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A Brief Timeline of Tucker Carlson’s Career of Bigotry and Bulls—t

Tucker Carlson stands on a stage outside with his arms crossed, speaking into a microphone.

Tucker Carlson. A name that lives in infamy. For some Americans, he is the face of good ol’ fashioned conservative values. For others, he is bigotry, racism, and homophobia made flesh. We here at The Mary Sue have assigned him to this latter category. His actions show nothing less. According to a recent lawsuit leveled against him, Tucker Carlson was responsible for turning Fox News into a circus of antisemitism and sexism both on and off camera.

He learned from the best. The King of Alternative Facts took many of his talking points from none other than Donald Trump. Despite claiming to hate the man in private, Carlson amplified many of the former president’s basest conspiracy theories while adding a few of his own into the mix. But where did Tucker Carlson come from? Was he spawned out of a puddle of trash collecting at the bottom of a dumpster? Or was he an inevitable American creation? The mouthpiece of the country’s population most fearfully resistant to change?

Tucker Carlson: the origins of evil

Carlson was born into a wealthy family in San Francisco, California in 1965. After graduating from Trinity College in 1991, he went on to begin writing for a slew of mainstream right-wing publications. He began appearing as a host on CNN in the early 2000s, gaining fame by sparring with left-wing thinkers on his 2001 segment “Crossfire,” notably debating Jon Stewart. The show was canceled in 2005, and CNN ended their relationship with Carlson.

He later became the star of Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered on PBS. Carlson’s tenure with the network lasted a year. After a brief stay at MSNBC, Carlson finally found a home at Fox News in 2009. And it was there that Carlson was truly able to spread his leathery wings and fly off into distant horizons of conspiracy and hatred.

Tucker Carlson: a lowlight reel

Tucker Carlson was never short on opinions. In fact, it was his ultra right-wing hot takes that made his show the top rated cable news program on primetime. He used his primetime TV slot to spread some of the most dangerous and corrosive ideas in modern American history. While there are far too many to enumerate in one article alone, let’s take a look at the worst of the worst.

Three days after a racially motivated shooting in El Paso, Texas, Tucker Carlson went on air to inform his audience that white supremacy is not a problem in American society, despite the fact that the suspect in the shooting published a manifesto citing the “Hispanic Invasion of Texas.” Rather, Carlson said that the idea of white supremacy is a “conspiracy theory used to divide the country and keep a hold on power.” While a cursory glance at American history would expose this falsehood for what it is, Fox News allowed Carlson to make these statements unimpeded.

The Fox News host later told Dutch historian Rutger Bregman “go f—k yourself” after the man pointed out that Carlson was essentially a lapdog for America’s wealthy elite. While the clip was technically recorded off-air, Carlson can be heard saying “I hope this gets picked up.”

One of Carlson’s favorite topics to discuss was the so-called “Great White Replacement Theory,” which erroneously argues that America’s shift towards cultural diversity is in fact part of a sinister plot by a shadowy global cabal that wishes to eliminate the “white race.” This theory was cited by Dylan Roof, the white supremacist neo-Nazi who was responsible for killing nine Black worshippers at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the oldest Black Episcopal church in America. Once again, Tucker Carlson’s comments were uncensored by Fox News.

Carlson’s statements are often as bizarre as they are hateful. A longtime supporter of fossil fuels, Carlson took to the airwaves to say that wind-powered energy is a “scam” and that wind turbines won’t work in cold weather. This is factually untrue, yet was not fact-checked by Fox.

It’s shocking that Fox News even put Carlson in a position of power that allowed him to make such statements. Carlson’s inflammatory rhetoric has been polluting the airwaves since the early 2000s. In one of his most infamous statements from 2006, he called the Iraqi people “semiliterate primitive monkeys,” and said the county’s population should “shut the f—k up and obey” the wishes of the United States. Three years later, he said that Afghanistan could never be a “civilized country because the people aren’t civilized.”

