Fox News Personality Revisits Journalism Career, Asks “Has America Changed All That Much”
Jeff Walker, Book Review
Dating back to 1995 Fox News personality Tucker Carlson revisits a quarter century of journalism in his latest book ‘The Long Slide’, offering up an intriguing question ‘has America changed all that much over the past several decades?’. Carlson who is not afraid to tell it like it is, says the answer is ‘unequivocally yes!’.
For those familiar with Carlson’s work prior to his stints on CNN, MSNBC and Fox, ‘The Long Slide’ is more of a refresher course combined with updated commentary on articles Carlson penned for revered print publications such as Esquire, Talk Magazine, the New York Times, GQ, and most notably The Weekly Standard.
Carlson is a straight shooter, and un-abashed when offering up commentary on his highly rated Fox News primetime show ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’, and the same sentiment can be felt when re-examining the 22 articles in ‘The Long Slide’, complete with current reviews from the author himself. His compositions are articulate and informative, oftentimes filled with wit and cynicism, but more than anything they are a time capsule to some of the highlights during the journalistic life of Tucker Carlson.
Whether he’s on campaign trails with George W. Bush, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump, Carlson offers up mesmerizing back stories. His short time with Bob Dole is equally compelling, although looking back Carlson wonders why so many politicians like Dole, were such a big deal at the time.
Carlson’s Nevada road trip with libertarian Ron Paul (2007) during his unsuccessful presidential bid imparts engaging reminiscences of casino pancakes, and photo ops that never happened with prostitutes trying to capture the moment. Most of ‘The Long Slide’ deals with Carlson’s interest in politics, allowing for some cherished and frequently bizarre anecdotes.
One of the more meatier pieces in ‘The Long Slide’ recounts Carlson’s trip to West Africa (Esquire 2003) with Al Sharpton, members of the Nation of Islam, and several other quasi-religious figures, all in an attempt to put an end to a civil war that was tearing Liberia apart. Was an episode of ‘I Love Lucy’ on the plane trip over a foreshadow of upcoming events? Read Carlson’s account and find out.
There’s a clever and humorous piece (circa 2006), recalling Carlson’s temporary 1989 summer job, working the second shift at the B&M (Burnham & Morrill) Baked Beans factory in Portland Maine. The century old business provided a young Carlson with his first taste of hard work, and what many people will endure to secure a decent income for their families. It’s witty. yet touching, as is his final thoughts remembering his yearly vacations to the family home in Maine. Some men’s treasures are another men’s trash!
By far the most outrageous piece in ‘The Long Slide’ belongs to ‘The Unflappables’ (1995), Carlson’s rant on tele-marketers and unsolicited emails (spam). Perhaps fed up like many of us are, Carlson appears to have fun at the caller’s expense, and the outcomes are hilarious.
Coming in a close second and third are the ‘Who’s Who’ segment titled ‘Hall of Lame’ (1999), and ‘Praise the Lord and Pass the Spuds’ (2002) which chronicles Appleton Wisconsin’s favorite son Joel Surprise, and his quest to build the ultimate potato launcher. Carlson has had fun putting pen to paper, and his latest book provides a little snap shot of his journey.
‘The Long Slide’ is not a propaganda machine. It’s merely a stroll down memory lane with Carlson waxing nostalgic on some of his favorite stories, many he asserts couldn’t be written today for fear of politically correct mainstream media bosses. Among the political essays are more poignant pieces of his early childhood recalling dangerous toys, go-karts, and explosive devices, which used responsibly apparently can provide a lifetime of fond memories.
Tucker Carlson proclaims magazine articles have become biased, with factual reporting a thing of the past. Die-hard liberals and tried and true democrats might not find his latest book appealing, simply because Tucker Carlson’s name appears on the cover. However independents, free thinkers, and conservative followers of Carlson will find ‘The Long Slide’ an easy read, and just might discover how prejudiced America, and the mainstream media have become. Proceed with an open mind!
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