Tucker Carlson is a lot of things. For one, he’s a homophobic rich kid who failed upward by presenting himself as an intellectual patrician conservative in the vein of William F. Buckley Jr. Another thing Carlson is is a snake oil salesman determined that his wealth and position are a birthright. That’s it. He will say and do and change anything in the service of his vacuous statements on any given thing.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Carlson has landed himself firmly on the side of nothingness. He has refused to say whether or not he has been vaccinated, and has attacked mask mandates and vaccine requirements while staying silent about Fox News’ stringent COVID-19 requirements and mandates—some of the strictest in the corporate America. He hasn’t said much about  fellow Fox News on-air personality Neil Cavuto’s battle with COVID-19. As recently as this past winter, Carlson has helped promote false conspiracy theories about the efficacy of Ivermectin as a cheap “alternative treatment” for COVID-19. As with most things issued from Fox News media, calling out Tucker Carlson for being a raging hypocrite is like calling out the moon for being round.

But in between blaming Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Vice President Kamala Harris and spinning round and round in circles to confuse his audience, Tucker makes public appearances. It was at one of these recent appearances that Tucker claimed he hasn’t been vaccinated … maybe?

According to the Voice of San Diego, Carlson appeared at the beginning of April in front of a crowd at the Awaken Church in San Marcos, California. Tucker was there to absorb some of the holy anti-public health measures that the Awaken flock has been hoodwinked into believing under the guise of “faith.” Aussie-cum-American Pastors Jurgen and Leanne Matthesius have defied public health orders to hold indoor services.

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Over the summer, while they were making headlines for being pigheaded, Pastor Leanne Matthesius explained their official position: “We’ve made this decision not out of defiance but out of obedience to God and our responsibility as shepherds over the flock that God has entrusted to us.” Meanwhile, her husband, Pastor Jurgen Matthesius, gave up a piece of the truth: “Our governor and county officials continue to keep our churches under strict regulations, preventing us from meeting the needs of our congregation and our community.”

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A reminder: Their “congregation” and “community” live in San Marcos, California. Meeting outside isn’t an issue in San Diego in the wintertime, let alone the summertime. But if God’s great green earth isn’t providing for them, I guess they’ve got to do what they’ve got to.

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - FEBRUARY 23:  An iPhone case with Tucker Carlson's face is left in a chair during the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center February 23, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland. U.S. President Donald Trump is scheduled to address CPAC, the largest annual gathering of conservatives in the nation.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

To put into perspective how far into the politics of the day this church is, all one needs do is turn back the clock one month. That’s when the same church, at the same site, hosted a two-day Reawaken America conference—featuring a slew of right-wingers including Eric Trump, Roger Stone, and disgraced and pardoned criminal, Michael Flynn.

That defiance fit with the message of the two-day event, where speakers railed against mask mandates and COVID-19 vaccines in a program featuring elements of a trade show, political rally and fire-and-brimstone evangelical tent revival.

It had been a couple of weeks since they had some right-wing heavy hitters in to speak about God and stuff, so they brought Tucker by to kiss their rings and maybe fill up some coffers.

Carlson’s speech was loose, but pointed. It oscillated between admiration of his four dogs and jokes about organic peanut butter, to talk of demonic forces and spiritual warfare. He also touched on another of his favorite topics, the “unraveling of Western civilization,” which he said was ultimately an effort to destroy Christianity.  

Tucker then dug deeper into his shallow bag of hyperbole to slam Christian leaders who “chose the path of cowardice and abandonment of their own flocks,” during the COVID-19 pandemic, and didn’t risk their community’s and congregations lives by holding super-spreader events. In fact, vaccines are totally whatever to Tucker, it seems. After “he scoffed at the idea of getting a second booster shot,” Tucker apparently exclaimed, “I skipped the first three, I’m not getting that one either.”

The Daily Beast got a recording of Carlson’s rousing statements of ignorance. Warning: It’s Tucker Carlson speaking.

That’s a big wow. I’m surprised. Do I believe that Tucker Carlson hasn’t been vaccinated against COVID-19? It’s possible. He did spend a bunch of money (likely re-reimbursed by Fox News and tax written off) building a home studio in Maine so that he could spew his hate-filled diatribes from the safety of his home. Do I believe that Tucker Carlson is just pandering to the anti-vaxxer audience he has cultivated and makes money from and is willing to say just about anything to serve the cynical darkness that chases him through eternity and possibly for a run for office in Maine? I’d say that’s equally, if not more, possible.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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