Tucker Carlson is no stranger to using inflammatory rhetoric to drum up hatred and fear toward groups that his base does not support. Shortly after the death of George Floyd, Tucker Carlson claimed that Black Lives Matter protestors were a murderous and anarchic group, warning his base that BLM protestors “will come for you”. This is especially heinous considering that Carlson has repeatedly downplayed the severity of the January 6 Capitol attack in which multiple lives were lost.

Carlson tends to save the very worst of his ideas for airplay outside of Fox News. The former host frequently appeared on a radio show hosted by former wrestler turned conservative political commentator Bubba the Love Sponge, where he spouted some of his vilest statements to date. Carlson went on a misogynistic tirade on the show, calling women “dogs” and even defending statutory rape.

While Fox New allowed Carlson’s comments to remain unchecked, many of the network’s advertisers decided to pull their ads from the show after Carlson said that immigrants would make America “poorer and dirtier” in 2018. Yet Carlson remains sympathetic to actual filth, as he was quick to defend cult leader and sex offender Warren Jeffs before the self-described polygamist was convicted of arranging illegal underage marriages. Bear in mind, Carlson is the same man who once responded to a joke about his daughter and other underage girls experimenting with each other at boarding school with “if it weren’t my daughter, I would love that scenario.”

Tucker Carlson vs. the World

While Tucker Carlson’s career is more checkered than a checkerboard factory’s assembly line, he was somehow able to hang onto it for the better part of two decades. Yet it seems that Carlson has finally been checkmated. Fox News was recently on the business end of a massive lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems regarding Tucker Carlson’s repeated claims that the 2020 election was a fraud. Fox lost, big time. Prosecutors were able to prove that Fox News’ 20 contested statements about the election were patently false, and that they were also made with malice, also known as a reckless disregard for the truth. This isn’t surprising, considering that “with malice” is how Tucker Carlson chooses to live his life. Fox News agreed to pay a hefty $787.5 million to Dominion in a settlement, which is about half of the original $1.6 billion originally demanded.

After the settlement, Fox News immediately decided to give Carlson a swift kick in the pants out the studio door. A company spokesperson has said that the network’s decision to fire Carlson was not at all a part of the settlement deal. And that may be true; it’s likely they were not legally obligated to fire Carlson, BUT it’s quite likely that they decided to do it anyway because his statements were responsible for the lawsuit in the first place. Besides, this isn’t the only lawsuit that Fox has been forced to face due to Carlson’s claims. The network is currently embroiled in a lawsuit with Smartmatic, another voting technology company, which is suing Fox in response to the “disinformation campaign” spearheaded by Carlson.

That’s not all: Fox News is also facing lawsuits from within. Abby Grossberg, Tucker Carlson Tonight’s former senior booker claimed that workplace misogyny is “blatant” at the network, with Carlson himself being one of the most outspoken offenders. Surprise, surprise. This is the man who called women “dogs” live on air, after all. Grossberg said the higher-ups at Fox News “don’t care about telling the truth and they don’t care about women, all they care about are ratings and revenue.” Wait … I thought we already knew that? I guess not. Unlike the Dominion suit, Tucker Carlson and the network’s former executive producer Josh Wells are named as individual defendants in the ongoing lawsuit. They are currently being sued for discrimination based on gender and religious beliefs, as well as failing to provide equal pay and accommodations for disabled people.

So what is Carlson doing now? He’s turning to Twitter, the ultimate act of desperation. He plans to hop aboard that sinking ship to relaunch his show. Carlson’s announcement came two weeks after a two-part interview with Elon Musk on Fox News. According to Carlson, the pair “have not signed a deal of any kind whatsoever,” and let’s all hope that it stays that way. As for how Carlson is spending his days in the meantime, I could have sworn I saw him outside of my apartment last night rooting through a pile of street garbage. My roommate says it could have been a raccoon, but I’m not convinced. I’d recognize Carlson’s beady little eyes anywhere.

(featured image: Janos Kummer, Getty Images)

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Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels in crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.