Well, that got out of hand fast. First, President Obama got in trouble for telling Jeff Lurie he was glad Mike Vick got a second chance, then Tucker Carlson said Vick should have been “executed,” then Carlson became the center of the story, and now ObamaVickCarlsonGate is its own cottage industry that could probably support its own retail store and ancillary economy.
Carlson recently backtracked a bit from his “executed” comment, saying to hotair.com:
"I love dogs -- we have three -- and I think what Vick did was horrifying and shockingly cruel. Executed? I don't know. I do know that 19 months is a joke. People get more than that for tax evasion. He certainly shouldn't be back in the NFL with Obama rooting for him. What the president said is disgusting."
Of course, I don’t think many people thought Carlson was being particularly genuine when he first made the comment anyway. Carlson was guest-hosting on “Hannity” that night, and the cardinal rule of pundit shows like that is to say something breathtakingly idiotic just so that people pay attention. In which case, MISSION: ACCOMPLISHED.
The news cycle despises a vacuum, particularly during such a slow time of year. Back in 2009 around this time, we had Tiger Woods’ affairs to keep ourselves busy. So ObamaVickCarlsonGate has had to suffice for this go round. It’s a controversy so transparent in its artificial construction that people have, in record time, begun analyzing the coverage of its coverage. Just as I’m doing right now. META.
In the end, none of this really means anything. Obama paid someone a compliment (and I’m sure he wishes that conversation had stayed private), then everyone jumped on it, then one person jumped on it to the point of mentioning executions, and now it’s this whole big THING that will die the second Charlie Sheen locks another hooker in his closet. But hey, we all need something to do.
I just wish this controversy had a bit more lunacy to it. Next year at this time, I’m hoping for an out-of-proportion news story to be a bit more coherent. Like Drew Brees getting caught in a prostitution ring. That’s much better.