DOJ charges two Chinese nationals with an 'extensive' hacking campaign

This is a rush transcript from "Tucker Carlson Tonight," December 20, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Good evening and welcome to “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” Just a couple weeks from now, Democrats will take control of the House of Representatives. But before that happens, one final battle remains in Congress. It's over the wall we've been promised along our border with Mexico.

For two years, Democrats and their allies in the Republican leadership have worked hard to keep that wall from being built. They're still working to prevent it just five days before Christmas.

The thinking is if they can delay the funding just a few more weeks, the wall will never be built. Killing the wall, of course, would be a big political win for the Left. There's no question about that, so congratulations.

But there are other considerations too like what about America? Why shouldn't we have secure borders? Pretty soon, Democrats will have to explain that to the country. Congressman Jim Clyburn of South Carolina took a stab at it today on CNN. Here's how it went.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIM SCIUTTO, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: But why wouldn't a wall help improve security at the border?

REP. JAMES ENOS CLYBURN, D-S.C.: Well, because we think if the wall is 10 feet high, they'll get a 12-foot ladder. That's just simple arithmetic to us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: Ah, the 12-foot ladder argument, feels like we've heard that before from both parties. Jeb Bush used to drop the ladder argument at fundraisers in Palm Beach, people would smirk knowingly, "Yes, 12-foot ladders."

Only dumb people believe in walls. As Congressman Clyburn said, it's simple arithmetic. Walls don't work. They never will. That's why nobody builds them anymore.

Oh, but wait. In fact, plenty of countries still build walls. Some of those nations are allies of ours, countries we strongly support and heavily subsidize. They build walls because walls work exceedingly well. Nothing works better, in fact, and everybody knows that.

So, in some ways, Clyburn is behind the curve here still trying to make a fact-based argument, even a ludicrous one. Most Democrats are far beyond that now, into the realm of the metaphysical.

The Right Reverend, Luis Gutierrez, who is also a Democratic Congressman from Illinois, made the theological case against walls today, as he questioned Homeland Security Secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen. Gutierrez noted that people who support walls hate Jesus. It's that simple. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. LUIS VICENTE GUTIERREZ, D-ILL.: The majority on this committee must think you're doing a fantastic job because they've ordered this hearing so that you could come before us and look tough and remorseless just in the time for the holidays.

It is repugnant to me and astonishing to me that during Christmas, to call them the holiday seasons to be ex - inclusive, but during Christmas because the majority always wants to just call it Christmas that during Christmas, a time in which we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, a Jesus Christ who had to flee for his life with Mary and Joseph, thank God there wasn't a wall that stopped him from seeking refuge in Egypt.

Thank God that wall wasn't there, and thank God there wasn't an administration like this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: Yes. Trump's worse than Pharaoh. See, Jesus hated walls. It's right there in the scriptures in the book of Obama, Chapter Six, Verse 13, and all the people said Amen. Can I get a hallelujah?

How does a public official respond to a sermon like that? Well watch Secretary Nielsen try to respond. And as you do, pay special attention to The Right Reverend, Gutierrez, as she talks. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KIRSTJEN MICHELE NIELSEN, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: A policy of family separation would mean that any family that I encountered in the interior, I would separate. It would mean that any family that I found at a port of entry, I would separate. It would mean that every single family that I found illegally crossing, we would separate. We did none of those. What we did do is uphold the laws that Congress has passed and we prosecuted those who choose to come here illegally.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: Well when you ask questions and then don't stick around to hear the answers, people might start to suspect that you're not really interested in learning anything. And, of course, they're not interested.

People who support open borders do so out of self-interest, more money, more voters, but also on faith. They just know they're right. And they know for a fact that you're evil. It's obvious.

Well maybe they're right, maybe they are good people, and you're irredeemably sinful. But that's not enough. Winning on virtue alone is not how our system works. You can only make people shut up and obey for so long.

You could certainly silence them for a while. You can bully them into submission by calling them racists or throwing fake Bible verses at them. But that's only a short-term fix. At some point, in a democracy you have to convince them. And that starts by answering their questions.

Why not a wall? Nothing else has worked. There are likely more than 20 million foreign nationals living illegally in America right now. They're all using fraudulent federal ID. They're making a mockery of this country and our laws. It's totally dysfunctional. It's disgraceful. Everybody knows that.

Trump, whatever his faults, took the problem seriously. He promised a border wall. In the end, he did not deliver on that. That's on him.

But instead of proposing a better idea or even acknowledging the seriousness of what is a legitimate crisis, the Left decided to pretend that everything is fine, and you're a bigot if you disagree. That's on them.

They may not know it yet. But by winning the last election and stopping the border wall, the Left just inherited responsibility for one of the biggest problems we, as a country, face. What is their problem and their plan now?

Congressman Jim Jordan is a Republican representing Ohio right in the middle of all this, and he joins us tonight. Congressman, thanks a lot for coming on. So, the obvious question--

REP. JAMES DANIEL JORDAN, R-OH: You bet, Tucker.

CARLSON: --as we have the final debate over the wall during the final hours of the Republican Congress--

JORDAN: Yes.

CARLSON: --why now? Why two years later?

JORDAN: Well, I'll be - you're right. We should have done it earlier. We should have done it in March on the big Spending Bill we told American people we would.

Then we said, "No, no. We're going to do it in September." Didn't do it then on that spending bill. Then we said, "We'll do it on December 7." No, we didn't do then. Then we said, "We'll do it on December 21st." We did it tonight in the House. I mean just a few minutes ago, it passed.

Even though, last week in the Oval Office, Nancy Pelosi said the House can't get the votes to pass a border security wall, funding for a border security wall, we just did a few minutes ago. Got 217 votes, I think the Democrats had a 185.

So, we just passed it in the House. That's step one. It now goes back to the Senate, and we'll see what happens from there. But we need to stand firm on this because, as - as you said, as the President said, this is a central promise we made to the voters in 2016.

This is our last best chance to do what everyone knows is just good common sense. Everyone, but Democrats, I should say, knows is good common sense.

CARLSON: I think it's fair for the rest of us to press a little deeper and ask well, why didn't it happen? I mean you're absolutely right. It should have happened and you probably would have preferred it had happened earlier but it didn't and--

JORDAN: We pushed for it to happen earlier, yes.

CARLSON: --right, right. I remember. But it didn't. And that means that people prevented it from happening. Obviously, Speaker Ryan was one of them. Who else, just so the rest of us can keep score?

JORDAN: Well it - look, it's always easier. I mean to do something that really counts and has lasting value, lasting meaning, it's never easy. So, one good thing (ph)--

CARLSON: Well, it's hard, for sure.

