As far as sensational political commentators go, Tucker Carlson is leading the charge. And that’s no understatement either. Either you love the guy or you hate him, there is no in-between. Only because you’re either a fan of Fox News or you’re not and seeing as how Carlson’s ratings are dominating the news cycle at Fox, it’s hard to ignore facts. As one of America’s most outspoken anchors, we’re taking a closer look at the man behind the camera.
Tucker Carlson’s Roots
Many may wonder just how Tucker Carlson got to where he is today. So it’s only natural we start looking at his roots. The San Francisco boy is the oldest of Richard Warner Carlson, a former LA news anchor. Once, Richard was even the U.S. ambassador to the Seychelles AND was president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and also the director of Voice of America. It runs in the family, we guess? Although Carlson’s likability scale might not be on par with his fathers.
Surely you would assume that Tucker Carlson has a Bachelor’s in journalism, right? Well that’s where you’re wrong but your thinking is logical. Carlson graduated with a B.A. in history from Trinity College in 1992. Maybe that history degree helped him to strategize his political arguments on air? Just about anything is possible when your name is Tucker Carlson.
Cause When You’re 15
While on a Mother’s Day episode of Fox & Friends back in 2014, Carlson and his wife Susan revealed that they’ve been together since they both 15 years old! During their first week of 10th grade at St. George’s, this duo’s love story began. They got hitched in 1991 and have four children together. “We’ve been together 30 years, so it’s a little hard to imagine what it’s not like to be [together],” said Carlson. Just like most couples, Tucker confides in Susan on all aspects of his life and career – she is often there to defend him when everyone is against him.
Carlson got his first real taste of journalism while in college. He became a member of a national conservative journal, Policy Review, which is currently owned by the Hoover Institution. A humble beginning for America’s most controversial anchor, or just the start of creating the man behind the camera we all know today?
Trust Me, I’m A Writer
Many may gawf at the thought that Tucker Carlson is actually quite the experienced and talented journalist. He didn’t just land gigs on CNN and Fox News on a whim, that came with first hand knowledge of how to do the job. Carlson worked as a columnist for New York and Reader’s Digest – two respected publications over a million people read daily. Furthermore he has also written for Esquire, The Weekly Standard, The New Republic, The New York Times Magazine, and The Daily Beast. Journalism is something Carlson knows very much about.
Youngest Anchor Ever
Now here’s a fact Carlson needs to boast more of. When joined the team at CNN, he became the publication’s ~youngest anchor~ to ever do so. I don’t know about you but that sounds pretty darn impressive to me. While at CNN, he was the co-host of Crossfire representing the political right. Moreover he hosted a weekly public affairs program on PBS, Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered.
Just about everyone remembers Carlson’s appearance on the October 2004 episode of Crossfire. Yes, we do mean the one where Jon Stewart was a guest. And things got pretty heated. Both anchors are passionate when it comes to the political arena and they both are not shy about expressing their feelings, it made for a heck of an episode. After the televisied confrontation, Carlson revealed that Stewart stayed at CNN so they could carry on discussing the issues raised on air. “It was heartfelt,” Carlson said, “He [Stewart] needed to do this.”
A year later and CNN announced they were ending their relationship with Carlson and Crossfire was getting the ax. The CNN chief, Jonathan Klein, approached Carlson before releasing the statement so he could be informed of what was about to happen. However Carlson had already resigned months before, long before that heated debate with Jon Stewart in fact! Carlson told Patricia Duff, “I resigned from Crossfire in April, many months before Jon Stewart came on our show, because I didn’t like the partisanship, and I thought in some ways it was kind of a pointless conversation … each side coming out, you know, ‘Here’s my argument’, and no one listening to anyone else. [CNN] was a frustrating place to work.”
Shortly after parting ways with CNN, Turker Carlson began working on a new early evening show on MSNBC, Tucker. The show lasted for three seasons before its cancelation due to poor ratings. Brian Stelter, The New York Times reporter, said, “During Mr. Carlson’s tenure, MSNBC’s evening programming moved gradually to the left. His former time slots, 6 and 9 p.m., were then occupied by two liberals, Ed Schultz and Rachel Maddow.” It was time to move on.
While Brian Stelter had his own opinions about Carlson and MSNBC, Tucker Carlson himself felt differently. Carlson opened up about his time at MSNBC, admitting that the network had changed a lot and “they didn’t have a role for me.” Where would Carlson go next? That’s right, Fox News.
In May 2009, Tucker Carlson becomes a Fox News contributor and his career only skyrockets from there. Although he had already appeared as a frequent guest panelist for their late-night satire shows, such as Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld and Special Report with Bret Baier. Moreover Carlson acted as a substitute host for Hannity during Sean Hannity’s absence. Carlson’s footing with Fox was about to get so much better.
