Why Fox News Needs to Free Tucker. And Then a Word about the Gospel of Sovereign Grace - by
Political Diseases, Gospel Solutions
There are some who believe that our political diseases can be healed through bringing them into contact with other, more exotic diseases from other points on the political spectrum. They think that the godless left can somehow be improved if they somehow could get infected by the Christless right. Just get the leper to come and place his hand on the cancerous lesion. Maybe the cure for cancer lies in the pus from some other disease.
But then there are the “gospel only” types who have decided, in a world riddled with diseases, to protect the purity of their medicinal gospel by locking it up in a theological cabinet. The cry goes up, “Protect our medicine from all the sick people! They might use it!” You never want your pure medicine to get cooties.
So the political half of this post and the gospel portion of it actually belong together because, as I am fond of saying, dualism is bad juju. Let the reader understand.
So Kevin McCarthy released some 40K hours of surveillance tape of J6 to Tucker Carlson, for him to release to the public—much to the consternation and dismay of Official Washington. We will have more to say about Official Washington anon.
Tucker released his first batch from that trove a week ago last Monday [03/06/23], thereby proving that certain established narratives about J6 were, to use a quaint and old-fashioned term, a lie.
The day after Tucker released his first volley, Sen. Chuck Schumer called upon Rupert Murdoch to squelch this threatened outbreak of journalism at his network. Sen. McConnell also registered his opposition to any release of this footage, quoting T.S. Eliot who once said that “humankind cannot bear very much reality.” Okay, he actually didn’t quote Eliot, but he might as well have.
Since that call went out to Murdoch, the expected conga-line of explosive footage drops that we were all anticipating from Tucker has somehow failed to materialize. The conclusion should be obvious, which is that Fox News is censoring Tucker—Fox News has teamed up with Official Washington.
Good old Fox News is spiking the story.
They are the only ones in a position to censor him, and it is quite clear that they are doing so. Does anybody really think that Tucker is in possession 40K hours of footage, and all he came up with was Buffalo Man rambling into the Senate with a police escort? Although that was damning enough, by-the-by. You shouldn’t get four years in the slammer for something like that.
Someone with journalistic chops—and I nominate Matt Taibbi—should ask two basic questions of the appropriate people and at just the right time. And by “right time,” I mean now. The first set of questions should be directed to the official spokesman of Fox News, and, depending on the response, the second set of questions should be posed to Kevin McCarthy.
The first set of questions to be asked should be these: “Has Fox News corporate placed any restrictions whatever on Tucker’s use of the J6 footage? And if so, what are those restrictions? And what is the rationale for placing these restrictions?”
If the answer is no, no restrictions, then the follow up should be “Tucker has the green light to proceed then?” But if the answer is “yes, there are restrictions, ahem, civic responsibility, important senatorial voices, social fabric, and, uh, we must not undermine faith in our hallowed institutions,” then Matt Taibbi (or somebody just like him) should head over to Kevin McCarthy’s office to ask him the second set of questions.
Something like this:
“Given that Fox News has acknowledged memory-holing the material that you just released in order that it might be made public, would you consider releasing the footage again? This time would you release it into the wild, out into the public domain, raw and unedited? We believe it would be received with more than a little interest.”
Now it is quite possible that Official Washington will succeed in bottling this story up. But if they do bottle it up, we should at least have the privilege of seeing them sweat on camera while they do it.
Brazen, I Call It
On the basis of what has come out so far, we now know that Ray Epps lied to the J6 Committee, and is still running around as free as you might think a tenured FBI agent would be able to, and Buffalo Man committed no felonies at all and is serving a four-year term. We know that cops escorted Buffalo Man to the Senate Chamber. We know that the J6 committee added dramatic audio sound effects to the video, a practice known in honest venues as tampering with evidence. We know that Brian Sicknick was not murdered by rioters at the Capitol, but died of a stroke the next day. We know that exculpatory evidence was withheld from attorneys for charged protesters.