JORDAN: --well exactly. So, anything worth doing is always difficult. But Congress always has a way of trying to take the least resistant route and do the easy thing. So, that's why it happened, I think, most often. But--

CARLSON: Well wait, but - but hold on, I mean, look, and I know you were for it. But the tax bill was definitely hard. There was a lot of opposition to it. And the leadership just decided we're getting this done, that - that--

JORDAN: Yes.

CARLSON: --it's not something that Trump ran on or there was broad public support for it. But they wanted it and they got it done and they worked really hard, came on this show, made the case for it.

JORDAN: You're - you're right.

CARLSON: They didn't do that with the wall. And why? I'm just - I - again, I think it's fair to know since you're on the inside and we're not--

JORDAN: Yes.

CARLSON: --who prevented that?

JORDAN: Well I don't know anyone prevented it. But I think the intensity was more for the tax and tax cuts than it was for replacing and repeal - repealing and replacing Obamacare and building the border security wall. I think you're right about that. But there's some intensity today.

We've been pushing. And like I said, we just passed a bill that puts $5 billion for a border security wall and that is a--

CARLSON: Right.

JORDAN: --good first step.

CARLSON: Amen to that. Congressman, thanks very much for coming on for that update. I appreciate it.

JORDAN: You bet, Tucker, thank you.

CARLSON: Julian Epstein is a former Chief Counsel to the Democratic side of the House Judiciary Committee, and a longtime guest on this show. He joins us tonight. Julian, thanks a lot for coming on.

JULIAN EPSTEIN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Thank you (ph).

CARLSON: So, I don't know what's going to happen. I'm assuming. I mean it's pretty late in the process that this is not going to happen. So, Democrats will say, you know, and Pelosi will say, we make good on our promise to stop the wall. OK, great.

But then there's the day after that when you have, by Yale's estimate, over 20 million people here illegally using fake IDs. It's - it's out of control. What's the plan at that point to secure the border, the Democrats' plan?

EPSTEIN: I think, well, let's talk about good faith. I mean I think you're ask - big question you're asking Representative Jordan is, were the Republicans a good faith? President Trump famously told the Mexican President that he didn't really care about the wall in a conversation that was caught by U.S. Intelligence.

CARLSON: Yes, that's all true.

EPSTEIN: The Republicans have been in control for two years now.

CARLSON: I couldn't agree more.

EPSTEIN: Why haven't they passed the thing?

CARLSON: I - look, I mean I just I--

EPSTEIN: It's just--

CARLSON: --you don't need to - you don't need to--

EPSTEIN: So, is this something--

CARLSON: --convince me to that.

EPSTEIN: --is this an issue they like to tell your viewers and their voters that they're for but it's just--

CARLSON: Yes, yes. I--

EPSTEIN: --symbolic like a mirage (ph).

CARLSON: --I think Paul Ryan--

EPSTEIN: So--

CARLSON: --would like to leverage the enthusiasm and the donations of ordinary Republicans to win, and then subvert their will on behalf of his donors once he gets there. I agree--

EPSTEIN: Well, so you're being honest. So, you're--

CARLSON: --with you there.

EPSTEIN: being honest now that you're saying (ph)--

CARLSON: I'm being - well, I mean I'm not - I don't work for anybody, you know, but--

EPSTEIN: --yes, you're being honest. That's right.

CARLSON: --but - but--

EPSTEIN: So, let's talk about good faith on the Democrats' part--

CARLSON: Yes.

EPSTEIN: --which is what you asked about. I think the Democrats have to say in unequivocal terms, we are completely against open borders. We are for - against illegal immigration. We are for legal immigration. Now, they've done that.

In the past, Democrats have voted $40 billion for border security, they've - including, 700 miles of fencing and walls. Schumer is on record doing that.

Donald Trump's position has changed from 2,000 miles of border wall to 700 miles of border wall. There's actually - actually consensus for physical security, border secure - border security, physical security, a wall, fencing, where it makes sense, not where it doesn't.

Remember, two-thirds of the border area is controlled, either is owned by the states or owned by private individuals.

CARLSON: OK.

EPSTEIN: Even if you got all the funding done today, you're going to be tied up in court for 10 years on eminent domain legal challenges--

CARLSON: Oh.

EPSTEIN: --on your ability to do this. But, more importantly, I think the wall is not--

CARLSON: Wait, but hold on (ph), we just spent - just to put it in context, it's $5 billion for this wall as a start. We just spent, I think--

EPSTEIN: --good thought (ph)--

CARLSON: --$967 billion on a farm bill that literally gives tax dollars to the nieces and nephews of farmers for reasons that no one can explain to me. It's the most wasteful--

EPSTEIN: Definitely (ph).

CARLSON: --it's disgusting, OK. And so, it's not--

EPSTEIN: We're - we're in agreement.

CARLSON: --in this whole idea, it's too expensive, which is like such a transparent lie, it's not even worth addressing.

EPSTEIN: No, no, I didn't say expensive.

CARLSON: No, I don't think you were but--

EPSTEIN: Yes.

CARLSON: --here's what I'm so struck by. Rather than make like a - an adult argument, we're getting Gutierrez lecturing us about Jesus.

EPSTEIN: Let me make an adult argument.

CARLSON: And - wait, hold on, and then Speaker of the House lecturing us about Jesus. Now, I'm pro-Jesus but like the partial-birth abortion caucus is lecturing me about Jesus because I mean, you know what I mean? It's insulting, actually.

EPSTEIN: So, let me try to make an adult argument. I - I think it is political symbolism. I think it is something that the Trump campaign threw out in election time. And the reason I say that is because if you were serious about illegal immigration, which I think Democrats and Republicans ought to be, you would go after things that were going to make a difference.

The primary cause, the primary suction tube of illegal immigration is visa overstays. Most people come here. They come on visas and they overstay their visas. And going after visa overstays will be far more than well (ph)--

CARLSON: Well, I - I couldn't agree more. And even if we verify (ph)--

EPSTEIN: --secondly (ph)--

CARLSON: --I'm - I'm with you on that too.

EPSTEIN: --well let's go let's if (ph)--

CARLSON: No. But, look, it's a - it's a given, I agree.

EPSTEIN: --if you want to go - if you--

CARLSON: But what's - what's wrong with the wall?

EPSTEIN: --but if you're serious--

CARLSON: But I just don't understand, look, those are all components. We're in total agreement. But the wall works in a bunch of different countries. It works famously on Israel's border with Egypt. But it - we claim it won't work here. It's such a lie. Everyone knows it's a lie.

EPSTEIN: We--

CARLSON: Why not just say it works? And let's just try it. I mean what's wrong with that? I'm missing it.

