Nolte: Ted Cruz Stepped in the Media's Trap, and Tucker Carlson Closed It

What happened to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) this week is a significant victory for the corporate media and a perfect illustration of how the media trick Republicans into damaging themselves.

What we saw at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 was nothing close to a terrorist attack or an insurrection or Pearl Harbor or 9/11. It was a mostly peaceful protest where a bunch of yahoos turned violent. That’s it. That’s all it was. Unfortunately, things went too far, and the lawbreakers are being punished.

Obviously, the riot was not pre-planned, for had it been, maybe one person — just one — would have been armed. Maybe one person — just one — would have been charged by the left-wing Department of Justice with terrorism or sedition or insurrection.

Ah, but the corrupt media and the Democrats — the same corrupt media and Democrats who cheered on and encouraged months of riots in more than a dozen Democrat-run cities that included organized attacks on state capitols — have worked diligently to pressure people into falsely describing an anti-vote fraud protest that got out of hand as terrorism.

How do the media do this? Well, it’s very simple. All of the establishment media, and I mean all of the media — every newspaper, TV network, and cable channel — conspire to gang up on anyone who refuses to go along with this false narrative. People are bullied and insulted and attacked. But … and this is most important … an escape hatch is offered: Just say what we want you to say, and we’ll leave you alone. Hell, we might even praise you.

But that escape hatch is The Trap, and the moment you fall for it, you are pretty much doomed. Why? Because it will never be enough. What I mean is this… If you agree, as Cruz has, to lie about January 6 being a “terrorist attack,” the media will move into phase two, which is to demand you criticize those in your own party who won’t do the same. This not only puts you in the position of having to either 1) criticize members of your own party or 2) look like a weasel while refusing to criticize them, but it also angers your voters, which damages your, say, presidential chances.

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

What’s more, nothing angers the GOP base more than watching one of our own give credibility to media lies.

Over the years, I’ve seen this happen to Republicans a thousand times. But not of late. Other than quislings like Rep. Liz Cheney (Sellout-WY), when it comes to handling the fake media, the GOP is much-improved these last few years.

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 27: U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) questions witnesses during a hearing of the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on July 27, 2021 at the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC. Members of law enforcement testified about the attack by supporters of former President Donald Trump on the U.S. Capitol. According to authorities, about 140 police officers were injured when they were trampled, had objects thrown at them, and sprayed with chemical irritants during the insurrection. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) questions witnesses during a hearing of the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on July 27, 2021 (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images).

Well, you can only imagine how happy the media are today after watching Cruz, a GOP superstar, implode last night on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show.

As he has done in the past, earlier this week, Cruz once again falsely described the January 6 riot as a “violent terrorist attack.” Only this time, he said it on the floor of the U.S. Senate, and people took notice, including Tucker Carlson.

So in an effort to clean up his cucky mess, Cruz appeared on Tucker’s show and tried to backtrack with the ludicrous claim his comments were “sloppy” and “frankly dumb” and a “poor choice of words.”

Carlson was having none of it. “I guess I just don’t believe you,” he said. “And I mean that with respect because I have such respect for your acuity and your precision.”

Carlson Cruz

Tucker Carlson, Ted Cruz on FNC, 1/6/2022

And now the corporate media are gleefully piling on as Cruz’s presidential aspirations shift from contender to Liz Cheney Jr.

Well, why wouldn’t the media gloat and pile on? They have been trying to destroy Cruz for the better part of a decade. And now, he’s self-immolated on their behalf. It was bad enough he chose to buy into their narrative, but now he’s been caught dissembling with this nonsense about a “bad choice of words” when he’s been using those same words for a year.

Plus, and this is what hurt him most of all, he now looks weak, caught off guard, like someone who can’t handle the media, like someone who will fall apart under the media pressure ala Mitt Romney and John McCain during their failed runs at the White House.

The sad thing is that all Cruz had to do was stick by his guns. Instead of breaking weak with this false claim of being “sloppy,” he should have said, The definition of terrorism is committing violence in pursuit of a political outcome, and that’s what I saw at the U.S. Capitol that day. Not everyone. A large majority were peaceful. But in my book, those who were violent were committing the very definition of terrorism.

He could have threaded that needle. People like me might have disagreed, but there was ground for him to stand on. The fact he didn’t have the savvy to do that and, instead, chose to quibble and deceive and basically melt down is another strike against him. We need our presidential candidates to be able to outfox the left-wing media, to be strong and savvy, and able to think on their toes and stay out of their traps.

Worse still, Cruz had 24 hours to come up with a response and still blew it, still made it worse, and now, on top of our disgust at watching him fall into the media’s trap, we’re questioning his poise and competence.

The real bad news for Cruz is that this isn’t over, not by a longshot. He walked into a media trap a blind man could see and then made it worse by trying to squirm his way out.

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.

John Nolte