We also know that a small fraction of the protesters were rioters, and were guilty of offenses that should bring charges against them. Let us call them thugs, idiots, and FBI men. This is the difference between those who oppose the Official J6 Narrative and those who support it. Those who oppose it have no trouble with guilty rioters being indicted, charged, and convicted. Those who support the Official J6 Narrative have no trouble with the indefinite detention of people who had nothing to do with anything.
Why Assuming the Worst Makes Sense
If the powers that be successfully put the screws to Rupert Murdoch, and the story has been spiked, then here is what the watching public should assume. They should assume that the unreleased footage is a hundred times more damning than anybody previously thought. What has been released thus far has proven that the official line about the events of J6 has been one, long unrelenting lie. They didn’t want you to see what you have seen thus far, and they certainly don’t want you to see the rest of it. The reason in both cases is the same one. As I said once in another setting, “liars hate being caught. It throws them off their rhythm.”
Leftists don’t want to look at the proof of their mendacity because it shows how corrupt they are. Erstwhile conservatives don’t want to look at the proof of all the lying because they want the people to continue having faith in our public institutions—thus proving how corrupted our conservatives leadership has become. We are living in a hellworld where Naomi Wolfe acknowledged the truth about J6 before Jonah Goldberg did.
Why on earth should anybody want people to have faith in bankrupt institutions? The Conservative Inc. line seems to be that all of our public institutions have completely rotted out, but it would be troublesome if the people knew about it.
But here is some measure of good news. It is now undeniable that we are being governed by liars, thieves, whores and perverts. This means that it is also now undeniable that we are in desperate need of salvation—and that the arm of man cannot do it. We are in the grip of a radical respiratory disease, and Elon buying Twitter won’t fix it. We struggle for each successive breath, and the Republicans taking the House back didn’t deliver any air. We were suffocating under all the lies, but Tucker getting all the J6 tapes brought no relief.
Whether the tapes are ever seen by the public or not, the tapes have already revealed that our condition is beyond the reach of any political solution. If we don’t see the tapes, our republic dies of our cancerous lies. If we see the tapes, we are like a surgeon who opens a patient up, sees the wall-to-wall cancer for himself, and then immediately sews the patient back up again. Then the patient dies. There is no political solution.
This is because as a people we are getting exactly the kind of leadership we deserve. We tolerated the little lies for a long time, and now they are big lies, and we don’t know what to do.
As Our Nation Descends into a Sinkhole of Wickedness
The world has always been a sinful place, and there has always been hypocrisy and palace intrigues that swirl around centers of power. That part is nothing new. What is new is the nickel-plated effrontery—the telling of obvious lies in the bright light of day, with everybody watching and knowing and seeing, and yet nothing happening as a consequence. The political world has always had scamps and miscreants who told lies that people believed, and they got away with their deception. But that is not where we are. We are being told lies that virtually no one believes, and yet the liars continue to get away with their . . . I almost said deception, but that is not what this is anymore. We cannot call it deception when the lie is seen for what it is. But there is a higher level of deception that is still in play, which is the idea that you can somehow go along with lies that you know to be lies and not have to answer to God for it.
So we have gotten to the place where the wickedness is open and manifest, but there appears to be some sort of operational truce—and the whole thing seems more than a little ominous to me.
Is the first part of that proverb a description of us? No, it is not. Righteousness exalts and unrighteousness humiliates. Unrighteousness means that decent citizens don’t know where to look. The second half applies to us though. The reproaches are richly deserved.
It might be something of a challenge to find a lie that our current ruler hasn’t paid attention to. The consequence has followed on, that the Scriptures might be fulfilled. The lies have simply multiplied, like the frogs of Egypt. Remember that this J6 impudence has been only one ring in a three-ring circus of lies—we are also being lied to about vaccines, about climate change, about viruses, about election integrity. Our rulers, having discovered what they can get away with, are like a two-year-old with a new toy.
Not only so, but this kind of public unrighteousness destabilizes everything. Righteousness establishes a throne. Lies don’t. All the conservatives who smother the truth about these stories because they want the public to retain its trust in our public institutions are the very worst enemies of our public institutions. Name one institution in our public life that has not been destabilized by all the lying. Are you a conservative who wants people to trust our institutions again? Then stop lying. Then stop defending the liars. Tell the truth.
