His Fox News show Tucker Carlson Tonight began just a little over a month ago on November 14, 2016.
(Photo credit: The_Donald)
Seasoned viewers of American cable news channels will have seen him on CNN between 2000 and 2005 in the days when he sported a bow tie. He was CNN’s youngest anchor when they hired him. He co-hosted The Spin Room and later Crossfire. He also hosted a current affairs show on PBS during this time, Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered.
In 2004, Carlson and The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart got into an intense discussion on Crossfire, which some viewers might remember. Stewart stayed on the air afterwards to talk about the issues raised. In January 2005, CNN decided not to renew Carlson’s contract, although he maintains he had already resigned:
I resigned from Crossfire in April, many months before Jon Stewart came on our show, because I didn’t like the partisanship, and I thought in some ways it was kind of a pointless conversation … each side coming out, you know, ‘Here’s my argument’, and no one listening to anyone else. [CNN] was a frustrating place to work.”
In June 2005, Carlson moved to MSNBC where he hosted Tucker in the evenings. He also did other broadcasts and investigative reports. However, the channel’s shows became more oriented to the left-wing and, in 2008, Carlson found his programme cancelled because of low ratings. He explained:
they didn’t have a role for me.
Carlson began working for Fox News in 2009 as a contributor, guest panellist and substitute presenter on several shows. He joined the Fox & Friends team in 2013 then left when he got his own show.
In January 2010, with the help of a longtime friend Neil Patel, Carlson co-founded The Daily Caller, a reputable and popular news site. He resigned as editor-in chief in November, although he will retain his ownership stake of the site. He said:
It was really hard. Not because I’m a great manager, I’m a terrible manager. But I loved it and I loved the guys.
Tucker Carlson Tonight airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. ET. All the segments can be found on YouTube.
Carlson is quickly developing a welcome reputation for destroying left-wing arguments coherently. He is firm but polite. When the guests’ arguments are particularly off-the-wall, he pulls a face. In fact, you can even buy a tee shirt and enjoy his facial expression whenever you like.
The_Donald‘s contributors, not the world’s biggest television viewers, have this to say:
You see in his eyes that’s he trying to go through the mental gymnastics his guest is and realizing just how it doesn’t compute.
I’m getting addicted to his nightly thrashings of idiots. Never raises his voices, uses their own words and idiocy against them. Has become true must-see tv in our house.
His show comes on right around the time I’m cooking and eating dinner. I have never recorded a news show before because it seems silly, but I record Tucker every night now!
I just really enjoy the way he encourages them to go full moron on national tv.
Oh man… I literally sit down to start watching and the first guest is just getting blown out the water to the point where I don’t even know if I can watch without cringing. Tucker does more in 2 minutes than whole news outlets do all day. Every show is bananas and so direct! Love it
There is more love from The_Donald here and here. There is also a Reddit page devoted to him. This is great because most of the contributors to both subReddits are twenty-somethings and political independents who supported Donald Trump.
In this video of December 8, California Congressman Adam Schiff (D) accuses Tucker of ‘carrying water for the Kremlin’:
On December 1, he had a go at Newsweek:
And, the following day, the New York Times:
After all, he went to a top Episcopal school in New England, St George’s, just outside of swank Newport, Rhode Island. The school is one of five collectively referred to as St Grottlesex (emphases in the original):
St. Mark’s, St. Paul’s, and St. George’s, then part of Groton, an extra t, and then ended with Middlesex.
Carlson went on to study history at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. It was founded by an Episcopal bishop in 1824 and was originally called Washington College. It was renamed Trinity in 1845.
I once worked for a High WASP who attended Groton and Trinity. (Groton rhymes with ‘rotten’, by the way. It’s important to know how to pronounce it if you ever find yourself in this milieu.) I give him top marks overall. So, I was impressed to see that Carlson went to St George’s and Trinity, which gives me further insight as to what sort of man he must be. It is not unusual for Trinity men to wear bow ties. It’s a High WASP look.
Then I looked up his father’s Wikipedia entry and discovered that the Carlson family aren’t High WASP at all. His dad’s life story is even more interesting.
