Politics & Media
Mar 09, 2023, 06:26AM

Thinking About 1923 and Repulsed by Tucker Carlson

Events of a century ago ripple through the present.

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Jetlagged after a trip to Australia, and repulsed by news involving Tucker Carlson, I got into researching events of a century ago. In 1923, King Tut’s tomb was discovered, Yankee Stadium had its first game, the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio was founded, Time magazine put out its first issue, and Hitler attempted the Beer Hall Putsch. My father would be born in 1925 and flee Nazi-ruled Vienna in 1939.

I’d borrowed a library book, Hitler and the Habsburgs, by James Longo. The book quotes Hitler as reminiscing: “From 1919 to 1923, I thought of nothing else but revolution.” The putsch failed, and Hitler went to prison the next year, but his effort, though it involved a confrontation with police, had gained sympathy among conservatives antithetical to the Weimar Republic; the Tucker Carlsons of their day. Hitler would be released early, and subsequently sought power through constitutional means, confident he’d have conservative support.

Hitler hated the Habsburgs, who’d ruled a multi-cultural, multi-lingual empire rather than espousing German nationalism. Young Hitler enthused at the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914, the event that precipitated World War I. Franz Ferdinand emerges from the book as a sympathetic character, who married for love (contrary to standard dynastic practice) and tried to prevent a catastrophic war. Franz Ferdinand’s marriage was “morganatic”; since his wife was of lower rank, their kids weren’t eligible to inherit the throne and had to go by the name Hohenberg. The monarchy collapsed at war’s end anyway, with Austria losing its empire and becoming a democratic republic.

Hitler had a bitter memory of the Habsburgs from 1909: he was one of the laborers shoveling snow outside the Imperial Hotel in Vienna when a few of the aristocrats walked by to a gala. He later recalled: “We were about as important to them, or for that matter to Vienna, as the snow that kept coming down all night, and this hotel did not even have the decency to send a cup of hot coffee to us.” After the Nazi dictator absorbed Austria into his Reich, he made a point of staying at the Imperial Hotel. Franz Ferdinand’s sons were thrown into Dachau and assigned latrine duty. They were defiant of their Nazi captors, once hiding a Roma boy who was fleeing the guards. They weren’t sure if that effort had succeeded, but after the war the Roma man showed up to deliver a goose as thanks.

After my trip, I took out Too Big for a Single Mind: How the Greatest Generation of Physicists Uncovered the Quantum World, by Tobias Hϋrter. Though 1926 was the key year in developing quantum mechanics, there was already much activity around the prospective theory in 1923. A vignette from that year shows Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr riding back and forth on a tram in Copenhagen, missing their stops repeatedly because they’re too distracted in arguing about the puzzles of the micro-world. The intellectual ferment of the coming years took place amid growing shadows of totalitarianism and war. Eventually, Einstein and many other physicists would be forced into exile, and Werner Heisenberg, central figure in formulating the new theory, would be tasked with building a Nazi atomic bomb.

Too Big for a Single Mind’s narrative ends in 1945, when, in the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Heisenberg and other captured German scientists were surprised that the U.S. had succeeded in building the weapon they’d failed to develop. There’s speculation that Heisenberg’s heart was never in the bomb effort, as his onetime student Edward Teller believed; or even that the quantum physicist deliberately sabotaged it, as suggested in the docudrama Genius: Einstein. In any case, the German scientists’ project was undermined by their Nazi overseers’ failure to grasp its potential, exemplified by one official’s ridicule of “the physicists’ Atomkackerie, their nuclear farting about.”

In an epilogue, Hϋrter writes that “The story is not over yet,” noting that quantum mechanics’ philosophical implications and technological applications are still unfolding a century later.

I’ve some memories that bridge about half the gap to a milestone of 1923. Yankee Stadium opened on April 18, 1923, with the Yankees playing the Red Sox in front of 74,000 fans. I first visited the original stadium as a child about 50 years later. In the mid-1970s it had some renovations, and I recall a family friend joking about “this urinal: $100,000.” (The stadium was replaced entirely in 2009.) My father, an avid soccer fan, was never much into baseball; years earlier, he’d gotten up to make a business phone call just as Mickey Mantle was stepping to the plate with the bases loaded. Still, I was a Yankees fan, hoping that Bobby Murcer and Roy White could recapture the glory of decades past.

—Kenneth Silber is author of In DeWitt’s Footsteps: Seeing History on the Erie Canal and posts at Post.News.