But this means that If you live anywhere near the Beltway, telling the truth will have a cost. In order to tell the truth, you will have break with the herd. Might take some courage.
And if thou makest big money out of Ukraine and China, thou shalt not leave your laptop in the repair shop unclaimed.
Scripture tells us again and again that in public affairs, integrity must matter. The truth matters. You must not have your thumb on the scales, whether it is for the rich or on behalf of the downtrodden. Stop lying for the rich and powerful, and stop lying for your idea of the marginalized voices. Just stop lying.
Is that what we did? Did we select men who fear God? Did we vote in men of truth? Did we appoint men to positions of influence because they hated covetousness? The idea is enough to make a cat laugh.
The people do groan, but not just because of the sins of others. It not just because of the sins of those people in Washington. The people who groan under the weight of all the lies are a people who are themselves complicit. We get the government we deserve.
We thought we could have honesty and integrity and good government without having to confess the name of Christ. In all of this, secularism has been the foundational lie. We have been unwilling to bring our Christian faith to bear on public affairs in any direct manner. And because of this, we are now dwelling in clown world. We don’t like it, but the only way out is repentance, and we don’t much like that either.
Kuyper put it well:
Abraham Kuyper, Our Program
The Judgment Is Upon Us
Let the great Richard Sibbes explain why the situation we are in is so dire.
Richard Sibbes, Refreshment for the Soul, p. 76.
Consistent believers are not in that position. We do not want God to do His worst. We do, however, want God to do what it takes. Our prayer should be that God would do what it takes to bring us to the point of humble repentance. To want Him to do more than it takes would be vindictive, and we don’t want to be that. But we should want Him to do whatever it takes. As we watch the walls disintegrate around us, our prayer should be that this is judgment driving toward mercy, and not judgment as a harbinger of more judgment.
America will not repent when America decides to. America will repent when God has humbled her, and it does look as though we have a ways to go yet. If God turns us (Ps. 80;3), then we will be turned—but only then. We cannot turn ourselves, unless it is in circles, and which we have already mastered.
Scripture teaches that God judges nations, and that He judges nations for doing the very things we are in the middle of doing, and with a high hand. If we don’t want a devastating blow to fall on us, then we should stop inviting it.
Only Two Possibilities
The fierce judgment that America so richly deserves is a blow that must land somewhere in history. We have been storing up wrath for ourselves in a demeanor of high insolence, and at some point in human history that wrath will be delivered. This is because God is altogether holy and just, and it is not possible that justice will fail to be meted out. Justice will be served.
Now Scripture teaches us that there are only two possible places for this blow to land. God’s hatred of sin must be expressed; God’s detestation of wickedness must be made manifest—otherwise God would no longer be holy. So either the stroke of justice will fall on the perpetrators—on the justices, on the congressmen, on the voters, on the lobbyists, on the media personalities, on the false teachers, on the manipulators at Big Tech—or the stroke will have fallen on the shoulders of the Lord Jesus Christ at the cross. Those are the only two options. Either the kings and princes and presidents and moguls will call out for the rocks of the mountains to fall on them in order to save them from the wrath of the Lamb, which cannot work, or the Lamb Himself will call out that it is finished—a propitiation that does work, and which brings sweet forgiveness.
These are the only two options. If the wrath falls outside of Christ, then the future of the American republic is Ozymandian dust. But if the wrath for our sins falls on Christ the substitute, reckoned as our substitute by faith alone, then the way of repentance lies open.
And if we take that way of repentance, then it is necessary to begin by repenting of believing lies, and of telling lies. The way of Christ means that we don’t have a right to our lies. We must turn back to the one who is the Truth, after all. And whatever else the separation of church and state means, it does not mean you get to tell lies so long as the content of the lies was political. Repentance is a summons that covers every aspect of our lives, especially the areas where we did a lot of our sinning.
So start with the lies. That means starting with politics.