EPSTEIN: So, where the wall makes sense I'm in complete agreement. We ought to do it. I don't think we had to do it 2,000 miles because many of those areas are completely impractical. They're mountain - they're incredibly mountainous. They're waterways. There's a complete--

CARLSON: That's fine. I need that (ph).

EPSTEIN: --there's plenty of places. So, we already do have border security. We do - already do have physical--

CARLSON: But what we have - can we both agree that--

EPSTEIN: ---security.

CARLSON: --and a lot of our illegal immigration comes from visa overstays. I understand that. But--

EPSTEIN: Most of it.

CARLSON: --yes, right. But there's--

EPSTEIN: Most of it.

CARLSON: --still millions of people who snuck over the border and still living here. So, why wouldn't you reassure the American people that we can all calm down and focus on a smart immigration policy that's, you know, emotionally decelerated from where you're now? People feel like it's out of control because it is.

EPSTEIN: I think well it's getting better. We had 300,000 border apprehensions last year, which is the lowest since '74.

CARLSON: It gets (ph) relatively speaking--

EPSTEIN: So, the number of--

CARLSON: --but it's still huge (ph).

EPSTEIN: --the number of immigrants coming across the Southern border is way, way down.

CARLSON: Hundreds of thousands. That's way beyond (ph)--

EPSTEIN: 300,000. Used to be - used to be--

CARLSON: OK (ph)--

EPSTEIN: --three quarters a mil around (ph).

CARLSON: No, I'm just saying like that's much bigger than the city I grew up in. So--

EPSTEIN: OK.

CARLSON: --like that's a lot of people. Why not just--

EPSTEIN: But it's--

CARLSON: --wall it off and then we can have a rational conversation?

EPSTEIN: So, let's try and go back to this adult conversation, if we can. I agree there ought to be physical security in places that it makes sense, not where it doesn't make sense. I don't think the two parties are engaged in that kind of conversation right now. But that's - that's point one.

Point two is the real problems here are not the border crossing. The real problems are visa overstays as we just talked about. Second one is employers. The reason why undocumented immigrants stay here--

CARLSON: I agree.

EPSTEIN: --is because of employers. If Republicans and, I think, Democrats should be here as well, if they're so serious about this problem, why is it that they - they don't do things that will upset the business community like--

CARLSON: I - really you're - look, you're--

EPSTEIN: --employer sanctions.

CARLSON: --preaching to the choir--

EPSTEIN: OK?

CARLSON: --completely. I think just--

EPSTEIN: OK. But - but so there's a cynical--

CARLSON: --to see the activist Left--

EPSTEIN: --there's a cynicism--

CARLSON: --aligned with rapacious employers looking to exploit labor is a little bit stunning. That's what Republicans have always done. And now, all like the drones on the progressive side, or the intersectional sound, are like, "Yes, we're on the side of Amazon hiring cheaper labor." What?

EPSTEIN: So, we're - we're making a little bit of progress here, I think.

CARLSON: OK.

EPSTEIN: I think physical security where it makes sense, not where it doesn't, go after visa overstays, employer sanctions. The last point I would make to you is that--

CARLSON: We're almost out of time, here anyway (ph)--

EPSTEIN: --I don't think Mexico is the enemy here. Most of the - most of the illegal immigration that occurs on the Southern border is Central America, not Mexicans. And more than half of the--

CARLSON: OK. But Mexico I mean if we're coming on as the (ph)--

EPSTEIN: --illegal is coming from Central (ph) America. But Mexican - Mexico actually--

CARLSON: OK.

EPSTEIN: --has a rather effective border security system.

CARLSON: But they've encouraged illegal immigration into this country--

EPSTEIN: They've actually deported hundreds of thousands of--

CARLSON: Yes. They - they're pretty painful (ph) it's telling--

EPSTEIN: --Central Americans back to Central America.

CARLSON: --people how to sneak across the border so that that doesn't seem like they're--

EPSTEIN: I - I think Mexico could--

CARLSON: --worth of an (ph) ally.

EPSTEIN: --conceivably be much more of an ally--

CARLSON: It could. It could. Hopefully we look forward (ph).

EPSTEIN: --than it gets credit for (ph).

CARLSON: Julian, thank you very much.

EPSTEIN: Yes. Thanks.

CARLSON: Good to see you.

California Democrats have been very proud of the new sanctuary state law. Now, a man released from prison, thanks to that law, apparently, killed two people. Trace Gallagher has the details on this unfolding story. Trace?

TRACE GALLAGHER, CORRESPONDENT: Tucker, in the span of a few hours on Monday, police say Gustavo Garcia-Ruiz carried out 11 crimes, including killing a stranger and shooting at others before he was killed during a high-speed police chase. Authorities think Garcia-Ruiz also killed another man a day earlier.

Last week, Garcia-Ruiz was arrested in Central California for being under the influence of drugs. When ICE learned he was in jail, they placed an immigration detainer on him asking deputies to notify them before releasing him.

But under SB 54, California's sanctuary law, because the suspect wasn't being held on a felony, law enforcement is prohibited from honoring ICE detainers. ICE says, "This is an unfortunate and extremely tragic example of how public safety is impacted with laws or policies limiting local law enforcement agencies' ability to cooperate with ICE."

And here's the gut kick. Garcia-Ruiz is a known, convicted, violent criminal, armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, repeatedly deported, etcetera. But under SB 54, none of that can be used to notify immigration agents. Here's the Tulare County Sheriff.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE BOUDREAUX, TULARE COUNTY SHERIFF: That tool has been removed from our hands. And because of that, our County was shot up by a violent criminal that could have easily been prevented had we had the opportunity to reach out to our fellow counterparts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GALLAGHER: Sheriff says he doesn't want to enforce immigration laws. He just wants violent criminals off the streets. Tucker.

CARLSON: Trace Gallagher for us. Thank you very much, Trace.

Well, France is still burning tonight over efforts to impose a climate change agenda there. So needless to say, some in our Congress are anxious to do the same thing here, Jeff Flake, specifically, but others. We'll give you details after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON: Secretary of Defense, General - General James Mattis announced today he'll be leaving his post, quitting in February, after two years on the job. In his resignation letter, Mattis pointed toward policy disagreements he has with the President.

He addressed the President directly in the letter writing, "Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position."

The announcement came as something of a surprise. It also came shortly after the President's equally-surprising announcement. He's withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria, a deeply unpopular decision among permanent Washington. Mattis reportedly opposed that withdrawal as well, as well as a potential drawdown of American forces in Afghanistan.

In a statement on Twitter, the President said this. "General Mattis was a great help to me in getting allies and other countries to pay their share of military obligations. A new Secretary of Defense will be named shortly. I greatly thank Jim for his service!"

