The trolls at Media Matters emerged from under their bridge this weekend with a bag of Tucker Carlson dirt. Apparently, Carlson made multiple appearances on a radio show hosted by Bubba the Love Sponge between 10 and 15 years ago, wherein he cracked some terribly offensive jokes and shared some Very Bad Opinions. Here's a sampling.
The future Fox Host used words like "c*nt" and "whore." He joked about a teacher sleeping with a 13-year-old boy (joining the ranks of the approximately 4 billion other people who have joked about those kinds of cases as well). He said that Warren Jeffs got a bad wrap and suggested that an arranged marriage between a 16-year-old and a 27-year-old isn't tantamount to rape. Media Matters assures us that this is only the tip of the Wrongthink Iceberg. The minions who trolled through 20 years of Carlson radio interviews and TV segments have evidently found several more inappropriate comments.
For his part, Carlson refuses to apologize, even as an orchestrated campaign to boycott his sponsors quickly gathers steam. Some thought went into the timing of all this. The president of Media Matters is bragging that they released these tapes on the same week that Fox is hosting an event for its advertisers and buyers, essentially admitting that this is nothing more than a smear campaign designed to punish an ideological opponent. Not a shocking revelation by any means, but it does help put things into perspective.
Nobody is authentically angry here. This is all a game. It's like a theater production. Performative outrage, as always. Indeed, leftists aren't just unoffended by Carlson's comments — they're excited. They can hardly contain their glee. They can barely wipe the smirk off their faces while they bemoan Carlson's misogyny. You can hear them high-fiving in the background. "We got him!"
And that's why I don't care about the bad things Carlson said on the Bubba the Love Sponge show in 2007. I don't care because nobody cares. If you were going to care, you should have cared back then. There's a statute of limitations on outrage. You can't wait 10 years to decide that you're offended by a bad joke. The outrage train has long since left the station. If you dig up "offensive" remarks years after the fact, you are doing it for transparently opportunistic and disingenuous reasons. So why should anyone take your finger wagging seriously? You don't even take it seriously.
Carlson is right to refuse to apologize. The fake outrage brigade does not deserve an apology, ever, for anything. Groveling apologies and public acts of contrition only embolden the pitchfork mob. They serve no other purpose. It would be good to do away with the whole public apology genre for this reason. If you actually did something to cause another human being real harm, go and apologize to them privately. The public does not need to witness your penance.
But if your infraction has harmed no one, caused no injury, brought no authentic pain to anyone, then no apology — public or private — is necessary. Carlson didn't do anyone any harm by shooting the breeze with Bubba the Love Sponge. Anyone listening at the time was fully prepared for that kind of content. You don't turn the dial to Bubba the Love Sponge expecting scholarly disputation. Anyone listening now is only listening because leftist character assassins dug it up and broadcast it. They're the ones forcing us to hear this stuff. Let them apologize.