Friday on FNC’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” host Tucker Carlson opened his program with his reaction to the State of Florida’s decision to revoke Disney’s self-governance status and the reaction from Democrats who opposed the move led by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).
Carlson noted the unusual circumstance of Democrats opposing a corporation like Disney now facing a higher tax burden.
CARLSON: We told you earlier in the week about how the left is very mad, in fact trying to shut down a site called Libs of TikTok. Why are they so mad at Libs of TikTok?
Well, here’s one of the reasons: Over the past half a year or so, video after video has appeared on social media showing schoolteachers bragging enthusiastically about how they push their personal sexual politics, often weird and gruesome sexual politics, on the small children they’re supposed to be teaching. Now, the students in question are not teenagers, they’re kindergartners, first graders, kids who have no perspective on life and no power to fight back.
So many parents saw these videos, in some cases on Libs of TikTok and they were shocked. They had no idea that anything like this was happening in the classroom. Having some purple-haired loser in a nose ring convince your six-year-old to get a sex change is not why most people send their children to school, so they complained, the parents did. And across the country, Republican officeholders responded by promising to do something about this. They made outraged noises, but then in very short order, they moved on to talking about Ukraine, which is what they really care about, not you.
In the end, only one state really did anything about this. That would be the State of Florida under Ron DeSantis. Several weeks ago, the Florida Legislature passed a law banning teachers from bragging about their own sex lives to small children. Now, news reporters went crazy. They described this legislation as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill,” but as always, that was a lie. This bill didn’t even mention the word “gay.” It had nothing to do with gays. Florida voters seem to know that intuitively. Even most Democrats in Florida supported this law.
The polling firm Public Opinion Strategies found out why they do, quote: “Fully two-thirds of voters believe it is inappropriate for teachers or school personnel to discuss gender identity with children in kindergarten through third grade.” Well, of course it is. Everyone thinks that.
So, if there was ever a law that accurately reflected public opinion, which should matter in a democracy, this was the law, but across the country, in the State of California, Bob Iger was watching and Bob Iger didn’t like it.
Bob Iger is the 71-year-old former head of Disney. He’s a bundler for Hillary Clinton. He’s got some free time and strong political views. He promptly tweeted the Florida law was immoral, somehow.
In an interview later with CNN with Chris Wallace, Iger explained that preventing teachers from promoting gender reassignment surgery to kindergartners was quote, “harmful to children.” Iger never explained how this was harmful, but it didn’t matter.
Over at Disney headquarters, his remarks caused huge problems for the company’s new CEO, Bob Chapek. Now, by all accounts, Bob Chapek is not especially political. He’s not an activist. He’s a marketing guy. So, his first instinct was not to get involved, not to comment on what was happening in Florida, and that seemed wise given how much at stake Disney has in Florida. They own a theme park in Orlando, you may have heard. That’s an enormous physical asset that cannot be loaded on a truck and move, so maybe don’t mess with Florida.
As Chapek put it in a memo, quote: “Corporate statements do very little to change outcomes or minds.” He wrote that on March 7th, explaining why Disney plans to take a pass on this controversy because they make movies, not laws, but Bob Chapek’s employees had other ideas.
Whipped into a frenzy by their former boss, Bob Iger, Disney staffers demanded action immediately and then because he is weak and not especially bright, Bob Chapek caved to their demands.
He agreed to hold a Town Hall with aggrieved Disney employees who wanted him somehow to take control of the Florida Legislature. Here’s how that went.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOB CHAPEK, CEO, DISNEY: I hope you’ve all read my most recent note in which I pledged to be a better ally for the LGBTQ+ community, apologize for not being an ally that you needed me to be and committed to ensuring that our company lives up to its values.
Your words have made a real impact on me. I understand that we’ve made mistakes and the pain that those mistakes have caused and I know that our silence wasn’t just about the bill in Florida, but about every time an individual or institution that should have stood up for this community did not.
I want to thank the LGBTQIA+ Advisory Council.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Hey, Bob, what does LGBTQIA stand for? You have no freaking clue. That’s not the interesting part. The interesting part of what you just heard was “Your words have made a real impact on me.” In other words, “You now have full control over my entire central nervous system. You own my brain. Do with me what you will,” and they did.
Bob Chapek soon reversed his position, Disney’s position, completely. Going forward, not only did the Disney Corporation fervently disagree with the law the Florida Legislature had passed, according to Bob Chapek, Disney had decided to override the expressed will of Florida’s voters and overturn that law, quote: “Our goal as a company,” said Bob Chapek, “… is for this law to be repealed by the Legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that.” Whoa. What? And you thought it was an entertainment company, but no.
