Saturday, July 28, 2007

Tucker Carlson update

Breaking new news to add to the earlier posting about Tucker Carlson, he has apologized for his slight to New Orleans. Twice. The first time was on Wednesday of last week.

The times Picayune reported that Carlson “appeared on Jim Browns morning radio talk show on 99.5 FM to say he was embarrassed.’ I have come to grovel and bow down before the city of New Orleans and ask forgiveness.' he said. 'My god, love the women of new Orleans' But in a mixed message, Carlson went on to compliment the city’s hookers, noting ‘ I’ve never been to a prostitute in new Orleans, but I have met a few and they are better than the average as far as I can tell. ‘He assured Brown that he was sorry for dissing New Orleans. ‘If I had said that about Baltimore, I would not take it back.’

Well, as you might imagine, that was not a stellar come back for Mr. Carlson. I guess he felt he had to try and apologize again, this time with more sincerity.So, later that week he called a staffer of the Times Picayune to try and make amends. Here is what Tucker Carlson said during that apology.

“He didn't mean any offense when he implied that one in three women in New Orleans is a prostitute. ‘It's my favorite city after Washington, where I live,’ he said. I tried to explain that under normal circumstances what he said would be offensive, but post-Katrina it has near lethal implications. But when our nation denies us compensation for the failure of the federal levees, there is a sometimes stated, often implied, justification that we are undeserving. We are drunkards, fornicators, worshippers of idols, we are told. It's our fault that the federal levees failed.”

“Carlson stresses that this is not his perspective. ‘I don't think the question has ever been whether New Orleans deserves federal assistance,’ he told me. ‘I think it's fair for the rest of the country to ask how it's spent. I am a supporter of New Orleans. That's one of the reasons I was really eager to apologize, because New Orleans doesn't need any more abuse,’ he said. ‘The city has suffered a lot. I hate the fact that I may have made it worse in some small way. I am genuinely sorry that I, in any way, added to that.’”

What is most strange about this whole thing to Colin and I is the fact that the whole faux pas was managed by contacting media persons. If this had been Chicago, the bastard who said anything disrespectful to the ladies of Chicago would have had to deal with an angry Mayor Daley and a Sox’s baseball bat. In New Orleans, the Mayor and the rest of the city and state government is out to lunch and the only way to apologize for insulting a whole city is to contact radio hosts and newspaper writers. It is almost as though New Orleans does not have a government, and the city is sustaining itself through contact with individual citizens. I shudder to think what would happen if the Times Picayune offices caught on fire, since it appears that the newspaper is the major way people here are dealing with the continued aftermath of Katrina.

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