No walk-back, yet, by Tucker Carlson from his broadcast remark that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick should have been executed after being convicted of torturing and killing dogs. The editor in chief of The Daily Caller, an online news outlet, Carlson made the comment Tuesday while guest-hosting Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News. “Michael Vick killed dogs, and he did in a heartless and cruel way, and I think personally he should have been executed for that,” Carlson said.
Yeah, that’s strong — too strong! But here’s some context: In addition to his work as a conservative pundit, Carlson is an animal rights defender. Earlier this year he recorded a public service spot for the Washington Animal Rescue League. He was talking about Vick in connection with President Obama’s phone call to Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, reportedly thanking Lurie for signing Vick in 2009 after the player served 21 months in federal prison for his involvement in an illegal dog-fighting ring. Carlson said Obama’s support for “someone who murdered dogs” was “kind of beyond the pale.” He’s got a point about Obama but not about Vick and the death penalty. Tucker Carlson is a thoughtful, interesting commentator, but that one got away from him.