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Charles Barkley: ‘Tucker Carlson is a nobody’

Jan 10, 2011, 10:39 AM EDT

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Cable news political Smurf Tucker Carlson was once nearly rendered extinct by Jon Stewart, but may be enjoying a comeback due to Michael Vick and Charles Barkley. During the Mavericks-Thunder broadcast on TNT on Thursday, Barkley lashed out a Carlson’s recent Vick criticism on Fox News:

“There’s some idiot on another station named Tucker Carlson, who called out Michael Vick. Number one, Michael Vick we’re all pulling for you man, keep doing your thing. You paid your debt to society, good luck to y’all in the playoffs. Now Tucker Carlson, who’s a nobody … he used to work for us over here. We fired him because he sucked. Now he goes over there and he says that Michael Vick should be executed, which is total BS. You know, TV is a very powerful thing and you can’t just go on there and say anything.”

Told by Ernie Johnson that Carlson had apologized for the statement, Barkley said, “Well he should never have said that.”

Carlson, of course, said on the air last week that Vick “should have been executed” for his crimes against dogs. He later retracted that statement, made while filling in for Sean Hannity on Fox, saying that he was emotional and that he “overspoke.”

And this weekend Carlson responded to Barkley’s criticism; although not personally on the air. Because Carlson doesn’t currently have a show anywhere. But Hannity read this statement on Fox. Carlson:

Unlike Charles Barkley, I am not pulling for Michael Vick. I’m an animal lover. I think torturing dogs is cruel and disgusting. Sorry that offends people, but I mean it.”

Hannity, of course, is loving this; he gets to reap the publicity while not being directly involved. Barkley gets to be Barkley, and Carlson is upgraded from “nobody” status to “that smarmy guy who said that thing.” But just when Carlson was almost becoming relevant again, the Eagles lost on Sunday. That takes the wind out of this story’s sails, I’m afraid. So, as you were, people.

Charles Barkley On Tucker Carlson: He’s A ‘Nobody,’ ‘Fired Because He Sucked’ [Huffington Post]
Tucker Carlson: ‘Unlike Charles Barkley, I Am Not Pulling For Michael Vick’ [SportsGrid]
Charles Barkley Calls Tucker Carlson A ‘Nobody,’ ‘Idiot’ For Vick Execution Remark [Mediaite]