In times of trouble and significance, we’re lucky to have the noble millionaires of cable news to help us make sense of the tumultuous world around us. Tuesday, when former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin was convicted of the murder of George Floyd, was such a day. Let’s see how some of our cable luminaries handled the situation, shall we?
First, let’s look at Tucker Carlson, who was so infuriated about Chauvin’s conviction that he made a former prison official look reasonable.
Just watch this video of Carlson talking to Ed Gavin, who used to be a deputy warden in the New York City Department of Corrections. Anyone who rises through the ranks of a jail system is, by definition, a terrible person, but Gavin was no match for Carlson.
Carlson was incensed that Gavin had a problem with what Chauvin did (“I’ve used force on literally over 500 people in my 21-year career in the New York City Department of Correction and in the New York City Sheriff’s Department, I’ve never had anyone go unconscious,” Gavin said, which, congrats?) and his hysteria mounted until this moment:
The laughter, good christ. Nightmare stuff.
But that’s Fox News! The good liberals at MSNBC must have handled the situation in a better way.
Sigh. Now, this moment came before Chauvin’s verdict was actually known, but that’s because it’s never too early to start pushing nonsense like this. Despite being in quotes, the above tweet is actually a paraphrase of what Williams said on the air. I couldn’t find shareable video, but thanks to the TVEyes transcription service, I can tell you exactly what Williams did say, and don’t worry, it still sucks.
Williams was speaking to Cedric Alexander, one of the ex-cops that cable news loves to repurpose as experts on law enforcement. Alexander gave a by-now standard spiel about the future of policing (“we need to look at how we’re training,” police need to be “supervised” and “accountable,” etc.), and he ended on this note:
We all have to keep our foot on the gas, and look not just for reform and reimagining police, which to me are words that are becoming dated, but we are going to have to define public safety in a very different way than what we have in the past, and what does that mean and what is it that we want police officers to do going forward? And today can be the beginning of that.
I’ll do you one better. I’ll say that the George Floyd case has made activists out of average citizens who never imagined that they would be marching on the streets during the summer in a pandemic, but they did. And to combine everything you just said, I hope some small percentage of the mostly young people who have flooded the streets of our country for good reason, feeling propelled and compelled to become activists, I hope it occurs to some of them that perhaps a way to change policing is to get involved, change it from the inside, enact the changes to the policies that they’re protesting. That would be a great influx of a population into the policing community.
And cue me groaning so loudly I probably rattled the windows. Yes, that’s right, the true lesson of the past year, and decade, and century, and beyond, is that more people who have become radicalized enough to protest the racist police state should become cops. Put down that sign and strap on that gun, “mostly young people”! Who knows, maybe in a couple decades, they’ll be on MSNBC too, telling the next version of Brian Williams about all the reforms that still need to happen but somehow never did.
I can’t believe what I’m about to say, but maybe cable news is not such a great thing after all? Hours of static would have been better than this.