Chris Hayes is an anchor on MSNBC. His political views aren't very interesting. Cringing hipster sensitivity burnished with low-grade academic buzzwords ... pretty banal stuff. But Hayes always seemed like a decent guy, personally. He didn't seem like a hater. It was hard to imagine him promoting open racism or anti-Semitism -- or at least, it was hard to imagine until the other night.
That's when Hayes invited a man called Angelo Carusone on to his show. Carusone runs Media Matters. Almost every day, he issues outrage press releases accusing other people of bigotry. And yet, because everything is irony, Carusone is himself an enthusiastic bigot. We know this for sure because he has written about it extensively.
It turns out that for years, Carusone maintained a racist blog. One post entitled "Tranny Paradise" addressed a crime story from Thailand. A Bangladeshi man had been robbed and assaulted by a group of male prostitutes dressed as women. Carusone objected to the idea that this was an actual story and ridiculed South Asians as inherently ugly and poor. He wrote the following: "Is the writer a tranny lover, too? Or perhaps he's just trying to justify how these trannies tricked this Bangladeshi in the first place. Look, man, we don't need to know whether or not they were attractive. The f-ing guy was Bangladeshi. What the hell was he doing with $7,300 worth of stuff? The guy is Bangladeshi."
In another post, Carusone described how a male coach at a Japanese high school had sexually abused female players. People in Japan were horrified by this, understandably. Carusone was not. His advice was, "Lighten up, Japs."
Later that month, Carusone, by now in a frenzy of racism, heaped praise on a former Ku Klux Klan leader. And in still another post from the same period, Carusone described a Jewish man as being handsome, "despite his Jewry." Carusone didn't like the man's political views, but attributed them to "his possession of several bags of Jewish gold."
"Jewish gold." According to Angelo Carusone, Jewish gold is a problem.
If a guy with a history of ranting about Jewish gold came on your show, wouldn't you ask him about it? Would you challenge him on it? How would you not? You would feel morally obligated. But Chris Hayes didn't. That tells you a lot.
Media Matters probably ought to issue a press release about this. They've done a lot more for a lot less. And yet, somehow -- this is the remarkable part -- Chris Hayes managed to pretend that none of this ever happened. Hayes never mentioned the Jewish gold comment. He never said a word about the comments about "Japs," the "trannies," the Klan or even those "dirty Bangladeshis" who deserve what they get no matter what the "trannie lovers" say. None of that. Instead, Hayes gave cover to Carusone's bigotry and anti-Semitism. Amazingly, he even directed his viewers to Carusone's website.
Pretty amazing. If a guy with a history of ranting about Jewish gold came on your show, wouldn't you ask him about it? Would you challenge him on it? How would you not? You would feel morally obligated. But Chris Hayes didn't. That tells you a lot.
Now, to be clear, we are not calling for either of these people to be imprisoned or executed or even fired from their high-paying jobs. We are not planning to organize an advertiser boycott against them. We won't picket their offices with bullhorns. We won't attack their children.
But we do think you should know what they are actually like, and in Chris Hayes' case, it's kind of depressing to find out. It turns out you really never know who people are.
Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on March 13, 2019.