For game three of FOXTOBERFEST Of Stupid, we’re going to cover two truly remarkable contenders who have been bare-knuckle-boxing their way through the Fox News cesspit this whole year: discredited pseudo-reporter Geraldo Rivera (six seed) and America’s favorite black conservative and far-right evangelical moralizer Dr. Ben Carson (three seed).
Geraldo has been busy at work all year at Fox News, with his brill-like mustache gathering up a wonderful variety pack of racist phytoplankton. It couldn’t be narrowed down to just one clip from him, so I’ll give you one where he gives a horribly sexist opinion and one in which he gives a fantastically racist one.
In the first, Rivera praises the president for his tough, “angry” speech on Islamic State before returning to the old GOP standby that lazy ol’ Obama is just spending all his time playing golf. But he sprinkled a little good old-timey racism in there by calling the president’s accompaniment “old chums from the hood,” just for laughs. For a guy that’s been repeatedly upbraided for racial ignorance in the past, Rivera is really showing he doesn’t know when to shut the hell up, like on The Real Story With Gretchen Carlson on August 21:
“I think in terms of his eloquence and his anger and the way he expressed the rage of the civilized world against these people was eloquent and to the point, but then with the ink barely dry on that declaration to turn around and go out with a bunch of cronies. He wasn’t even playing golf with a senator, a congressman, a secretary, a general, he was playing with his old chums from the hood there. It was just really, to me, it was as if he were totally tone deaf and insincere.”
And back in July, Rivera argued that women are precious flowers whose sole worth is in their youth alongside four shocked female co-hosts, perhaps explaining how he burned through four previous marriages:
“I think that essentially, although there’s an increase in two income marriages, generally speaking, the man is the breadwinner more often than not — although now increasingly women do work — but I think that what a woman brings to a marriage more than anything else, to a relationship, is her youth. Her youth is a fragile and diminishing, uh, resource. So if a woman were to invest two years in one of these marriages and then to be rejected by the man, I think that she has given up a valuable asset that is unequal.”
Then we have the god-fearing Carson, who never misses a shot to lecture the American public about their Christ-less decadence. In this segment on Fox News Saturday, Carson called the brewing Veterans Affairs scandal — a massive screw-up that may have cost ailing veterans their lives — a “gift from God,” because it was revealing to Americans the evils of bureaucracy and socialism. God loves dead veterans, especially if they show how evil Obamacare is or something.
But because Carson is a Very Serious Person, he gave a half-hearted nod to the idea that Republicans are part of the problem by telling both parties to “Stop, and think about the people.” At Fox News, Carson’s plagiarized Hallmark card mottos are what passes for analysis.
“I think what’s happening with the veterans is a gift from God to show us what happens when you take layers and layers of bureaucracy and place them between the patients and the health care provider.
“And if we can’t get it right, with the relatively small number of veterans, how in the world with are you going to do it with the entire population?
“We need seriousness here rather than just political speak. ‘How can I look better? How can my party look better?’ And I’m saying this to both Democrats and Republicans: Stop, and think about the people.”
This a really tough choice, but the victor here is Carson. Rivera’s genuinely upsetting mish-mash of clueless, moustache-stroking sexism and racism is clearly founded in some form of major intellectual defect, but there are only so many times you can beat a dead horse. From getting kicked out of Iraq for revealing U.S. troop movements and lying about his coverage to botching the mystery of Al Capone’s tomb and posting a nude selfie to Twitter, it’s unclear that even Fox News’ credulous audiences can take him seriously anymore.
On the other hand, Carson is a real work of beauty: He’s a brilliant brain surgeon, talks with gravitas and has sharp enough political instincts that some Republicans are under the delusion he could one day be president. Yet he still holds a worldview so transparently in opposition to reality and suffused with Tea Party-esque delusions of socialism and social decay that it’s truly stunning, sometimes, that he believes the things he’s saying. It’s almost like Carson considers stupidity an innately Christian virtue, standing resolute against all those eggheads working to turn America into a hedonistic hellhole.
While Rivera is just your garden-variety idiot, Carson is an idiot’s idea of what a smart guy sounds like, and that’s infinitely worse.
GAME THREE WINNER: CARSON
Previous game: Mike Huckabee vs. Lauren Green