Review

Politicians, Partisans, and Parasites: My Adventures in Cable News

by Tucker Carlson



I was only passingly familiar with Tucker Carlson before cracking
the binding of his book, POLITICIANS, PARTISANS, AND PARASITES. I
vaguely recalled a few articles he had done for The Weekly
Standard
and The American Spectator, and I knew that he
was on CNN's Crossfire. The problem is that at casa de
Hartlaub
we don't really tune in to CNN all that much, and as
for Crossfire ... if I started watching James Carville with
any regularity it would be the mark of a behavior deviation so
devastating that my family would probably ship me off for that long
promised 30-day psychological evaluation. While Crossfire
appears to be on its last legs, Carlson's career trajectory is only
beginning, if POLITICIANS, PARTISANS, AND PARASITES is any
indication.

For one thing, Carlson is really funny. His written delivery is
very conversational. Reading POLITICIANS, PARTISANS, AND PARASITES
is like having this hip, smart, observant guy over for dinner and
being happy to let him monopolize the conversation for the entire
evening. Carlson is right to center right politically, but he
doesn't beat you over the head with it. He chooses his battles
wisely and almost always wins them. But POLITICIANS, PARTISANS, AND
PARASITES isn't a regurgitation of Carlson's views. It's a breezy,
entertaining account of Carlson's experiences in television
journalism and reporting.

Carlson's accounts of his adventures in the trenches of television
news journalism are not presented in an orderly fashion. It's not
quite stream of consciousness but the link between one topic and
another can be a bit tenuous. You're not really going to care,
however. Carlson is so entertaining and funny that you'll be more
than happy to sit back and let him drive at 100 words per minute
while he maintains a nonstop monologue concerning what is flying
by. His most entertaining accounts concern being on the campaign
trail with John McCain, his trip to Vietnam (again, with John
McCain), the crashing and burning of his first television program,
The Spin Room, and his dead-on descriptions of
Carville.

But Carlson's literary audience will not be limited to
conservatives. Liberals who have not lost their sense of humor will
find plenty to enjoy in Carlson's accounts as well. Carlson pins
Jerry Falwell and Larry Klayman to the wall with his laser-like
scrutiny and does it so well that even if you like those gentlemen
you won't mind. Well, you will, but you'll be too busy laughing to
let it bother you for long.

POLITICIANS, PARTISANS AND PARASITES is a series of dead-on
critiques and observations of current events, television news, and
the people and personalities behind both. Its substance more than
makes up for what it lacks in organization. This is Carlson's first
book, but it hopefully will not be his last. Highly
recommended.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 22, 2011

Politicians, Partisans, and Parasites: My Adventures in Cable News
by Tucker Carlson

  • Publication Date: November 30, -0001
  • Genres: Current Events, Nonfiction
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books
  • ISBN-10: 0446529761
  • ISBN-13: 9780446529761