John Oliver Breaks Down Why Tucker Carlson Is a White Supremacist
The “Last Week Tonight” host gave viewers a tour of the Fox News host’s life and career, from his privileged heir background to his white nationalist mindset.
This past week, Carlson came under fire for ranting about the U.S. military’s new women-accommodating flight suits, saying, “It’s a mockery of the U.S. military. While China’s military becomes more masculine as it’s assembled the world’s largest navy, our military needs to become, as Joe Biden says, more feminine—whatever ‘feminine’ means anymore, since men and women no longer exist.”
That enraged the HBO host, whose wife just so happens to be an Iraq War veteran who was awarded the Combat Medic badge for courage under fire. “What are you talking about, you performatively outraged wedge salad?” exclaimed Oliver. “Now, he’s packed a lot in there, from transphobia, to weirdly extolling the masculinity of China’s navy, to his completely misplaced outrage at Joe Biden over those flight suits, which were part of an initiative that started when Trump was president, and also included showing that body armor actually fits women servicemembers, which is obviously a good idea.”
The main thrust of Oliver’s piece aimed at Carlson, however, concerned how the Fox News host has become “the most prominent vessel in America for white supremacist talking points.”
And it’s strange how Carlson has become the voice of white working-class grievances given how, as Oliver explained, “his dad married an heiress to the Swanson TV dinner fortune”—making Carlson, who used to wear a bowtie everywhere, an heir—and that he “was sent to boarding school where he promptly did two things: fail to impress any number of prestigious universities and start dating the headmaster’s daughter—a headmaster who, in return, arranged to get him into Trinity College.”
If all that privilege and failing upward weren’t enough, Carlson’s TV career started when, back in the ’90s, Dan Rather’s CBS show “called the magazine where Tucker was working looking for somebody to talk about the O.J. trial, and the receptionist there told [Carlson], ‘Everyone else is still at lunch. Can you do it?’”
Carlson has since had a number of shows on various networks canceled due to low ratings, yet landed his big Fox News show Tucker Carlson Tonight in 2016 after pivoting to full-on white nationalism.
There was the time a few years ago, when Carlson lost a bunch of advertisers after claiming that immigrants made our country “poorer and dirtier and more divided,” and then later whined that he was the victim of a smear campaign. Or when Rep. Ilhan Omar said that we needed to “dismantle systems of oppression” that hold poorer and minority folks back in America, prompting Carlson to flip out and proclaim “we have to preserve our heritage and our culture” against people like Omar. Carlson also downplayed the actions of the Capitol rioters, while accusing Black Lives Matter protesters of being “criminal mobs” who “lived for themselves” and “don’t contribute to the common good.” He further constantly argues that “Western civilization” is under attack by immigrants and said that diversity is “a threat to our existence as a cohesive country.”
He once even appeared on the talk-radio show The Bubba the Love Sponge Show, where he spewed racist statements like, “Iraq is a crappy place filled with a bunch of, you know, semi-literate primitive monkeys,” and “I just have zero sympathy for their people or their culture. A culture where people just don’t use toilet paper or forks.” Oh, and he’s the favored TV pundit of neo-Nazis, including former KKK leader David Duke, who provides near-daily recaps of Carlson’s show on his podcast and pushed for Carlson to be Trump’s VP.
“When you put all of this together, the pattern is clear,” explained Oliver, using Carlson’s own words. “He is scared of a country that ‘looks nothing like the one he grew up in’ because diversity ‘isn’t our strength,’ immigrants make our country ‘poorer, dirtier, and more divided,’ and any attempt to change that culture is an attack on Western civilization. All of which is really just a long way of saying that when Tucker asks, ‘What is white supremacy?’ the answer is: basically that. It’s a belief that in a country where white people are dominant, that’s all down to their natural and innate abilities, and any effort to change that is an affront to the natural order of things.”