Friday, January 26, 2024

Tucker Carlson goes to Canada

So, Tucker Carlson was invited to Canada to impart some of the ultra-right wing conspiracy theorists' deep wisdom. Well, that was never going to go well, was it?

The man that even Fox News couldn't stomach was invited to speak by - you might have guessed - Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, ostensibly for Carlson to "interview her" (i.e endorse her). I guess she thought it might burnish her severely-tarnished reputation a little. And maybe it did among her die-hard supporters, those who don't really care whether her reputation is somewhat tarnished according to those liberal elites in Toronto and Montreal.

For every one else, those she would categorize as liberal elites (whatever that actually means), the visit mainly elicited yawns and eye-rolls. Smith did preface her "interview" with a disclaimer that she doesn't necessarily agree with everything Carlson says, but after that it pretty much went as you might expect - support for Alberta's oil exports to the US, and criticism of the solar power that Alberta increasingly relies on; support for 2022's trucker convoy, and amnesty for Albertans arrested during it; opposition to medical assistance in dying; opposition to our "facist" prime minister, etc, etc.

He also offered some Toronto-bashing, which went down very well with the Alberta audience. "There's one in particular that, I'm sorry to say, I think is an atrocity ... why is Toronto the face of Canada? ... why are you clustered in the crappiest places?" I'm not sure I remember Toronto being called an atrocity before. I feel suitably chastened about my home town.

Maybe Carlson needed endorsement from Smith, who right-wing Americans are increasingly familiar with? Maybe it was other way round. Maybe neither. The studio audience of rabid Albertan righties lapped it up, offering standing ovations. But did it help Ms. Smith? Probably not. Those who like her, still like her a lot. But not all Albertans do, and most of the rest of the country is distinctly suspicious of her. None of that has changed, although maybe it is a smidgeon more pronounced. A divided people a little more divided. Good job, Danielle.

No comments: