Tucker Carlson, the most popular TV host on Fox News, insisted on his program Monday night that he’s not against vaccines. In fact, Carlson said he’s never attacked vaccines on his program. The only problem, of course, is that Carlson is a very vocal anti-vaxxer and there’s hours of tape from his show during the past six months to prove it.
“They don’t trust you anymore and they don’t trust the drugs that you say they must take. And that’s a shame. We’re not attacking the vaccine. Never have,” Carlson said Monday in what can only be described as a bald-faced lie.
Carlson made his assertion that he wasn’t anti-vaccine while discussing Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, a Republican and prominent supporter of vaccines. Kinzinger thinks that his fellow Republicans have been playing a dangerous game during the covid-19 pandemic but Carlson attacked Kinzinger as a simpleton who lacks the proper scepticism of the medical establishment.
“What is the harm rate from the vaccine? Why can’t we ask? What’s the answer when you attack people rather than answer their questions?” Carlson said Monday night while referring to Kinzinger.
The Fox News host even called Kinzinger “low IQ” for denouncing fellow Republicans who questioned the safety and efficacy of the covid-19 vaccines. In fact, Carlson was spouting anti-vaccine talking points last night on the same show that he insisted he wasn’t anti-vaccine. Carlson even compared the U.S. to Communist-controlled East Germany during a segment on covid-19 vaccines being made mandatory in the U.S. military.
“It’s very clear the government is purging the military, spying on its own citizens because of a virus that isn’t killing very many people anymore,” Carlson said, despite hundreds of deaths from covid-19 in the U.S. each day, almost exclusively in unvaccinated people.
“And keep in mind, vaccination isn’t like voting. They don’t trust you to do it yourself at home and mail the results. They’re keeping track. Just how East German is this country becoming?” Carlson continued.
Carlson was then able to tie the whole issue back to his other pet project: Insisting that the real discrimination happening in America was against white people and any efforts to counter white supremacist extremism were actually threats against all white people.
“The FBI just announced in a tweet that it’s encouraging Americans to snitch on family members who exhibit signs of extremism. The federal government, the Biden administration is encouraging your family to snitch on each other. Does extremism apply to people who have questions about the vaccine? Of course it does,” Carlson said.
You don’t even need to quote Carlson’s words directly to know the game he’s playing. Just look at the chyrons and graphics that were appearing next to Carlson during last night’s show:
Medicine Should Never be Forced on Anyone
Dems Are Turning Vaccines Into a Political Test
Dems: Bring on the Vaccine Mandates
No Vaccine, No Entry
Vaccine Coercion by the Govt is About Power
There is Almost No Resistance to What is Happening
Army Now Forcing Vaccine on Soldiers
And that’s all just one episode of Carlson’s show. He’s been doing this for months and he’s drilling it into the heads of his viewers that there’s something nefarious afoot with the global covid-19 vaccine rollout.
It’s no coincidence that Tucker Carlson is attempting such an obvious tactic — claiming doesn’t hold a particular view, only to spout the talking points of that worldview merely seconds later. Carlson does this all the time with white nationalist talking points.
Carlson, who’s previously described Iraqis as “semi-literate primitive monkeys,” is enjoyed nightly by some of the most vile neo-Nazis on the internet. And he regularly repeats white nationalist myths, such as the Great Replacement theory that global elites are trying to “replace” the populations of predominantly white countries with racial minorities. Notably, the Great Replacement Theory was prominent in the Christchurch terrorist’s manifesto, written before he slaughtered 51 people in New Zealand.
Racists on TV used to operate with a kind of plausible deniability, deploying code words and dog whistles to wink at the audience about what they were really discussing. But that’s become increasingly difficult in a post-Trump era. Subtext is gone, and Trump viewers are rabid for plain and unvarnished hate.
Why don’t more journalists call out Carlson’s blatant anti-vaccine bullshit and white supremacist talking points? Because as long as Carlson continues to say he’s not an anti-vaxxer or a racist, mainstream media is supposed to take him at his word. Those are the rules of the game and even the most vile racists in history have said they’re not racist.
Even infamous segregationist George Wallace went on Face the Nation on July 21, 1968 to say that he wasn’t a racist.
“I don’t regard myself as a racist,” Wallace said. “And I think the biggest racists in the world are those who call other folks racist. I think the biggest bigots in the world are those who call other people bigots.”
Pretty much says it all.