“For generations, Republicans have considered it their duty to make the world safe for banking, while simultaneously prosecuting ever more foreign wars. Modern Democrats generally support these goals. There are signs, however, that most people do not.”
— Tucker Carlson, Jan. 3.
THE SCENE: News Corp. Headquarters, New York City. Two Fox News hosts and their producers sit at a conference table in a darkened room, lit by shafts of sunlight coming through narrow vertical windows. At the head of the table sit TUCKER and SEAN.
TUCKER: They’ve bled us white, the bastards. They’ve taken everything we had, and not just from us, from our fathers, and from our fathers’ fathers.
SEAN: And from our fathers’ fathers’ fathers.
SEAN: And from our fathers’ fathers’ fathers’ fathers.
TUCKER: All right, Sean, don’t belabor the point! And what have the elites ever given us in return?
PRODUCER 1: Financing?
PRODUCER 1: Financing. The Murdochs always relied on bank financing to maintain a controlling family stake in their businesses. And Drexel Burnham Lambert, the junk-bond kings, raised the money Rupert needed to buy Fox Television stations back in the 1980s. That was before Rudy Giuliani helped bring Drexel down, though we don’t hold that against him anymore.
TUCKER: Oh, yeah, yeah. They did give us that. Uh, that’s true. Yeah.
PRODUCER 2: And deregulation.
PRODUCER 2: The Reagan administration did away with the Fairness Doctrine, which required equal, honest and balanced treatment of opposing points of view. We’d have no business model if it were still in place. And the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which Bill Clinton signed, allowed News Corp. to integrate 20th Century Fox, TV Guide and HarperCollins under the same roof, and helped Rupert gain access to 40 percent of American homes just a year later.
TUCKER: Yeah, all right. I’ll grant you that financing and deregulation are two things the elite have done.
PRODUCER 3: Tech.
TUCKER: Well, obviously tech. Goes without saying, doesn’t it? I mean, Sean here wasn’t exactly the comp-sci genius of his high-school class, was he? But apart from financing, deregulation, and technology. …
PRODUCER 4: Global markets for our products.
PRODUCER 5: Capital markets for our retirement accounts.
PRODUCER 6: Stable and predictable legal and regulatory environments.
TUCKER: Yeah, yeah, all right. Fair enough.
PRODUCER 7: Immigrants.
PRODUCER 7: William Lewis, the CEO of Dow Jones, is English. Also Gerry Baker, former editor of The Wall Street Journal. And Peter Rice, the 21st Century Fox president, now going to Disney. Robert Thomson, the CEO of News Corp., is from Australia, along with Col Allan, the former editor of The New York Post. Rupert, too, obviously.
TUCKER: Yeah, well, it’s not like they’re Hondurans or something. Australians aren’t a bunch of criminals.
TUCKER: Anything else they’ve done?
PRODUCER 1: Well, there’s also Manhattan itself. It’s not like any of us would actually want to work in, you know, Dayton or Detroit or any of the neglected corners of America you speak about so touchingly, Tucker. New York’s murder rate hit yet another record low last year. And frankly, we prefer eating at Oceana than, you know, Olive Garden.
PRODUCER 2: And education. I mean, most of us here graduated from elite schools. You went to St. George’s and Trinity College. Laura went to Dartmouth. Let’s be honest: Except for Sean, it’s not like the people who produce the shows at Fox have that much in common, socially or economically speaking, with much of the target audience.
PRODUCER 3: America’s gross domestic product has nearly doubled since the end of the Cold War in terms of purchasing power parity. And we’re close to having the longest economic expansion in history.
PRODUCER 4: We’ve had three-quarters of a century without a world war, close to half a century since the end of the draft, ultra-low recent casualty figures in Afghanistan and Syria and a military budget that, as a percentage of GDP, is a fraction of what it was during the Cold War.
TUCKER: All right, but apart from capital financing, deregulation, access to global markets, a stable and predictable regulatory and legal environment, IRAs and 401(k)s, talented immigrants, global cities, good food, universities that are the envy of the world, record-making growth and a world in which there’s almost no chance of my children being conscripted to fight a war, what else have the elites done for us?
PRODUCER 5: MSNBC’s ratings beat ours the other week for the first time in 18 years.
TUCKER: My point!