If you are expecting me to give all the good reasons why FOX News’ Tucker Carlson stands so high in the ratings, you will be disappointed. I pose the question because I simply cannot understand his appeal to anyone.  

Obviously, my opinion of Carlson is not very favorable. It never has been.  I used to cringe when he appeared as an occasional guest on FOX’s morning show.  Whenever he appeared, I knew I had time for a potty break – or grab the remote to another news outlet or even a TCM movie. 

I was honestly shocked with the folks at FOX gave him the primetime evening spot held by Bill O’Reilly.  Surely that would turn out to be a bad decision and corrected as ratings fell.  Boy, was I wrong!  Carlson actually rode the crest of the rating wave as cable news’ top-rated program – occasionally taking over the spot held by Sean Hannity. 

According to some of the ratings, Carlson has been replaced as king of the news mountain by shows like The Five, Watters World, or Gutfeld – FOX’s successful competition to the so-called “late night comedians.”  Maybe that is because Gutfeld is actually funny, and the others have been undermined by both their own humorless woke standards and biases. 

Regards of his relative position, Carlson remains a staple in the cable news top-ten list.  It still mystifies me.  So why do I not like Tucker Carlson? 

It started when he first appeared on those morning broadcasts.  I found him pompous, arrogant, and snarky.  It was not always his opinion on a subject – with which I often agreed.  It was that grating personality.  His language exuded condescending arrogance.  His tendency is to go into his squeaky chipmunk voice when he gets overly excited with his own words.  And then there is that contemptuous mocking cackle.    

Carlson seems more interested in creating controversy by outrageous statements that are not necessarily true or logical.  He seems to have his greatest appeal among the rabid more than the rational. 

But it is not all a matter of style.  Although he holds and expresses some solid conservative views on occasion, Carlson is not a full-breed conservative.  He manifests too many traits of an authoritarian nationalist. 

I should explain that while many on the left link authoritarian nationalism with conservativism, the two political philosophies are juxtaposed on the political continuum.  No authoritarian philosophy – none – comes from the conservative right.  We are the folks who hate big powerful central governments of any kind – communist, socialist, monarchy, dictatorship AND nationalist.  We are small-d democrats … period.  We want laws and policy to be the manifest will of the people, not the judgment of an elite ruling class. 

Authoritarian nationalism is closely tied to isolationism.  But America First does not mean America alone.  Furthermore, conservatives know which side to be on in terms of the Ukraine War.  That is a fight between a democratic Republic (not perfect, perhaps) and a maniacal authoritarian madman – and conservatives will always be on the side of democracy and individual rights over an evil dictator. 

Nowhere are Carlson’s opinions more inconsistent with conservativism than his pandering to Putin.   The madman of Moscow invaded a recognized independent and sovereign nation without cause – and is carrying out an unjust war with serial war crimes.  Putin’s actions are founded on an evil madness – and no good person or committed conservative can remotely approve or even acquiesce to Putin’s invasion.  Yet, Carlson uses every opportunity to justify it – and to condemn American opposition to Putin’s dirty little war. 

Perhaps the best example of Carlson’s wrongness and irrationality is when he opposed American involvement in Ukraine – posing the rhetorical question, “What has Putin done to me?”  He went on to say that those on the left have done more against him personally than Putin.  

I mean, how effing stupid is that?  Using Carlson’s argument, he could call for the release of all MS13 killers on the bases of … what did they do to him personally? 

It is part of my obligation to cover all the news – from all perspectives.  That means tuning into Carlson occasionally.  I usually wind-up cringing.   

Perhaps he bothers me even more than Rachel Maddow or James Acosta – who bothers me a lot — because Carlson is alleged to be on my side of the political divide.  I know many of my readers are going to take strong exception to my criticism of Carlson.  After all, he does have millions of viewers – about one percent of the American people.   

It is just that I do not understand why.  I have always pointed out – correctly – that FOX presents far more balanced news, with panelists on both sides, than any other cable news network.  That can be empirically proven.  But it is a show like Tucker Carlson that creates the wrong image and gives rise to unjustified criticism of the network as a whole. 

I am not sure why they keep Carlson on the air – other than his high ratings.  And I have never understood how he rose to that level in cable news.  If I had been running FOX, Carlson would have been dropped from the morning show way back when. 

However, it is what it is.  He is pulling down high ratings – and I am left to wonder why. 

So, there ‘tis. 

Original article: https://punchingbagpost.com/why-is-tucker-carlson-so-popular/