On the night that Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States, Tucker Carlson opened his primetime show on Fox News by spending about 30 seconds acknowledging what he generally described as a “peaceful transfer of power” before mocking his CNN and MSNBC competitors for what he viewed as their overly solicitous coverage of the momentous day.
But what Carlson really wanted to talk about what was the portion of Biden’s inaugural address in which he denounced “political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront and we will defeat.”
“Those are America’s enemies, we must wage war against them,” Carlson replied. That didn’t seem to sit right with the host, who said that “not many Americans” support white supremacy and instead find it “disgusting,” as they “should.” But at the same time, he wondered, “What is it, exactly?”
“Now that we’re waging war on white supremacists, can somebody tell us in very clear language what a white supremacist is?” Carlson asked. Since Biden “controls the largest military and largest law enforcement agencies in the world” and “has now declared war,” he said, “we should know specifically and precisely who exactly he has declared war on. We have a right to know that.”
“Innocent people could be hurt in this war. They usually are,” the host continued. “There could be collateral damage in this war. And the casualties will be Americans. So again, what is a white supremacist? You might be surprised to learn just how broad the definition for that has become.”
As he went on to point out various examples of white supremacy as defined by everyone from Colin Kaepernick to the United States Army, Carlson seemed very concerned that his viewers—or god forbid even him!—might be mistaken for a white supremacist in Biden’s new “war.”
“Here’s the problem,” he said. “Let’s say you don’t buy those definitions. Let’s say you’re for example white but poor, and you have trouble accepting the idea that you are benefiting from some kind of structural advantage. You better shut up about it if you know what’s good for you because according to the United States Army, the ‘denial of white privilege’ is a classic sign of, yes, white supremacy.”
Carlson said the “kids” who work on his show were “shocked and horrified” that some people consider him to be a white supremacist, prompting advertiser boycotts.
And yet despite, among many things, saying previously that immigrants are making America “dirtier” and that the Black Lives Matter “mob” is “definitely not about Black lives,” the host insisted Wednesday night that charges like that one against him are “totally undeserved.”
Despite one of his own Fox News colleagues telling The Daily Beast last year that Carlson had created a “white supremacist cell inside the top cable network in America,” he claimed that he would never judge anyone by the color of their skin.
Now that his preferred president is officially out of the White House, however, Carslon seemed more scared than ever that the “white supremacist” label might just stick this time.