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"He Is Not Anti-War": Tucker Carlson's Hoodwinking of the Peace Movement
"He is fully on board with the notion of using American military power for an imperial project so long as it's within the bounds of what he deems correct"
With institutional media and the political establishment hewing close to the pro-war line, anti-war Americans are increasingly adrift in the mainstream media discourse.
That’s led to righteous, justified disillusionment with cable news and the big press outlets—and given the most popular corporate news host in the country, Fox News’s Tucker Carlson, the opportunity to portray himself as opposed to US militarism. In reality, he is anything but.
I talked about Carlson’s faux anti-war rhetoric and the conservative pundits playing at left commentators who support it and give him cover with AJ+’s Sana Saeed and Media Matters for America researcher Nikki McCann Ramirez last week.
Saeed noted that Carlson’s “anti-war” rhetoric is really just an expression of his desire to see the US turn all of its attention to war with both China and the domestic left, favorite targets of the Fox host.
“Carlson absolutely and very explicitly tells us that America has enemies,” Saeed said. “These aren't just enemies in the international sphere but also in the domestic sphere, hence his positions on everything ranging from what he has to say about police to immigration.”
Carlson’s “anti-war” rhetoric largely comes down to what he feels is the most productive use of the military, Ramirez told me, not whether or not the entire institution is the problem.
“He is fully on board with the notion of using American military power for an imperial project so long as it's within the bounds of what he deems correct,” she said.
Despite Carlson’s hard-right politics and bellicose militarism (when directed at the people he wants it aimed at), he garners support from figures with cachet on the left like conservative pundit Glenn Greenwald and conspiracy theorist Jimmy Dore, among others.
I’ve detailed Greenwald’s groveling fidelity to the Fox News party line already—you can read it here—and Dore’s right-wing shift is so self-evident at this point as not to need going over. But they’re not alone in promoting Carlson as a valid anti-war voice in spite of all evidence to the contrary. It’s a distressing sign of ideological incoherence as the right tries to capture a new audience.
On Thursday, I discussed Carlson and his allies on the “left” with David Doel on the Rational National show. Part 2 is coming this weekend, so stay tuned for that.
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