Tucker Carlson, Sydney Powell and Why Republicans Lie So Fucking Much

I cannot imagine it feels good to be called a liar whom no one should take seriously. I assume it would feel even worse if the person saying that about you is supposed to be an ally you trust. However, I have no idea what if feels like to have a person whom you trust say that about you because they’re using it as a legal defense… but I can’t imagine you’re feeling great, even if you’re the Kraken.

This is exactly what is happening in the defamation lawsuit right now that Dominion Voting Systems, Inc. has brought against Sydney “The Kraken” Powell for $1.3 billion (yes, with a “b”). Dominion is suing other people including former Trump attorney (and Razzie nominee) Rudy Giuliani and the guy who owns MyPillow, whose name I do not care enough to find out so I will just call him Mike Pillow.

I find these lawsuits fascinating, but there are three things that I am absolutely floored by as I’ve been following this story and thinking about how it relates to the state of modern conservative politics. The first is watching a lawyer argue that not only is their client a liar, but that everyone knows their client is a liar and no person who isn’t a fucking idiot should know not to take anything they say as a fact. The second is that Tucker Carlson, arguably the most viewed voice in conservative media, also used the same defense a few years ago. But it’s the third thing that’s maybe the most frightening to me, and should be the most terrifying to all of us:

Legally, this defense works.

Welcome to modern conservative politics.


Beware the Kraken, Sydney Powell

To talk about the Sydney Powell and this case, we have to go back to November of 2020. I know that because of whole lot of factors (COVID, the Capitol riots, the incredible staying power of Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License”), November seems like it was 40 years ago, but it wasn’t that long ago that we had a presidential election which Joe Biden won.

And he did win. He won by a sizeable margin, both in the Electoral College and the popular vote, though not everyone believed that. Unfortunately, one of those people was, seemingly, Donald Trump. And that wouldn’t be a problem- people are allowed to believe whatever crazy batshit nonsense they want. Except, and I know this may be hard to believe, but Donald Trump was President Of The United States Of America at the time. So, you know… that kind of became a thing.

To contest the election results, Trump assembled his Avengers-esque team of attorneys. There was Jenna Ellis, a person who it seemed like was genetically created in a lab to appear on Fox News a lot. There was Rudy Giuliani, America’s mayor, who I have written about at great length on this site so I will just reiterate how much he suuuuuuuuuuuuucks, both as a lawyer and a human. And then there was Sydney Powell.

Rudy Giuliani and Sydney Powell

Powell, the former prosecutor who then started her own firm, had gained notable press by defending Michael Flynn, a man who confessed to his crimes and pled guilty before Powell and the bootlicking Department of Justice stepped in to help get the case dismissed. She had earned herself the nickname of “The Kraken”, which is a mythical grotesque sea monster known for destroying everything in its path. I don’t know why that would be something you would want to be called, but c’est la vie, I suppose.

Powell, Ellis and Giuliani held a press conference to explain the Trump legal strategy, and their performance was, literally, one of the most batshit things I’ve ever seen on television, and I like watching that Steph Curry mini golf show. Ellis blamed everything on the media, and no one was listening to Rudy as we were all focused on the black goo streaming down his face. But it was Powell who got the real attention. She knew why Trump lost the election, and it wasn’t because a better candidate ran and got more votes. It was corrupt voting machines.

Blaming Dominion voting machines and Smartmatic voting software, Powell weaved a yarn so impressive I’m surprised it didn’t turn into a cozy blanket that enveloped the whole room. Did she blame Venezuela, Cuba and China? Oh, you betcha. Did she say that corrupt Dominion employees “injected votes”, which is possibly the grossest way you could say that? You know it. Did she somehow try to implicate Hugo Chavez, even though he died in 2013? I think you know the answer.

Was she able to prove any of that?

She. Was. Not.

Perhaps understanding that you cannot have a walking pile of crazy represent you in court, the Trump legal team distanced themselves from Powell and claimed she was not working in any official capacity. The only problem is, once you “release the Kraken”, it’s kind of hard to put it back in its cage. Powell continued to file frivolous lawsuits that kept getting dismissed all over the country. She was the one-woman Washington Generals rolling into court and getting repeatedly dunked on. But the whole time, she kept attacking Dominion. Eventually, Dominion started attacking back.

Under threats of Dominion lawsuits, Fox News, Fox Business, Newsmax and others rescinded their allegations their broadcasts had made about the company, and it’s hard to imagine that they aren’t part of the reason elderly gasbag Lou Dobbs got released. But Dominion showed that they weren’t just threatening to sue people; they were actually going to do it. If idiots were going to go after them, they could go after the idiots harder. Giuliani- SUED. Mike Pillow- SUED. The Kraken- SUED. Each for damage totaling over a billion dollars. Dominion would also go on to sue Fox News last week. Their letterhead has probably been changed to say, “We’re not fucking around.”


Personally, I was thrilled to see what Powell’s defense would be. Would she counter-sue? Would she say she was glad to be sued so that she could use her day in court to expose Dominion as the evil communist cheaters that they were? Would she demand that those responsible for election fraud turn themselves into her? She did none of those things, and I only mentioned them because Mike Pillow did all of them. That dude is a fucking looney toon.

Powell’s lawyers chose a different tactic, and it basically comes down to this: C’moooooon! She was just talking crazy! We all knew that.

