Increasingly, the Tucker Carlson Tonight program is the only program I can watch regularly on Fox News without thinking that I’ve made a mistake, and somehow I’ve dialed into NBC. At least, that’s the message that is coming through more and more regarding topics like race—and “racism,” and gender—and “feminism.” For Fox seems to be tagging along as a kind of red-headed stepsister to the far left media, essentially normalizing, tepidly at times, what is essentially a progressivist narrative on those hot topics.
Oh, yes, I can hear the objections to my assertion: Fox is just trying to defend the genuine “concept of equality” against those who wish to pervert it in racial and gender matters—Fox is trying to fight back against the extremists who have subverted our traditions of fairness and equal justice under the law. And then: we must admit that Fox defends religious freedom against those who wish to extinguish it. Finally, Fox has been in the forefront of exposing the Russia Hoax and defending the president. Isn’t this true? After all, what else is there?
How, then, can I be so harsh in my criticism?
These are good questions, questions that should be addressed.
I would respond by acknowledging that the network has defended President Trump and helped to expose the Russia Hoax and does generally defend religious freedom. But I would also cite other facts included in any number of past installments in the MY CORNER series which examine how the network and many of its commenters often split hairs, and in the name of opposing the far Left, end up as no real opposition at all.
Consider the number of pundits who are involved in same sex unions who now appear regularly on the network and Fox’s apparent de facto acceptance of that assault on an essential belief of Western civilization. Or, consider Fox’s canonization of race hustler Martin Luther King Jr. and the disastrous civil rights revolution, and its eagerness to attack older traditions and figures of conservatism, in particular, of the Confederacy, as “racists,” “segregationists,” and “reactionaries”. (Remember Fox host Brian Kilmeade’s series on the “Civil War” which could have been—and maybe was—taken right out of Marxist historian Eric Foner’s textbooks?) Or, consider the network’s nearly complete support for globalism and employing American arms (and the lives of American boys) to impose “democracy” (and thus current “American values”) on every poor, benighted desert oasis or impenetrable jungle in every God-forsaken corner of the world. I would argue strenuously that this internationalism is, both historically and philosophically, a leftist position and that it stands in direct opposition to traditional American conservatism.
Such “conservative opposition” ends up through its faint, often nugatory response to the far left actually solidifying a generally progressivist advance, whether in issues regarding race and gender, and perhaps more fundamentally, in the very understanding of what America is--or should be--all about.
In a real sense, this is what the presidential election of 2016 was all over. In that election it was Donald Trump who (perhaps in spite of himself) symbolized a return to an older understanding, and that understanding stood—and stands—in stark contradiction to the view of America and what defines this country held by both the far Left AND most talking heads at Fox and in the Neoconservative foreign policy establishment in Washington: frenetic globalism abroad and acceptance of an essentially progressivist template on issues of race and gender at home, even when protesting otherwise.
Tucker Carlson seems to understand this better than anyone else at Fox. His nightly comments usually at the beginning of his programs offer insight into his thinking. Of course, he is part of the Fox, and he cannot be expected to critique his own network, even if he should take positions which are at direct variance with the general drift clearly observed.
Somehow he manages to balance that with his own refreshingly free-of-cant, non-Neoconservative views on most (but not all) topics. And, certainly, it helps that his prime time program is ranked number one in its time slot. What news network is going to kill the goose that lays the golden egg?
Just as critical as he has been of the lunacy of the Democrats and the loony progressivists, he has not exempted the establishment Republicans from his withering criticism, either. And most recently he offered one of those remarkable monologues that you don’t expect to ever hear from someone who calls himself a “conservative” these days, but, down deep, you know for a fact is absolutely true.
Just as international financier and billionaire George Soros has been a kind of power behind the throne of dozens of leftist movements, foundations, and action, including major elements of the Democratic Party, so the Koch brothers have exercised a tremendous influence in GOP circles, and in shaping Republican positions on such hot button issues as immigration, feminism, and the future of the Internet. And that influence, Carlson declared forcefully, is the antithesis of what voters who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 wanted or desired.
Below are his comments from Wednesday, June 19; they should be nailed to the walls of Congress and sent to every Republican candidate running for office in 2020: where do YOU stand—with the Koch brothers, or with the grass roots Americans who made their choice known in 2016?
Time to ‘fess up.
Boyd D. Cathey holds a doctorate in European history from the Catholic University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain, where he was a Richard Weaver Fellow, and an MA in intellectual history from the University of Virginia (as a Jefferson Fellow). He was assistant to conservative author and philosopher the late Russell Kirk. In more recent years he served as State Registrar of the North Carolina Division of Archives and History. He has published in French, Spanish, and English, on historical subjects as well as classical music and opera. He is active in the Sons of Confederate Veterans and various historical, archival, and genealogical organizations.