For the better part of a year, Fox News has obsessively warned its viewers about the dangers of critical race theory being taught in their children’s schools, a strategy that may have paid off in GOP statewide election victories in Virginia on Tuesday.
On Wednesday night, Fox News star Tucker Carlson essentially made a mockery of the moral panic his network had launched, casually saying that he’d “never figured out what critical race theory is”—even “after a year of talking about it.”
Speaking to Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume about the Republicans’ big election night, Carlson observed that Virginia Governor-Elect Glenn Youngkin ran on divisive social issues.
“Critical race theory, what our kids are taught,” he added. “He went right to the things that people talk about on social media, and he won on that.”
Hume, meanwhile, bemoaned that he heard many “on the left” and mainstream media are now saying that “critical race theory is not taught in Virginia schools,” adding that there is “ample evidence” that CRT “very much influences and is injected into what is being taught in those schools.” (There is little to no evidence, in fact, that the advanced academic theory revolving around systemic racism is being taught in K-12 schools. There are some ideas central to CRT, such as slavery’s lasting impact, that have been part of some school curriculums.)
After saying the “parents were right” and the “left and Terry McAuliffe and the rest of them were wrong on the facts” of critical race theory, Hume objected to the notion that it was “Republicans who injected race into this election.”
“Baloney! Critical race theory injects race into the lives of our schoolchildren,” the Fox News veteran continued. “It should never be—it should never have any influence, let alone being taught.”At this point, Hume once again hedged as to whether CRT was actually being taught to American schoolchildren.
“You can say technically, Tucker, it’s not being taught in the sense of—volumes have written on critical race theory, and it’s not been handed out as a textbook. But its influence and its tenets are in those schools,” he declared.
“I have never figured out what critical race theory is, to be totally honest, after a year of talking about it,” Carlson reacted as Hume laughed. The Fox News host then proved he, in fact, doesn’t know what CRT is.
“They’re teaching that some races are morally superior to others,” he flatly stated. “That some are inherently sinful, and some are inherently saintly, and that’s immoral to teach that because it’s wrong.”
Moments later, before interviewing the conservative activist who invented the conflict over critical race theory out of whole cloth, Carlson then mocked cable news rivals who have said CRT “isn’t real” and denounced it as a right-wing “boogeyman.”
“These people are Jim Jones. At best. Most of them don’t even believe it with the sincerity Jim Jones did,” he sneered, before invoking Godwin’s Law.
“This is not a semantic debate about what critical race theory means,” he added. “Schools are teaching students, your children, that some races are inherently superior to other races. That’s the definition of racism, that some children are born with the stain of sin, inherently. That’s Nazi stuff!”