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Posted by on Jan 14, 2007 in Arts & Entertainment | 28 comments

Guess What Blog MSNBC’S Tucker Carlson Doesn’t Like? (UPDATED)

joe_horses_ass03.jpgNo, it isn’t The Moderate Voice, although he may not be happy with the picture at left. We got it off the Internet. (It IS NOT of Tucker Carlson and we are not saying it is. It’s not dancing.).

Once upon a time there was a clerk in a video store. He rented some movies to a famous cable talk show host and then he posted a few things about his encounter on his blog.

Then, his life changed, he lost his job and suddenly he says lawyers are asking about him. The star denies they’re his lawyers.

PS: He doesn’t have the money, fame or connections like the cable star does. So even if the details don’t totally pan out, yes, it is does seem to be David and Goliath. You may believe David or Goliath since there’s too much of a gap in stories for both to be correct. And does the blogger expect people to believe these words would ever pass Tucker Carlson’s lips:”‘If you keep this [expletive] up, I will [expletive] destroy you.’ ” Who ever uses the word “expletive?” Still, in this case, at end of the day, David lost his job and Goliath still gets a nice paycheck.

Read it yourself and make your OWN decision about what happened, why David is looking for a job, and which version sounds more plausible. Did the blogger cross the line in what he wrote? Was it threatening in this day when there are more nuts out there than nuts sold in bulk at Costco? Here’s the blog. You can scroll down or just look at this important summary post and this post.

And if Tucker’s reading this (even though this isn’t on a teleprompter we understand he Googles a lot): we want to assure him we’re not “dissing him.” In fact, we’ll offer our readers the You Tube below so they can watch him in a physical song and dance:

And if the blogger’s reading this, we want to assure you that we’re not dissing you, either — so we’re adding your blog now to our blogroll under Other Voices. Note that we haven’t figured out how to put our expletive blogroll in alphabetical order so right now you’re towards the bottom of the list (sort of like where Tucker is in the ratings).

UPDATE I: A blogger who knows “Chuckles” (the ex-video store employee and blogger) gives his take on it.

UPDATEII: Some others are commenting on this — and some DON’T agree at all with yt (yours truly). BE SURE TO READ THEM because you may agree with them and the points they make:
Riehl World View, Ed Morrissey, Tennessee Guerilla Women, Dr. Melissa Clouthier, Patterico’s Pontifications, James Joyner, Sister Toldjah, The Impolitic, Concurring Opinions, Bitsblog, P3, I Didn’t Write That, The Guns of Auguste, Adam’s Blog, Culture Warrior, I’ll Lay Down My Glasses, Inside Cable News, Slant Truth, skippy, Ed Driscoll

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Copyright 2007 The Moderate Voice
  • The himself got himself fired. Where does he get off thinking he can work at a store, that he doesn’t own himself, and start divulging who buys what? I guess I am missing the point?!?! Am I to feel that Tucker is out of line? Hardly! This just proves the fired employee isn’t even qualified for the job he lost…

  • Stormy70

    This employee threatened to violate the Video Privacy Protection Act, thus making his employer liable for breaking the law. His being fired was justified, despite your dislike of Tucker. Any business owner in his right mind would fire an indiscreet employee.

  • I’m with Carlson on this one, too. The guy ought to be fired. His employer pays him to rent videos to people, not to get fodder for his blog. As Stormy points out, the blogger essentially invited people to inquire about what videos Carlson rented, which would indeed be a violation of the law. Imagine what your reaction would be if a public librarian had posted a blog which said “well, Bill Clinton came in yesterday, and you’ll never guess what he checked out!” Absolutely inappropriate. And the bit about “well, I would never disclose his private information like his address” is just creepy, coming out of the mouth of such an obvious jerk.

    I have zero sympathy for anyone who even contemplates violating another person’s privacy like that. He doesn’t like Carlson’s politics, so he hints at violating his privacy by disclosing what videos he rented, not to mention insulting his wife (not a public figure), while letting everybody know he has access to Carlson’s home address. He owes Carlson an apology.

  • Free speach allows the blogger to state that he saw Carslon. At no point did he tell his readers what videos he rented or what his home address was. The tabloids and folks like the Washington Post mention or photograph celebs all the time in “In and Around Town” kind of stories. Should those journalists and photographers be fired?

    And Carlson would be one to talk about who he insults! He called Jon Stewart John Kerry’s butt boy. If that isn’t offenisve to both gentleman and the gay community at-large, than what is?