Richard Warner “Dick” Carlson might be best known for heading Voice of America, which broadcasts overseas, during the last six years of the Cold War. During that time, he was also the head of Radio Marti which broadcast to Cuba and was also involved with other government-funded information entities designed to build goodwill between the United States and foreign countries.
Dick’s origins are fascinating. He was born in Boston in 1941 and his name was Richard Boynton. His mother was a high school student and his father, Richard Boynton, was in college at the time. Boynton committed suicide in Dick’s infancy. His mother, Dorothy Anderson, gave him to the Home for Little Wanderers, an orphanage in Boston.
In 1943, Mr and Mrs W E Carlson of nearby Norwood adopted the child. They had no children of their own. Mr Carlson managed North America’s largest and oldest tannery, Winslow Brothers & Smith in Norwood. Mr Carlson died in 1953 and 12-year-old Dick went to work to help provide for his mother.
Dick never graduated from high school. He joined the military when he was 17 and served as a medic with the third Battalion, Sixth Marine regiment at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and with the USMC Escape & Evasion School at Camp Geiger, N.C. He later graduated from the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Bainbridge, Maryland. Afterwards, he earned a NROTC scholarship to the University of Mississippi.
After being honourably discharged from the Naval Reserves, he worked for one summer as a patrol officer in the family resort town of Ocean City, Maryland. He returned to Mississippi that autumn to continue his studies but left in October 1962 when a series of violent riots occurred. This was the time of Civil Rights unrest and desegregation. Ole Miss, as the university is known, was attempting to admit its first black student, and segregationists went mad.
Carlson went to California to break into journalism. Although he started as a copy boy at the Los Angeles Times, he managed to get odd jobs which would propel his career: working for top entertainment columnist Louella Parsons and for United Press International’s Foreign Film Bureau.
UPI hired him as a full-time general assignment reporter in 1963, working from their bureau in San Francisco. He was promoted to night bureau chief by the end of the year.
He went on to write for Time and Look magazines and joined ABC News as a correspondent, on assignment in San Francisco and Los Angeles. By then, the late 1960s, riots were breaking out around the nation. Dick covered the main ones in California and was even injured at the San Francisco State College Riots.
Dick married an Omaha girl, Patricia Caroline Swanson. In 1969, she gave birth to Tucker McNear Carlson in San Francisco. (The couple have two other children.)
Dick won many awards for his journalism between 1967 and 1997. In the early 1990s, he worked for George Herbert Walker Bush’s administration. He was the Ambassador to the Seychelles, the head of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (parent company of PBS and NPR). He has also worked in counter-terrorism.
Today, he and his wife live in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Dick writes a weekly newspaper column for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and the Charleston Mercury.
By now, some will be wondering more about Tucker’s Episcopalianism. He did bring up an analogy involving a hypothetical Episcopal priest in a recent show. His Wikipedia page also states that he is still an Episcopalian.
“So we’re responsible for the Crusades a thousand years ago?” Carlson complained. “Who’s ‘us’ anyway? And by the way, who ended slavery and Jim Crow? Christians. The Rev. Martin Luther King. Christians.”
“Christianity is the reason we don’t have slavery in the world today,” he added. “I mean, talk about ahistorical.”
“What’s so striking though is his mention of the Crusades as a way to make the point, ‘Before you judge ISIS, keep in mind that that Christians did it too,'” Carlson asserted. “The Crusades is a fixation among jihadis. There’s not a press release from ISIS or from al Qaeda that doesn’t call us Crusaders.”
Democrat-aligned Media Matters took Carlson to task for suggesting that ‘mainstream religious faith’ refers to Christianity when most of the world’s population is, apparently, Buddhist. The exchange below concerns Tiger Woods, who converted to Buddhism in 2010 during a rough patch:
Jacksonville, FL: When did Brit Hume go crazy? Tiger Woods should embrace Christianity and we will forgive him?
You say this on the air?
Tucker Carlson: Crazy? No. John Wayne Gacy was crazy. Judy Garland and Ezra Pound were crazy. Recommending that someone in distress adopt a mainstream religious faith is pretty conventional advice.
Carlson was probably thinking of Westerners, Americans in particular, not people worldwide.
In any event, it’s great that he is willing to defend and speak out on behalf of the Church.