It is a serious matter but also quite a show. Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s colleagues voted for her to be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee ostensibly due to her critical as well as hateful remarks about Jews and Israel.
Last week, most news programs reported on the matter but only one skirted the issue and would not mention the specific reason why Omar was booted off the committee.
Tucker Carlson on Fox News hosts the most popular cable TV nightly news program. According to rating services, his average nightly audience is about 7 million viewers. Tucker is widely watched, written about, and commented upon basically because of his conservative—at times even extreme conservative—positions. He is probably the most on-the-mark critic of the lies that are spewed daily from President Biden, his administration, and Democrats in Congress in general.
But it also seems that Tucker might have an issue with Jews, Jewish issues, and Israel. And that is not because of anything he says or has said in the past. It is mostly because of what he doesn’t say, and that was specifically highlighted the other day when Congresswoman Omar was voted by a majority of her colleagues off the HFAC.
Ilhan Omar was voted off the committee that deals with U.S. foreign policy largely because of her anti-Semitic and anti-Israel positions that she has clearly articulated during her two terms in the House representing a Minnesota district. Omar has referred to Israel as a racist and apartheid state. She has indulged in the use of anti-Semitic tropes, most famously saying that Israel has mostly paid off or has financially compensated government officials in Washington in exchange for their support of Israel. Perhaps her most famous statement about Israel and Jews is that “It is all about the Benjamins, baby.” Benjamins, in case you are unaware, refers to the fact that it is Benjamin Franklin’s face that appears on our U.S. $100 bills.
Tucker Carlson failed to mention any of these reasons for Omar being removed from the committee. Instead, he focused on comments in support of Omar and that were critical of her removal by other members of the House who support her anti-Israel positions, members like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib. They both displayed significant anger in what they referred to as targeting Omar because she was a woman of color and a Muslim.
Of course, that is an indulgence in misinformation on the highest level. Ilhan Omar was voted off the committee because she is a danger to the U.S., and a high level of intelligence is shared with members of a committee like this.
But Tucker Carlson, although he is mostly right-thinking, obviously stands clear of any issue that deals with Jews or Israel. Even though many newsmakers refuse to appear as a guest on his nightly show, when he was covering the Omar story, he had as a guest commentator on the subject, comedian Adam Carolla.
The bottom line in this case is that Ilhan Omar was removed from the HFAC because of her avowed hatred of Jews and support for Israel’s enemies in Tehran, Gaza, and Ramallah. Tucker’s opinion on the Squad, as they are known because they stick together on all issues, is based on their temperamental hypocrisy. But for some unknown reason to me, he stands clear of the subject of Jews or Israel.
For example, take the recent mass murder of Jews two weeks ago on a Friday night in Neve Yaakov in Jerusalem. It was the worst terror attack on Jews in Israel since 2008. An act like that is an indictment of Palestinian leadership that not only encourages but rewards acts of wanton murder like that. The terror attack was roundly reported upon and condemned, but there was not a word from Tucker Carlson.
Even when the mini wars between Israel and Hamas in Gaza broke out over the last several years, these battles did not get time on a Tucker Carlson Tonight TV program.
Over the last year or so, a few people have written, and some have mentioned that they were wondering about the relationship between Tucker Carlson and Jews. And there is really nothing that you can point to that is objectionable, because Tucker is very careful to say just about nothing about Israel or Jews when they are in the news.
The closest he came to wiggling out of a tough situation that dealt with the Jewish community was his almost hour-long interview with Kanye West a few months ago. It was a few days after the interview appeared on Fox that West’s career and business imploded. West, as you know, made some vicious and wildly anti-Semitic statements, including an expression in several venues of his admiration for Adolf Hitler, y’s.
It is alleged that West made similar comments in the Carlson interview that were edited out of the broadcast. Instead, the interview with West, now known as Ye, portrayed him as a serious future leader not only of the African American community but of the country. A follow-up comment by Carlson would have been appropriate but he remained suspiciously and frustratingly silent as the West business empire fell apart and he followed up his anti-Semitic rhetoric with more hate speech that he seemed surprised that anyone was surprised about.
The closest Tucker Carlson came to anything of a Jewish nature on his program was his interest in featuring a young woman raised in a Chabad family in California, Chaya Raichik. During the COVID lockdowns, Raichik explained on his show and on Twitter and TikTok that she was amazed at her discovery of the effort by mostly preschool teachers who characterized themselves as “gender fluid” involved in an effort to persuade their very young students to question their gender despite their biological reality. The news goes beyond that level as well, with prominent hospitals around the country encouraging or mostly not discouraging gender reassignment surgery that is physically irrevocable.
Carlson stayed away from asking Raichik about her Orthodox Jewish upbringing or background or if it influenced her opinions, though at one point in the interview he did ask if she had a spiritual component to her online campaigns. She did not respond directly to the query.
So, this is the fact of the matter. Tucker Carlson is one of the very few broadcast journalists to tell it like it is an earnest and forthright manner. He doesn’t mince words and takes on important subjects of the day in a straightforward fashion. My issue with him is his apparent intentional neglect of any stories dealing with Israel or the Jewish community. Does that mean that he has an issue or discomfort with that subject matter that is so important to many of us? Or does he just see it as not the primary focus or agenda item for his shows?
If that were the case, I could certainly accept that as valid. But to cover the removal of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar from the HFAC and dance around the matter and fail to mention that the direct cause of her being booted off the committee was her avowed Jew hatred and disparaging of an important U.S. ally like Israel is just too much of a journalistic infraction on Carlson’s part.
I wish Tucker Carlson would come clean and deal with this subject because sometimes not speaking up is speaking up.
Read more of Larry Gordon’s articles at 5TJT.com. Follow 5 Towns Jewish Times on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates and live videos. Comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome at 5TJT.com and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
On his Friday night program which I taped, Tucker interviewed Roseanne Barr – a Jew – Chaya Raichik – a Jew – and spoke about Judeo-Christian values in an earlier segment. Instead of trying to prove a negative and obsessing whether Tucker is not anti-Semitic, focus your energies on the countless Jewish Democrats in elected office who openly support the anti-Semites in the Democratic Party.