  • According to Mr.Silber the future Hitler supporting post Beer Hall Putsch conservative Germans were akin to Tucker Carlson. That statement either makes Tucker Carlson a potential Nazi or it makes Kenneth Silber a wild eyed hyperbolist. The outrage over the previously unreleased Jan-6th videos by Tucker Carlson exposes the establishment/left as suppressors of information and truth. To get to the truth and reach an informed and accurate conclusion requires the access to and examination of the maximum available data. Tucker's release of the Jan-6th tapes gets us closer to finding out the whole truth of what happened on Jan-6th. The real outrage should be that the release of these Jan-6th videos were suppressed from the public for over two years for the purposes of crafting a false narrative in order to achieve a preconceived conclusion based on controlled and manipulated data.

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  • Would you say a campaign of lies has been waged about Jan. 6, against honest men whom you know to be absolutely innocent? https://famous-trials.com/hitler/2525-hitler-s-closing-speech-at-trial

  • Ken-The point isn’t whether there were some violent people who behaved horribly on Jan-6th. Of course there were and they should be held to account. The point here is that there has been a dissemination of falsehoods and a deliberate distortion of facts surrounding the events of Jan-6th which should disturb anyone who’s fidelity is to the truth about what happened that day... Firstly the video footage of the Viking-horned Jacob Chansley purportedly one of the lead instigators of the "insurrection" being led peacefully through the Capitol building accompanied by police officers who didn’t try to stop him was not shown during the House Jan-6 House select committee hearings nor was the footage given to Mr. Chansley’s defense attorney which raises ethical questions about judicial due process regarding the deliberate withholding of evidence...Secondly the video shows officer Brian Sicknick walking around unharmed and performing his duties after he was purportedly roughed up to the point of causing his death by J-6th rioters. Once again this video footage was withheld from the Jan-6th House select committee creating a false narrative...Another video was also released during the Jan-6th House select committee which showed Senator Josh Hawley running alone away from the mob through the House corridors. What the previously undisclosed video footage released by Tucker Carlson shows is that police were directing dozens of House and Senate personal to speedily exit the building and among the dozens of personnel was Senator Hawley running behind the others. The House Jan 6th committee selectively edited the video clip to make it look as if Senator Hawley was a coward running alone away from danger...The deliberate withholding and manipulation of video evidence of the Capitol riots by the Jan-6 House select committee has rendered their proceedings to be nothing more than a kangaroo court and a show trial and Tucker Carlson’s release of previously unseen video footage has exposed them as fraudsters...

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  • If some blue-ribbon panel had reexamined the tapes and put out a 500-page report indicating that the J6 committee's use of them was misleading, I would consider it. But for McCarthy to release tapes to Carlson, who then cherry-picks out of 41,000 hours of video with a clear axe to grind, with the summation "It was neither deadly nor an insurrection," it counts for nothing to me; or less than that, because it indicates the length to which some people go to throw a cover over the elephant in the room, which is that the current Republican front-runner is the same guy who incited all this.

  • The blue-ribbon panel you speak of was suppose to be the Jan-6th House select committee. Unfortunately Speaker Pelosi broke historic precedent and kicked House minority members off of the Jan-6th select committee transforming the Jan-6th hearings from a bipartisan fact finding mission into a hyper-partisan show trial. Had the House minority leaders choice of congressmen been allowed to stay on the committee they could have called their own witnesses, questioned evidence, cross examined witnesses and demanded the release of pertinent suppressed materials such as the recently released video footage from within the Capitol building in which case much of the truth would have been revealed during the hearings about what happened on Jan-6th and there would have been no need for a Tucker Carlson video release to debunk the false narratives put out by the partisan Jan-6th committee...

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  • I agree with you to some extent. It may have been better if Jim Jordan et al had been allowed on the J6 committee. In my opinion, they would've been trying to obscure the truth about the events, but if so it may have been obvious that's what they were doing, and the ultimate result might have been better public understanding. I draw that conclusion in part from watching Jordan's "weaponization" subcommittee now.

  • It's near impossible to have a fair hearing without representatives from both sides of the aisle weighing in which was the fatal flaw of the J-6 committee. Unfortunately the spirit of bipartisanship has all but disappeared in today's congressional subcommittees which appear to be little more than exercises in partisan point scoring. It makes me yearn for the days of Speaker Tip O'Neill when members of congress brought their political biases with them to congress but they were still able to compromise and find a way to work together for the common good...

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  • Jan 6 committee members didn't even view the tapes. Had their staffers do it. The partisan (by definition) version of the incident the committee gave us called for another version to come out. Tucker Carlson gave us that version. I learned a few things I should have known from the beginning - info was intentionally withheld from me - so I have no complaints about the Carlson version. Nor should anyone else. Everything is spin, obviously. People just bitch about the spin that doesn't fit their narrative.

