Tucker's Dance Strategy: Multiple Partners? [Updated With Tucker Tune-Change]

I think we now know Tucker Carlson's strategy for winning 'Dancing With the Stars': multiple partners.

That might be the only way to explain Carlson's odd defense of Warren Steed Jeffs, the polygamist leader arrested today. On his MSNBC show of this afternoon, Tucker was outraged that Jeffs had been placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list:

"His crime was wanting to enter into life-long arrangements with women, or facilitating that between a man and . . . was this guy trying to undermine America, destroy our way of life or murder our citizens? No! What the hell was he doing on the Top Ten list?"

Carlson wouldn't back down even when guests A.B. Stoddard of 'The Hill' newspaper and Republican Frank Donatelli pointed out that Jeffs has been accused of sexual assault on a minor and other crimes.

Tucker tried to recruit a liberal guest to his team. He implored Dem strategist Steve McMahon: "Steve you're a liberal, you worked for Howard Dean. Tell me you'll defend the alternate life-style that is plural marriage, come on."

Even McMahon wasn't buying, and had this trenchant rejoinder: "Pedophilia, Tucker, is not an alternate lifestyle that's recognized anywhere as a legitimate one."

Tucker wouldn't yield: "It's not pedophilia, the women were 16."

McMahon: "Some of them were as young as 13. It's pedophilia anyway you cut it."

Concluded Carlson: "It's a hard-nosed group here today!"

Calling Jeffs a criminal is 'hard-nosed'? I've enjoyed 'Big Love' too, Tucker, but come on!

UPDATED 08-30: Carlson clearly got an earful in reaction to his comments of yesterday. On today's show he went out of his way to make clear that he repudiated Jeffs and polygamy:

"Jeffs defense is he is a victim of religious persecution. He sounds like a bad guy, a total creep. I don't like polygamy. Here's what I don't understand. We're all for gay marriage. [Right - except for the majority of Americans who are against it.] You are not to be allowed to be against gay marriage. How could people who make that argument say polygamy is bad? We don't know anyone who is a polygamist. Those who live in Los Angeles, Boston, New York and Washington, we don't know a single polygamist. [Really? A lot of MSM folks knew Charles Kuralt.] My feeling is, I don't know, if we are going to expand marriage to beyond one man and one woman, why not include multiple men and women? If you have the argument against it, you are invited to be a guest on this show."

I'd say Carlson was disingenuous in claiming today not to like polygamy and finding Jeffs to be "a bad guy, a total creep." As documented above, on yesterday's show he seemed to be defending Jeffs: "His crime was wanting to enter into life-long arrangements with women, or facilitating that between a man [and women]."

Also, remember when Rick Santorum and others were derided when they suggested the legalization of gay marriage would be a slippery slope? Guess they were on to something.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.