You shouldn't have to explain that Carlson piece. Anybody who actually reads it should comprehend what it's actually saying, and anyone who attacks you for its very existence will not be swayed something like this. If anything, they'll dig in on you even further now.

It was a great, important piece in keeping with all of your recent work. The #resistance-brained trolls are going to attack anyone for even considering Carlson anything other than a dangerous, anti-American white supremacist. We've absolutely lost the thread of logic and reason with these discussions. Carlson is worth protecting, and I don't even watch his show. I think he's kind of an asshole.

Expand full comment

I have no interest in trying to censor anyone. Why should I? I'm not threatened by their beliefs. Only the people who are secretly afraid that their ideology doesn't really hold water are consumed with trying to suppress other people's criticisms of it or shout down those with differing opinions.

Expand full comment

Apologies - comments were locked, now open.

Expand full comment

An excellent article Matt. I used to engage in political discussions with a co-worker many years ago. He was on the opposite side of me on almost every topic. Yet we were able to discuss things without calling each other evil. It is astonishing to me how we are unable to have serious discussions anymore. Emotional point scoring and trolling seems to be the norm.

Expand full comment

This piece was unexpectedly moving by the end. The marriage analogy and the point about the downstream consequences of cancelling is really compelling. You've written about this issue a lot, but I thought this was the best iteration of your viewpoint. Interestingly, I think it was the most upbeat and positive version too.

Expand full comment

I am the most conventional, middle of the road type of Democrat. And that makes me something of a political orphan.

I was the typical, middle class media consumer.

Then I started wondering about Russia gate. And how any comparison was dismissed as "whataboutism."

Any veering from the party line got me labeled a troll or a Trump supporter in the WaPo comments. Or people called me Vlad/Igor etc and asked about the weather in Moscow.

Taibbi, Greenwald, Weiss etc are the only places that seem rational at this point. Or where curiosity is not a sin.

Expand full comment

'This is a much higher number than native-born Americans, 69% of whom say they are “ashamed” of some parts of our culture (just 39% of immigrants agree).'

Maybe if you've been told for decades now, accelerating over recent years, that your white man culture is white supremacist and shit, and deserves to be torn down your your pink ears, along with its history, as it is currently being...you wouldn't be so proud of it, either. Immigrants CHOOSE to move to America, so OF COURSE it's going to be the 'greatest country in the world' to them. They HAVE to believe that, otherwise why even bother moving from where they are?

There's a great old Australian film about the outback and what it does to people called Wake In Fright. Watch it, it's on Youtube. Donald Pleasence has a great line in it. A genteel Englishman is sneering at the alcohol-swilling, macho backwards outback town he finds himself in. Of the desperately boozed-up locals, and how proud they are of their small town, Pleasance, playing an alcoholic doctor, notes that "Discontent is a luxury of the well-to-do. If you've gotta live here, you might as well like it." Which sums things up quite nicely, for any and all strata of society, and any and all countries.

Expand full comment

I believe if you took most of the stuff Carlson says, tone down the hyperbole, and have Rachel Maddow snark it out as gospel on her show, the left would probably be OK with it.

Expand full comment

Really Matt you don't have to explain why you defended Carlson's right to...ah...y'know....give his opinion. I really didn't think that meant the two of you were going to race off to the prom together.

Even if I didn't agree with some of what Carlson says, I wouldn't want him silenced. Heck, I think watching Rachel Maddow has all the news value of listening to a car alarm blare for an hour yet I wouldn't support her gagging.

I pay for this shit because I know that you piss people off on both sides of our dysfunctional little political romper room.

Anything else would be a fucking bore.