Well it may seem surprising that the President is breaking with one of his top advisors but there's another way to look at it. President Trump was told the U.S. could defeat ISIS and then leave Syria, once it did. The U.S. did that. Now, everyone in Washington is demanding he stay in Syria to counterbalance Russia and Iran.

Last year, the same people told him that sending troops back to Afghanistan would greatly improve things in that country. That turned out to be completely false. The situation there seems worse than ever.

And, of course, for two years, the President has been told that if he'd just be patient, he'd have his border wall. How did that turn out? He apparently is not paying heed to their advice anymore.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: THE CHINA THREAT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: The Administration today issued a strong condemnation of a major foreign power that routinely hacks American infrastructure, steals national secrets, technology, personal information in huge quantities.

The Director of the FBI called this country the greatest long-term threat to America's wellbeing. Russia, oh sorry, excuse me. China, misread that, for more than two decades now, of course, it has always been China, America's greatest geopolitical rival.

You wouldn't know that though from watching television. Even this week, with this new news about China, there's only one foreign power on the radar considered a threat. You know what it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTOPHER CHARLES CUOMO, ANCHOR, CNN: The Russians exploited a massive backdoor into the foundation of our democracy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Moscow's attack on American democracy.

TONY ROMM, THE WASHINGTON POST: The work by Russian agents to try to destabilize American democracy.

DON LEMON, HOST, CNN: It's everything you need to know about the threat to our democracy.

DAVID RICHMOND GERGEN, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The long-term damage is going to be to weaken our democracy.

ELISE JORDAN, MSNBC ANALYST: You have Republicans who are silent and seemingly OK with this kind of attack on our democracy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: These people are so stupid it's amazing they're employed.

Michael Pillsbury, not stupid, and employed, Director of the Center for Chinese Strategy, the Hudson Institute, Author of the remarkable book, The Hundred-year Marathon: China's Secret Strategy to Replace America As the Global Superpower, a strategy no longer secret, thanks to his book.

Mr. Pillsbury joins us tonight. Thank you very much for coming on. So, this seems like a confirmation, this announcement today, of what we may have known, but still striking.

MICHAEL PILLSBURY, DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER ON CHINESE STRATEGY: Yes. I think when the Director of the FBI calls China our main rival and then specifically said their goal is to replace us as the global superpower, that's the subtitle of my book.

CARLSON: Yes.

PILLSBURY: So, it's not just good news for me though, Tucker. It shows the recognition of the problem of China is now getting quite widespread.

CARLSON: Give us a scale of the hacking efforts by the Chinese government here.

PILLSBURY: Well they're number one, by far, more than the Russians. They have a number of techniques, some of which were revealed today, formerly classified matters. There's this wonderful term, I hope you'll start using called, Stone Panda. It's the codename for the Chinese unit that's been doing this.

CARLSON: Sounds like a restaurant but I like it.

PILLSBURY: And it seems to - according to this declassified material, it seems to go back 12 years. It seems to focus on American companies. The data that they stole then can help them in negotiations, business negotiations with American companies. They also get trade secrets.

It's massive. And it seems to be focused on the high-end technology sectors that China would need to dominate by 2030 or 2035 in order to be the world leader. So, in other words, they're going to steal their way to global leadership, let's put it that way, it's more polite than domination. And the FBI is blowing the whistle today along with the Deputy Attorney General.

The PDS (ph), as you may - as you know from the - our local press, there's been a big leak that Steve Mnuchin and the Treasury Department were going to offer sanctions today as punitive for these things that DoJ and the FBI are finding.

For some reason, at the last minute, Treasury pulled out, so they weren't (ph) at the announcement and they're not putting the sanctions forward. So, this leak shows dissent inside the Trump team.

And, of course, the Chinese have a strategy that Vice President Pence spoke about back in October that they want to divide the Trump Administration. They know they're hawks and doves. So this is a good - this is good news. It's raises public awareness for what China is up to.

There were no actual sanctions announced other than the indictment of these two Chinese hackers out of possible 10,000 hackers, let's say.

CARLSON: Meanwhile, there are calls for more Russia sanctions. It just tells you--

PILLSBURY: Yes, absolutely.

CARLSON: --it just tells you everything. Michael Pillsbury, thank you very much for this and all you've done on this topic.

PILLSBURY: Thanks, Tucker.

CARLSON: Well for more than a month now, France has been wracked by massive riots, the biggest in 50 years. The riots began in response to a planned gasoline tax. Why was the French government raising gasoline taxes? Obviously, climate agenda.

Well, in Washington, people only care about Russia, so they've barely noticed this. They think a carbon tax is still a great idea, such a great idea that outgoing Arizona Senator, Jeff Flake, has teamed up with Delaware Democrat, Chris Coons, to introduce a new bill that will impose a nationwide carbon tax.

Ethan Bearman is a California radio host and he joins us tonight. Ethan, thanks very much for coming on.

ETHAN BEARMAN, LIBERAL RADIO SHOW HOST: Thanks, Tucker.

CARLSON: So, I think it's pretty clear from what's happening in France that maybe the public globally isn't on board with this because most people care about gas prices because, you know, they don't have their own planes or drivers. So, why would you, in the name of fighting climate change, crush the most vulnerable in your society? That doesn't seem fair.

BEARMAN: Well we got two issues that are going on here. First off is in France, Emmanuel Macron, he actually did a massive tax cut on the rich. That's part of what these protests are about. It's not just about the gas tax. It's also the fact that they feel - that people feel like he was just giving away these giant tax cuts to the wealthy.

That sounds familiar to the United States. Simultaneously--

CARLSON: Yes, it does.

BEARMAN: --the - the U.S. proposal is actually fundamentally different from France. What Senators Flake and Coons put forward is a revenue-neutral carbon tax and dividend, meaning, whatever tax money comes in gets distributed out to the American taxpayer.

Now, it will be a progressive--

CARLSON: Oh?

BEARMAN: --no, it will be progressive. So, the lower end of the income (ph)--

CARLSON: OK. So, so, so, we're going to - OK, so we're going to raise--

BEARMAN: --the larger your dividend.

CARLSON: --gas taxes and then filter the money through a massive unionized bureaucracy and somehow it'll drip back down to you. But I thought trickle- down economics didn't work. But I guess we're for it now?

BEARMAN: Well, that's not trickle-down economics. Trickle-down economics means tax cut on the--

CARLSON: Oh? I think - I think it kind of is. But it trickles to Republic (ph)--

BEARMAN: --everyone (ph)--

CARLSON: --employee union first, right? There's a different kind of trickling but it's still - you're still getting wet.

