Tucker Carlson delivered a monologue on the cost the "Russia fixation" has caused the country and how those who are thought to be the "people in control" have "lost it." The FOX News host also responded to MSNBC national security commentator Malcolm Nance's theory involving a decades long disinformation campaign by Russia.
"So there’s been a cost to our Russia fixation, a massive one," Carlson said. "Years later we’ll look back and wonder what happened. How did everyone in America with an Ivy League education go insane in a single year? Was there some kind of mass poisoning? Ergotism? Historians will sort it out."
"For now, all we know that the people in charge have lost it," Carlson declared. "Listen to them explain the intricacies of the Russia conspiracy. They’re mesmerized. It’s a tale so complex and riddled with internal contradictions, it sounds like eastern religion. Only they really understand it. To them, Russia is the touchstone. It’s the comprehensive theory of everything."
From Tuesday's 'Tucker Carlson Tonight' on FNC:
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: Michael Flynn was supposed to be sentenced today for the crime of lying to FBI agents in his now-famous White House interview at the beginning of the administration. For a number of reasons you’ve probably heard about, none of them very significant in the scheme of things, the sentencing has been postponed until into the New Year. Of course we’ll bring you the details when it happens. In the meantime, though, this seemed like a good night to take stock. Michael Flynn was the first major target of the Mueller investigation. That was at the beginning of 2017. In the nearly two years since, the hunt for Russian spies on our soil has metastasized into something vast and remarkable, practically its own agency of government. There are now 17 separate Russia investigations being conducted by the Justice Department. That doesn’t even count four separate Congressional inquiries, as well as nearly 100 percent of the attention of every news organization in Washington. What have we uncovered so far? We know the Russians spent a total of $4,700 on Google ads during the 2016 election. We know that Jerome Corsi and George Papadopoulos may have done something bad, like misremembering dates or emails, though apparently neither one of them spied for anyone. That’s what we’ve learned.
We also know that virtually every issue that led voters to support Donald Trump in 2016 remains unresolved, and in some cases unaddressed: The decline of the American middle class. The drop in life expectancy. The opioid crisis. Our unsecured southern border. Crushing student loan debt. The rising global dominance of China. The quagmire in Afghanistan. Infrastructure. Healthcare costs. You know, little things. You haven’t heard much about any of that lately. The news anchors haven’t had time to tell you. They’re too busy shouting self-righteously about Michael Flynn. He lied! He lied! They, by contrast, never lie.
So there’s been a cost to our Russia fixation, a massive one. Years later we’ll look back and wonder what happened. How did everyone in America with an Ivy League education go insane in a single year? Was there some kind of mass poisoning? Ergotism? Historians will sort it out. For now, all we know that the people in charge have lost it. Listen to them explain the intricacies of the Russia conspiracy. They’re mesmerized. It’s a tale so complex and riddled with internal contradictions, it sounds like eastern religion. Only they really understand it. To them, Russia is the touchstone. It’s the comprehensive theory of everything.
Consider what happened last night one cable news. It could have been any night really on cable news. CNN or MSNBC, take your pick. We just happened to be watching around 11 when this happened, so we’re bringing it to you. This is from the most serious news program that NBC offers on cable. It’s called The 11th Hour. There are two people in the following segment. The first is man called Malcolm Nance. Nance identifies himself as a 35-year veteran of counter-intelligence work, whatever that means. His most recent book, The Plot to Hack America, was a national best-seller, thanks to heavy promotion from MSNBC. The second man on the screen is Brian Williams. Williams needs no introduction. He was anchor of the NBC Nightly News, back when that meant something. Williams is widely regarded as one of the smartest people in the news business.
The point is, these aren’t kooks on late-night radio. They’re considered highly impressive people. Keep that in mind as you watch this. Williams opens the segment by explaining that Russian “disinformation teams” have been working to divide America, and convince the population, among other totally implausible things, that James Comey and Robert Mueller might have political agendas. Ridiculous, right? Williams asks Malcom Nance to comment on that. Nance says this:
Nance: “What Russia has done here and where the true brilliance of this intelligence operation comes from, is way back in the early 2000s, the Russia military conducted a strategic study and started carrying out a disinformation plan in which they said instead of carrying out kinetic warfare against your enemies, the best thing they can do is create a disinformation frame around that nation to the point where over time as we are constantly tearing them apart and feeding them false information, they would actually welcome an invasion.”
