“We on the left”: Sam Harris, Joe Rogan, and Tucker Carlson

Here’s an excellent video that includes clips from various interviews with famous people saying stupid, hateful things about trans people. That part I’m warning you about; there’s lots of ugly cluelessness included here. But the video’s creator does a great job of tearing them apart.

Sam Harris begins his clip saying “We on the left”, which stopped me cold. He’s in an interview with Joe Rogan! What do you mean, “we”? Especially when he goes on to chortle over the very idea that a person with a penis might call themselves a “woman”. Don’t you realize that the biological reality of a woman begins with her uterus? The two of them sit there bonding over their shared contempt of the idea of trans people. I think it’s safe to say that they aren’t even vaguely liberal here.

It also includes a clip of Julia Beck on Tucker Carlson’s show, explaining that the “T” doesn’t belong in LGBTQ+, and also carrying on with the usual ugly stereotypes of fake men trying to get into women’s bathrooms to commit rape. EssenceOfThought dismantles that one, but I just want to point out that if you are on a Tucker Carlson show, and if you aren’t challenging him on his far right views, and if the two of you are engaged in a mutual back-patting kaffeeklatsch, agreeing that trans people must be excluded from civil society, you have swung way over to the right yourself. That’s a situation that ought to lead you to question your self-declared political orientation.

Especially when you consider that Tucker Carlson is a man who has contempt for even cis women.

Tucker Carlson refused to apologize Sunday after audio surfaced of him degrading women and airing controversial opinions about statutory rape and underage marriage on a radio program between 2006 and 2011. Instead, the Fox News host plugged his prime-time show and urged his detractors to come on as guests.

Carlson was widely criticized on Sunday following a report from the nonprofit Media Matters for America that compiled and transcribed more than a dozen instances of the host appearing on the “Bubba the Love Sponge Show,” a popular radio program broadcast from Tampa. In the segments, Carlson suggested underage marriage is not as serious as forcible child rape, called rape shield laws “totally unfair” and once said he would “love” a scenario involving young girls sexually experimenting. He also described women as “extremely primitive,” and used words such as “pig” and the c-word.

You know, Sam Harris and Joe Rogan and Julia Beck and Tucker Carlson can hold whatever views they want. I just think they ought to strive for accuracy and honesty, and instead of claiming membership in the Left, they ought to confess to being center-Right to Right in their regressive positions, and aren’t in any sense representative of a left-wing position. Conservatives would love their ideas, but I think they at least have a rudimentary awareness that that’s a club no one with any decency would want to join.

How about if Harris were to admit to his center-Right position and struggle to draw the looney conservatives a bit leftward, rather than falsely claiming to be a Leftist in order to pull progressives to the Right? He might actually do some good for a change.


  1. whywhywhy says

    Isn’t a libertarian today simply a conservative that admits to smoking weed and having sex?

  2. Saad says

    This strawman of “SJWs say there are no differences between men and women and we can’t talk about it!” is the best they have got.

  3. Hj Hornbeck says

    You know, Sam Harris and Joe Rogan and Julia Beck and Tucker Carlson can hold whatever views they want. I just think they ought to strive for accuracy and honesty, and instead of claiming membership in the Left, they ought to confess to being center-Right to Right in their regressive positions, and aren’t in any sense representative of a left-wing position.

    If you identify yourself as a liberal and play up one or two of your most liberal views, you might be able to convince left-leaning people that your regressive views also count as liberal. If you don’t identify as a liberal, you’ll have to use logic and reason instead of social pressure, and that isn’t on your side.

    Whether intentional or not, all of these people are acting as recruiters for the right-wing. The longer they keep up the “I’m a liberal” sham, the more likely that it’s intentional.

  4. gijoel says

    I wonder how long it’s going to be before a Sam Harris fanboy shows up to berate us for not agreeing with him.

  5. nomdeplume says

    Pretty much all right wingers, however far right in reality, claim to be “centrist” or even “slightly left of centre”. Oddly the reverse isn’t true.

