It should go without saying

But he was just joking joking joking. When Tucker Carlson scowled into the camera and told his dupes to call child protective services if they see any kids in masks, he was just JOKING.

After the Erik Wemple Blog posted a Twitter thread with updates on the states’ responses, some Carlson allies claimed we were taking all of this too seriously. “It should go without saying that no, you should not, in fact call the police or CPS on parents with kids in masks outdoors. It should also go without saying that Tucker Carlson is not, in fact, seriously telling his viewers to do that,” wrote the author of a piece on Twitchy that helpfully aggregates the sentiment.

Why should it go without saying? He didn’t look like a guy being funny. He didn’t act like a guy being funny. What he said wasn’t funny. Why should it go without saying?

In light of that reaction, we asked Fox News: Was Carlson kidding or just engaging in satire here? Whatever the answer, it’s a wonderful world where you say something with a straight face — and then, when critics point out how offensive or dangerous the remarks were, your supporters flock to the just-joking defense. For further examples of this dynamic, look no further than President Trump, who took this exit ramp over and over during his time in the White House.

Bonus because Trump has no detectable sense of humor.

Let’s assume that the Twitchy crowd is right — Carlson was joshing or engaging in a thought exercise, and we here at the Erik Wemple Blog failed to pick up on the signals. That would mean that Carlson was satirically calling on people to report parents to child protective services — an instrument that ruins lives when it misfires. New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg tweeted this point along with a link to her 2015 story in the Nation about the “threats and intrusions poor, minority families have long endured” from CPS.

And in conclusion, libbruls can’t take a joke.

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