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Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Sunday | September 14, 2003

Tucker Carlson, bowtie conservative, on Karen Hughes

Tucker Carlson, Crossfire's conservative voice, has just published a book on his broadcast experiences. Salon talks a great deal about the book. While I won't buy it, it apparently dishes a lot of dirt in the direction of the White House and Tucker's conservative colleagues. This part of a Salon Q&A particularly caught my attention:

What about your profile of George W. Bush in Talk in 1999? That had to be the most damaging profile of him yet written -- swearing like a truck driver, making fun of Karla Faye Tucker's death penalty appeals, mimicking her saying, "Don't kill me!" -- because of its high profile, and because of your access to him. Did that bring you flak from conservatives?

Well, it's always disconcerting when something you write is received in a way you don't expect. I have no problem hurting someone's feelings -- obviously, I work on "Crossfire" -- but when you don't expect to, it's disconcerting. As I put in the book, the day before I filed the piece my wife asked, "Aren't people going to think you're sucking up?" And that was my concern, that people would think it's a suck-up piece.

And the response from team Bush?

It was very, very hostile. The reaction was: You betrayed us. Well, I was never there as a partisan to begin with.

Then I heard that [on the campaign bus, Bush communications director] Karen Hughes accused me of lying. And so I called Karen and asked her why she was saying this, and she had this almost Orwellian rap that she laid on me about how things she'd heard -- that I watched her hear -- she in fact had never heard, and she'd never heard Bush use profanity ever. It was insane.

I've obviously been lied to a lot by campaign operatives, but the striking thing about the way she lied was she knew I knew she was lying, and she did it anyway. There is no word in English that captures that. It almost crosses over from bravado into mental illness.

While I always assumed Karen Hughes was mentally ill (the same goes for the entire Chickenhawk Cabal), it's nice seeing a solid conservative confirming my assumptions.

p.s. Tucker also calls O'Reilly a "humorless phony". He nailed that one on the head!

Posted September 14, 2003 12:12 AM | Comments (104)


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