“There’s that word again,” I said, pointing to the Michelle Goldberg column on my laptop screen:
The Los Angeles Times reported that Carlson was defenestrated by Rupert Murdoch himself…
“Does defenestrated mean fired?” said Swamp Rabbit, who was reading over my shoulder.
“Nowadays it does,” I replied. “But it literally means being thrown out of a window — usually a very high window.”
Goldberg and a few other columnists used the verb to describe Carlson’s removal from Fox News in the aftermath of Fox’s expensive lawsuit settlement with Dominion Voting Systems. “Defenestration” is from the Latin and is often associated with tossing government officials from tall buildings in Prague, in what is now the Czech Republic. A defenestration in the 17th century helped spark the Thirty Years War, which engulfed Central Europe.
I was in Prague years ago and imagined the mess that was made when the defenestrated guys hit the cobblestones after being launched from way up in Prague Castle. This week I imagined Carlson, who looks like a puzzled Pillsbury Doughboy, making a squishy noise when he plummeted to the concrete on the Avenue of the Americas in NYC.
Fortunately for Carlson, this is the 21st century, not the 17th. The women-hating race-baiter was shown the door, not thrown out of a window, although many Americans surely think he deserved the latter. He might be second only to Murdoch, or Donald Trump, or Father Coughlin in the 1930s, on the list of creeps most responsible for spreading fear and loathing through the media in America.
“Goldberg is optimistic,” I said. “She says Carlson’s ouster proves it’s ‘sometimes possible to shame the shameless,’ meaning Murdoch, and that justice sometimes prevails.”
“Them’s just words,” Swamp Rabbit said, shaking his head. “Like I said last week, it’s a money-and-power story. Carlson thought he was bigger than his evil boss, so Murdoch took him out. Threw him out the window, if you like.”
“Them mainstream pundits write some weird shit,” he added. “And your shit ain’t much better.”
Footnote: The word traveled fast. Don Lemon, a CNN talking head, was also fired this week. Vanity Fair called it a defenestration.
He might have left through one window, but I suspect he’ll come in through another. S.
I suspect he’ll walk right through the front door and settle in safely. These days, very few high-rise buildings have windows that actually open.
I also learned about defenestration in Prague! I thought it was a good idea. All kinds of names come to mine as possible candidates… We have to find Tucker a building with windows that open!
I was in Prague in the 1990s and met a couple of great dissident writers who had outlasted the Communist era. Carlson would have been comfortable in Prague prior to that, in the Commie era, attacking dissidents and sucking up to the authoritarian regime.