Tucker Carlson’s critics often make the mistake of calling him an idiot. Regardless of political affiliation, many have commented on the Fox News host’s alleged intelligence, even his ex-employer The New Republic.
Despite a recent number of controversies, Tucker Carlson Tonight recently became the “highest-rated” programme in American cable news history. Republicans, and allegedly white supremacists, regularly tune in to watch Fox News’ golden boy rally against the right and left, berate the establishment and shout at Bill Nye.
A Republican strategist recently said: “If you are a Republican politician and you want to know where Republican voters are, all you have to do is watch Tucker Carlson every night.”
Carlson’s ability to position himself as an anti-elitist figure who speaks for those on the right has led to leading GOP officials openly call for a Presidential run in 2024.
It would appear that there is little Carlson can do wrong in the eyes of the right.
This has been demonstrated in the Fox News prime-time star’s ability to come out of a recent race controversy relatively unscathed. Weeks ago it was revealed that his head writer, Blake Neff, had published racist, sexist and homophobic sentiments online for years under a pseudonym.
Neff likely wrote many of Carlson’s monologues, and his firing unsurprisingly raised eyebrows about how the host would respond to the incident. Instead of an apology, Carlson managed use his opening remarks to prevail against the costs of “self-righteousness” after “ghouls” were “beating their chests in triumph at the destruction of a young man.”
“When we pretend we are holy, we are lying,” he said. “When we pose as blameless in order to hurt other people, we are committing the gravest sin of all, and we will be punished for it, no question.”
This ability to turn any potential ammunition against him into a denouncement of political correctness is a trademark of Tucker Carlson Tonight. When the 51-year-old isn’t inviting liberals on his show with the purpose of shouting at them about their alleged hypocrisy, he is using his air time to rally against PC culture and how it’s destroying America.
Carlson’s rant on the dangers of self-righteousness in the wake of what should have been a damaging turn of events demonstrate his ability to diffuse potential rows.
Carlson hasn’t come out unscathed, advertisers have been peeling away, but he thrives on the controversy he creates and his popularity is only increasing. Those calling for his cancellation risk turning the Fox News host into a martyr.