Whoa. Wait a second here. This is what we in the news business call “news.” For nearly 20 years, the Russians have been building a “disinformation frame” around the United States? What’s a “disinformation frame”? And how does it manage to brainwash an entire population into welcoming a foreign invasion? That’s got to be the most powerful mind-control device in history. More detail please. This is the part of the interview where the anchor politely interrupts the guest and asks him to explain what the hell he’s talking about. But Williams doesn’t do that. He just lets Nance keep talking. So Nance does keep talking:
Nance: “So Russia has done that to the united states and that started way before 2016. The earliest references I have with relation to Donald Trump shows that it started 2011 with Maria Butina and the NRA contacts with the fundamentalist Christian right and the alt-right in the united states. Russia was pushing these disinformation campaigns then. Then in 2013, they start up the Russian Federation Internet Research Agency which built all of these memes and tropes which became the cruise missiles of fake news and disinformation designed to do what it did today and take one third of the united states population and make them refuse to believe what they see before their very eyes and may have elected a president in the process.”
Holy smokes. More news. It turns out that Donald Trump’s collusion with Russia began years before any of us suspected, way back in 2011. By all outward appearances, Trump was a pretty conventional New York liberal then, going on David Letterman to read Top Ten lists, endorsing gun control. But it was all a cover, a sophisticated ruse. As Nance reveals, Trump was in fact busy plotting with the NRA, Christian fundamentalists and the alt-right. Keep in mind, this was years before there was such a thing as the alt right. But that’s just how stealthy this operation was. Even the Steel dossier missed it. So did the rest of us, though that’s not surprising since, as Nance says, thanks to Russian brainwashing, “one third of the us population” can no longer perceive reality.
That’s Malcolm Nance’s position. What would you do if someone repeated those exact words to you on a city bus? You’d likely be worried. At the very least, you’d switch seats. Not Brian Williams. He’d move closer. Williams didn’t seem to consider Nance’s explanation strange in the slightest. He was deeply impressed by it. Williams asked how the Russians could have pulled off an operation this extensive without the help of willing American accomplices. Of course Nance had an answer. Keep in mind as you watch this that we have not edited the tape in any way. This aired verbatim last night on MSNBC:
"They have played on the themes of far-right conspiracy theories of the 1960s, the John Birch Society, a sideline group. These are the farthest extremes of the libertarian parties. They have amplified racism to the point where the alt-right, Steve Bannon’s own creation of gamers is now the wholly owned subsidiary of the Trump campaign and are believers in David Duke, the KKK, the neo Nazi Richard Spencer and Robert Spencer the Islamophobe to the point where they’re mainstreamed. This is how effective this information warfare campaign has been carried out. And let me tell you, this report shows how they went after to suppress the African American vote and there’s no doubt in my mind or anyone else’s in the intelligence community that doesn’t believe that it took American citizens to assist them in really getting down to where these voters were who needed to be suppressed.”
So in case you weren’t keeping track, the Russia conspiracy just expanded to include a bewildering array of new figures: The John Birch Society. The KKK. David Duke. People who play online video games. Steve Bannon. A religion blogger named Robert Spencer, and others. Their goal was not simply to elect Donald Trump, but to hurt African Americans. Why would Russian intelligence want to do that? If you have to ask, you’re probably working for Vladimir Putin too.
It goes without saying that this is all completely insane. There’s no evidence to support any of it. It isn’t true. Worse than that, it’s irresponsible. It aired on a division of NBC News. Some large number of people will believe it. They’ll go to sleep worrying about the invisible “disinformation frame” surrounding the country, and the resurgence of the John Birch Society. They’ll wake up a little more convinced that anyone who disagrees with them is a tool of a foreign power. Because that’s the real message here: there is no other side of the debate. There’s only Russian propaganda. To a certain sort of fragile liberal, that is probably comforting to know. But it’s a lie. It’s its own form of propaganda. No news organization should traffic in garbage like this. News anchors exist to push back against nutty claims like these. Brian Williams bought them completely:
Williams: “Wow. Malcolm Nance this is why we ask you all the time to come on this broadcast. Scary stuff but it needs to be said, needs to be heard. Thank you sir so much for joining us once again."
“This is why we ask you to come on this broadcast.” Save the tape. Future generations won’t believe it.