TUCKER CARLSON: Lori Lightfoot was ‘punished’ by Chicago’s residents

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One thing we have learned after many years in the news business is that every once in a while you’ve got to eat some crow and admit that despite your best intentions, you were completely wrong about something. Tonight is one of those times.

For nearly four years now, we’ve been under the impression, an impression we regularly communicated to you, our viewers, that actor Jussie Smollett was the greatest B.S. artist since Bill Clinton, that he was a transparent race-hoaxer who fooled the dummies in the national media but could not fool us. That’s what we thought. We thought Jussie Smollett was a liar. You remember his story? It did seem unlikely.

Late one night in subzero temperatures, in a snowstorm, Jussie Smollett decided to venture out for a sandwich in downtown Chicago when he was, as people are, accosted by two physically enormous Trump supporters from Africa who somehow recognized him despite his ski hat from his part in a little known musical drama series called “Empire.” Because campy musical dramas are apparently huge with muscle-head Trump voters from Nigeria. So they knew him instantly, right away.

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These two crazed African right-wing maniacs also correctly guessed that Jussie Smollett had voted for Hillary Clinton, and they hated that. And so as Trump voters so often do, they begin pummeling him about the face and screaming, “This is MAGA country.” Because that’s one of the things people typically say about downtown Chicago. It’s MAGA country. 

Then because they were still angry – they’re always angry – these Nigerian racists poured bleach on Jussie Smollett, threw a noose around his neck and then ran off into the night, howling with demented glee. Here’s how Jussie Smollett described it.

JUSSIE SMOLLETT: When I see the attacker, masked, and he said, “This MAGA country n*****.” Punches me right in the face. I was just jumped and then, I look down and I see that there’s a rope around my neck.

We’re going to be honest with you. We had some questions about that story. It just didn’t sound right to us. Something was off. Crazed Nigerian Trump voters assaulting liberals in downtown Chicago? How common is this? Chicago has 50 aldermen, and not a single one of them is a Republican. Chicago has not had a Republican mayor in 80 years. Donald Trump got 12% of the vote in Chicago. It didn’t really seem like MAGA country. But boy, were we wrong.

Not only is Chicago a right-wing Donald Trump stronghold, last night, the QAnon Army came for Lori Lightfoot. Lightfoot, of course, is the mayor of Chicago and a consummate neo-liberal. She’s the one who prevented Chicago cops from chasing criminals on foot because chasing criminals is racist. She’s the mayor who plunged Chicago even further and further into debt for a good cause to pay for the Department of Climate and Environmental Equity. And in fact, Lightfoot’s commitment to equity was so profound that she banned white reporters from talking to her. She took down not one but two statues of Christopher Columbus, who was a racist. 

So you would think if anybody would be safe in Chicago, which is roughly 100% Democratic Party voters, it would be Lori Lightfoot.

Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot, left, and her spouse Amy Eshleman wave to supporters during Women for Lori Rally in Chicago, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023.

Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot, left, and her spouse Amy Eshleman wave to supporters during Women for Lori Rally in Chicago, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Oh, but no. According to Lori Lightfoot, the extreme MAGA Republicans, the ones who tried to bleach Jussie Smollett, activated their sleeper cells around the city and they showed up at the polls en masse, which means lots of them at once. And the effect was to make Lori Lightfoot the first Chicago mayor in 40 years, to lose re-election. As Lightfoot put it last night at her non-victory party, these MAGA Republicans hated her not because of what she did, but because of who she is. Asked directly whether her defeat in the Democratic primary had been unfair, Lightfoot answered this way: “I’m a Black woman in America. Of course.” 

Now, one of the many tragedies here and there are so many layers of tragedy, is that Lori Lightfoot, insightful as she’s always been, saw this racist insurgency coming for years. Here she was in 2021.

REPORTER: Mayor, in recent months, there have been questions raised about your your temperament and your reaction to criticism. Tribune editorial use the term “irascible.” How much of this do you think might have to do with the fact that you’re a woman and specifically a Black woman?

LORI LIGHTFOOT: About 99% of it.

Because the thing is, there are no women in Chicago. It’s an entirely male and right-wing city. And so all opposition to Lori Lightfoot derived from her race and gender. It’s not that people are angry about violent crime in Chicago. That never crossed your mind. No. Here instead is her explanation from last night’s concession speech

LIGHTFOOT: Obviously, we didn’t win the election today, but I stand here with my head held high and a heart full of gratitude. I’m grateful that we’ve worked together to remove a record number of guns off our streets, reduced homicides, and started making real progress on public safety.

Obviously you didn’t win. That’s true. You got spanked like the bad little mayor you were. But according to the Chicago Police Department, we’re also happy she was mayor because she made the city a lot better. Here’s what the police said in a statement: “Over the past three years, robberies, burglaries and thefts hit record lows in Chicago. Each of these crime categories saw decreases not seen for the last 50 years.” Oh, it’s a lot safer than it’s ever been in 50 years.