Fox & Friends
When March 2013 rolled around, Carlson became a co-host for the weekend editions of Fox & Friends. By April, Carlson officially joined the team alongside Alisyn Camerota and Clayton Morris on Saturday and Sunday mornings. It didn’t take long after this for Carlson to land his own show, one that’s actually still on air and has killer ratings.
Tucker Carlson Tonight
November 2016 is when Carlson becames the host Tucker Carlson Tonight, Fox’s brand new show and a first for the journalist with Fox News. When it debuted, it was actually “the network’s most watched telecast of the year in the time slot”. With around 3.7 million viewers in September, it is known to be the “Most-Watched Fox News Broadcast of 2016”. Whatever your feelings are about him, you can’t argue that he knows how to appeal to an audience.
Since March 2017, ratings prove that Tucker Carlson Tonight is THE most watched cable program at the 9PM time slot. And if that wasn’t enough to get you jumping up and down, know that Carlson’s career was about to get so much better. Even if there are many who view his promotion with Fox as suspicious.
It’s no secret that the 8PM time slot is just about every anchor’s dream, and that was about to become reality for Carlson. Just a month after starting at the 9PM slot, Tucker Carlson Tonight was filling the 8PM time slot after The O’Reilly Factor‘s cancellation following sexual hasassment allegations. Almost everyone was up in arms as they felt Megyn Kelly was more deserving of the 8PM time slot. No one seemed pleased that Carlson got the job, why did he get the job? Social media platforms exploded with messages, calling his promotion suspicious. People believed that Fox News was biased toward women as they gave the slot to yet another white male.
No Chance Of Failure
Granted, Fox News had a whole slew of candidates who could easily take over for The O’Reilly Factor, however Fox opted to go with someone familiar, someone in-house. Fox quickly responded to the favoritism allegations stating they don’t believe in letting their “talent” fail. When choosing insiders over a well known outsider, Fox greatly reduces the chance that a certain anchor won’t “take” with their very loyal audience. Essentially, they chose Carlson because it made the most buisness sense, one that was 98% guranteed to succeed. Was that enough to drown out the negative noise surround Tucker Carlson’s promotion? Not a chance.
Tucker Carlson: Net Worth $8 Million
After his many years in journalism and as an anchor, Tucker Carlson has racked up an estimated net worth of $8 million. Which is acually less than the Fox News hosts who are currently sandwiched between him. You can’t deny he hasn’t earned every penny.
Talk about a throwback. Back when he first started out, Carlson was known for one thing – wearing bow ties! Yes, really. However it took about a hot minute for him to give up bow ties all together. “If you wear a bow tie, it’s like [wearing] a middle finger around your neck; you’re just inviting scorn and ridicule … the number of people screaming the F-word at me … it wore me down after a while so I gave in and became conventional.” And we believed that he wasn’t bothered by outside criticism.
In fact back in 2005, in season five of Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, “The Bowtie” refers to a character that Larry David sees similiar to “Tucker Carlson” just because he’s wearing a bow tie. We told you that people disliked Tucker Carlson…well, his bow ties in this case.
Dancing with the Stars
In 2006, the conservative Tucker Carlson stunned everyone when he announced that he would appear as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars. Why would he do this? “I’m not defending it as the smartest choice, but I think it’s the most interesting. I think if you sat back and tried to plan my career, you might not choose this. But my only criterion is the interest level. I want to lead an interesting life.” That makes sense even if it’s weird, he goes on to say, “I’m 37. I’ve got four kids. I have a steady job. I don’t do things that I’m not good at very often. I’m psyched to get to do that.” However Carlson and his partner Elena Grinenko were the first team eliminated from the competition.
Two Left Feet
Turns out that Carlson’s dancing partner wasn’t surprised by the quick elimination. Why though? Well Grinenko said that teaching Carlson to dance was “like Einstein teaching addition to a slow child”. Now that’s some harsh criticism.
Carlson did indeed publish his own autobiography titled Politicians, Partisans and Parasites: My Adventures in Cable News in 2003. The book follows his experience in TV news, but it’s also loaded with some juicy tidbits, ones that we won’t share! You’ll just have to pick up your own copy to find out just what he said.
What’s better than one autobiography? Two? Sure, but three is the magic number. In May 2017, Carlson, who is represented by the literary and creative agency Javelin, announced they had signed an eight-figure, two-book deal with Simon & Schuster’s Threshold Editions. With three autobiogrpahys soon to be under his belt, Carlson is doing well for himself. And seeing as how his “popularity” has soared since 2017, we can only imagine what he’ll include in the books.
