The Cavuto Ringer?

I don’t usually reck articles in the Daily Beast but for some reason I still get the organ’s mail updates and this evening one caught my eye. “Tucker Carlson Couldn’t Debate The Anti-Trump Organizer He Wanted, So This Actor Stepped In,” is the rather unwieldy headline, and that, too, is the story in a nutshell, although, what the heck, you might as well read the whole thing as it is relatively short (not shorter than the headline) and kind of entertaining.

Are you surprised? Of course you are not surprised. I am not surprised either. Not to put too fine a point on it but Mr. Carlson strikes me as the kind of guy who’d sell his mother and/or his stepmother for a new chin, and only hasn’t as of yet because no one has stepped up to make the exchange. (I cannot stress enough, however, that this is merely my personal impression of the man and could well be wrong. Just to be clear.) But the story did remind me of a thing that happened to me on Fox News many years ago, a thing that point to a potential pattern of if not deception at least hokey-pokey –

The year was 2004, and it was around February, just as it is as I write this, and the movie on everybody’s mind and lips was Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. It did not screen for “long lead” critics, which I was at the time, at the monthly magazine Premiere, but given that it was very zeitgeisty my editor Tom Roston brought me into a screening he was going to, at the now defunct Broadway Screening Room in the Brill Building, a facility that Walter Matthau would characterize as  “veray nassszzz.” Tom and I were actually seated in front of a BUNCH of Fox News people. Brian Kilmeade sat directly behind me, awestruck. I could have killed Roston, because during the movie’s Last Supper scene there was a shot of someone taking what looked like a contemporary flatbread out of an oven, and Roston whispered to me “I didn’t know they had Cosi shops in ancient Israel” and I started giggling and I thought Kilmeade would have me arrested. Anyway, I was kind of flummoxed by the movie, and somewhere, somehow, I was put on the record as referring to the kids who torment Judas after he betrays Christ as “Jim Henson’s Satan Babies” and, apropos of the bit where the raven or crow plucks out one of the crucified thieves’ eye, wondering if the film’s source material was The Gospel According to Tony Iommi.