Rutger Bregman is a hero

After the historian made a big splash by calling out all the billionaires at Davos who flew in on private jets to explain how committed they were to addressing global climate change, Tucker Carlson was eager to have him on his show…until the actual interview happened, Bregman called out Fox News and Carlson for their hypocrisy, and then poor little Tucker melted down in fury and announced that he wouldn’t air the the interview, said Bregman should go fuck himself, and declared him a tiny-brained moron. Sweet.

Fortunately, Bregman was clever enough to record the interview for himself.

He did ask another perceptive question, though. Why is it that all these TV pitchmen at Fox (and, to be fair, elsewhere) millionaires? Sure, they should get a fair wage for putting the work in, but face it — they’re not particularly bright or talented.

You ought to get paid more than that for speaking truth to power. Bregman is totally transparent about who is paying him.


  1. says

    That’s pretty hilarious.

    Reminds me that Carlson has been so much a part of the problem John Stewart publicly rebuked him for it all those years ago on Crossfire. That seems to be his whole brand, being part of the problem.

  2. says

    John Stewart’s problem with Carlson was for him being part of a show that encouraged partisan hostility – that is to say, J thought we should be nicer to our political opposites. I ain’t into that, and I haven’t watched The Daily Show, Colbert, or any of the rest in a long time. Too moderate for me.

  3. says


    Yep, Stewart always engaged in Bothsides-ism to an absurd degree, and Trevor Noah has continued the practice. Remember that execrable “rally” Stewart held that was basically a monument to whataboutism?

  4. unclefrogy says

    I was so surprised at Mr. Carson’s reaction to someone speaking truth to power directly to him and including him with the class he identifies with.
    uncle frogy

  5. rietpluim says

    Why is it so hard to tell such obvious truths? Bregman is certainly not the first who notices Fox’ hypocrisy, is he?

  6. F.O. says

    Why is it so hard to tell such obvious truths? Bregman is certainly not the first who notices Fox’ hypocrisy, is he?

    Because media owners have an interest in not giving those ideas a platform, and bit by bit they disappear from public discourse.

  7. zetopan says

    “Why is it so hard to tell such obvious truths?”

    Idiot ideologues cannot stand the light of exposure, they always work best in the dark of ignorance. Faux Noise panders to the willfully ignorant and it is not about to let their “alternative facts” get exposed as outright lies. Roger Ailes founded the Faux Noise to only further the right wing agenda.

  8. isochron says

    My favourite bit was the way that Carlson agreed with everything that Bregman was saying right up until he pointed out that Fox are a bunch of divisive, destructive, hypocrites being bought by billionaires. At that point Bregman is suddenly a tiny brained moron…with whom Carlson is largely in agreement.

  9. says

    It will never occur to Carlson that the reason Fox News doesn’t need to dictate to him every day is the same reason other networks had to tell him what not to say—he has a reliable history of always saying the Right thing, and possibly even believing it to the depth of his chipboard soul.

    This is the reaction of a well-paid drone to a sudden truth. Anger for a few moments, perhaps even confusion, but within seconds, the little RESET button gives an audible click, and he resumes what he was saying just before it happened, remembering only that the man said a bad thing, and he made an easily beeped swear, and this is the whole and entire reason it must never be spoken of again.

    And for those folks in Fox News Land, sure, they might go listen to the whole thing, but they’ve already been told it contains nothing of consequence, and Tucker didn’t link to it, so why bother?

  10. birgerjohansson says

    The kooks should be taped 24/7 so they cannot later deny their own words. this will not have an effect on the inner core of believers, but the halo of not-quite brainwashed can be reached.

  11. raaak says

    Tucker’s meltdown was fun to watch. But Mr.Bregman’s allegation of “paid by Cato to scapegoat immigrants” was patently false.
    Here is a list of Cato’s work on immigration:

    I don’t know about others. But I don’t find most of this work “scapegoating” immigrants. If anything, their stance on the matter is more progressive and humane than most of the left. Interestingly, the other Tucker’s meltdown happened when he was talking to a fellow from Cato on immigration. He couldn’t take the deluge of statistics and reasonable arguments from the guy in support of immigrants and hung up mid call !!

