Fox News host Tucker Carlson capped off a second straight night of coverage of Nicki Minaj’s wild claim that the coronavirus vaccine causes swollen testicles by urging the rap superstar’s cousin’s friend to contact him for an interview.
In case you are somehow still unaware, Minaj faced harsh public backlash on Monday when she admitted on Twitter that she hadn’t yet gotten vaccinated, saying that she was doing her own “research” into the shot. At the same time, she shared an anecdote that she suggested had fed into her vaccine hesitancy.
“My cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine cuz his friend got it & became impotent,” the 38-year-old rapper tweeted. “His testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding. So just pray on it & make sure you’re comfortable with ur decision, not bullied.”
While Minaj has since much of spent her time lashing out at everyone from Meghan McCain to MSNBC’s Joy Reid to the British prime minister to The Daily Beast for criticizing her outlandish tweet, the “Anaconda” artist’s vaccine skepticism won her praise from Carlson, who called her stance “sensible” on Monday night.
The Fox News star, who has repeatedly sowed doubt about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines, devoted more than 10 minutes of his primetime show on Tuesday night to applauding Minaj and blasting those who have criticized her. But first, he needed to issue a brief correction.
“Nicki Minaj’s cousin’s testicles are not swollen, as far as we know, he's fine,” Carlson said, addressing an incorrect Monday night on-air graphic. “It's Nicki Minaj’s cousin’s friend's testicles who are swollen from taking the vax.”
After gleefully cheering on Minaj for firing back at Reid and other detractors, Carlson went on to say the rap artist’s tweets about swollen balls—which the nation’s top infectious disease expert was forced to debunk—are a “massive threat” to “the industrial lying machine.” He then brought on right-wing provocateur and perennial COVID-19 misinformer Candace Owens to continue to heap praise on Minaj.
“At the end of the day, they think Nicki Minaj and all rappers are very stupid and Nicki Minaj right now is proving them otherwise. She’s not afraid,” Owens said at one point, prompting Carlson to agree that Minaj is “not intimidated.”
(Of course, while the two conservative pundits completely gushed over the risque female rapper for seemingly supporting their position on vaccines, it was just six months ago when they both insisted that Cardi B’s “WAP” was “an attack on American values” and an attempt to “degrade our culture and hurt our children.”)
Carlson, meanwhile, let his audience know that he wasn’t quite done with the Minaj story. After returning from commercial break, he sent out an open invitation to the supposed friend of Minaj’s cousin in an effort to ascertain the validity of the rapper’s tale.
“Before we get to the next segment, we haven’t been able to figure out whether this show is broadcast in Trinidad,” the Fox News host said. “But if Nicki Minaj’s cousin’s friend is watching, or his former fiancee is watching, we want to hear your story. We'll come to Port of Spain to see you.”