  • Adorable Girlfriend…. Free Speech allows him to say what he said about Carlson without being arrested or ordered to pay money. Free speech does not allow him to disclose Carlson’s private video rental records as he offered to do.

    Most emphatically, free speech does not prevent his employer from firing him; no employer is required to keep paying an employee who decides to insult the customers. The “Around Town” reporters are paid by their employers specifically to insult people; if they can make money doing that, that’s their business, but has no relevance to a video store owner firing a self-centered employee for insulting his customers.

  • Marlowecan

    It is amazing that Carlson even found out about the blog. Does he Google his own name continually? Odd that.

    But the blogger is on legally dicey ground here, as suggesting revealing Carlson’s video choices is not public information but company information, revealed on private property to the employee of a firm. The blogger only knew this information as a consequence of his being an employee…not an overheard conversation.

    As PatHMV observed, there would be Hell’s Own Firestorm across the left of the blogosphere if a Netflix employee revealed the Clintons’ video choices — “McCarthyism”, “The Times are Nearing Fascism”, “ChimpHitler’s Corporate Spies” — you can imagine the screams.

    I think Joe is wrong on this one. The store owner obviously cannot have an employee mocking customers on his blog. If word of this got out, the customers would leave the store in droves.

  • Rudi

    Maybe Tucker can join the Rosie-Donald flap to help his ratings. I think Tucker feels threatened like a Duke lacrosse player. It isn’t like he used his daddies connections to get into the MSM…..
    Tucker can now lead the poor threatened priveleged White boy front….

  • mac

    Must be a slow day in the blogsphere, but I must note the typical defense of the guilty to spite the Right.


  • free speech allows him to say what he said about carlson without being arrested or ordered to pay money. free speech does not allow him to disclose carlson’s private video rental records as he offered to do.

    yes, free speech does allow him to offer it, but actually disclosing it is another story, and i’m not sure “free speech” actually would be relevant in that case, either.

    don’t be disengenuous, and twist the words of the blogger. he said “i could tell you what he and his ridiculously wasped-out female companion (wife?) rented if you really want to know.”

    you are acting as if he actually did tell us.

    it’s obvious to all except the joke-impaired (ie, the right) that he was being sarcastic.

    if he told us what tucker “i hardly know her” carlson rented, then your righteous indignation might have some basis in reality.

    but, as usual, the right is angry and up in the air about woulda-coulda-shoulda (‘it’s irresponsible not to speculate what the blogger would have told us’) instead of what actually is.

    how’s that rapture/end of days thing coming anyway?

  • Kim Ritter

    I didn’t see where in his blog the clerk mentioned TC’s address or the videos he rented. Imo, having the clerk fired is a bit of a diva-like overreaction on the part of the “cable star” who is not the subject of that wonderful graphic in the post. No, I didn’t mean the U-tube of TC on Dancing with the Stars, either, lol.

    BTW, if Tucker is from San Francisco, does that mean he has the same values as the conservative media’s been tagging Speaker Pelosi with?

  • carpeicthus

    I’m also with Carlson, as much as that pains me to say. Carlson HAS had issues with stalking, largely thanks to the thugs at Fox News who posted his home number on national TV. Of course, Fox should be fired, too.

  • What PatHMV said above. The firing was righteous, and if he were my employee he’d have to be a damn good one to avoid it. Barring active in-process legal action of law enforcement investigation, you do NOT divulge or threaten to divulge personal details about customers. As Ed Morrisey said: Free speech does not release one from responsibility for what they say and write.

    That said, don’t expect any sympathy for Carlson from me. He’s a windy small-minded pompous gasbag, a size twelve ego in a size three soul. (I’m being generous today.) I’m not a big Jon Stewart fan at all, but when Stewart ripped Carlson a new one on live TV, he earned a permanent place in my heart. It was a glorious example of why you do not, EVER, try to one-up a professional at his own game. And target Carlson earned every bit of the hilarious take-down abuse he received from Stewart. He practically begged for it, trying to mouse-trap a professional comedian into playing straight man for him. Dumb with a capital D.

    I’m pretty sure that’s not an actual picture of Carlson, because I don’t see a bow tie in the appropriate spot.

  • One more note: This ain’t Daved vs. Goliath. In David vs. Goliath, there was a good guy to root for. I don’t see a good guy here anywhere. Just a couple of power-mismatched morons.

  • Chuckles did not reveal any of Tuckbags information. He also took down the post when Tuckbag threatened to “fucking destroy” him. If was AFTER he took the post down that Tuckbag got poor Chuckles fired and began to have Chuckle’s friends who still work at the store harassed.