BEARMAN: Yes. But - but the difference here is, so we're using a market force to dis-incentivize pollution. Now, one of my big issues with the carbon tax is we can - you can - you can argue all you want about whether or not climate change is man-made or not, but we do know that mercury pollution is a potent neurotoxin.

We do know that sulfur pollution has significant--

CARLSON: Right.

BEARMAN: --health effects. We do know that ground-based ozone, because of our burning of fossil fuels, causes people to die because they can't breathe. I'm a big fan of reducing pollution. If we can use market solutions to incentivize, being more efficient, and dis-incentivize--

CARLSON: OK.

BEARMAN: --polluting, I think that's--

CARLSON: Well how about then - then - then look--

BEARMAN: --reasonable.

CARLSON: --I mean some of this, I - I can't weigh in on one way or another because I'm not a scientist. But I do understand who's getting the short- end of the stick. Wouldn't it be a display of good faith if the people behind this legislation said the first thing we're going to do is ban all private air travel in this country?

We're going to (ph) put you in prison if you get on a private plane because - because climate change is that serious. It's an existential threat to the planet, to the human race itself, so like you can't fly on a private plane. And then we'll talk about taxing everybody else like people who make 40 grand. Why not start that way?

BEARMAN: So, we actually agree on the private plane issue. I hate when people will tell me how to live my life and then they do the exact opposite. I can't stand hypocrisy.

CARLSON: Oh, do - do - do you see that happening--

BEARMAN: It's absolutely fence (ph)--

CARLSON: --now the politicians who fly constantly private and these actors who fly private and Al Gore who flies private lecturing you--

BEARMAN: I--

CARLSON: --about you're suburban. Does that - that is a problem--

BEARMAN: I - I--

CARLSON: --for you then?

BEARMAN: I'm offended by that. I wrote about it in my book, actually--

CARLSON: Good for you. But then why not--

BEARMAN: --and I specifically pointed out.

CARLSON: --why don't we just ban it?

BEARMAN: It--

CARLSON: No, but seriously, if it's that serious a problem, let's just ban it. I mean I don't want to be an authoritarian--

BEARMAN: Be--

CARLSON: --I was always kind of libertarian. But climate change is too important, OK? So, if you show up at the FBO--

BEARMAN: So, so you don't (ph)--

CARLSON: --at the private airport, we're just going to put you in prison.

BEARMAN: --so, no. So, I don't - I'm--

CARLSON: Oh?

BEARMAN: --I'm actually a little bit on your side. I don't like banning things.

CARLSON: Guess you're not that serious about climate, are you?

BEARMAN: No. Because here's what happens with the carbon tax, suddenly your private jet, instead of it being $3,000 an hour, because of the tax on your burning of the fossil fuel, will suddenly cost you $5,000 an hour and maybe some of the--

CARLSON: Yes. I - I guess I just take climate change--

BEARMAN: --B-list celebrities will stop flying private.

CARLSON: --a little more seriously than you do. You must be a denier. I just - I don't want to see someone--

BEARMAN: I'm not.

CARLSON: --just spoiling (ph) the earth like that. So, you know, every private plane banned.

BEARMAN: Well I again, I don't think we have to--

CARLSON: I'm only half-kidding, sort of--

BEARMAN: --ban them, but we - we make it expensive.

CARLSON: Yes.

BEARMAN: We make it expensive and then--

CARLSON: Yes.

BEARMAN: --then you'll think of twice about doing it.

CARLSON: Ethan Bearman, thank you very much. Good to see you.

BEARMAN: Thank - thanks, Tucker.

CARLSON: Well pretty much every college in America, almost every college in America restricts free speech, dramatically. Restricting free speech is, in fact, the signature fact of college, and it's grotesque. Can we do anything about it? That's after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: CAMPUS CRAZINESS.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: America's college campuses were designed to be havens for free expression and for good reason. Free speech is a requirement for free thought. And free thought is central to the idea of universities. There's no other reason to have it. But it's the universities where those ideas, those freedoms are now under the gravest threat.

A new report by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, FIRE, finds that 90 percent of American college campuses have some kind of speech code that restricts what their students are allowed to say and, by extension, and this is intentional, what's acceptable for them to think. When they can control what you say, they control what you think.

Robert Shibley is FIRE's Executive Director and he joins us tonight. Robert, thanks very much for coming on.

ROBERT SHIBLEY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FIRE: Thank--

CARLSON: So--

SHIBLEY: --thanks for having me.

CARLSON: --when you say there are speech codes, is that strictly speaking? I mean are - are these rules that say you're not allowed to express certain ideas or say certain things or they informal?

SHIBLEY: Yes. These are literally formal rules telling you what you can and cannot say on college campuses.

And you're right. About 90 percent of them have codes that if it's a public university are unconstitutional or if it is a private university, violates their own promises of free speech. So, FIRE only rates those codes that are written down. If a college is engaging in informal censorship, that's not even part of these ratings.

CARLSON: So, I think except for a small handful of colleges, every college in America receives federal funding, every one. So, they would all be subject to the conventional protections, civil rights protection, voting rights. Why are they not required to uphold the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights, freedom of speech?

SHIBLEY: Well it's interesting. There are some civil rights protections, Title IX, it's probably the most - most well-known one but some--

CARLSON: Yes.

SHIBLEY: --racial discrimination as well. Those do come - those are requirements when you get federal funding. But, actually, following the First Amendment is not one of those requirements. We don't make that requirement of colleges who take federal funds. But you're right, it's - it's virtually all of them.

CARLSON: So, why wouldn't it be pretty simple for college - for Congress to pass a law saying if you're going to take tax dollars, you have to follow the Bill of Rights? That doesn't seem like a very tough ask.

SHIBLEY: Well that is something that Congress could do. And it wasn't done back in the - the Civil Rights era. I think now you would see a lot of resistance on political bases because I think people are, you know, there's a lot of support out there, particularly, among college administrators and folks who work at colleges for these kind of restrictions.

I think you'd see a lot of opposition to that. I don't think you'd see a lot--

CARLSON: Yes.

SHIBLEY: --among your average Americans though.

CARLSON: Man, well if we ever get a Republican Congress maybe they'll do it and, you know, build a wall and stuff like that, protect Americans. Here's hoping. Robert, thank you very much.

SHIBLEY: Thanks for having me.

CARLSON: Well Jason Nichols is right in the middle of this debate. He's an actual professor. He teaches African-American studies at the University of Maryland and a frequent guest on this show. Professor, thanks for coming on.

JASON NICHOLS, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND: Thank you for having me, Tucker.

