WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 29: Fox News host Tucker Carlson discusses “Populism and the Law” meanwhile … [+]
Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson was in the social media spotlight for most of this week after the talk show’s conservative host made some dubious claims on his programming. He was ridiculed for claiming on his Tuesday evening show that he could not find evidence of QAnon, which followed equally polarizing claims that there was no evidence of white supremacy during the January 6th Capitol riot.
In the case of QAnon, the giant conspiracy theory that has been around for three years and identified by the FBI as a threat to domestic terrorism, Carlson said, “We spent all day trying to find the famous QAnon who appeared in The End, what we learned isn’t even a website. If it’s out there we couldn’t find it. “
Those comments came a day after Carlson told viewers, “There is no evidence that white supremacists were responsible for what happened on January 6. That is a lie. And contrary to what you heard there is no evidence that this was a quote. ” armed uprising. “
Such extreme comments aren’t exactly new from Carlson, but since they were made the host of the Fox News talk show, they’ve been featured on social media with hashtags #TuckerCarlson trending alongside #tuckercarlsonbigot and #TuckerCarlsonRacist.
On social media, many users have called him simply because of his recent claims.
Actor and comedian DL Hughely (@RealDLHugley) was one of the people who made fun of Carlson. “#TuckerCarlson says he can’t find the #QAnons website, but he also said he never met a white supremacist but fired his chief writer last year for being one! #TeamDl”
Max Burns (@themaxburns), founder of Third Degree Strategies and columnist for The Daily Beast, shared a similar sentiment: “Before stepping down from grace, Tucker Carlson’s top writer was an active member of popular Qanon forums like 4chan and 8chan. Tucker I just called him. “
Michael Harriot (@michaelharriot), senior writer of TheRoot.com, also taunted Carlson:
CNN anchor Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) was one of those who suggested the controversy might be good for the reviews: “By fox standards, he may be more important than ever. He’s shameless about pandering and the Promote division. “
Former MSNBC talk show host Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) didn’t pull a punch in his response to Carlson:
Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) from CNN was also direct: “Tucker could have asked his colleagues … Fox’s website has a QAnon explainer … https://foxnews.com/politics/qanon-what-to-know “
However, some users on social media have stepped up to show their support for the Fox News branding and even some of Carlson’s most controversial comments. This included conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza), who wrote, “Caged children and open borders are just the beginning. Watch Tucker Carlson uncover the REASONS behind Dem’s terrible immigration policy.”
Will there be fallout?
Given how vocal Carlson’s critics have been on social media, the question might be asked whether there will be failures or setbacks. But given the gap in the country, that seems unlikely.
“I’m not sure if it matters right now,” said tech futurist and brand strategist Scott Steinberg. “With an increasingly polarized audience, all ‘truthfulness’ is relative at this point. Each half of America is currently working with its own reality. So taking one stance is not enough.”
Carlson is still popular with his audience, and his cheeky take on current affairs is nothing new, so even something controversial may not matter.
“The loudest voices have a following, and that goes for television and social media,” Steinberg added. “More importantly, certain people endorse the old adage, ‘There’s no such thing as bad press,’ and for Carlson, it might.”
What could make a difference is that in addition to shouting out his extreme comment on social media, many users are demanding that he be fired or for advertisers to enlist their assistance. As Gina Carano’s dismissal from LucasFilm revealed following her comments on social media, it is possible Carlson is in a difficult position.
“The outrage has to reach a certain point,” said Steinberg. “Fox News could be paperback, and that might include the reviews, but also if advertisers pull back but those companies that stand by know it could be good for now. However, there could be a turning point at some point, and Advertisers could. ” have enough. But right now, controversy is attracting eyeballs. “