The strangest things come up when talking with conservatives. Recently, one of them questioned my manhood by mentioning Tucker Carlson.
I don’t really watch FoxNews, not even for laughs. But my first reaction was: Tucker Carlson? The guy with the bow tie? When did he become the poster child for He Man right-wing manliness?
Apparently, the answer is since he took over for Bill O’Reilly on Fox and rebranded his show around what conservative commentator Bill Kristol from The Weekly Standard almost called racism:
I do feel, now we are in a different world. Tucker Carlson began at the Weekly Standard. Tucker Carlson was a great young reporter. He was one of the most gifted 24-year-olds I’ve seen in years. I edited the magazine. He had always a little touch of Pat Buchananism, I would say, paleo-conservativism. But that’s very different from what he’s become now. I mean, it is close now to racism, white — I mean, I don’t know if it’s racism exactly — but ethno-nationalism of some kind, let’s call it.
So let’s have a little fun with this to help demonstrate that this is nothing but rich people paying a professional to manipulate poor, white, working-class people.
Here are 12 elitist facts about Tucker Carlson.
1. His name is Tucker.
Once upon a time, a tucker was a tailor. We don’t have tailors any more. You might also recognize the phrase: “Put on your best bib and tucker.” In this usage, a tucker is an article of women’s clothing made out of lace, designed to fit over the bodice and prevent spillage of food.
It’s a fine name. You just don’t see a lot of football players named Tucker.
2. He was born and raised in San Francisco.
Thank you, Left Coast!
3. His brother’s name is Buckley.
Usually Buckley is a surname, as in Lord Buckley or William F. Buckley.
4. Richard Warner Carlson, his father, was the president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Could this be how young Tucker cultivated his hatred of libtards at such an early age?
This does possibly explain, however, his interest in journalism and how he managed to break into the industry at such a young age.
5. His mom is Lisa Lombardi Vaughan.
Lisa Lombardi Vaughan was an internationally known artist. She left the family when he was six and moved to France.
According to Tucker:
Totally bizarre situation—which I never talk about, because it was actually not really part of my life at all.
6. His stepmother is Patricia Caroline Swanson, an heiress to the Swanson frozen food fortune.
In 1979, when Tucker was 10, his father married Patricia Caroline Swanson, of the frozen-food Swansons.
7. Richard and Tucker used to lunch at adjoining tables at The Palm, a clubby Washington, D.C.-insider restaurant
Reservations required. Prices not listed online.
8. He went to St. George’s prep school in Newport, Rhode Island.
Current price for a boarding student: $58,000/year.
9. He met his wife, Susan, at St. George’s.
Susan Andrews was the daughter of the Rev. George Andrews, the headmaster at St. George.
According to a New Yorker profile on Tucker:
This connection came in handy during Carlson’s senior year, when, having spent more time debating than studying, he failed to impress any number of prestigious universities. The Reverend Andrews arranged for him to attend Trinity College, in Hartford.
10. He attended Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
Current tuition: $54,770/year
11. His net worth is $8 million.
He also currently has a book deal worth at least $10 million.
12. He used to be best-known for wearing a bow tie.
Up until 2007, this was his signature. He was the guy on CNN wearing the bow ties.
Why write this?
First, I wanted to point out to my conservative friend how Tucker has enjoyed all of the privileges of growing up in the upper middle class, including all of the education and connections that come from being raised in a family of relative wealth and comfort.
This isn’t some Florida redneck on TV “destroying” libtards. He’s a professional media pundit, and this is in no small part due to his liberal upbringing.
The so-called “sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, and smugness” used to dine frequently at The Palm, a Washington, D.C. insiders club.
One of the more interesting things I found while looking up Carlson was a discussion in a body building forum. Several didn’t buy Tucker’s manliness, either.
The second and more important answer, though, is to talk about the media and how it manipulates people.
As I was researching Tucker, I found this wonderful interview done by a guy in New York who goes by @JoeyBoots and who used to interview random New Yorkers before his death.
It’s a wonderful interview. And in this interview, you see Tucker Carlson, the person, not Tucker Carlson, the Fox News personality.
The people you see on TV are professional actors and they tend to be paid for a certain persona. As Bill Kristol described it, today Carlson’s persona is an angry white nationalist. It used to be an upper middle class, bow tie-wearing preppie.
A good example of how his current show works is this clip with conservative economist Ray Keating.
Tucker starts out the clip with his opinion on immigration. He takes Ray Keatings’ perspective on immigration and calls it “silly.”
How his punditry works is that he takes a point that is true and uses it to argue for something else that is unrelated. In this case, he is arguing that immigration is bad because not all immigrants have the same skills.
Of course not all immigrants are going to have the same skills. As Keating argues though, we actually have metrics that demonstrate immigration is good for the economy.
The point though of Tucker’s show is for Tucker to win. As Fox has discovered throughout the years, conservatives like to watch shows where their viewpoints “win.” So Tucker talks over Keating and keeps coming back to his completely different straw man argument that not all immigrants have the same skills. Keating looks uncomfortable. Carlson, because he is a professional media personality, looks more confident and gets his point across more strongly.
From a media perspective, he “wins.”
Like professional wrestling, it’s all rigged, though. As the host and media professional, Carlson has the advantage over his guests. We used to have journalism on TV where hosts were genuinely interested in what their guests had to say. But on Fox News, the focus is on what Tucker has to say. And Tucker is paid to say what Fox News wants him to say.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.