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TUCKER CARLSON: â€œPresident Obama it has been confirmed by the White House called the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, and in the course of their conversation, thanked him for giving Michael Vick a second chance. Now, Iâ€™m a Christian, Iâ€™ve made mistakes myself, and I believe fervently in second chances. But Michael Vick killed dogs, and he did so in a heartless and cruel way. And I think personally he should have been executed for that. He wasnâ€™t. But the idea that the President of the United States would be getting behind someone who killed dogs? Kind of beyond the pale.â€ (Fox News)
The rage is building in some quarters — over President Obamaâ€™s reported praise of the Philadelphia Eaglesâ€™ for giving quarterback – and convicted felon – Michael Vick a second chance. You heard Tucker Carlson say – Vick should have been executed for his crime — not given a second chance, let alone presidential praise. Is this topic – truly worth all the buzz? Did the President make a mistake here? Or is this all part of a slow news cycle?
First, CNNâ€™s Anderson Cooper has one question for President Obama — why even go there?
â€œI just donâ€™t understand how or why the President of the United States would be weighing in on this matter. This is not the deficit. This is not the unemployment problem. This is not health care, the immigration debate, or a new plan for dealing with Afghanistan…throwing in your two cents worth on the fortunes of a multi-million dollar athlete who was convicted of a horrendous crime? Why?â€
Fox News Gretchen Carlson talks with people on both sides of the issue — The NAACPâ€™s R.L. White — and animal rights advocate Bernadette Pauley.
WHITE: â€œHeâ€™s paid the price. And I think the President is eminently correct for not only Michael Vick, but anybody else, should be free to redeem their lives.â€
PAULEY: â€œSo why should a celebrity or a sports figure who did such horrible, horrible inhumane things be commended? And heâ€™s making millions and millions of dollars now. You know heâ€™s going to be commended for it no matter what because the fact is, that sports stars and celebrities can get away with anything, and theyâ€™re always going to be glorified no matter what type of human being they are.â€
On Politico, Carlsonâ€™s co-host for an annual fundraiser for a North Carolina no-kill animal shelter — Anna Marie Cox says — she understands Carlsonâ€™s sentiments — even if they were a bit overstated.
â€œI would say that Tucker can have a very subtle intellect, but he also knows how to make an impression. Iâ€™m not sure which side of his brain was at the forefront when he said that. I think there are lots better examples out there to grant presidential grace to. What he did was really unconscionable and almost inexcusable.â€
But The Atlanta Journal-Constitutionâ€™s Jeff Schultz says, even if the President did overstep, what Carlson did on Fox News — makes the rest of the argument a moot point.
“Once more, this time with feeling: Vick served his time for his crimes and has the right to earn a living. Anybody who chooses to boo or criticize him as a result of his past is completely within their rights. But Iâ€™m certain declaring on a national news broadcast that somebody should be executed probably is over the journalistic line. Then again, Iâ€™m not completely familiar with Foxâ€™s ‘fair and balanced’ standards.”