Fox News star Tucker Carlson says he’s “not pretending at all” to be against vaccine mandates in a craven pursuit for “prestige or ratings,” insisting that his outrage is indeed “real.”
In recent months, and especially since President Joe Biden issued a series of vaccine requirements, Fox News hosts and commentators have railed against COVID-19 vaccine policies, likening them to tyranny while cheering on those who resist the mandates. Carlson, in particular, has been extremely outspoken against government and business mandates, even as Fox Corp. itself has instituted a much stricter policy than what the Biden administration is requiring for private-sector employers.
In a speech last week defending his vaccine mandates, Biden noted that more and more large businesses are now mandating that their employees get vaccinated. At the same time, he erroneously said that “Fox News requires vaccinations for all their employees.”
While Fox has boasted that over 90 percent of its staffers are vaccinated, it is not requiring all its employees to get the shot. Instead, the company is requiring daily testing for those who refuse to get the jab or haven’t revealed their vaccination status.
“As a factual matter, what Joe Biden just said is completely untrue. It is a lie, period,” Carlson said Monday night of Biden’s remarks. “We can say that with authority since we work here.”
After claiming that Fox News was “alone among big media outlets” in terms of defending “this country’s most basic civil liberties,” Carlson then seemed offended by the suggestion that his nightly rants against the COVID vaccine and pandemic restrictions aren’t authentic.
“To cynical authoritarians like Joe Biden and the ghouls around him, like Susan Rice, that just can’t be genuine,” he grumbled. “They assume the people you see on Fox News must be pretending, pretending for money or prestige or ratings or something else.”
“But they are wrong,” Carlson dramatically concluded. “We are not pretending at all. It’s real.”
With Fox News implementing a fairly aggressive vaccine policy and airing PSAs urging viewers to get vaccinated, a number of Carlson’s critics have called out the contrarian Fox News host for seemingly giving his employer a pass. MSNBC rival Chris Hayes, for instance, has repeatedly blasted Carlson over his perceived hypocrisy.
“Even if you don’t want people to think you’re a total fraud, then you have got to have the guts to call out Fox News or resign in protest,” Hayes said sarcastically last week. “There’s no other option. It’s the only way forward. You can do it, Tucker. I believe in you.”