Hmm. Is that true? Well, let’s check the same police department’s own statistics. And here they are. From 2019 to 2023 in Chicago, robberies went up, not down, actually, up 27%. Theft nearly 40%. Murder, kind of a significant category, 59%. How about motor vehicle theft? Is that up or down? Oh, it’s up 270%. So if you were to average all that out, that means all crime is up 33%. 

There were 300 more murders by gunshot in 2021 than there were in 2019. There were 2000 more shooting victims. There were 30% more overall shootings. So that’s not a safer city. Actually, that’s a much more dangerous city that people are fleeing for their very lives.

What’s interesting is that the people in charge of making the place safer are still working to make it much more dangerous. The top prosecutor in the city, Lori Lightfoot’s ally, Kim Foxx, is rejecting thousands of felony cases every year, just not prosecuting crimes. In 2022, for example, Chicago prosecutors had a total of 20,000 felony cases come in the door, and out of those, they rejected right out of hand, 2000. They pursued out of 20,000 cases, just 1,900 to indictment, not to convictions, to indictment charging people. And those numbers are not an anomaly. They’re similar for every other year of Lori Lightfoot’s historically disastrous tenure as mayor.

And what’s happening? Well, people are fleeing Chicago, as noted, because they don’t want to get killed. And you can see that in the home prices. Where are home prices highest in America? Of the 12 highest priced home markets in America, nine are in Florida because people are fleeing there. 

The opposite is true of Chicago. The median home price is less than the median home price in the country as a whole, in fashionable Chicago. The median home price in Chicago was $270,000. 

So who did this? Well, it was a group effort, but Lori Lightfoot was the mayor. But it’s not her fault. You know whose fault it is? Businesses and residents, pedestrians. They made themselves easy targets. Watch.

LIGHTFOOT: I’m disappointed that they’re not doing more to take safety and make it a priority. For example, we still have retailers that won’t institute plans, like having security officers in your stores, making sure that they’ve got cameras that are actually operational, locking up their merchandise at night, chaining high end bags. These purses seem to be something that is attracting a lot of attention on these organized retail theft units.

Wait, what? Did she just blame the stores for getting robbed? How is that different than saying, “Well, you’re wearing a halter top. Of course you got raped.” I mean, it’s not different, actually. It’s blaming the victim. It’s disgusting. When was the last time you saw a mayor of a city blame crime victims for being victimized? Well, you just saw Lori Lightfoot do it. 

So crime is no longer punished by and large in Chicago unless you disrespect Lori Lightfoot’s authority. And in that case, you went straight to jail. Watch.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot, shown at City Hall on April 15, 2021.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot, shown at City Hall on April 15, 2021. (Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

LIGHTFOOT: Now, I’ve directed Superintendent Brown to order all police districts to give special attention to these parties. And this is how it’s going to be. We will shut you down. We will cite you. And if we need to, we will arrest you, and we will take you to jail. Period.

“We will take you to jail. We’ll arrest you and take you to jail.” Not if you shoot somebody. If you break Lori Lightfoot’s COVID law. But of course, COVID law didn’t apply to her because why would dictators follow their own edicts? And so Lori Lightfoot immediately broke the state’s stay-at-home order to get a haircut. And when she was busted getting her haircut, not a very good haircut we’ll have to say, she blamed, of course, everybody else. 

LIGHTFOOT: I’m the public face of this city. I’m on national media, and I’m out in the public eye. And, you know, I’m a person who I take my personal hygiene very seriously. As I said, I felt like I needed to have a haircut. I’m not able to do that myself, and so I got a haircut.

So now Lori Lightfoot is gone. Who comes next? We have no idea. We don’t live in Chicago. We’re not even going to speculate on the state of local politics in that city. All we know is the most flamboyantly horrible mayor in the country was punished. The system worked. And if it worked in Chicago, maybe it could work in New Orleans, where LaToya Cantrell is quickly destroying one of the most charming cities in the world.

But part of us, if we’re being honest, will miss Lori Lightfoot. Despite all the human suffering she caused, there is part of us that kind of enjoyed it. By embodying every one of her party’s excesses over the past four years, Lori Lightfoot inadvertently helped to expose them. 

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Here you had a complete buffoon, someone who ran around bragging about having a large penis – we’re just telling you what she said – somehow running one of the greatest cities in the world. At times, it didn’t seem like even Lori Lightfoot could believe she was mayor. She clearly didn’t really care for the job. 

Just save the tape. Save the tape. That’s always our counsel. From May of 2020 till now, March 1 of 2023, American politicians, the entire class, have gone completely insane, and a lot of it is caught on video. And future generations won’t believe it when you tell them, so save the tape.

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