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January 03, 2005

Media Smackdown: Jim Pinkerton vs. Tucker Carlson

I'm a partisan here, because I kind of like Jim Pinkerton -- especially given his constant and enthusiastic promotion of blogs, and not just the three or four that always get named -- and I always kind of didn't like Tucker Carlson.

I don't know why. The bowtie, maybe. He just always rubbed me the wrong way. And he didn't seem like much of a conservative... he seemed like the sort of conservative trying to get hired by the New York Times, if you know what I mean. Always willing to tell the Establishment what they want to hear, even while keeping his conservative credentials (barely) in order.

Anyway, Pinkerton slapped him around pretty good on this Saturday's Fox News Watch, generally a terrific show to watch ten minutes of when you're trying to fall asleep.

The put-down was delivered better than will come across in print. It was so contemptuous and dismissive. I loved it.

PINKERTON: My nominee for worst pundit performance is Tucker Carlson...

HOST: On CNN's Crossfire.

PINKERTON: Maybe also PBS and MSNBC... Nothing succeeds like failure.

HOST: He kept saying the same things everywhere?

PINKERTON: Exactly. Smugness without gravitas, upward mobility without ratings... There's always a fine line in these argument shows between sincere discussion and schlock. And Crossfire crossed that line a long time ago.

Ouch! Smugness without gravitas, upward mobility without ratings... And you know for anyone in the media business-- it's the last clause that stings the worst.

He went on to talk about the overrated Jon Stewart making fools of Begala and Carlson, which I'm not sure I completely agree with -- Stewart is a paid TV clown, whether he likes it or not, whether he believes his own press clippings about being a "real journalist" now or not, and when someone says "Make me laugh, TV Clown," he ought to make with the funny -- but I still like the beginning of the insults.

Update: The Colossus thinks Tucker is just George Will lite, which I think is a disservice to George Will.

He makes a good point, though. The bowtie thing? When Raj from The Apprentice is using the bowtie as a signal to say "I belong to an earlier age, the age of Captains of Industry and Teddy Roosevelt," it's fair to say that the bowtie affectation has jumped the shark.

Now, maybe Tucker should get himself a cane and bright red shoes.

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posted by Ace at 02:30 AM

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