Tucker Carlson vs. Nicholas Kristof: Why Do You Show No Empathy For Trump Voters? You Call Them Nazis, Klansmen

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Tucker Carlson and The New York Times' Nicholas Kristof faced off on his latest column of how to get through Trump's electoral victory and the media elite view of the Trump voter. Kristof argued he is "taking abuse" from "fellow liberals" for not being tough enough on Trump voters.

Kristof said he believes "it's important not to demonize Trump voters." Carlson snapped back, "Really?" because he makes the KKK, Nazi comparison.

Carlson questioned why in his latest column he has suggestions for liberals to get over the election, such as donating to Planned Parenthood and "volunteering" to fight Islamophobia but not to asses why this happened.

Carlson asked Kristof while he was written much about climate change and the suffering of others but not so much about the plight of the American working class. Carlson said it was a "slur" for Kristof to tie Trump voters in with the American Nazi party or the Klan:

CARLSON: I guess what I'm looking for here is empathy. So you have traveled all around the world, famously to the worse places of the world. Darfur. Mogadishu, Ouagadougou. Probably those places much more than Modesto or Lewiston.

I never read a column by you that suggest the people in those places, who support dictators oftentimes, are racists or bad people. You would never write that about a poor person in the third world but you are implying that about your fellow Americans.

KRISTOF: No, I'm not, Tucker. If you look at my columns I precisely said we have to avoid that. That it's important not to stereotype Trump voters. I have been taking abuse from that by my fellow liberals. Because these are ideas that I believe in very powerfully. But I also think it's important not to demonize Trump voters.

CARLSON: Really? Because the American Nazi party and the KKK don't really exist in a meaningful way. They may have an office or website. But they are not tens of thousands of members. When you tie Trump supporters to those groups that is a slur.

KRISTOF: No it's not. I think that Trump is frankly a bigot. He has a racist history. I don't think that of his supporters. Those supporters are from my hometown -- I understand that suffering. I have written about it repeatedly from my hometown.


Carlson also challenged Kristof to name any pro-life reporters at the NYT:

CARLSON: Well, we actually have -- and I definitely don't want to make you defend your employer, no one should have to do that but a sincere question. Do you know anybody in The New York Times who is openly pro-life.

KRISTOF: Yes, absolutely. I do.

CARLSON: What percentage would you say they are?

KRISTOF: I don't know


The two also debated how out of touch the media is with and how easy it is for "elites" to identify with an abstract poor person in a foreign country but ignore their own country men.

"I'm not trying to be mean. You have written about climate change. You're really concerned and you've thought a lot about the suffering of people in other countries. It doesn't seem like you have thought that deeply about the suffering of your fellow Americans. You don't have the solutions say as you do for global warming. And my question is: Isn't it always easier for the elites to identify with abstractions or poor people in other countries and kind of ignore their own country men. I have noticed this. Have you noticed that?" Carlson posed to Kristof.

"We don't have enough folks who grew up in working class rural communities," Kristof acknowledged of the media.

Transcript of their exchange on Carlson's FOX News Channel program:

TUCKER CARLSON: Virtually everyone with a high-paying job in Washington, New York and Los Angeles demanded that voters not support Donald Trump for president but they did it anyway but we never saw it coming. Why is that?

Joining us now to unravel the mystery a New York TImes columnist and two-timer Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof, latest column is entitled 12 Steps For Voters in Despair. Nicholas Kristof, thanks for joining us.

NICHOLAS KRISTOF: Good to be here.

CARLSON: So you've got this new column out, 12 steps for people who say are traumatized by the election. I'll go through all of them, but a sample: Volunteer to fight Islamaphobia. Join the ACLU. Donate to Planned Parenthood. Take down sexism and misogyny. Sort of all the stations of the cross of liberalism.

But there's no Number 13 which is assess why this happened? Think deeply why an event you didn't predict came to pass? Why not.

KRISTOF: Actually, that is within the 12. One is to get out of our echo chambers and sort of follow up people on Twitter and Facebook who do not agree with you. Make sure that you have friends disagree with you profoundly because if you have a friend who voted for somebody else. If you are a Clinton supporter if you have friends who voted for Trump it's harder to demonize that person.

