Intro to 'Conservative' Carlson's Show Casts Israel as Bully

Wasn't Tucker Carlson supposed to be MSNBC's conservative counterweight to Olbermann, Matthews, & Co?  I might have to rethink that one, judging by the opening roll of his 'Tucker' show this afternoon, which clearly cast Israel as the heavy in the current conflict. Here's how it went:

  • Open to video of an Israeli tank firing rounds, as an off-screen voice breathlessly announces "Lebanon, under siege" as the scene changes to smoke rising from an urban Lebanese landscape.
  • Cut to a Lebanese couple, with the woman informing us that "our house is bombed, everything is bombed."
  • Cut to what looks like a mosque in ruins. Announcer: "Israel's attack on Hezbollah marches on, and so does the devastating toll on civilian life."
  • Cut to woman in Muslim head shawl comforting distraught young boy with kiss on head.
  • Cut to clip of blond expert-looking man with impressive Euro accent: "One-third or more of the wounded and the dead are children." More footage of urban destruction in Lebanon. Announcer continues "But a quick resolution to this ever-worsening crisis is nowhere in sight. ."
  • Cut to outraged Lebanese man-in-the-street: "Why America helping Is-ra-el and leaving us?"
  • Announcer: "Today the world watches and wonders, can shuttle diplomacy end the death and destruction?" Video rolls of Arab women gesticulating from a balcony.
  • Finally, at very end of intro, some indication that the violence is not entirely one-sided, as we see a coffin draped with an Israeli flag and a clip of White House chief-of-staff Josh Bolten saying "cease-fire is sustainable only if we get at the root problem which is Hezbollah."

When the announcer ended the intro by intoning "Now from Limasol, Cyprus, Tucker Carlson," the stage had been set: yes, the Bush administration might be condemning Hezbollah, but on the ground, it's the Israelis who are inflicting the suffering.

Hey, so long as MSNBC is in the market for a conservative, why not give Tucker's hour to Pat Buchanan? He'll give an even more 'fair & balanced' take on Israel's aggression!

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.