I watched Tucker, despite the danger from my leftist relatives and professional milieu. By Lionel Shriver, an American author and journalist who lives in the UK. This illustrates the retail-level unpleasantness and violence the left use to get ahead.
I was asked on Tucker Carlson Tonight only once, while in New York about two years ago, and I turned the invitation from America’s most popular cable news commentator down. …
I calculated that branding myself as a Tucker Carlson guest would tarnish my reputation in America as a fiction writer, which could hardly afford to become more compromised in the eyes of a far-left publishing establishment.
And what really put the kibosh on saying yes was the fact that I had family staying with me at the time for whom my appearance on Fox News would damn me for eternity. One of these relatives had previously volunteered how much she detested Carlson in particular, even though, typically for a Democrat, she’d never watched a single clip of the guy, much less one of his shows. The blowback around the dinner table would have smashed a fair whack of crockery.
Ergo, I didn’t decline from principle but from cowardice. Yet much of my readership seems to regard me as fearless (a cheap status; to be ‘fearless’ these days, you merely say what would have been boringly self-evident ten years ago). I’m not usually fastidious about platforms so long as they allow me to advance my views, and I’ve done multiple interviews on quasi-Foxy GB News. So I relate this slight anecdote merely to demonstrate the unique position Carlson has occupied in the American media landscape as the left’s bête noire, subject to an anti-pathy rivalled only by its antipathy for Trump. Go on that show, and you have irretrievably crossed to the dark side. …
But, she watched Tucker regularly, because that’s where the ideas and fun were — and mostly agreed with him:
Now every weeknight at 8 p.m. EST, I’m personally aggrieved. Allow me to come clean. After force-feeding myself each evening the UK’s self-righteous Channel 4 News and America’s equivalent bastion of liberal sanctimony, the PBS NewsHour, I’ve often flossed to Carlson’s nightly open, posted on YouTube in London at 2 a.m. After all that earnest concern for the environment, hanky-twisting about indigenous American poverty and all-minority arts coverage — the culinary equivalent of overcooked lentils and steamed tofu — I settle down to dessert: a truffle from the dark side.
I often disagree with Carlson. I differ on Ukraine, even if his opposition to American military backing for Zelensky does fill a journalistic void. I support abortion rights, though Carlson has a point that Democratic belief in ‘bodily autonomy’ for pregnant women ought to have translated into opposition to Covid vaccine mandates. I dislike Trump, and I’ve been pleased to detect Carlson’s growing backing for Ron DeSantis as the GOP 2024 presidential nominee; when the presenter’s passionate off-air hatred of Trump leaked, I was favourably impressed (better hypocrisy than atrocious political judgment). While I didn’t consider the riot an organised attempt to overthrow the government, I don’t downplay the lawlessness of the 6 January 2021 Capitol attack. The idea that the 2020 presidential election was rigged is indeed a poisonous lie, and while Carlson hasn’t heavily flogged that myth, he’s kept the door open to it. But I’ve no problem listening to people I disagree with. After all, I dis-agree with the PBS NewsHour 90 per cent of the time.
On other issues Carlson and I intersect: the ravages of mass illegal immigration; the counterproductivity of affirmative action; the lunacy of Woke World; the scandal of Covid lockdowns; the political weaponising of Big Tech and state bureaucracies such as the IRS and FBI; the maiming and castration of ‘trans’ children; the imbecility of Kamala Harris; last but not least, the atrocity of overhead lighting.
Yet Carlson’s appeal is as stylistic as it is doctrinal. He’s been a thorn in the side of the American left because he’s good at what he does, and he shows up his progressive competition as dour, leaden and predictable. He’s funny. He’s energetic, and during his monologues clearly enjoying himself. His delivery is skilful, especially when dismissing Democratic pieties with offhand understatement. ….
He’s fun to watch. How many pundits are fun to watch? Even the rest of the Fox line-up is unbearable – loud, strident and over-emphatic, clumsily collusive, not clever but merely snide.
The idea that the 2020 presidential election was rigged is indeed poisonous. Sadly, however, it may well be true. The election was certainly “fortified” as the left admitted, and the left and their media told some big lies just ahead of the election that, according to the polls, probably changed its outcome. If some third world country ran an election where election-night vote-counting in key states (only) was halted, then resumed the next morning after huge batches of votes 90%+ for one side had magically appeared overnight and had been added to the vote totals, then we would nod cynically and say “obviously rigged.” Yet that happened in the USA, much as the media and regime would like you to forget it.