Fox News star Tucker Carlson has no problem bashing the Biden administration on a nightly basis for imposing vaccine requirements for large companies, likening the policy to tyranny.
But when it comes to his own employer’s strict vaccine policy—one that goes even further than the Biden rules by requiring daily COVID testing for unvaccinated staffers—Carlson’s attitude is that he’s “not qualified to speak for the company on this.”
Appearing this week on the Vince & Jason Save the Nation podcast (part of The Daily Caller website founded by Carlson), the primetime star was confronted by liberal commentator Jason Nichols over Carlson’s recent assertion that Fox News doesn’t have a vaccine mandate.
Last week, President Joe Biden touted his requirement that employees of companies with at least 100 staffers must either be vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing. The president, adding that he “always gets a kick out of” this, then erroneously claimed that “Fox News requires vaccinations for all their employees.” (While Fox has boasted that more than 90 percent of its employees are vaccinated, and it requires daily testing for non-vaccinated, it is not true that the company requires the shot for all staffers.)
Carlson later slammed the president, calling Biden’s description of Fox vaccine policy was “completely untrue” and a “lie.” Bringing up Carlson’s criticism, however, Nichols laid out the network’s actual policy and pressed the Fox host to address it.
“You said Fox News has no vaccine mandate, but according to Newsweek, the company requires unvaccinated employees to submit to daily COVID testing, which is stricter than Biden’s mandate which calls for weekly testing for businesses that employ more than 100 people,” Nichols said. “Is Fox News denying the civil liberties of its employees by being stricter than President Biden?”
“I don’t know. I mean, you should probably ask Newsweek, it sounds like they have a pretty precise handle on what’s happening,” Carlson immediately dodged, complete with his trademarked high-pitched laugh.
Nichols then asked him if Newsweek’s description of Fox’s policy was wrong, prompting the far-right host to fire back: “It’s completely wrong, as I noted the other night!” (While Biden’s misrepresented Fox’s policy, Newsweek and many other media outlets have accurately reported that Fox Corp. requires its staffers to either be vaccinated or provide daily COVID-19 test results, according to Fox executive Kevin Lord’s own staff-wide memo.)
“So what is the policy?” Nichols wondered.
“I’m not qualified to speak for the company on this because I don’t run the company,” Carlson deflected. “I’m just an employee of the company. My personal preference is that Fox News would make a statement about what their policies are, but I think, like a lot of companies, they’re hesitant to do that, because, like, why would you even want to get involved in that conversation?”
Carlson’s employer, however, has been quite clear about its policy. Again, Fox Corp. human resources boss Kevin Lord laid out the rules in a memo to all Fox employees last month.
As Mediaite noted on Thursday, Carlson isn’t the first Fox News star to routinely grouse about vaccine mandates only to punt when pressed on network policy. During a podcast interview with the media-centric website, Sean Hannity refused to answer when repeatedly asked if he saw any conflict between criticizing the president and staying silent on his own employer’s requirements.
Many of Carlson’s critics, meanwhile, have called out the conservative host for his selective outrage about vaccine mandates.
“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,” MSNBC host Chris Hayes taunted Carlson last week. “There’s no other option. It’s the only way forward. You can do it, Tucker. I believe in you.”