Telephone rings and John Balentine answers: “Hello.”

“It’s Tucker Carlson. I read your column. Can’t believe your depiction of Biden … ‘Our president proved what conservatives had been saying about him … He is a fool, certainly not to be trusted with major decisions’ (‘Remember the Maine ties to Sept. 11,’ Sept. 10). It’s too soft, not inflammatory enough!  However, I love you’re not an historian!”

“Why is that?”

“Remember the mess George W. Bush/neocons created by invading Afghanistan, to stop terrorism and, as you failed to mention, nation-build a country you said was a ‘Destroyer of Empires’? Remember the horrible Doha Treaty Trump/Pompeo negotiated only with the Taliban, which released 5,000 Taliban prisoners, halted punishing airstrikes and set a firm deadline for removal of our soldiers? And talk about awful decision-making, remember Iraq, George W. Bush and the neocons? Just between us, I say Biden made the right decision!”

“OK? Tucker, will The Forecaster allow me to be even more right-wing?”

“John, in Hungary, Viktor Orban only allows right-wing media! The Forecaster never checks your work (‘Disappointed Beem no longer with Forecaster,’ Oct. 9, 2020). Keep pushing lies and misinformation! Remember, you wrote about ‘direct sourcing of information, no filtering by editors and reporters, just direct coverage from the newsmaker to news consumer’? (‘Make the media great again,’ Nov. 6, 2020).”

“But, am I so consistently at odds with reality and facts?” (“Forum,” July 30).

“Man up, John! Create chaos and misinformation, forget truth, it’s only for liberals and progressives!

“OK!! How’s Trump?”

“Golfing! And his skin color went from carrot orange to doughboy tan! Do you like DeSantis and his fighting against mask mandates in Florida?”

“Oh, yeah!!  I’m voting for DeSantis in 2024! Are you?”

“Ditto! Till next week. Bye.”

John M. Mishler
Harpswell