What do you get when you strip Tucker Carlson of his multi-million dollar studio, crew of writers, and a much coveted 8 p.m. time slot on the nation’s most-watched cable news channel? Just a guy, posting online, trying desperately to recreate what he no longer has.
On Tuesday afternoon, Carlson released the first episode of Tucker On Twitter, a 10-minute monologue that is the culmination of more than a month’s work since Carlson was summarily fired from Fox in April. While Carlson made sure to pack his premiere episode with his usual fare – critiques of the media, a defense of Vladimir Putin’s incursion into Ukraine, and some shoutouts to his favorite conspiracy theories (“What exactly happened on 9/11?”) the whole thing felt decidedly underwhelming.
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Since teasing his new partnership with Twitter in May, Carlson has been conspicuously absent from the universe of right-wing media that clung to him as a directional compass and kingmaker during his time at Fox. The former host maintained a strategic silence as he negotiated the potential fallout of breaking his non-compete with Fox News, and one can only assume that launching a new show becomes harder when your former employer reclaims all the fancy studio equipment they lent you.
The weeks-long wait for his return to broadcasting, even if self-directed, only heightened the anticipation to see what the newly unshackled Carlson would bring to his independent endeavors. But if the first episode of Tucker On Twitter is anything to go off of, its just a Tucker Carlson Tonight monologue, minus the snappy graphics, high production value, and the other 50 minutes of the show.
Carlson called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a “sweaty and rat-like” persecutor of Christians and defended Russia’s claims that Ukraine destroyed the Nova Kakhovka dam, which resulted in the destruction of several Ukrainian villages in the area. Both Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of being responsible for the dam’s destruction.
Of course, it would not be a Carlson monologue without some strategically placed digs at the media, which Carlson argues are stifling people like him from asking the real questions – “who organized those BLM riots three years ago? No one’s gotten to the bottom of that. What exactly happened on 9/11? Well, it’s still classified? How did Jeffrey Epstein make all that money? How did he die? How about JFK, and so endlessly on. Not only is the media not interested in any of this, they are actively hostile to anybody who is. In Journalism, curiosity is the gravest crime.”
“We have come to Twitter,” Carlson said in the close of the episode “We’re told there are no gatekeepers here. If that turns out to be false, we’ll leave. But in the meantime, we’re grateful to be here.”
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