To set up a bit of street cred here, I wasn’t feeling comfortable with the firing of James Gunn for bad, disgusting jokes James Gunn made on Twitter some 8-10 years ago. Go read Director James Gunn Gets Swarmed by an Internet Mob. And Fired. My issue then as it is now is the power the outrage mob has over some people. Some people. More on that later. Let’s first get to Tucker Carlson, who called into a shock jock show some ten years ago and made “shocking” comments which sound pretty icky out of context, but sound like what some guys talk about with other guys when they don’t think women are listening. Now Twitter is doing what Twitter does: freaking out over something stupid which affects very few people.
Hey folks, in case you missed this massive drop last night:
New recordings of Tucker Carlson saying unrepentantly heinous things about underage girls, statutory r*pe, harassing female celebrities, and MUCH more.
— Jules Suzdaltsev (@jules_su) March 11, 2019
— Lady Dragonfly (@RobinDuehring) March 11, 2019
For his part, Tucker Carlson is refusing to apologize for something he said ten years ago which Media Matters decided to share now. That’s fair, because if we all had to apologize for crap we said ten years ago, we’d all be apologizing. Which isn’t to say what Tucker discussed with other jocks on the show was pristine. What he said about women on the show isn’t something you’d hear at the Feminist Film Festival. But it is what you’d hear on a program branded for jocks. I’m not a fan of what I’d call locker room GuyTalk(TM) but if you think women don’t get together to say some negative, generalized things about men… hoo boy.
Tucker’s beliefs were not used as a foundational tenet in which to establish some far-reaching policy which would affect all our lives. It was a radio show. Related: WATCH: Bernie Sanders. 1988. Drunk and Shirtless in Russia. Singing.
That, to me, is the big difference between guys like Tucker Carlson and James Gunn, who are private citizens whose work we can support or not at our discretion. No mob necessary.
Outrage mobs are not equal, nor is the response to them equal. Last I checked, the racist, approves-of-baby-killing Ralph Northam is still governor of Virginia. The outrage mob didn’t work in Virginia because outrage mobs only work when you allow them to work. Northam and his alleged rapist Lt. Governor Fairfax, rode out the outrage mob and are still in power. They flipped the bird to the outrage mob, and look what happened: absolutely nothing. The news cycle changed, people lost interest in Virginia, and moved onto the next thing. As the news does.
Also, Representative Ilhan Omar, who does have power over people’s lives, is still in power and is still an anti-Semitic witch. Despite people calling for action against her.
Some may accuse me of whataboutism. The difference here is simple: Tucker’s beliefs then or now do not affect you. A politicians beliefs, then and now, can. Choose your outrage wisely.