Even though Tucker is a republican, he isn’t against gay marriage. During a 2007 episode of his show, he said, “I’m just for marriage generally. I’m for people making a lifelong commitment. Do you know what I mean? I’m not against gay marriage, actually, and I’m the most right-wing person I know.” Carlson went on to say, “I think, marriage has been a great thing for me, and I think it’s a really civilizing force, and I think it would be a civilizing force for gay people too.” Talk about a twist ending. Although many applauded his brave statement.
Tucker Carlson isn’t the type of person to not loudly vocalize his beliefs, no matter how controversial. So when it comes to Russia, he doesn’t actually view them as a real threat to the United States of America. He has said numerous times that America needs to work alongside Russia in the Syrian Civil War. Peter Beinart of the Atlantic says Carlson has been an “apologist for Donald Trump on the Russia scandal”. Moreover, his thoughts on the controversy of Donald Trump Jr. accepting anti-Clinton information from a Russian official sound like they’re taking on a “new level of hysteria” and that Trump Jr. has just been “gossiping with foreigners.”
As Carlson’s ratings continue to soar and he continues to loudly voice his opinions, the more people who disagree with him are annoyed. The New York Times reporter James Poniewozik wrote, “Mr. Carlson does not seek to interview his subjects but to defeat them … He shifts topics to imply hypocrisies … He prods, pounces, guffaws and interrupts … The camera holds tight on his face to show every squint of bemusement, contempt and confusion. (His default face is that of a bear puzzling out how to get at a beehive.) A long ‘Ohhhhh’ means he believes a guest has just let slip a secret agenda. ‘I agree with you!’ means he does not agree at all.” Bit harsh, Mr. Poniewozik.
You guessed it, Tucker Carlson does not believe the scientific consensus on climate change. Furthermore he is not convinced human activities have remotely contributed to climate change as the whole subject is “unknowable”. Spoken like a true republican we suppose.
Criticized 2000 Presidential Candidate John McCain
In 2000, when John McCain ran for President, Tucker Carlson had some views he wanted to share. “I liked McCain. And I would have voted for McCain for president happily, not because I agree with his politics; I never took McCain’s politics seriously enough even to have strong feelings about them. I don’t think McCain has very strong politics. He’s interested in ideas almost as little as George W. Bush is. McCain isn’t intellectual, and doesn’t have a strong ideology at all. He’s wound up sort of as a liberal Republican because he’s mad at other Republicans, not because he’s a liberal.” Hmm, many thought this was a very bold statement for Tucker.
Not A True Conservative
When it comes to his views on former U.S. President George W. Bush, he believes that he is “not a true conservative”. In 2004, during an interview with the Washington Post, Carlson spoke heavily of his “displeasure with Bush”. Carlson asked, “Why do so many antiwar liberals give [John] Kerry a pass when he adopts the Bush view on Iraq, as he has? The amount of team-playing on the left depresses me.” Many couldn’t decide if he was brave and bold for what he said, or mad.
2004 Is A No
And when it comes to the 2004 election, Carlson did not vote. Why? Because he was disgusted with the Iraq War and also the small-government Republican Party. He was bold enough to say, “I don’t know what you consider conservative, but I’m not much of a liberal, at least as the word is currently defined. For instance, I’m utterly opposed to abortion, which I think is horrible and cruel. I think affirmative action is wrong. I’d like to slow immigration pretty dramatically. I hate all nanny state regulations, such as seat belt laws and smoking bans. I’m not for big government. I think the U.S. ought to hesitate before intervening abroad. I think these are conservative impulses. So by my criteria, Bush isn’t much of a conservative.”
Immigration is a hot button issue in American right now. And Tucker Carlson has been heavily criticized for demonizing legal and undocumented immigrants. The Washington Post and Huffington Post are just a few publications who have called him out on those views. Carlson seems to just brush it all off as he continues to express himself freely.
The Iraq War
There was a time when Carlson supported the Iraq war, however he changed his mind. During an interview with the New York Observer, Carlson boldly explained his flip-flop decision, “I think it’s a total nightmare and disaster, and I’m ashamed that I went against my own instincts in supporting it. It’s something I’ll never do again. Never. I got convinced by a friend of mine who’s smarter than I am, and I shouldn’t have done that. No. I want things to work out, but I’m enraged by it, actually.”
Ahem, here’s a fact that most may not be able to wrap their minds around. Carlson does not allow his son to watch the Oprah show as he believes her show is ‘anti-male’. He made the following bold statement, “When I had a son, I stopped watching Oprah because it was just too anti-male, and I felt like I didn’t want to bring him up in a home where Oprah was constantly attacking men. And remember, keep your boys away from Oprah and it will make them feel bad about being male. It’s absolutely true. Keep your girls away from rap, keep your boys away from Oprah. And everybody will be fine.” I see.