CARLSON: But there's no suggestion of why people might have voted for Trump? Now I read your columns. I think it was in September had you this piece look who is endorsing Trump, who is behind him. It was the North Korean government, it was Islamic terrorists. It's the Klan. It's the American Nazi party. It seems very uncharitable to me. There was no room for people who are decent but economically beleaguered to maybe want to support him.

KRISTOF: No, absolutely. It was a point I made repeatedly because my hometown, I'm from rural Oregon, Yamhill County, a farm four miles out of a town of 1,000 people and that town is overwhelmingly pro-Trump.

And I believe my friends and neighbors there are misguided. I think they are not going to get what they hoped for. But they feel betrayed by the Democratic and Republican establishment. The economic base of that area used to be manufacturing and logging. And that went away and they feel nobody has been speaking to them and finally Trump has spoken to them.

CARLSON: But I don't notice any sympathy for them in your column. If you're writing a column saying the people for Trump are Nazis and Klansman and North Korean dictators.

KRISTOF: That is actually opposite. I said that one can't stereotype Trump voters anymore than they can anybody else. That was in that column right there.

CARLSON: But wouldn't it be useful to explain the factors that actually allowed this to happen. Like, for example, their frustration of the absolute shrinking of the middle class, the heroin epidemic, things like that. I don't see any of that.

KRISTOF: I actually had that in the first column after the election.

CARLSON: I read it.

KRISTOF: For example, since 1978 for the bottom half of the wealth distribution male median wages have actually gone down. And I think that's a crucial reason. If you are a male worker, your median wage since 1979 has gone down.

CARLSON: I'm very aware.

I guess what I'm looking for here is empathy. So you have traveled all around the world, famously to the worse places of the world. Darfur. Mogadishu, Ouagadougou. Probably those places much more than Modesto or Lewiston.

I never read a column by you that suggest the people in those places, who support dictators oftentimes, are racists or bad people. You would never write that about a poor person in the third world but you are implying that about your fellow Americans.

KRISTOF: No, I'm not, Tucker. If you look at my columns I precisely said we have to avoid that. That it's important not to stereotype Trump voters. I have been taking abuse from that by my fellow liberals. Because these are ideas that I believe in very powerfully. But I also think it's important not to demonize Trump voters.

CARLSON: Really? Because the American Nazi party and the KKK don't really exist in a meaningful way. They may have an office or website. But they are not tens of thousands of members. When you tie Trump supporters to those groups that is a slur.

KRISTOF: No it's not. I think that Trump is frankly a bigot. He has a racist history. I don't think that of his supporters. Those supporters are from my hometown -- I understand that suffering. I have written about it repeatedly from my hometown.

###


CARLSON: I'm not trying to be mean. You have written about climate change. You're really concerned and you've thought a lot about the suffering of people in other countries. It doesn't seem like you have thought that deeply about the suffering of your fellow Americans. You don't have the solutions say as you do for global warming. And my question is: Isn't it always easier for the elites to identify with abstractions or poor people in other countries and kind of ignore their own country men. I have noticed this. Have you noticed that?

KRISTOF: I guess I would say two things. I think that is a real problem and I think that there is a problem in journalism that we favor lots of diversity but not economic diversity.

And again whether it's FOX News or The New York Times or The Washington Post, we don't have enough folks who grew up in working class rural communities.

CARLSON: Well, we actually have -- and I definitely don't want to make you defend your employer, no one should have to do that but a sincere question. Do you know anybody in The New York Times who is openly pro-life.

KRISTOF: Yes, absolutely. I do.

CARLSON: What percentage would you say they are?

KRISTOF: I don't know. But I do -- I would make the point that I have written repeatedly about the working class in Yamhill, Oregon.

CARLSON: Just out of 13. None of them was, hey, comfortable, smug people in the Upper West Side think about why people would have voted for the guy. That's not one of the prescriptions. Give to Planned Parenthood?

KRISTOF: Absolutely. Absolutely. Two of them are precisely about that. I would encourage people to go to NYTIMES.com and read this column and you can see for yourself.

CARLSON: You say get out of your bubble.

KRISTOF: 'I will avoid demonizing people who don't agree with me about this election. Recognizing it is wrong to stereotype Trump supporters.'

CARLSON: After you just tied them to the Klan and the Nazi party!

KRISTOF: Not at all. That's completely unfair reading of this. Check for yourself.

CARLSON: Check for yourself. Nicholas Kristof, thank you for joining us.

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