'He Probably Wasn’t Listening in Church'

I've enjoyed Tucker Carlson's show and can't let it pass into history, as it did last night, without a mention here. MSNBC has said that Tucker will remain at the network as an at-large commentator, and I have a feeling that, liberated from show-host concerns, he might become even more uninhibited in the expression of his quirkily conservative/libertarian views.

So let's usher Tucker out by focusing on one of our favorite nemeses, Rosa Brooks, the liberal LA Times columnist who appeared on the show's final episode. The unreconstructed Obama apologist offered the lamest excuse yet for his failure to have disassociated himself earlier from the ugly rhetoric of Rev. Jeremiah Wright: Barack simply wasn’t paying attention in the pews.

View video here.

TUCKER CARLSON: I like Obama, actually, and I like him because he seems the antithesis of Jeremiah Wright. I just have trouble believing that a guy who he himself, Obama, has described as that close, almost a member of the family, baptizer of his child, the man who married them, the person he's given a lot of money to, he had no idea that he had these views? That's hard to believe.

ROSA BROOKS: You know, I think he saw him in the church context, he wasn't seeing him in his other manifestations.

What? It was explicitly in his church context, right up there in the pulpit, that Wright spewed this stuff. But Brooks soldiered on, and a bit later came her clincher . . .

CARLSON: Here's the problem with Barack Obama laying down the law on this, as he did today on the Huffington Post. If he's telling the truth ["the statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation"], and we can't discover otherwise, that's fine and this may work. But you're going to have reporters at this very moment looking, and we know when that [chickens-coming-home-to-roost] speech was, it was the week after 9-11, and they're going to find out if Obama was there. They're going to try to match the --

BROOKS: Probably sitting in church and not listening. I can tell you. I have heard of people who go to church and don't listen.

As you'll see from the screencap, Brooks' defense didn't even meet her own straight-face test. But we'd certainly love to hear Obama try it: "it depends on what the definition of 'there' is." Or perhaps: "I smoked the sermons but didn't inhale."

In any case, thanks for some good memories, Tucker, and see you down the road on MSNBC.

Bonus Coverage: A.B. Sees It Like It Is

In contrast with Brooks' hear-no-evilism, A.B Stoddard of the Hill newspaper offered this realistic take:

I have bought into the fact Barack Obama is one really smart dude. And it's very hard for me to believe that he didn't know this about him in all the times he attended church, and spent time with this man, possibly prayed with the man, this man baptized their daughters and married them, and he gave him a leadership position or a title in his campaign that he didn't know Jeremiah Wright has said things, several repeatedly, that are anti-Israel, anti-white and anti-American. He's kind of run the table.
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Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.