There’s something missing.
The guy ahead of me in traffic had a broken taillight and a tied-up bumper. Out his window, he was yelling at an old woman, crossing the road. By the look of the car, the guy didn’t “have it together”; yet, there he was, hollering: “C’mon, lady. Get it together!
A friend of a friend’s at dinner last week was also saying one thing and doing another. At first, she complained about a rude colleague. Then, she talked about her obnoxious cousin. “People don’t have manners anymore,” she commented.
Without any awareness, she snapped her fingers to get the waitress’ attention. A minute later, she chastised the server for forgetting coasters. During dessert, she rolled her eyes at me for having tap water.
Samantha was acting rude herself.
On television too.
No one’s consistent all of the time. No one’s perfect. When someone continually says one thing and does another, it can be hard to ignore. On TV last week, I noticed it happening with Tucker Carlson. He was presenting his take on the Senate hearings. During the show, he spoke about the money that Cory Booker and Ketanji Jackson had.
Tucker was arguing that these public figures were out of touch. He stated that their money distanced them from the communities that they represented. “You should know that not one of the people you just saw is a poor person,” he commented.
The money’s not the central point. Lots of people have money. Tucker’s net worth happens to be more than Booker and Jackson, but I’m not complaining about that. My issue is that Tucker faults Booker and Jackson for something that he also has.
People judge others.
During the show, Tucker criticizes Booker and Jackson for pretending to be from “an oppressed class”. He argues that they are from a “professional class”. “Not one of them is oppressed,” he says. I couldn’t say if they are or aren’t. In this example, it’s clear that Tucker’s condemning others for something that he also does.
On TV, Tucker acts like he’s from an oppressed class as well.
While filming the show, there were hairdressers, stylists, and assistants on the set. Tucker’s cameraman eyed him through the lens. Yet, no one mentioned that his hair was messy or that his jacket was wrinkled. No one suggested that he iron his clothes or straighten his tie because the look is part of the show.
For the show, Tucker plays the role of a middle-class, hard-at-work journalist. In real life, Tucker doesn’t follow the precepts of journalism. Journalists present more than one viewpoint. A traditional journalist adopts certain rules and adheres to a particular code of ethics. Tucker looks like a journalist, but he’s a commentator.
But not themselves.
Tucker isn’t oppressed. He’s from the upper class. As a commentator, he is free to express himself however he pleases. This is his right. He’s a commentator. But he’s not oppressed. My issue is that he ridicules others for pretending to be oppressed; yet, at the same time, he’s pretending to be oppressed himself.
On the show, Tucker argues that misrepresenting oneself is deserving of criticism. By his own logic, then, he’s deserving of condemnation too.
At first glance, Tucker seems to be dissing Booker and Jackson. With a closer look, he’s putting down people for doing things that he himself does. The financial positions of all three – Booker, Jackson, and Tucker – separate them from the average American. In each case, they probably wouldn’t feel the effects of the opinions and policies that they promote.
Still, they act like they care. Booker and Jackson say that they help. Tucker looks like he understands. When Tucker criticizes them for scenarios that he embodies, he takes it to another level. We should all endeavor to practice even a little more of what we preach. Thank you for reading. Double thanks for following me here and for subscribing.