The Atlantic on Tucker Carlson

The Atlantic has a short profile of Tucker Carlson (“The Bow-Tied Bard of Populism”), written by McKay Coppins (which name is more pretentious? McKay is a man, by the way):

[T]hroughout the 2016 election cycle Carlson routinely deployed his anonymous neighbors as a device in his political punditry—pointing to them as emblems of the educated elite’s insular thinking. He scoffed at their affection for Marco Rubio in the primaries, and he ridiculed their self-righteous reactions to the Republican nominee in the general. “On my street,” he wrote in Politico Magazine, “there’s never been anyone as unpopular as Trump.”

This shtick worked brilliantly for Carlson, catapulting him from a weekend hosting gig to the coveted 9 p.m. slot in Fox’s primetime lineup. He now regularly pulls in more than 3 million viewers a night—a marked improvement on the program he replaced—and he counts the commander in chief among his loyal fans…

In an era when TV talking heads are more influential than ever, Carlson has suddenly—and rather improbably—emerged as one of the most powerful people in media. The question now is what he wants to do with that perch.

To the extent that Carlson’s on-air commentary these days is guided by any kind of animating idea, it is perhaps best summarized as a staunch aversion to whatever his right-minded neighbors believe. The country has reached a point, he tells me, where the elite consensus on any given issue should be “reflexively distrusted.”

“Look, it’s really simple,” Carlson says. “The SAT 50 years ago pulled a lot of smart people out of every little town in America and funneled them into a small number of elite institutions, where they married each other, had kids, and moved to an even smaller number of elite neighborhoods. We created the most effective meritocracy ever.”

“But the problem with the meritocracy,” he continues, is that it “leeches all the empathy out of your society … The second you think that all your good fortune is a product of your virtue, you become highly judgmental, lacking empathy, totally without self-awareness, arrogant, stupid—I mean all the stuff that our ruling class is.”

Carlson’s own political evolution, which many Alt-Righters can probably identify with, is briefly discussed:

What’s more, Carlson’s politics have undergone more than one evolution over the course of his career in television. When he started out in the early 2000s on CNN’s Crossfire, he generally played the part of a mainline partisan—a champion of the Iraq War (he soured on the endeavor after a year), and an ardent Bush defender (he soured on the president after a term). After leaving CNN in 2005 he landed at MSNBC, where he morphed into a libertarian. And when his show there was cancelled less than three years later, he ended up at Fox News, serving as a utility pundit and eventually emerging as a mischief-making advocate for Trump-style nationalism.

A cynical soul might detect careerism in that trajectory. Carlson, for his part, readily admits that his worldview has transformed over the years. These days, he tells me, “I’m not much of an economic conservative, and I’m not conservative at all on foreign policy.” Nevertheless, he insists the evolution has been organic. “If your politics don’t change when circumstances do, you’re an idiot, you’re a reactionary.”

McKay’s fangs come out when describing Tucker’s strongest suit during TV interviews with SJWs:

Carlson’s true talent is not for political philosophizing, it’s for televised partisan combat. His go-to weapons—the smirky sarcasm, the barbed comebacks, the vicious politeness—seem uniquely designed to drive his sparring partners nuts, frequently making for terrific television. Indeed, if cable news is ultimately theater, Carlson’s nightly performance is at once provocative, maddening, cringe-inducing, and compulsively watchable. Already, in its few short months in primetime, Tucker Carlson Tonight has created more viral moments than it had any right to do.

Here’s a fun 2016 interview Gavin McInnes had with Tucker Carlson, where they delve a little bit into Tucker’s background, etc.

This entry was posted in MSM. Bookmark the permalink.