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  • Tucker has any number of counterparts in the rest of the media. For the universe to be aligned correctly, any disgust directed towards Tucker must also be directed against all the other defenders. I have to add that the Nazi comparison to Tucker is way over the top. It's absurd.

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  • Jarring to read a journalist referring to the "weaponization" of the Jim Jordan committee, which is addressing a serious attack on journalism. Check out the dumb Democrat in those hearings who referred to Matt Taibbi as a "so-called journalist," when he has a 30-year career as an award-winning, book-writing journalist. By her definition, Ken, you are also a "so-called journalist." Ponder that for a moment. Also odd that Dem inquisitors were trying to get Taibbi to reveal his source. Journalists have the obligation speak out against such authoritarianism, but maybe that's old fashioned now that journalists have become activists..But at least there was some humor in these enlightening hearings. One of the many clueless Dems who don't believe in the constitutional protections afforded to journalists admitted she had no idea what Substack was, and she wasn't even embarrassed to admit her ignorance to the entire nation. She seemed proud of it, in fact. Don't these political hacks have staffers under the age of 70 to explain such things to them, or is Taibbi such a threat that he supercedes all other considerations?

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  • Jordan's subcommittee has a name: Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. I didn't refer to the weaponization of the committee; I referred to it by its own name. "I have no complaints about the Carlson version. Nor should anyone else." That reflects a presumption of omniscience that I don't aspire to. Tucker's version downplayed Jan 6 as sightseeing. Did I say he was a Nazi? No, I likened him to conservatives in the Weimar Republic who took a lenient view of the Nazis and their putsch. That group unfortunately included the judge who presided over Hitler's trial.

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  • You responded to the name of the committee, Ken, so why don't you at least address the possibility of weaponization by the federal government against your fellow journalists? Too controversial for you? Why are you talking about "omniscience" when all I did was offer my opinion? Are you seriously telling me that the Jan 6 committee didn't "downplay" certain things it felt were outside the narrative? I certainly hope you're not doing that, as you're a journalist, right? Not an activist. I'm sorry that I mistook this piece as comparing Tucker to Nazis, but there were a bunch of Hitler references, and Tucker was in the header.

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  • I was too easy on Tucker. https://twitter.com/highbrow_nobrow/status/1758501110677975290

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  • To reiterate the point I made in my first comment on this thread " To get to the truth and reach an informed and accurate conclusion requires the access to and examination of the maximum available data." Linking to a short sound bite which was cut out of a Tucker Carlson interview for political effect distorts truth it does not reveal it. Theses are the same tactics that the Jan 6 Congressional committee used during their "insurrection" show trial. Here is a link to the entire Tucker Carlson interview at the 2024 World Government Summit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMXikZM_O80....Only after watching the entire interview can one make an accurate assessment.. Tucker Carlson provides a unique an independent perspective which is what I appreciate about him. He is also a flawed journalist in many ways and not above critique. His interview with Putin is a case in point. {See my next comment below}...

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  • Tucker Carlson missed some opportunities in his interview with Vladimir Putin which could have provided more clarity to his audience. When Putin was carrying on with his historical monologue about Russian history he eventually got around to WWII and how many Ukrainians took the side of Nazi Germany when they invaded Soviet territory. At this point of the interview Tucker should have pointed to the Ukrainian Holodomor which happened less then 10 years prior to the German invasion of Ukraine where 5 million plus Ukrainians were forcibly starved to death by Stalin.. It is quite understandable that Ukrainians would see the German's as liberators after suffering through one of histories worst atrocities which was caused by the Soviet's organized famine...Another missed opportunity by Tucker Carlson was when the fall of the Soviet Union was discussed as it pertains to Ukraine he should have brought up the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, an agreement that Russia signed on to which promised Ukrainian sovereignty in exchange for cold war era nuclear arsenals which were still located in Ukrainian territory.. https://policymemos.hks.harvard.edu/files/policymemos/files/2-23-22_ukraine-the_budapest_memo.pdf?m=1645824948 ...Putin was in clear violation of the Budapest Memorandum when he invaded Crimea and the Donbas portion of Eastern Ukraine in 2014. Tucker should have emphasized these points in his interview with Putin... Tucker should have also brought up the dozen or more journalists and opposition leaders who were killed, poisoned or went missing for the crime of criticizing Putin's regime. In spite of these critiques I found the 2 hour plus Carlson/Putin interview to be interesting and informative.

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