  6. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    nomdeplume: ‘Pretty much all right wingers, however far right in reality, claim to be “centrist” or even “slightly left of centre”.’

    Well, when the universe revolves around you…

  7. lotharloo says

    Apparently Sam dodo Harris was asked about transgender people and this slime oozed out of his mouth:

    I’m not really focused on this. I think i will tackle it at some point because it seems increasingly consequential and interesting. I think there is no question that there is a biological basis for this as there is for basically everything about us that we care about. Do i think people choose to be transgender? I think the answer to that is pretty clearly no. And even if you want to grant some scope of choice here.. well our choices to are the product of our brain. So you have a biological understanding of choice even then. But i consider myself fairly uninformed on that issue. However i know at least one transgender child and its absolutely clear from watching her grow up that this is not a matter of a child being culturally indoctrinated into transgenderism there are biological processes giving rise to this. Clearly we want a society that makes all the appropriate ethical and political concessions to that reality without the tsunami of political hysteria engulfing everything else we care about. if you think the solution to this problem now have to memorize 30 different pronounce, and consider speech about this issue akin to physical violence well then you are stuck in a moral backwater somewhere near the left extreme in the political spectrum. presumably getting ready to celebrate the passion of berkeley students when they burn down the campus in response to milos next visit. that is a moral and political dead end

    Basically, “I don’t care about trans people, my main goal is to make sure that people don’t call me mean names”.


  8. Frederic Bourgault-Christie says

    @10: You’re being far too generous. It’s actually, “I know I don’t have a response to the obvious authentic reality of trans people, biologically and psychologically, and I don’t even care to acknowledge the evidence from history, but I’ll still mansplain about it anyways and then tell other people whose experiences I don’t share how they should care about it while dishonestly posing as if pronouns are being made up by third parties rather than trans and gender queer folks themselves. I’ll also baldly assert that it’s ridiculous to have lots of pronouns, without any argument for why”.

  9. hemidactylus says

    Around 26:10 or so Harris cites an Andrew Sullivan article to put trans issues fundamentally at odds with gay issues. Huh? Haven’t felt compelled to read Sullivan’s articles and I’m not about to start now, but getting my superficial notions of LGBTQ+ history from movies I noticed there were in the “Stonewall” movie some trans characters. So there may well have been some alignment of interests amongst gay and trans bar patrons in an event that took place when Harris was almost 2 years old, perhaps not well depicted in a controversial movie:


    Regardless of how it depicted actually history it at least put me in the shoes of sympathetic trans characters. Wonder if Harris watched it.

    And earlier in the video it seems Hemant Mehta did a good job against a couple dingbats on Fox “News”, right?

  10. says

    What they say in the video about context is really important and it made me click mentally something about that infamous “adult human female” debacle of a definition: Transphobes use some benign statement, one that, without any context, we’d all nod along to, and turn it into something utterly transphobic while maintaining that appearance of innocence towards bystanders.
    Taken at face value “men cannot be women” is pretty obvious, right? That’s something most trans women would agree with, because they’re most definitely NOT men. But the context is what matters, and that context is one of exclusion and hatred.
    Same with “adult human female”. I usually challenge the argument by demanding a clear cut definition of “adult” first, one that is independent of time and place, but I never get one.
    Nothing in “adult human female” excludes trans women as such. Dictionaries are usually written by people who are aware of the social nature of terms and usually include words like “usually” in their definitions to make room for all the messy complexities of reality that are hard to put into nice clear boxes with nice clear labels.
    It only becomes a transphobic meme within a context where all the hedges and subtleties are removed.

  11. says

    I wonder, do Jordan Peterson and Sam Harris fans ever fight it out over whose boy has the biggest context he’s been taken out of?

  12. elysof says

    Cat Mara @15/#15: LOL, I’m stealing that. Genuinely compelling question too. On In the one hand, Harris’s context is edgier and vulcanised; in the other, Peterson’s context is closer to the “metaphorical substrate of reality”. It’s a toss-up.