The Fox News anchor, who was nicknamed “Trucker Carlson” by Twitter users on Monday night, addressed viewers with a tirade against Canada’s Justin Trudeau, whom he claimed had imposed “martial law” on America’s neighbour to the north.
“It isn’t an overstatement to compare what is happening in Canada right now, to what happens to the Stalinist dictatorship,” Mr Carlson told Fox News viewers of the crackdown on “freedom convoy” protesters.
“The prime minister of Canada refused to meet with them or to speak to them. Instead, he fled the city and then from his bunker he called the truckers Nazis,” said Mr Carlson in reference to the waving of Swastikas at the protests.
“When they still didn’t leave the city, Justin Trudeau suspended democracy and declared Canada a dictatorship,” the Fox News anchor added.
Mr Trudeau had earlier said his government would invoke the country’s Emergencies Act for the first time in more than 50 years after two weeks of “freedom convoy” protests in the streets of Ottawa, the country’s capital.
“Freedom convoy” protests have also been seen at border crossings with the US – where trade between the two nations was blocked for a week – leading Mr Trudeau to tell reporters on Monday “this illegal occupation needs to end”.
Mr Carlson, who has been a vocal opponent of Covid mandates and restrictions both at home and abroad, continued by telling viewers: “So let's be clear. This is a defining moment in the history of Canada, in the history of the English speaking West.
“What's happening now does not qualify. What's happening in Canada now is not an emergency.”
Dozens of Canadians and social media users afterwards condemned the conservative anchor for his intervention, with one arguing: “Trucker Carlson, funniest thing I've heard lately. It just fits”.
“Trucker Carlson and Hannity are fuelling the illegal convoys and interfering in Canada’s internal politics. They should be barred from visiting Canada,” wrote one Canadian in a tweet.
Many Twitter accounts also renamed themselves “Trucker Carlson” following the tirade against Mr Trudeau, and another wrote: “I’m calling him Trucker Carlson from now on”.
The Fox News segment was accompanied by graphics including a sign saying “Bay of Rigs”, in an apparent reference to the failed attack launched by the CIA during the Kennedy administration to push Cuban leader Fidel Castro from Cuba, which is commonly known as “The Bay of Pigs”.