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Situation Normal, All @$%*ed Up

Jan. 30 2008, Published 8:04 a.m. ET

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Propeller-necked pundit Tucker Carlson may have found aplatform for his towel-snapping brand of conservatism on MSNBC’s TheSituation, but industry insiders are predicting a dim future for thecritically-lambasted show. Positioned dead last in prime-time cable newsratings, the political rant-fest has been a disappointment from day one,sources say—a sentiment echoed by New York Times’ TV criticAlessandra Stanley, who last month suggested MSNBC pull the plugon the crapulent show and “end the misery.”

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According to a network source, the 36-year-old motormouth landed the job after promising MSNBChe could deliver raucous debates with high-profile guests like JonStewart--who famously called Carlson a “dick” onCrossfire and accused him of “hurting America”--but that the debates have yet to materialize.

“The incident with Jon Stewart made Tucker ahousehold name, and MSNBC thought they could parlay that into a show that wouldappeal to 18-30 year old men,” says our source. “The problem is,most 18-30 year old men are watching baseball or Sports Center at 9p.m., and Tucker has yet to have one interesting person on his show.” (Instead, he's been reduced to relying on fellowMSNBC commentators like Monica Crowley and Dan Abrams to fill the gaps in his guest list, the source notes.)

But Carlson, who snagged a highsix-figure salary and stock options from MSNBC after being booted from CNN, isstill sitting pretty. “For some reason the higher-ups keep kissing hisass, even though the show was DOA the week it premiered,” the source gripes. A spokesman for Carlson’s show did not return calls for comment bypress time.

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