    I don’t think leveling random allegations helps anybody. Mr Bregman can go after Cato for a lot of things, going after them in the one area that they have done good work is not “speaking truth”, to “the Power” or anyone else.

  12. lotharloo says

    It’s possible he meant the Heritage foundation:

    From Fuckwit’s wiki:

    Carlson began his journalism career as a fact-checker for Policy Review,[3] a national conservative journal then published by The Heritage Foundation and since acquired by the Hoover Institution. He later worked as a reporter at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper in Little Rock, Arkansas, before joining The Weekly Standard in 1995.

  13. Rob Grigjanis says

    raaak @15:

    But Mr.Bregman’s allegation of “paid by Cato to scapegoat immigrants” was patently false.

    Bregman didn’t allege that. The part about scapegoating immigrants referred to Fox News and Rupert Murdoch, not the Cato Institute.

  14. rietpluim says

    And now Bregman is being criticized for attacking the media, which is a dictatorial thing to do… sigh

  15. raaak says

    Re: #17 @Rob Grigjanis:

    Not directly. He starts by saying Carlson is taking Murdoch’s money to scapegoat immigrants and then immediately digresses to Carlson’s Cato fellowship without any clarification or context.

    I am just saying, whatever Cato stands for, they have done right as far as it concerns immigration policy, immigrants, and their rights. It is just unfair to associate them with Carlson in that context.

    On the other hand, it goes to show what an incompetent debater Tucker Carlson really is. If he was this master debater he kind of likes to pretend to be, he should have calmly asked for context and clarification about these points. Instead he had a meltdown and began swearing. It was beyond pathetic.

    Apparently, there is no need to do any homework before going on Tucker Carlson (which Bregman does not seem to have done either). Keeping cool and a few well placed remarks is enough to own Tucker Carlson in any debate in just a few minutes.

  16. Janstince says

    Because of the prominence of this moment, I went back and reviewed the Stewart takedown of Crossfire, and it didn’t seem to me that he was engaging in both-siderism at that time. No doubt, he has his fair share of “go along to get along,” but that wasn’t exactly his point.

    Stewart seemed, to me anyway, to be pointing out the absurdity of the show itself. It billed itself, like so many of these cable “news” shows, to be hard-hitting journalism, all about facts and policy, getting into the nitty-gritty politics and holding politicians’ feet to the fire about their positions. In truth, what Stewart seemed to be pointing out, was that it’s all theater. That these “pundits” have monetized politics to the point where the candidates were just spewing talking points and sound bytes and not really sayin anything of substance, not backing their arguments more than superficially, and were pretty much allowed to engage in gotcha moments and memes to their hearts’ content. And Stewart was pointing out that these so-called news shows, with their endless analysis of the Beltway gossip columns, I mean, opinion pieces, were just feeding into the lack of substance, making imagery, PR, and marketing more important than true debate and argument. And the shows so rarely did any actual fact-checking, beyond he-said, she-said, who-said, that it didn’t really amount to anything but the popularization of the WWE form of politics. Which, as we’ve seen, really plays into the right-wing take no prisoners method perfected by Gingrich.

    One thing I noticed in my Daily Show years of watching, was that all the pundits, be they Fox, CNN, MSNBC, etc. always had the same turns of phrase, the same stories, and similar if not exactly the same takes on the day’s political paparazzi as everyone else on that network.

    Another thing I noticed, Stewart and the Daily Show never seemed to go after Rachel Maddow in this way. I could be wrong, but I don’t remember that, and I think it was because she wouldn’t chase the daily meat all the time, getting the latest hot take from jackasses who should’ve been kicked out of the political arena long ago, and would instead focus on doing her best to bring information and facts to her audience.