Reviews for The Long Slide

by Tucker Carlson

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

The Fox News pundit gathers reportage and commentary. It’s easy to forget that Carlson, fuming with anti-liberal calumny and overflowing with blustery misinformation, was once a journalist. Some of that journalism was good. For example, in 2003, he accompanied Al Sharpton, Cornel West, and several Nation of Islam stalwarts on a fact-finding mission to Liberia, where a civil war was raging. “I was in favor of seeing that,” Carlson writes, “but mostly I went because I liked Al Sharpton.” Why? Because they shared some common enemies, and, Carlson adds, “shared loathing tends to form a bond.” The author also serves up a revealing portrait of Ron Paul, whose quirky ideas about the economy motivated a surprisingly well-informed following: “The constitutionality of a central bank is not an issue you see on many lists of voter concerns.” His piece for Talk magazine on George W. Bush is surprisingly insightful, even as he confesses that all these years later, he still doesn’t know what to make of Bush II. Where Carlson loses the thread is in the introductions to these older, sturdy pieces and in a longer introduction to the book as a whole, sections full of plaintive expressions of privilege. “I’d like to acknowledge Jonathan Karp of Simon & Schuster,” he writes on the first page, “whose descent from open-minded book editor to cartoonish corporate censor mirrors the decline of America itself. It’s been a sad education watching it happen.” (Watching Carlson’s TV show is a sad education in itself.) The author is angry that Karp canceled Josh Hawley’s book after the Jan. 6 insurrection. What did Hawley do wrong? whimpers Carlson, apparently forgetting Hawley’s raised fist to the gathering mob—and that it’s the privilege of a private business to make such decisions. Most offensive are Carlson’s bloviations about America’s bitter divisions, apparently forgetting that he has been a loud, active, and well-paid agent of those schisms. Not just for his fans but not likely to find much of an audience beyond the base, either. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.