CARLSON: So, it seems like kind of a - would be a baseline for a university to have pretty much absolute freedom of speech a prerequisite for freedom of thought like what's the point of having colleges if you can't say whatever you think?

NICHOLS: Well I - I think number one, in society, we don't have complete freedom of speech.

CARLSON: True.

NICHOLS: Of course, you - you know, there's libel, there's defamation. There is, you know, threats of - of violence and--

CARLSON: Yes.

NICHOLS: --and inciting violence.

CARLSON: Yes.

NICHOLS: Those are limits on free speech. So, I think we have this idea that freedom of speech means that you can say anything at any time.

CARLSON: No, no, we know what it is--

NICHOLS: And it's--

CARLSON: --because Brandenburg versus Ohio in 1967, the famous Supreme Court case, very specifically outlined the boundaries of free speech. And so--

NICHOLS: OK.

CARLSON: --libel is not allowed, of course. Imminent threats of violence are not allowed. But everything else is allowed. Everything else is allowed. And you would think and - but it's not allowed in Apple or Amazon or some big authoritarian company. But colleges exist to be an oasis in the middle of our commercial society for free thinking. So--

NICHOLS: I - I agree--

CARLSON: --why would they be the places where free thinking is punished most aggressively?

NICHOLS: --no, I - I agree that, you know, there - there are many cases. And you and I actually discussed, you know, a - a case a little while ago where there was a college professor who said something he shouldn't have said, and then all of a sudden people are talking about, "Oh, he needs to be fired. Try to," this is why we actually have tenure--

CARLSON: Right.

NICHOLS: --is, you know, to protect people so that they can say what it is that they want. But there have been all these attacks. There are these people who are trying to put limits on what it is you say. And I think that that's, you know, problematic. But, you know, I think overall colleges do protect freedom of speech. They do protect freedom--

CARLSON: So, what would happen if you went in - into your class and say, "Yes (ph), I kind of like that Donald Trump. And what do I like about him? I like the family separation policy, I like the wall. He's right that Mexico doesn't send us its best, just kind of read portions of a Trump speech"--

NICHOLS: Sure.

CARLSON: --how'd that work out for you?

NICHOLS: I don't - I don't - well, I think students would disagree, and they'd have every right to disagree.

CARLSON: Of course, well, of course, they would. I would never contest their right.

NICHOLS: And - and as a matter of fact, even if they protested me, that's part of their First Amendment right.

CARLSON: You're not getting - no debate from me on that. I - I believe in the free exchange of ideas. And despite the efforts to shut us down and shut us up, we're - we're still doing it.

But if you said that in a faculty meeting, no one would engage you. People would just say, "You know what? You're some - I know you're African- American, but you're obviously some kind of freaky bigot."

You know what I mean? They would treat you like they treated Kanye West like no one would engage you and say, let's talk through those ideas. You - you really think the family separation policy is a good idea? No, they would shout at you. Wouldn't you?

NICHOLS: Well, I - I think people would disagree. And I think they would have every right to disagree.

CARLSON: Yes, yes, of course, no, but I'm saying--

NICHOLS: And I - and I think that is--

CARLSON: --like the whole idea of the college is, you say one thing, I say another, then we talk about them to get to wisdom.

NICHOLS: Sure.

CARLSON: Isn't that the goal?

NICHOLS: Sure. But I think this - the--

CARLSON: But they wouldn't do that (ph).

NICHOLS: --the conversation doesn't always have to be comfortable. That means we--

CARLSON: Of course, not.

NICHOLS: --we can yell at each other, we can sit there and - and try to shut one another down. That's part of free speech.

CARLSON: Of course, I guess the macro question is have you ever met a group of people with smaller minds than those who teach at America's colleges, less open to new ideas to challenging like truly challenging concepts.

NICHOLS: I - I think that's what we literally do on college campuses--

CARLSON: Really?

NICHOLS: --is challenge concepts and challenge popular ideas. I think number one, you know--

CARLSON: How about this? Why don't you go to next faculty meeting and say, you know what (ph), just for the record, abortion's murder?

NICHOLS: Well let me tell you, hold on, Tucker--

CARLSON: I just want to see how that works.

NICHOLS: --let me tell you something. Every semester--

CARLSON: Uh-huh?

NICHOLS: --we have abortion activists who come out and litter the campus with pictures of aborted fetuses.

CARLSON: Yes.

NICHOLS: And there are pregnant women who - who are walking across campus crying and all these kinds of things. It's still their First Amendment right to do that--

CARLSON: Well, of course it is. I'm just saying - I'm just wondering if your college (ph)--

NICHOLS: --and - and nobody (ph) complains.

CARLSON: --but what - people complain.

NICHOLS: People complain, right.

CARLSON: But what would your colleagues say if you said that?

NICHOLS: I'm sure they - they'd be disgusted. And they - they'd - they'd be upset with me--

CARLSON: Oh, they would.

NICHOLS: --some would, some wouldn't--

CARLSON: They wouldn't be open to like why is it insane (ph)?

NICHOLS: No, they--

CARLSON: What are the ideas behind that?

NICHOLS: --they don't have - but they don't have to be open to it.

CARLSON: No, of course because they're - but they should be because they're not supposed to be small-minded. They're supposed to be broad-minded, but they're not.

NICHOLS: No, these are people who - who are probably studied the issue and they have a--

CARLSON: No, they haven't. They're dumb people--

NICHOLS: --a particular view.

CARLSON: --come on.

NICHOLS: Oh, they're dumb people. People who study for a living are dumb people.

CARLSON: No. Well, amazingly, that's the irony wrapped in the riddle. You are none of those things, which is why we're so grateful that you come on this show. Thank you, Professor.

NICHOLS: Right. Thanks a lot, Tucker. Appreciate it.

CARLSON: Good to see you.

Time now for Final Exam. Can you do better than the news professionals at remembering the news? A lot happened this week. What happened? We don't know. Do you? Find out after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: FINAL EXAM.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: Oh the best and calmest (ph) moment of the week. It's time now for Final Exam where hardened news professionals compete to win an Erik Wemple mug and be crowned the ultimate news champion. This week's exam, we're pitting two of our top Fox News Correspondents against one another, but gently, Lauren Blanchard and Griff Jenkins join us on the set.

Griff is a longtime former champion, though I think every match you've won, you had an arm sling on.

GRIFF JENKINS, CORRESPONDENT: We did. We had a four and O (ph) run in a sling. First time the sling came off, I lost.

CARLSON: Yes. Well we found out recently that Lauren is a very tough competitor, so best of luck to you and, of course, to you.

LAUREN BLANCHARD, CORRESPONDENT: Thank you.