    Chuckles did nothing wrong. He tried to make the Tuckbag happy by taking down the post, but that wasn’t good enough for the Tuckbag. The Tuckbag wanted to “fucking destroy” Chuckles.

    He also did nothing to get fired for. He did not say the name of the video store, or any information other than that Tucker had opened an account there. That is the ONLY information he gave on his blog.

    For those of you who seem to think he gave out Tuckbag’s personal information, you are WRONG. 123% wrong. He gave out nothing.

    Please check your facts before posting in the future.

  • If I work at starbucks, can I blog about serving someone coffee? If I work at a video store and I do blog about someone coming into the score, it is an implicit fact that I have their personal information because of my job description. Let’s say I only say “I saw Tucker Carlson comin into my work” but have previously stated that I work at a video store, can I now not talk about it? Also, there is absolutely no violation of the Video Store Privacy act here, so that talking point is out the window. Why don’t some people actually read the original post over at Freelance Genius and then decide.

    I will also say that there appears to be actual evidence that Tucker did and said everything the clerk alleged, because Tucker admitted to being very aggressive. The only real breach here would be the fact that Tucker admitted the post is what pissed him off, and that post is not threatening in any way, and he just lied about it to the press. So who’s being slandered here?

  • Annie, who here said that “Chuckles” actually gave out his personal information? I was quite careful to say that he had offered to give out his legally protected video information, while letting the world know that he had access to Carlson’s address (and presumably credit card number). And he did this not because Carlson was rude to him at the time, but just because he doesn’t like Carlson’s politics.

    If some random stranger passed you on the street and said “I think you’re an asshole and I know where you live”, would you be just a tad nervous? If YOU went to a video store, and the clerk told you, “I heard you’re the bitch who slept with my sister’s boyfriend, and now I know where you live”, wouldn’t you be more than a bit upset at the clerk? All of you defending “Chuckles” seem to be of the opinion that because Carlson is an arrogant jerk on TV, that he’s not entitled to the same common courtesy as the rest of us when interacting with store clerks and others outside of his job. That’s not right.

  • Anybody who reads the post in context and calls it a threat is grasping at straws. The only one who made any real threats here is Tucker and Chuckles might consider taking his own action on that. But neither is Chuckles entirely in the clear. When he disclosed Tuck’s name as having opened an account, I think he breached a reasonable expectation of privacy between a vendor and a customer and unfortunately I think his employer had grounds to fire him for it. Had he said something like “a certain bow tie wearing dorkhead that works for MSNBC” it would have been better.

    It was a silly mistake, but the kid took the post down right away, maybe ten people had seen it, and if Tucker hadn’t made a federal case out of it, it would have been a passing joke among a handful of friends. Now the whole world knows Tucker is a whining idiot who is desperate to get press any way he can to boost what I understand are his dismal ratings.

    Not to mention, if Tucker had let it go Chuckles would still have a job. I don’t know what the going rate for psuedo-pundits is, but I figure old Tuck’s got to be making at least in the low six figures. I doubt Chuckles was getting much above minimum wage. I think we hit the David v. Goliath criteria when Tucker got the kid fired. That was just petty and mean.

  • I think we hit the David v. Goliath criteria when Tucker got the kid fired. That was just petty and mean.

    If I were Chuckle’s boss I’d likely have fired him also, without any added pressure, if the post had been brought to my attention. Chuckles made it an employment issue all by himself. Carlson was indeed petty and mean to push it after the post came down (assuming the accounts are correct) but that doesn’t make Chuckles some kind of hero for being an immature dumbass in the first place. The offending quote:

    “I could tell you what he and his ridiculously wasped-out female companion (wife?) rented if you really want to know.”

    I would read that as “Just ask, and I’ll tell you.” The applicable federal statute can be found here. It reads in part:

    A video tape service provider who knowingly discloses, to any person, personally identifiable information concerning any consumer of such provider shall be liable to the aggrieved person…

    Yep, I’d fire him, he’s a major legal liability. Big jerk vs. little jerk, not David vs. Goliath. Neither of them has my sympathy at this point.

  • Seanny

    I just wanna know who thought Carlson should be on Dancing with the Stars. From what I saw on the video, he’s lucky he can even walk.

  • LOL. But can he chew gum at the same time?

  • Kim Ritter

    I think someone at MSNBC looked at bow-tie boy’s low ratings and told him to take his two left feet and make a fool out of himself to try to win over new viewers. He did exactly that, but the ratings are still tanking. (maybe because he’s a sanctimonious prig, but that’s strictly subjective)

  • Stormy70

    He is 28, not a kid. He got what he deserved for violating his employer’s policy. This gets you fired in the real world.

