White evangelicals have a 'troubling' bond with 'cruel and racist' Tucker Carlson: conservative
During the George W. Bush years — before he joined Fox News — Tucker Carlson sometimes voiced libertarian ideas and expressed his admiration for then-Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). Carlson's views often frustrated liberals and progressives when he was with CNN or MSNBC, but they didn't find him outright disturbing.
That changed when Carlson was hosting "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on Fox News from 2016-2023. Carlson took a far-right, hyper-MAGA turn and even trafficked in white nationalist ideas like the Great Replacement theory. And from a ratings standpoint, it worked: Carlson, before getting fired, was Fox News' top-rated host.
Carlson, now 53, is wildly popular among far-right white evangelicals and Christian nationalists — an alliance that Never Trump conservative David French finds "troubling" in an opinion column published by the New York Times on May 7.
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"On April 25," French observes, "the far-right network Newsmax hosted a fascinating and revealing conversation about Tucker Carlson with Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, one of America's leading Christian conservative advocacy organizations. Perkins scorned Fox News' decision to fire Carlson and — incredibly — also attacked Fox's decision to fire Bill O’Reilly. These terminations, along with the departures of Glenn Beck and Megyn Kelly, were deemed evidence that Fox was turning its back on its conservative viewers, including its Christian conservative viewers."
The Never Trumper continues, "What was missing from the conversation? Any mention of the profound moral failings that cost O'Reilly his job, including at least six settlements — five for sexual harassment and one for verbal abuse — totaling approximately $45 million. Or any mention of Carlson's own serious problems, including his serial dishonesty, his vile racism and his gross personal insult directed against a senior Fox executive."
French argues that "in some ways," white evangelicals' affinity for Carlson is "even more troubling" than their affinity for former President Donald Trump.
"The more the Christian Right latches on to cruel men," French writes, "the more difficult it becomes to argue that the cruelty is a bug, not a feature."
READ MORE: 'Suddenly silent' Tucker Carlson lawyers up: report
Read David French's full New York Times op-edat this link (subscription required).
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