Tucker Carlson Tonight is the best show on American news television. It is not, as his tedious enemies insist, Trump propaganda. Quite the opposite: it is a rare bright spot of originality in an otherwise arid media landscape.
Every night, almost without fail, Carlson introduces his 3.2 million viewers to an interesting thought or a different way of looking at the world. TV news is repetitive; that is its nature. But Carlson’s show manages to cover the talking points in a different key. He also introduces new opinions and ideas into the media bloodstream.
That’s why Carlson is popular among young people: he is radical. Which other major anchor would open his show, as Carlson did last week, with a monologue against the vapidity of the news cycle? Which other Fox News host would read out a long diatribe on the failings of free-market capitalism, as Tucker did over Christmas? Or call for Congress to ban teenagers from using smart phones? Which other major news host, on left or right, would decry the dangerous stupidity of hurling a few gesture-missiles at Syria? The answer is none.
Carlson takes seriously his catchphrase about being ‘the sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness and groupthink.’ That’s why so many dishonest, self-important, conceited arseholes are determined to destroy him.
That’s why reports that corporate advertisers are pulling out of his show are gleefully recirculated by media hacks who normally pretend to be anti-corporations. It’s also why Media Matters, the murky media watchdog, has been digging through his long history of broadcasting, looking for things that might be deemed unacceptable.
Media Matters has just published some clips of Carlson saying some coarse stuff on a silly shock-jock show. These are not his finest moments, to put it mildly, though he is clearly just trying to enter the spirit of a fairly juvenile show.
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