Tucker Carlson hears out the anti-Israel lobby from Monsey, and talks about Daily Caller's dust-up with the Attorney General
3:23 pm Jan. 8, 20121
MANCHESTER, N.H.—Of all the demonstrators assembled outside of this morning's Republican debate, the group that seemed to elicit the most curiosity from onlookers was a group of Hasidic men who'd shown up to rally against Zionism and Israel.
One of the people who stopped by to take a closer look at their banners ("Please Speak Up for the Palestinian People's Rights; Judaism Rejects Zionism and Any Jewish State") and inquire about their cause was Tucker Carlson, the cable news pundit turned online news proprietor.
This was after the spin room was starting to clear out after the debate, and Carlson was making his way down Main Street, away from Concord's Capitol Arts Center where the NBC News/Facebook-hosted event had taken place.
Carlson asked the men about their message, one that's probably familiar to attentive Williamsburg and Monsey, N.Y. residents, and listened attentively as one of them delivered it while alternating anti-Israel chants echoed in the background: "Judaism, yes! Zionism, no! State of Israel, muuust go!"
After a few minutes, Carlson took some of their literature and a business card and moved along.
We asked him how things were going with his website, The Daily Caller, which launched in January of 2010 as a right-leaning alternative to the Huffington Post, and is said to be experiencing some "growing pains," as Politico's Keach Kagey put it in a recent piece.
"It's really good," Carlson said. "I mean, if you can't make a site work in the age of Obama, you should probably go do something else."
We asked about the site's controversial coverage of Attorney General Eric Holder, whom the Daily Caller has scrutinized for his role in the F.B.I.'s Fast and Furious operation, and Carlson paused and looked down at the tape recorder.
"Oh, are you recording this?"
Well, could we?
"No!" he said, cackling. "Absolutely not! Are you kidding?"
But then he came around, and addressed the administration's reaction to the coverage, which included Holder telling a Daily Caller reporter that a congressman asking for his resignation was "not an organic thing," and that the website was "behind it."
"I mean, it's ludicrous," Carlson said. "Yeah, it's ludicrous. I mean, a hurt dog barks. I mean, we're covering a story that I think everyone oughta be covering, you know? The Times and the Post have much bigger budgets than I do. Why don't they have reporters on this? I mean, the U.S. government allowed automatic weapons into the hands of Mexican drug lords, which were used to kill hundreds of other people, including an American officer. So that's not a story? You don't need to be a right winger to see that as a story. And it's typical of Holder, who's a pretty mediocre attorney general, to imagine it's some personal vendetta. But of course it's not. It's merely a story."