Photo: David Greenwald/Reuters
Tucker Carlson’s primetime Fox News show routinely whipped up outrage over the left’s tendency to use “wanker” and “plutocrat” to insult people in both media and politics, but the journalist may have thrown the final lever in his contentious battle with the company he called home for more than two decades. The veteran host of Tucker Carlson Tonight that airs at 9pm ET made a special-edition 2017 “Patriot Purge” one-hour special this weekend for the US September 11th anniversary. During the two-hour program, Carlson launched into a blistering critique of the media for their behavior of late: “You’re in between 2004 and 2017, and now everything is worse.”
Carlson’s show had a robust line-up of guests for the Patriot Purge, including actress and conservative pundit Ann Coulter, who criticized media decisions that “sow division.” Carlson called the nation in decline. “What you’re seeing now, in this post-truth administration, in this post-fact world, is an incredible leak and fire sale on our founding principles. Americans were shocked to hear that the Second Amendment is being gutted. Donald Trump’s Attorney General just defended police departments’ use of force against Americans, even though it violates the Constitution.”
Carlson led off with a tirade against the New York Times for its decision not to publish a leaked memo outlining how intelligence officials had conducted surveillance on Trump campaign officials. The episode also examined CNN’s coverage of “napalm girl,” Monica Lewinsky, and the rise of Trump’s alt-right supporters.
Carlson concluded the show with an accusation about the media’s reaction to the Trump administration, concluding that “part of this society is about changing the context. And that’s a big problem for Americans.”
Later in the evening, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow tweeted that Tucker Carlson was “on his way out”. The two have had a contentious relationship, with Carlson sniping about Maddow’s relative qualifications as a television host to critical tweets about him by Maddow’s mother.
In a statement published by the New York Times on Sunday, Fox News said, “The personal, political and ideological opinions expressed in his guests’ appearances on Tucker Carlson Tonight are his alone.”
On Friday, former Fox News contributor Mike Huckabee kicked things off with a special edition of The 700 Club that condemned the media’s hypocrisy of calling Trump officials and Republicans abusers in the public square but covering Democrats who didn’t commit sexual harassment. Huckabee has also called for a “major pro-Trump network,” which he has said he would host.
Radio host Laura Ingraham took over Carlson’s show on Saturday. Ingraham, a guest on Trump’s defunct 2016 campaign said the president was “under siege” by the media. “I think Tucker’s not in it,” she quipped. “I may be.”