  • Forget the privacy issue. If you run a service sector business, do you want your employees running around town making fun of your customers? Service sector businesses rely on their customers coming back and giving positive referrals to other potential customers.

    If you own a business, you are free to sabotage it by acting like an idiot, provided you stay within the law, which this kid might have. But since it was not his business, it was not his place to create problems with a customer, all other issues aside. If management saw fit to dismiss him, they had the right.

  • Argh! Read the guy’s blog. He didn’t recognize Tucker’s name at first – so that rules out the “hate” alluded to above.

    In what I read as something like stream-of-consciousness, he says “he could” tell you what they rented “if you really want to know.” And he clearly says he can’t share personal info like address. So he has not violated any law here.

    Anyone who can read this post and say with a straight face that it is a “threat” is living on a different planet than I am.

    However, Chuckles learned the hard way that zeros-and-ones are not confined to one’s friends, even if that’s who you’re writing for … well, not unless you block your blog from directories and search engines and such.

    I knew zippo about Tucker before this (I know the Jon Stewart interview, but I think of that as “Fox” not of Tucker) … and care even less about him now than I did after Jon’s interview in 2004. He is a jerk, but that’s not against the law. Unfortunately.

  • Kathy, if some random stranger publicly posted about me that he knew my address and considered me a “Gigantic Cobagz”, I would certainly be pretty ticked off and worried… particularly if the guy chose to go by the name “Chuckles” and at the same time made jokes about “frozen urine treats” for my home.

    Having read all the aftermath, I’m sure Chuckles didn’t intend what he said to be a threat, and was sincere in his statement that he wouldn’t disclose Carlson’s address. But how is somebody like Carlson supposed to know that up front? There’s a lot of crazy people in this world, and they make threats in a lot of different ways. We all know how to read “nudge, nudge, wink, wink”, don’t we? If I said: “Of course *I* would never dream of going to [idiot liberal politician’s] house and tossing frozen urine on it, even though that’s exactly what he/she deserves”, should that liberal politician not worry?

    And if you want to talk about first impressions, Kathy, I’d point out that nowhere did Chuckles ever suggest that Carlson was rude or inappropriate to him in their initial encounter. It was only Carlson’s politics that led Chuckles to post that nasty comment about both Carlson and the woman with him. Chuckles could have simply apologized to Carlson when he came in, said he hadn’t meant any harm but sees now how his actions could be misinterpreted. I note that Chuckles hasn’t, from what I’ve seen, described his own comments to Carlson when Carlson came back in. Did Carlson start out with his “destroy you” comment, or did he start out calmly, and Chuckles responded by telling him to go screw himself and standing on his “first amendment rights”?

  • Ginny

    What is the librarian’s official stance on this? Given the uproar because the government wanted to be able to find out what suspected terrorists checked out books in public libraries, this seems a place for such groups to take a strong stand.

    Tucker seems over defensive, but I haven’t been stalked. Chuckles seems immature. Any service business would want to get rid of such an employee – what they have to sell (especially since Netflix is eating a lot of their lunches) is service. Chuckles clearly doesn’t understand that. And probably doesn’t care. He’ll just get another job.

  • Also, there is absolutely no violation of the Video Store Privacy act here, so that talking point is out the window. Why don’t some people actually read the original post over at Freelance Genius and then decide.

    Dead wrong. Even on a surface reading of the statute, he seems to have violated it. As an agent/employee of the video tape service provider he most definitely knowingly and publicly disclosed personally identifiable information about a customer of the provider. [USC 18 § 2710(b)1] The statute does not say how detailed that “personally identifiable information” must be. It doesn’t require that you disclose their rentals or address. Nothing much more personally identifiable than the name of a public figure.

    On one of the other blogs someone derided the offense as minor, saying it was a civil violation “only” punishable by a $2500 civil award. Even $2500 is a considerable sum to a small business, but that’s a clear minimizing of the statute remedies, which allow for no less than $2500 actual damages, plus punitive damages, plus attorney’s fees and litigation costs, plus “such other preliminary and equitable relief as the court determines to be appropriate.” That can really add up, especially to a small business.

    Wikipedia says the offender is liable for “up to” $2500. They’re wrong. That’s the floor, not the ceiling. The ceiling is wide open.

    In short, regardless of Carlson’s reaction or inbred asininity, Chuckles’ firing was copiously justified from the employer’s position. All those making the libertarian arguments should remember who gets to pick up that legal tab–the employer. Chuckles made himself a major liability.

  • in the form of higher interest rates

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