A few weeks ago I was preparing to wage war against the United Parcel Service. The conflict started with an unnecessary and spontaneous purchase that I made off of Puma’s website, but when my package didn’t show up roughly 48 hours after the estimated arrival date, I quickly jumped to the rash conclusion that the world’s largest package-delivery company was targeting me specifically—by either stealing or intentionally losing the tracksuit and trainers that I was deeply emotionally invested in. But after spending 30 or so minutes rehearsing the series of outbursts I’d make while waiting on the UPS customer-service line, the hold music somehow pulled me back from the brink of all-out war and made me realize a few things: the first being that I already own too many tracksuits and too many sneakers, but more importantly, the nation’s supply chain has been dramatically strained due to the ongoing global pandemic that has led to an unprecedented number of online orders as most Americans stay indoors instead of shopping at brick and mortars.
Throughout this week Tucker Carlson publicly experienced a similarly dramatic and entirely uncalled-for rage against UPS as he underwent the roller coaster of emotions that comes with repeatedly checking your mailbox for a package that will literally never show up—until it does, of course. The Fox News host’s UPS war story was another chapter in the right-wing media’s obsession with dragging down Hunter Biden to take out his father, even as there is still no evidence that Joe Biden was improperly involved with his son’s international business ventures. Carlson, who claimed to be awaiting an exclusive Hunter Biden document dump, said Wednesday night that his scoop had been delayed due to a UPS shipping error. After proposing a number of theories against the shipping company, Carlson went on to detail the every-nook-and-cranny search for the documents throughout the “entire cavernous sorting facility,” adding, “The envelope was securely sealed. We know that.… UPS does not dispute that. Was the package torn open accidentally by a machine? That seems unlikely. UPS says that almost never happens.” He then leaped to a more malicious and specific accusation: The contents of his package had been stolen, which he described as the most “obvious explanation. Someone, for some reason, opened our package and removed a flash drive containing documents that were damaging to the Biden family.”
However, the day after the Fox News host began banging the war drums against UPS in front of his millions of viewers, the company explained to Daily Beast reporter Will Sommer that Carlson’s package had actually been located, which suggested that the Biden camp’s package-targeting extraction team had not, in fact, tactically removed the top secret contents of the parcel. (While Trump’s allies and the right-wing media have been consumed with Hunter Biden developments, NBC News reported Thursday evening that one “intelligence” document making the rounds, and its author, were fake.)
But after all of his commotion, Carlson suddenly backed off the story by Thursday night. “There are a lot of documents about Hunter Biden’s personal life that we haven’t brought to you and we’re not going to, and we should tell you why,” he said, adding that “Hunter Biden is a fallen man at this point.” And while he believes the Biden son is not “a bad person,” he does have “demons” and “lost control of those demons, and the world knows that now. He’s now humiliated and alone. It’s probably too strong to say we feel sorry for Hunter Biden, but the point is, pounding on a man, jumping on, piling on when he’s already down is something that we don’t want to be involved in.”
It’s not entirely clear why Carlson suddenly backed off the story, or why one of his own producers sent him documents in the most archaic, analog way possible instead of simply uploading them. None of it makes sense, other than the entirely relatable response of losing your entire mind because a package arrives one to two business days late.
More Great Stories From Vanity Fair
— Progressives Are Going Rogue to Flip Pennsylvania for Biden
— White House Reporters Fume Over Team Trump’s “Reckless” COVID Response
— Why Anti–Trump Attack Ads Might Actually Be Helping Him
— Tax Mess Aside, Can Trump Pay Off His $1 Billion in Debt?
— News Media Begins to Contemplate a Post–Trump White House
— The Kimberly Guilfoyle Sexual Harassment Allegations Get Even Darker
— As Trump Falters, Democrats See an Expanding 2020 Senate Map
— From the Archive: Inside Trump’s Twisted, Epic Battle for Mar-a-Lago
— Not a subscriber? Join Vanity Fair to receive full access to VF.com and the complete online archive now.