Expand full comment

The condition that seems most prevalent in preventing honest dialogue among all sides, is a failure to recognize the complexity of nearly every policy decision and to admit to oneself that, although you have a feeling or belief in what is the best thing to do in any given situation, you never "know" that something is right or that an alternative is wrong. For almost any situation, two people that agree 100% on a desired outcome (e.g., minimizing or eliminating the effects of racism), will each have a good faith belief that their plan of attack is the best way to get there. Differing on a path to the solution should never be judged immoral. Similar problems arise with the even higher degrees of complexity introduced when the concepts of limited resources and the ranking of priorities are introduced. Unfortunately, in much current debating, approaches to these issues from a standard of less than 100% certainty is either ignored or viewed as weak/ foolish.

Expand full comment

Thank you -- we live in a major kleptocracy regime - at ALL levels. There is also a major and historic crime in progress in which both Joe Biden but also Jim Acosta types, play a leading role.

Despite of Glenn’s, Aaron’s, Max’s, Jimmy and Matt's and of so many others' years of debunking, the scam of the century – the Russia-gate hoax, now in its 5th-year and ongoing -- that major crime is not even acknowledged yet, since its major players (Biden, Pelosi, Schumer) sit in power.

Now that incompetent and dangerous Trump is gone it should be addressed – hopefully very fast. The suspense is:

WHO will be the first current or former Democrat Congresswoman/man or Senator to publicly acknowledge and confirm the scam of the century -- the Russia-gate conspiracy – concocted by Hillary-Obama-Biden? There is no possibility of "unity and healing" in the US until that.

Most of "our" representatives are millionaires, some even billionaires, especially among “hidden” but controlling DNC oligarchs – some might be tempted to confirm the obvious truth, many of their family members or close friends or lovers might provide detailed testimonies, etc.

My personal hope is that heroic Tulsi Gabbard might state it, now that despicable Trump has defeated himself and is gone. Her brilliant and epic response after Hillary criminally called her -- “Russia’s asset” is still ringing in my ears:

“Great! Thank you @HillaryClinton . You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain. From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know — it was always you, through your proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine, afraid of the threat I pose. It’s now clear that this primary is between you and me. Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies”.

By far the highest interest of Biden government and its oligarch cabal is that Russia-gate immense hoax – the scam of the century -- will NOT / will NEVER be fully exposed. The entire anti-Russian fairytale is a deliberate fabrication -- the worst scam in US history is DNC/CIA Russia-gate hoax. They lost to a TV host and instead of reflection, they latched onto a moronic conspiracy theory -- this includes the completely (proven) false accusations that Russia gave WikiLeaks Hillary's emails (hence the TOTAL silence on Assange persecution and torture). The publisher of our century and the leading free speech advocate, Julian Assange must be silenced -- ALL the plotters/players agree...

There has been collusion between media, Democrat party, Hi-Tech companies and the deep state (CIA, FBI, NSA) for now five years. The Russia-gate hoax and impeachment “entertainments” were concocted by Obama, Hillary, Biden, Pelosi, Schumer, Schiff, Maxine Waters, Jamie Raskin, etc. and their intelligence and DNC executives on behalf of their Wall Street and military industry donors. That lying war-mongering team is now back in power – note that Kamala Harris (and her sister) and Neera Tanden are Hillary's protégés; Pete Buttigieg was promptly rewarded for his role of election theft in Iowa, etc.

Remember, Clapper, Brennan & Hayden trio were among Obama's 50 intelligence officials stating that Hunter-laptop is -- a classical “Russian disinformation”.

-- They were also key promoters of the by now five-year Russia-gate hoax.

-- They were also key intelligence executives in Obama/Biden/Hillary government – the government which hunted Snowden (forcing Bolivian plane with Bolivia’s president to land to search it) and armed Al Qaeda (including brazen “white helmets” hoax) and staged ALL chemical attacks in Syria to remove its government.

When asked about Hunter's corruption laptops - Pelosi brazenly stated "All roads lead to Putin"; commenting on Capitol invasion Schumer said - "worse than Pearl Harbor and 9/11"...

