After rolling out a Daily Caller exclusive video Tuesday on the Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” that showed then-Sen. Barack Obama speaking to an audience in 2007 with an accent, Daily Caller Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson reacted by explaining, as Obama once said himself, “words matter.”
Carlson said the message Obama was trying to convey, that the federal government plays against minorities in disaster circumstances, particularly with Hurricane Katrina, which struck the U.S. Gulf Coast in 2005.
“Let me just be totally clear for anyone who just watched it and who has seen Obama speak in public over the last ten years will note, this accent is absurd,” Carlson said.
“This is not the way Obama talks — at least it’s not the way he’s talked in the dozens, the scores of speeches I’ve watched him give, or public appearances I’ve seen him make. This is a put-on. This is phony. That’s issue one. The second issue is he is telling a predominantly black audience something very clear: The federal government doesn’t like you because you are black.”
He said that Obama’s use of racial overtones to describe the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina had negative implications on several levels.
“That’s what he’s saying: ‘They don’t like you’ because they are black. That is the theme of the speech from front to back, from beginning to end: ‘They don’t like you because of your skin color.’ And that is a shockingly — that’s a nasty thing to say. It’s a divisive thing to say. It’s a demagogic thing to say. And in the case of Katrina, it’s an untrue thing to say.”
Carlson explained that the federal government issued the same fund-matching waiver to Katrina-torn regions that Obama claimed was held back unfairly.
“At the moment he uttered those words — you are getting short-changed in the Katrina reconstruction funds — the administration, the government had pledged $110 billion to the Gulf. Two weeks before this speech, the Bush administration gave the Katrina-affected areas $7 billion with no strings attached,” Carlson explained. “He was a sitting senator. He knew that and he said this anyway to that audience and I think that’s a shocking thing to do.”
When asked by host Sean Hannity if it had so-called “dog whistle” qualities, Carlson responded by saying it went beyond that.
“This is not a dog whistle,” Carlson said. “This is a dog siren.”
“These are appeals to racial solidarity. And a few minutes before that, he said, ‘Our people’ — ‘our young people’ should have gotten the construction jobs to rebuild after Katrina, but instead they went to Halliburton, right? So look, he is make very clear case, again, on the basis of his racial solidarity with this audience, that they are getting shafted by a racist federal government. And by the way, unless you can provide evidence that that’s true, unless you can nail down factually that that’s true, you should not say things like that because it’s dangerous to say things like that.”