There are no repercussions for advocating policies that amount to colossal disasters when you’re a political pundit whose policy prescriptions align perfectly with what politicians in power want to do anyway. It doesn’t matter if the policies you advocate end up destabilizing a region, leading to the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians, creating a terrorist organization more brutal than al-Qaeda, or increasing the regional influence of a country like Iran that you and your friends hate. One can become rich and influential advocating policies that lead to these outcomes, so long as those in power get more power and money for themselves in the process.
The idea that one might be made to suffer consequences for the outcomes of the policies that they advocate, even consequences as minor as being openly mocked on national television, are simply bewildering to people like Max Boot, who, as Tucker Carlson so eloquently put it in their recent interview on Fox News, has “been consistently wrong in the most flagrant and flamboyant way for over a decade.”
In a column published today in Commentary, Boot said appearing on Carlson’s show was “the equivalent of a barrel of raw sewage dumped on my head.”
Apparently Boot thinks that people pointing out your endless list of failures and suggesting that you may be in the wrong line of work is rude and tantamount to being doused in raw sewage, but this is exactly what would happen to anyone in the private sector who consistently did their job poorly. Their employer would explain to them that they’ve failed and terminate their employment so as to cut their losses.
Tucker confronts Boot with his many failures by pointing out that Boot advocated regime change in Iraq which led to disaster, he advocated regime change in Libya which led to disaster, he’s advocating regime change in Syria now, and is stoking the fires with nuclear-armed Russia. Given his history of advocating policies that led to disaster it doesn’t seem unfair for Tucker to suggest that Boot’s comparative advantage might be in painting houses rather than crafting and advocating government policy. At least if Boot paints a house the wrong color no innocent civilians will lose their lives from an errant, or not-so-errant, U.S. drone strike, or from members of al-Qaeda, that Boot advocated arming, taking over their town, or from civil war as their society devolves into tribal warfare.
He goes on to say that Tucker isn’t above lying, but in the same column has the nerve to write, “[Trump] has been all too friendly to Vladimir Putin—who, not so incidentally, helped to get him elected.” This is a lie of a magnitude far greater than Tucker and his people hyping an interview with a potentially misleading headline, because as Boot knows all too well there is zero evidence to prove that the Russian government or Vladimir Putin in any way interfered in the election on behalf of Trump.
I’ve written in more detail on the subject of alleged Russian hacking here and here, and since nothing in those blog posts has yet been disproven there’s no need to go over it again here. It makes sense, however, that Boot would uncritically accept the evidence-free assertions of certain government officials regarding Russian hacking, that is how he’s made his career after all.
Early in his column Boot whines that Tucker said that nobody takes him (Boot) seriously, and then rhetorically asks why Tucker would invite somebody who nobody takes seriously onto his program. He then closes his column with:
Apparently, Carlson’s act gets ratings, but please don’t mistake it for a substantive contribution to the public debate. He is debasing political discourse and degrading our democracy in return for a seven-figure payday. And anyone who applauds what he is doing is guilty of, to use the word of the day, collusion in this cynical and sordid enterprise.
But if Tucker is “debasing political discourse,” “degrading our democracy,” and his show isn’t a “substantive contribution to the public debate,” why did Boot agree to the interview in the first place? And if simply “applauding” Tucker’s handling of Boot amounts to collusion with enriching Tucker then what does actually appearing on his program amount to? If Tucker Carlson is nothing more than a media-whore out for a payday it’s only logical that Max Boot is one of his johns.
Max Boot’s entitlement is evident in his column whining about how rude it was for Tucker to point out his endless list of policy failures.
I left aghast at his rudeness and unprofessionalism. If this is how he treats guests on his TV show, I’m afraid that if I were ever invited to his house—admittedly unlikely—I would be served a hemlock cocktail.
His self-importance is galling in light of the many people who are now dead because Max Boot got it wrong over and over. Being mocked is the least of what Max Boot deserves. His name should be synonymous with failure and he ought to be shunned by any reputable organization engaged in news, journalism, or political punditry. He should donate all of the money he got advocating regime change in the Middle East to the families of the people killed as a result of those policies, and never stop begging for their forgiveness.
But most importantly, Max Boot should shut his mouth and let those who were correct all along, people like Congressman Ron Paul, or those who were wrong but genuinely saw the error of their ways lead the way now so as to mitigate any future disasters. Unfortunately Boot’s bruised ego will have to suffice.