Tucker Carlson versus David Brock
In 1997 Microsoft Slate.com hosted a four-part “e-mail” Dialogue between a 26-year-old Tucker Carlson, then a writer for the Weekly Standard, and David Brock, just before he formally parted ways with the American Spectator.
The most concise historical context is that David Brock, who went on to form the non-profit 501(3)(c) Democrat/Obama/Clinton advocacy organization (I think this is a violation of various tax codes, but no one cares what I think) Media Matters, was a fake Conservative whose genuinity, sincerity of conservatism lay not in anything he believed, a set of core personal ethos, or a political philosophy but in that he took the side of one set of partisans against the other side. He considered himself “right-wing” because he wrote articles and books defending Conservatives, advocating their positions, and attacking leftists. I don’t know why he joined that group in the first place because it obviously did not have anything to do with his ever-lasting principles; no one who holds Conservative beliefs, however it is defined, joins the other side out of a disagreement in tactics or message tone. No person of integrity goes from protecting life from abortion to insisting that babies can be forcefully and prematurely torn from the mother’s womb simply because they find the tone of the anti-abortion message distasteful and I cannot think of anyone that truly believes in the Austrian economic system switching to a command-economy philosophy just because he does not like how various libertarians make their case. Anyone who switches sides on the grounds of the message is a liar. That is context.
- One of David Brock’s most famous jaunts as a “right-wing”er, a “right-wing hit man” was his defense of Clarence Thomas against Anita Hill.
- Tucker Carlson is very young here; The Clinton administration is in the midst of its second term; National Review Online is young; the Republicans sitting in a state of power are in the federal Legislature and the Democrats control the White House so Conservative journalists are in the odd position of who to criticize and for whom to carry water.
- It is pretty clear that no matter when you arrive in history it is not going to be possible for the “Conservatives” as a collective entity to provide a totally united, unified front on all levels.
- Why should it?
There is a line of thought even now that writers should have the integrity of their own respective convictions while there are challenges for people to police those who supposedly think like them.
The dialogues, overall entitled “Right-Wing Journalism” consist of four entries:
- Tucker Carlson addresses and contradicts David Brock‘s claims of damage, hurt, injury, outcast, and censorship as fallout for breaking away from an orthodoxy.
- David Brock asserts charges of homogeneity in Conservative thought as a refutation to Carlson’s argument that Brock was attacked only by fringe thinkers.
- Tucker Carlson directly refutes the notion of a Conservative “party line”.
- David Brock insists that “Journalistic independence is often met on the Right with accusations of betrayal and social ostracism.”
Tucker Carlson in part 3 asserts the narrative of differing principles in a sort of ongoing discussion which includes obvious dissension and unity among various agents and agencies and David Brock in part 4 demonstrates that he only sees it in terms of allegiances and personal loyalty among the voting bloc.