Lying Russia-gate team is fully back in power and working at full speed -- massive censorship is mandatory for them to preserve power.. Once again -- WHO among Democrat politicians will be the first whistleblower, demolish the silence and misinformation barrier, and confirm what most of the population already knows for years -- the Russia-gate hoax and the bipartisan anti-Syria alliance with Al Qaeda in massive crimes against humanity are the largest crimes against democracy in the US. which is rapidly morphing into United Soviets country (while "bad" Russia has not been Communist for 30+ years).

Expand full comment

I remember watching SNL in 2004 when a Robert Smigel sketch called the middle red states "Dumbfuckistan." The New York audience howled with laughter, and the political web sites all loved it. A dozen years later, Hillary was dog whistling the same point when she called them "deplorables." It comes from both sides, obviously. But I think we've been on this road far longer than we like to admit. I have no idea how it gets better.

Expand full comment

I first heard about the fact that it's no longer 'safe' to air your opinions in the US from young steelworkers who just happened to be on the same train to Munich that I was on. That was in 2010. It's frightening to watch America devour itself from up here in Canada, where we are daily subjected to the idiotic statements of our woke Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. But look again. Trudeau has recently passed laws that force you to address anyone who asks with wrong pronouns and also forbids you to air your honest opinions on race. Welcome to Canada...where things are even less free.

Expand full comment

Matt, this is your best piece ever and it needs to be printed in every publication everywhere. Name calling and blaming are part of an arrogance that makes both sides blind.

Expand full comment

I didn't comment on your previous article concerning Tucker Carlson because I thought it was fair and balanced as we used to say in a far away galaxy, and would have been supported by those who support SubStack. Not so from your intro to today's essay, which is remarkable. Carlson is a reasonable voice from the Conservative side of the country. He's NOT Alex Jones or in any way equivalent. In your essay today you conflate the conservative opposition to ILLEGAL immigration with opposing immigration as a whole. This is simply not true, and the failed states Carlson referred to was in reference to the Latin America diaspora that challenges our immigration policies and southern borders. To take note of the vacuum Carlson is speaking into, name ONE Democrat congressperson or spokesperson in the media who dare to even use the qualifier "illegal" immigration let alone speak against it. They avoid the descriptive in order to pretend that all immigration should be viewed the same, which it should not. This deceptive and deceitful presentation is the kind of bias Carlson challenges, and does it well. We need the balance in our politic, not the virulent accusatory posturing that poses for reason. I continue to support your site, as well as Glenn Greenwald's AND Tucker Carlson's so that we might keep our perspective open and sharp.

Expand full comment

I don't know. Some, overwhelmingly on the left, are aiming to"modify" the First Amendment, to regulate the type of information we get to see and hear. We're a liberal democracy. Suppressing opposition -de-platforming, another word I hate, ostracizing, ruining lives, firing if they can, or with rifle butts, is wrong because it's wrong. It's dehumanizing. The difference between de-platforming and a rifle butt is one of degree, isn't it? A marker for a two-bit, fascist frame of mind.

Suppression is wrong not because a successor may be "even worse," or because in some way it may make the job of putting over an authoritarian ideology a tad harder, but because the targeted commentator has a right to opine and the people who listen to him the right to listen. Zealots have no right to flip the switch.

I've always objected to limiting arguments against cruety to animals to its impact on humans -- "it brutalizes humans," or violence toward animals can to violence toward humans. It stands on its own. It's wrong because it hurts animals.

I think we've got an entitlement problem here, people who think they are the center of the universe, a mass-pathology with split-second conversions that is unappeasable. That's pretty dangerous. With all of the institutions captured, it should alarm that "they" want the one uncaptured mainstream platform gone. Going after one mainstream commentator after another until none is left, no opinion but theirs, is the antithesis of everything the U.S. stands for, and it's not somewhere I want to live. It's anti-First Amendment. That's what the Dark Age was all about. Our way, only and always.

Expand full comment