I'm not afraid to say something unpopular. Neither is now former MSNBC host Tucker Carlson. That is why I will miss him, however happier I may be to see him in his new campaign correspondent role on the same network.
Beyond the obvious disagreements I have with this conservative/libertarian, I find Mr. Carlson to be pretty exhilarating as an interviewer. That can be taken in several ways: I generally found him infuriating and at times destructive, but as Rev. Al Sharpton said tonight on the last episode of "Tucker," he certainly knew how to keep the debate alive. I doubt he played devil's advocate when he would find a deeply sinister point of view and put it on the table for discussion for either partisan or non-partisan panelists to dissect, disprove, approve or embrace. I believe that there was a genuine curiosity on Carlson's part to put something out there that people might have been not that eager to say. I don't believe that Carlson is out to destroy a candidate, nor does he officially endorse one (despite his blatant man-love for Rep. Ron Paul). I do believe that the tripe that comes out of his mouth serves a purpose: opposition research. If Tucker Carlson is thinking it and saying it out loud, chances are that more politically involved conservatives and Republicans are finding ways to spin it into strategy. That means that politically involved liberals, moderates and Democrats should be watching and listening so we can come back with something stronger to counteract it. This is why I think Carlson will be great as a correspondent/commentator -- pitted against an opposite viewpoint, viewers will see the contrasting opinion and use it to see how both sides think, however out of left (maybe right? far right?) field it may come. Someone besides Tucker Carlson is thinking it, and we, as Democrats, need to come back with a knock-out response. Comment your heart out, Tucker. I'll be watching, and then I'll be Googling.
But besides the political commentary, Tucker Carlson has been just plain fun to watch. I may hate some of the things he says and does, but I would totally have a Fresca with this guy. Or at least a dance party. Plus, along with the great Jonathan Alter of Newsweek and MSNBC, Tucker was the only other response to this highly important investigation I conducted for Mediabistro's FishbowlNY while I finished up my third college try. For this, I will always have a special place in my heart for Tucker Carlson. (OMG, Tucker Carlson totally emailed me! So awesome!) Though I really can't complain about future dinner dates with 6:00 PM's new occupant, equally fabulous dancer David Gregory.
So, Tucker, as a liberal, I want to thank you for giving me an inside look into your sick, sick mind and for providing so much insight and proof that there should simply not be another Republican in the White House. Disagreeing with you inspires me to further educate myself on the issues and reinforces my own opinion, as well as taking away any trepidation before expressing an unpopular viewpoint.
Only some of the greatest hits, courtesy of msnbc.com: