck back in.  This time he attacked a woman on a subway.

The lawyer’s complaint was that the NYPD had informed ICE of his court date, so they’d be in a position to take him into federal custody.  She regarded this as a moral outrage because Mayor Bill De Blasio had assured everyone that New York was a sanctuary city, and that such things would never happen.

Apparently, there are those, including this public defender, who believe, as does Mayor De Blasio, that he is God.  Carlson did a good job of disabusing her of that notion.

Carlson also did a good job of refuting a lawyer who is fighting the Texas law requiring people to show a government-issued I.D. (driver’s license, passport, gun permit) in order to vote.

As Carlson pointed out, you can’t board a plane, receive welfare, hold a paying job or get a credit card, without one of these documents.  In most places, you can’t even register your kids for school if you can’t prove who you are.

But the lady ignored the facts, instead focusing on a fraudulent number — 600,000, mostly black and Hispanic — whom she insisted had lost their voting rights because of the Texas bill.

Carlson patiently explained that while it’s true that voting is a constitutional right, so is owning a gun.  And yet, there are several barriers that American citizens have to successfully hurdle, including providing a photo I.D., before they can purchase a pistol.

Instead of agreeing that it’s not unreasonable for Texas to require the same proof of identity before allowing someone to vote that is required of someone buying a six-pack of Budweiser, the loon doubled down by contending that only two cases of voter fraud had been discovered in Texas, and so those pesky ID’s are clearly unnecessary.

Heaven only knows what they’re teaching in law school these days, but, apparently, logic isn’t one of them.

[Originally Published at Illinois Review]