From its headquarters in Los Angeles, the Disney Corporation had now decided it runs the State of Florida. So, for people who want to defend democracy, which is a system in which voters get to govern themselves, this was quite a departure. This is oligarchy, corporate CEOs deciding what the laws should be. Yes. That’s their new position.
But in the meantime, Disney employees set about trying to undermine the intent of Florida’s law. If teachers could no longer promote transgenderism to kindergartners, Disney planned to step into the breach and do it themselves.
Here is internal footage from Disney obtained by journalist Chris Rufo:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DISNEY EXECUTIVE: Last summer, we removed all of the gendered greetings in relationship to our life skills, so we no longer say, “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls.” We’ve trained, we’ve provided training for all of our cast members in relationship to that, so now they know it’s, “Hello everyone” or “Hello, friends.”
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Oh, so it’s no more “boys and girls.” Disney World is now non- binary. Okay. That’s the diversity of inclusion lady. You’re not surprised.
What is surprising is that the head of a publicly held company like Disney would announce in public that he is in charge of a state that we thought was run by the voters of that state.
Well, in Florida, Ron DeSantis noticed this. He is the elected Governor and he decided to find out, how does the system work? He decided to test democracy.
So, during a special session of the Florida Legislature this week, DeSantis led an effort to strip Disney of what turned out to be a remarkable set of special perks that company had enjoyed for more than 50 years. You are not treated like Disney is treated in Florida. You have never been treated that well.
So, after the special session, no more will Disney World operate as its own independent country within the State of Florida. Yes, that’s how they were governed, by themselves.
And now, going forward, Disney is going to have to pay its taxes. Oh, wow, just like everybody else.
Now, if you’ve lived in this country for more than, say, five years, ask yourself: What’s the political party that has always told you big companies should pay their taxes? “Corporate tax breaks are bad.”
Well, of course, that’s always been the Democratic Party. So, you would imagine the Democrats in Florida would applaud a move like this. When was the last time you heard liberals complain about stripping tax breaks from big business? Never before in history. It’s never happened. And yet it just did happen.
These are Democrats in the Florida Legislature who noticed they were are on the verge of tears as they learned that the Disney Corporation might have to pay taxes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The clerk will unlock the machine and members will proceed to vote.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The clerk will lock the machine. Now, to the vote, 68 yeas, 38 nays, Mr. Speaker.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So the Bill passes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: You may have sensed the Democratic Party over the last decade or so has been captured by corporate interests, but you never thought that you would hear on the floor of a state legislature, Democrats scream with anguish at the idea that a big company might have to pay its taxes. Unbelievable, but now very clear.
What’s going on here? Well, a lot of things. Here’s one: Disney spends millions of dollars electing lawmakers in the State of Florida, but those lawmakers couldn’t do their job in this case, they couldn’t act on Disney’s behalf. The law passed and DeSantis signed it into law this afternoon, and that’s going to cost the Disney Corporation a ton of money, which in turn may mean less money for the Florida Democrats who just heard shrieking in the video.
So, there were some self-interest involved here, but it wasn’t just that because it wasn’t just Democratic officeholders who were upset by the idea that an elected Governor might be more powerful than an unelected corporation headquartered across the continent.
The media were very upset too, very upset. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If Ron DeSantis could pass an anti-Muslim bill for the state of Florida, he would. If he could pass an anti-CRT, if he could say it’s illegal to say you’re Black, I’m pretty sure the guy would try it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, look, DeSantis has, this is a playbook out of Putin, and we saw where this goes.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: It’s very Soviet and it’s weird how Republicans, they keep tacking back to the old Soviet Union, and they seem to want to mimic the things that the new Soviet Union, meaning Vladimir Putin, is doing.
NICOLLE WALLACE, MSNBC HOST: And even in our conversations about DeSantis, it’s about how well they’re serving him. The truth is, dehumanization as a tactic for politics is from war.
Dehumanization is a — it’s a tactic — it’s being used right now. The Russians get their soldiers to rape children by dehumanizing them. Dehumanization as a practice is a tactic of war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: So just to be clear and, by the way, there is clearly some kind of inverse IQ test going on in the hiring department over at MSNBC, but here are the new rules: If you would like a big, publicly held corporation to pay its taxes, then you’re a child rapist. Obviously, you’re a racist.
You’re like Putin, which means you’re a fascist, but you know what else you are? According to Joy Reid, you’re a communist.
Ron DeSantis is quote, “taking us back to the Soviet Union.” You’re a communist if you want the company to pay its taxes. Now, Joy Reid went to Harvard, so we’re not going to disagree with her, but we did feel a moral obligation to check that fact because it’s a heavy claim.