Commentary by WorldTribune Staff, May 5, 2021
A USA Today columnist who is “a writer on civility and manners” says a stranger threatened bodily harm against him for wearing a coronavirus mask outdoors in Florida, and it is all Tucker Carlson’s fault.
“Fox News is courting death and danger by giving Tucker Carlson a platform to incite strangers to confront and harass mask wearers. I can tell you from personal experience that this can’t end well,” a battle-scarred Steven Petrow bravely emoted in a May 3 column.
The plucky columnist described his harrowing ordeal in the Sunshine State:
“Two weeks ago I flew to Miami, where my cardiologist is, for a battery of medical tests because I suffer from cardiovascular disease and am at higher risk than most for a heart attack. Before heading to the hospital, I took off on an early morning walk. Coming from North Carolina, where masks were still required in public, I had mine on. I understood there’s no such requirement in Florida, where folks are free to wear — or not wear — a mask outdoors.
“About 15 minutes into my walk, a stranger on a bicycle, coming from the opposite direction, slowed down as he approached. I thought maybe he knew me but instead he shouted: ‘You got a mask on? Yeah, I got a (expletive) mask. You want me to shove it down your throat?’”
Classic progressive projection is at work here. Petrow first anoints himself a victim with a completely unverified personal anecdote that is highly dubious, to say the least, and then uses his assumed mantle of vulnerability to call for another individual to lose his job. This is textbook passive aggressive oppression and Petrow even pretends to be a paragon of civic virtue as he attempts to pull it off.
“A few days after my run-in, Carlson used his prime-time bully pulpit to urge his millions of viewers to confront strangers — like me — who choose to wear masks in public (and even to call 911 if they see kids wearing a mask),” the columnist continued. “Carlson, whose program is regularly riddled with falsehoods, described mask wearing as a ‘sign of political obedience’ and attacked those who wear them outdoors as ‘zealots and neurotics.’”
Petrow also scolded Carlson for not instructing his viewers to get the coronavirus vaccine. “In his lengthy diatribe, Carlson pointedly and purposely did not call for his viewers to get vaccinated, the single most important thing we can all do to end this pandemic. Does he have a death wish — for the rest of us?” Petrow asked.
Throughout the column, the civic-minded Petrow appears totally oblivious to the fact that he is demanding that all Americans abide by his personal viewpoint on coronavirus social curbs.
“As I’ve said often during the pandemic, our response needs to be about ‘we, not me,’” he airily proclaimed.
A USA Today columnist simply cannot understand that a great number of Americans do not accept that he gets to make that call and define exactly how it will affect 330 million lives.
“Fox News should fire [Carlson] before his dangerous rhetoric turns deadly, exactly the way [former President Donald] Trump’s did on Jan. 6,” Petrow bluntly asserted in concluding his piece.