CARLSON: All right, you know the rules. I'm going to repeat them though for audience at home. Hands on buzzers, I ask the questions. The first one to buzz in gets to answer the question. This is key. You must wait until I finish asking the question in order to answer it.

You can answer once I acknowledge you saying your name. Each correct answer is worth a single point. Each incorrect answer detracts a point from your total, the cruel math of Final Exam. Best of five wins. Are you ready?

JENKINS: I'm ready.

BLANCHARD: I'm ready (ph).

JENKINS: Good luck.

CARLSON: All right.

BLANCHARD: Good luck, sir.

JENKINS: Let's do it.

CARLSON: We're going to begin with a multiple-choice question. In a marketing move that is either brilliant or insane, one fast-food chain is now selling fire logs that make your whole house smell like their food. Is the restaurant A, Burger King, B, KFC, C, Domino's?

(BUZZERS SOUND)

Lauren Blanchard.

BLANCHARD: It is KFC.

CARLSON: B, KFC. Boy, you're definitive--

BLANCHARD: I just hope so (ph).

CARLSON: --on that. Is it KFC?

BLANCHARD: Yes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE!: If you are looking to kick-start your Christmas season, you might want to get yourself one of these. This is the KFC 11 herbs and spices--

(CROWD LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLANCHARD: It's absolutely (ph)--

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KIMMEL: --fire logs. This is the logs that as you get (ph) you put in your fireplace--

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLANCHARD: So hard (ph)--

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KIMMEL: --that smells like fried chicken--

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JENKINS: It's good stuff (ph)--

BLANCHARD: Well then (ph)--

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KIMMEL: --for real.

(CROWD LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: It smells like your car in college.

BLANCHARD: No, absolutely not. I would - that would not come into my house.

CARLSON: Well it sounds like--

JENKINS: I'm going to run down and get one now.

CARLSON: Lauren Blanchard, you are up by one point. All right, Griff, it's all you. Question two.

JENKINS: I agree with you (ph).

CARLSON: Traffic in Los Angeles is notoriously awful. But thanks to the brilliance and the foresight of Elon Musk, relief may be on the way. The billionaire inventor just unveiled what new faster way of getting around Los Angeles?

(BUZZERS SOUND)

Griff Jenkins.

JENKINS: Tunnel.

CARLSON: Tunnels? Under L.A.?

JENKINS: L.A. tunnels.

CARLSON: I don't believe you. Let's check the tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GAYLE KING, CO-ANCHOR OF CBS THIS MORNING: How about this? Underground tunnels to beat traffic congestion?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Autonomous technology in the cars ensure that they don't run into each other despite going speeds over 125 miles--

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: Wow.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: --an hour.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JENKINS: Elon Musk, he's got some bright ideas.

CARLSON: Because when you're near the San Andreas Fault what you want is to drive in a tunnel, don't you think?

JENKINS: That would be a little trepidacious to do in there.

CARLSON: For what it's worth (ph) it's California. They won't even exist.

All right, question three, congratulations on that. This week, a man in Missouri was sentenced to a year in prison for illegally poaching hundreds of deer. The Judge also mandated that while the poacher is locked up, he is required to watch which classic Disney movie once a month?

(BUZZERS SOUND)

Lauren Blanchard.

BLANCHARD: Bambi.

CARLSON: Bambi?

BLANCHARD: Bambi.

CARLSON: Well that's cool and unusual.

BLANCHARD: Yes.

CARLSON: Is it Bambi?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A Judge ordering the man who illegally killed hundreds of deer in Missouri to watch the Disney classic Bambi at least once a month during his one-year jail sentence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLANCHARD: That's great (ph).

JENKINS: That's fantastic.

CARLSON: That man has eaten a lot of venison.

BLANCHARD: Yes.

JENKINS: That is poetic justice there--

CARLSON: Yes. Hope he'll change as there (ph)--

JENKINS: --terrible was (ph).

BLANCHARD: Right.

CARLSON: Question four. Another multiple choice, so wait for each option. Forbes this week released its list of the richest celebrities of 2018. The top spot this year went to a filmmaker with a net worth of $5.4 billion. Was it A, George Lucas? Was it B, Steven Spielberg or, C, James Cameron?

(BUZZERS SOUND)

Lauren Blanchard.

BLANCHARD: George Lucas.

CARLSON: George Lucas. And you're fast--

BLANCHARD: Star Wars, right?

CARLSON: --with that buzzers.

JENKINS: Right (ph).

CARLSON: Is it George Lucas of Star Wars?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Top four U.S., Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, not a surprise--

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLANCHARD: Yes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: --Steven Spielberg. And coming in at number one, Star Wars Creator, George Lucas--

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JENKINS: Ah.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: --with a net worth of $5.4 million.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Billion--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Billion.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: --billion with a B--

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did I say ba, ba, ba--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, yes, yes (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: --with a B.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLANCHARD: OK.

CARLSON: Did you know that or did you guess?

BLANCHARD: No. I - I - I feel like I knew that one.

CARLSON: You feel like you knew that?

BLANCHARD: And it's Star Wars. It was a (ph)--

CARLSON: How did you do on the SAT?

BLANCHARD: Actually, I'm from Michigan. We don't really take the SAT for a- -

CARLSON: Right.

BLANCHARD: --lot of Midwest schools, so ACT.

CARLSON: ACT. I bet you got a 100.

BLANCHARD: I wish. No, my parents would have been a lot--

JENKINS: You have fast - I feel like you're fast (ph)--

CARLSON: Yes. No, she's absolutely. She's unbelievable (ph).

BLANCHARD: I have - I have two brothers.

JENKINS: A - a duel draw (ph).

BLANCHARD: I've had to fight for a lot of things growing up.

CARLSON: Yes, you can tell. Boy, you are the--

BLANCHARD: Grumpy (ph)--

CARLSON: --you're really first duel (ph). All right, final question.

JENKINS: All right.

CARLSON: Which 90s child actor, famous for starring in a very popular Christmas movie, has just reprised his role for a new ad for Google?

(BUZZERS SOUND)

Lauren.

BLANCHARD: Macaulay Culkin. I always want to see his--

CARLSON: Macaulay Culkin. Is it--

BLANCHARD: --Home Alone.

CARLSON: --Macaulay Culkin?

JENKINS: It is.

CARLSON: Is he back?

BLANCHARD: Yes.

JENKINS: Yes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MACAULAY CARSON CULKIN, ACTOR MUSICIAN: Hey, Google, add after-shave--

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLANCHARD: It's the Google app (ph).

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CULKIN: --to my shopping list.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right.

CULKIN: Hey Google, remind me to clean these sheets later.

GOOGLE: OK. I'll remind you.

(DOORBELL RINGS)

GOOGLE: Someone's at the front door.

