The ouster of Tucker Carlson from Fox News is a moment worth savoring for those who give a damn about this nation.
Let's be very clear, Carlson was not a journalist. He was not a reporter. He was not even a news anchor.
To be charitable, Carlson was a mouthpiece for far-right propaganda. Nothing more.
His Fox show was stagecraft for what is wrong with this nation — dark, conspiracy-driven drivel that was designed to appeal to the nation's worst instincts. He, and those he elevated, are the worst of this nation, not the best.
That he was allowed to spout his nonsense year after year without being fired is evidence of how warped Fox executives are in their pursuit of viewers. They hid BS behind the veneer of "news" and hoped that nobody would notice.
And the truth is, a lot of people didn't notice. The only thing worse that Carlson pretending to be a real journalist was that so many Americans lapped up his nonsense as though it were fact. Viewers embraced him because he told them what they wanted to hear; he told them their fears and biases were valid even when they were bunk.
We could make a long list, but here are some of Carlson's worst BS comments:
• He promoted the nonsense conspiracy idea that the 2020 election was stolen away from Trump and hosted nutty conspiracy-mongers to promote that idea. In one instance, he had to apologize on air for falsely saying dead people had voted for Biden in Georgia. As has been clearly shown, there is zero evidence of massive voter fraud in 2020. Carlson's false claims fanned the flames of distrust in the nation and kept the fake conspiracy-mongering going far beyond its expiration date.
• He downplayed the violent Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. At one point, he said the incident was "orderly and meek. These were not insurrectionists. They were sightseers.” No, they weren't sightseers, they were violent extremists who attempted to stop the certification of the 2020 election results. It was the most unAmerican event of modern times. To downplay that terrible day as Carlson and a slew of others have repeatedly done is nothing more than right-wing propaganda.
• He spread false conspiracy bunk about vaccines during the dark days of Covid-19. At one point, he claimed that vaccines were killing thousands of people even as hundreds of thousands of people were dying from Covid. Among other nutty claims, Carlson said that the military's vaccine requirement was designed to force out "sincere Christians" and "men with high testosterone." Carlson wasn't the only anti-vaxx conspiracy nut, but he was one of the loudest and perhaps most influential.
• He has defended Russia and been very critical of Ukraine before and during the war between the two. Carlson has defended Russia's Putin and slammed Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelenskyy. In 2019 before the war, Carlson said: "We should probably take the side of Russia if we have to choose between Russia and Ukraine." Carlson's embrace of dictator Putin and Russia's invasion of a neighboring country is slobbering acquiescence to anti-democratic thinking. If Carlson loves Russia so much, maybe he should move there and see how much freedom of speech he would enjoy under Putin's brutal regime. In the U.S., Carlson is allowed to spout his BS; in Russia, he would land in a gulag.
• Carlson, and much of the American far-right, has embraced Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Like Putin, Orban is anti-democratic and one of Europe's most authoritarian leaders. He has consolidated power in Hungary by changing the rules and laws to suit his authoritarian goals. Carlson apparently likes that idea, as do many on the American far-right.
• He has embraced the "great replacement" idea that white Americans are being systematically replaced by immigrants by Democrats so that they can win more elections. It's nonsense, but is part of the racist theology found circulating in white supremacy circles. Carlson pretty openly embraces white supremacy values even if he didn't wear a swastika on his sleeve.
It's difficult to know if Carlson really did believe a lot of the bunk he said on his show, or if it was all just an act designed to cater to American's base appetites. Internal emails and texts show that Carlson was concerned about ratings and in not reporting facts if they turned off viewers. It could be that Carlson began his show as an act, but later as his influence grew, came to believe his own BS.
Still, Fox News allowed Carlson (and many of its other talking heads) to spout nonsense for years. They only fired Carlson after private emails and texts from Carlson showed that he was as abusive toward his employer as he is toward truth. On top of that, he apparently helped create what one former staffer said was a "toxic" work environment.
Carlson's ouster comes on the heels of Fox's decision to settle a lawsuit over claims the network had damaged a private firm's reputation by promoting false 2020 election theories. Carlson was a major part of that with his nonsense. In the end, Fox stetted for over $700 million, a huge amount even for a wealthy network.
For those who value the truth and reality, Carlson's ouster is a moment to celebrate. But he's not the only one in the media universe promoting this kind of nonsense. There will be others who rise to fill the propaganda void Carlson leaves behind.
American's appetite for being told only what they want to hear runs deep in today's culture. People want to hear false noise they agree with rather than truth and facts that rub against their beliefs.
That's what Tucker Carlson did: He spoon-fed people the nonsense they wanted to hear rather than the truth they needed to hear.
And in so doing, he took our cherished right of freedom of speech and used it like a knife to stab America in the back.
Mike, seriously, please tell us what you think about Tucker Carlson. (lol)
Wow, it almost sounds like he was receiving millions of dollars from foreign adversaries to spread his propaganda.
Great Article!! Keep up the good work.
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