The motion that her legal team filed Monday tried to throw a whole plate of things at the wall in the hopes that something- anything- would stick and that they could keep dragging this out until Dominion would accept some kind of settlement. First, they tried to establish Dominion as a public figure, because it is much more difficult to get a guilty verdict for a public entity (as opposed to a private business or citizen). Then, they claimed that everything she said was just political speech and that it’s a “well recognized principle that political statements are inherently prone to exaggeration and hyperbole.”

In short, it’s ok to say crazy lies when you be talking politics!

But the real fastball came when her lawyers pointed out that Dominion, in their lawsuit against Powell, said all of her claims were basically batshit crazy and impossible (my words). If Dominion truly believes that, the argument goes, then “no reasonable person” would think anything the Kraken was saying were “statements of fact.”

It’s important to reiterate that saying no reasonable person should take what Powell says as truth isn’t coming from a judge or Dominion or some liberal media cabal- this is HER DEFENSE TEAM. The people she pays money to help her have decided her best legal defense is, “We all know this lady is a whackadoodle.”

And she’s, seemingly, cool with that.


This defense sounded familiar to me, and then I had to think about Tucker Carlson. This upset me, because that clown is someone I try to avoid thinking about as much as possible, and doing so usually leaves me in a foul mood. But, for this article, I had to make an exception.

Tucker Carlson, always looking like an animal trying to learn math

Carlson, the leadoff hitter for Fox News’ primetime programming (which should also be called the “Lying White Supremacist Block”), got himself into a bit of hot water and was facing his own defamation lawsuit filed by Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who had an affair with Donald Trump. After Carlson accused her of extortion on his program, McDougal filed a defamation lawsuit and it was up to the Fox News lawyers to come up with a defense.

What was their defense? Well, you’ve guessed it- No sensible person should assume that Tucker is being truthful.

And it fucking worked.

Agreeing with the Fox lawyers, a judge wrote that, “given Mr. Carlson’s reputation, and reasonable viewer ‘arrives with an appropriate amount of skepticism’ about the statements he makes.” McDougal’s case was dismissed, and then we all just went about our lives pretending that it wasn’t a big deal that Tucker’s own defense was, “You’d have to be a shithead to believe me.”

Now to be fair, which is more than Carlson would do, MSNBC faced a similar situation a while back when Rachel Maddow was sued for defamation by the batshit crazy OAN network. Granted, the NBC lawyers argument was, “Maddow should be allowed to express political opinions” while Fox’s lawyers were more, “You’d have to be a fucking idiot to believe Tucker Carlson.” That being said, I will concede that this is not solely a partisan problem.


Here’s what’s really crazy: Using this defense actually fucking works. And it’s probably going to work again.

As mentioned earlier, Carlson’s case was dismissed. And there’s a good chance they won’t be able to get a guilty verdict for Powell. And a whole lot of that has to do with intent.

I listen to a wonderful podcast called All The Presidents’ Lawyers. It was previously called All The President’s Lawyers, but they changed the name once Biden was elected to discuss the legal issues facing multiple presidents. If someone decided to sue Rutherford B. Hayes right now, I suppose the podcast would cover it.

Anyways, the podcast is mostly host Josh Barro asking questions to lawyer and smart dude Ken White. In the discussion of defamation cases, White has always pointed out that what you have to prove is that know that you’re saying bullshit and trying to hurt someone. What that means from the other side of the coin is this: it’s not defamatory if you believe it.

MyPillow CEO Mike Pillow

As I was writing this, Mike Pillow went on Steve Bannon’s podcast and screamed about how Donald Trump will be president again by August. It’s wrong (obviously) and crazy, but if this is Pillow’s legal strategy, it’s fucking perfect. If Mike Pillow truly believes that these companies rigged the 2020 election, then what he’s doing isn’t defamatory; it’s just him having an opinion and expressing it under his first amendment rights. Freedom of speech includes freedom of stupid speech.

Mike Pillow is either an idiot or a conman. Either way, he’s probably going to win in court. And that’s depressing.


So, why am I even talking about this?

I’m willing to bet that you have people in your life who believe the nonsense that Powell and Carlson are espousing. Maybe you have a family member who watches Tucker Carlson or a friend who thinks the election was stolen or a co-worker who is waiting for Q to make his next post on 8Chan. And those people should know that Powell and Carlson don’t believe their own bullshit.

The fact that their own lawyers have said that no reasonable person should expect anything they’re saying to be true is fucking telling, and the fact that this isn’t a major story is baffling to me. Carlson should be required- BY LAW- to have that judge’s announcement start every stupid racist show he does. Powell should never be allowed to practice law again unless she starts every case by introducing herself and then saying, “Don’t expect anything I say to be true.”

But, of course, that will never happen. Because the sad reality is that the GOP know what kind of people Carlson and Powell are and they’re needed.

Take a look at the bullshit laws that have been passed in Georgia. Republicans know that the more people who vote, the less likely they are to win- it’s why they’re 1-5 in elections since 2000. But, they also don’t want to change their ideals, so they know the answer: find ways to make it harder for people to vote.

That’s where their useful idiots come into play. People like Powell get up and yell that this election was rigged and the results can’t be trusted, and that allows people to think new laws need to be made. Then dummies like Carlson try and explain how withholding water from people waiting in line to vote is about “election security” and not trying to stop people from waiting in line. That’s how these racist fucking laws get passed and no one cares.

But we should. We should stand up and demand better. Demand honesty.

It seems only reasonable.

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