CULKIN: What do I owe you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Looks like you paid online.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep the change, you filthy animal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, cool.

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JENKINS: It's like (ph)--

CARLSON: Amazing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: Our and - well, I don't usually add in a show timer (ph) here but I'm hearing from our judges who would have--

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CULKIN: Hey Google, turn down the temperature two degrees.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: --all the metrics in front of them on the Final Exam control room board.

BLANCHARD: OK.

CARLSON: And they're saying that both of you have buzzed in but your reflexes are so lightning quick, you're like a ninja, and they're impressed.

JENKINS: It is. It's like, you know, the old Western movies where the guy's like--

CARLSON: Yes, it's unbelievable.

JENKINS: --big guns (ph) like that's it. I would never play with you (ph)--

CARLSON: Dead before you hit the ground.

JENKINS: Yes.

BLANCHARD: Right.

CARLSON: Griff, great job.

JENKINS: Thank you. Congrats.

CARLSON: Lauren, congratulations.

JENKINS: Congratulations.

BLANCHARD: Thanks, sir (ph).

CARLSON: And we're going to award you, as we traditionally do, the Erik Wemple mug. He works for Jeff Bezos' website. And we've had some demand--

BLANCHARD: Thanks.

CARLSON: --from his relatives for this mug. So, that's how coveted it is. I think they feel the same way as we do about him.

BLANCHARD: Thanks (ph).

CARLSON: He's atop, by the way, our Christmas tree. We have an Erik Wemple Christmas tree and I want you to drink your coffee in that every morning and think of us and him.

BLANCHARD: I will. I will do that.

CARLSON: Great to see you both.

BLANCHARD: Thank you.

CARLSON: Merry Christmas to both of you.

JENKINS: Merry Christmas.

BLANCHARD: Merry Christmas.

CARLSON: That's it for tonight's Final Exam. Watch the news closely each night. Tune in every Thursday to see if you can beat the professionals. I don't know if you can. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARLSON: Well CNN just hates it when you call them fake news. The Governor's brother gets all upset. But occasionally, it fits. They promote it. Here's one case. A guy called Claas Relotius was an Investigative Journalist for Der Spiegel. That's the biggest paper in Germany.

Couple years ago, CNN honored him as Journalist of the Year. Now, he's being canned. He was caught inventing many of his stories. And it's probably not that surprising. They were absurd stories.

One example is his profile of a Minnesota town called Fergus Falls. It had a lot of Trump supporters. So, he went and stayed for a number of weeks to mock them. The article he wrote was full of absurd claims intended to make the residents sound ridiculous.

At one point, he said the movie American Sniper was still playing to sold- out crowds two years after it's released. That's how dumb they were in the Trump Town. Well, it took years for him to be caught. One of the main reasons is that he wrote exactly what his audience wanted to hear. And, of course, CNN never noticed. They wanted to hear it too.

Author and Columnist Mark Steyn joins us tonight, a longtime fan of Der Spiegel. This guy was kind of hiding in plain sight.

MARK STEYN, COLUMNIST, STEYNONLINE.COM: Yes. This is a very traditional kind of story that Europeans and people of what one might call a Eurocentric bent such as CNN enjoy.

They - they like to send their reporters out into the great wastelands of the American interior and report back that all the people there are inbred, stump-truth (ph), snake-handling crazies, who like nothing better than a jigger of moonshine and a bunk up (ph) with their sister before they go down--

CARLSON: Oh, God (ph).

STEYN: --to have their church renamed after Trump and do a couple of scripture readings from The Art of the Deal. So, basically--

CARLSON: Ha-ha. Ha-ha.

STEYN: --this - this guy, no, you laugh - you laugh, Tucker. But that is actually what these newspapers and magazines won. And they're prepared to give you awards for it, like this guy got Journalist of the Year.

A guy called Matthew Engel at The Guardian, his - his editors told him to go a - to the most backward parts of America and find the most inbred crazies to write about. And his heart wasn't really in it. So, he went to a suburban Olive Garden restaurant and wrote it up as if he was Stanley in Africa discovering Livingstone. That's how they think of the interior of America.

This guy was completely ridiculous. He says the Town Manager was a virgin who had never been to the ocean and these guys in Fergus Falls post the photograph of the Town Manager standing on the ocean shore with the woman he lives with.

I mean this - this guy got there, discovered the story wasn't there, but decided to write it for his readers anyway.

CARLSON: Can I just quick - super - super quick--

STEYN: And that is a lot of what news is about.

CARLSON: --when I first met you and you were writing for about five different English newspapers. You've been a newspaper man--

STEYN: Right.

CARLSON: --a journalist for many years.

STEYN: Right.

CARLSON: So, you know the answer. Do you think journalists are getting dumber or is it just my imagination?

STEYN: Oh, no. I think they - I think the herd mentality of all like sitting around in the Washington Bureau or whatever, and - and the idea of actually all agreeing on the net - I think the groupthink, the herd mentality is far worse than it was 20 or 40 years ago.

CARLSON: Yes. Good. Thank you. I needed a reality check. The great Mark Steyn, thanks a lot. It's fantastic.

STEYN: Thanks, Tucker, merry Christmas to you.

CARLSON: Merry Christmas.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: SHIP OF FOOLS.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARLSON: Well the current battle over border wall funding says everything about the state of modern American leadership. Washington easily agrees on funding an endless war in Afghanistan, giving aid to foreign countries, handing tax breaks to powerful tech monopolies. But protect America's sovereignty, help actual Americans secure the border? Whoa, agreement is completely impossible.

How'd that happen? Well, for a blueprint, there's a new book called Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of the Revolution. That title was formulated about a year ago. It seems more accurate than ever, sadly. Anyway, pretty good Christmas present if you got someone who wants to be informed but depressed.

That's about it for us tonight. We are out of time. What a fun hour that was? We'll hope you see it tomorrow night 8:00 P.M., the show that is the sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness and groupthink.

Five days till Christmas. So, time to buy some presents. Good night from Washington. Hannity's next. Dan Bongino, sitting in for Sean for a second night and--

DANIEL JOHN BONGINO, FORMER SECRET SERVICE AGENT: Yes.

CARLSON: --that's a good sign. Hey, Dan.

BONGINO: Yes, isn't it? It's like a--

CARLSON: Yes.

BONGINO: --Dan Bongino double-header or something, Tucker. I'll be with you tomorrow night, as a matter of fact so.

CARLSON: I can't wait.

BONGINO: Back from the home studio--

CARLSON: Have a great hour.

BONGINO: --in the bunker. Thanks a lot, Tucker, great show as always.

CARLSON: See you man (ph).

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