Tucker Carlson has been a presence on television for decades now, getting his start as a host on CNN at the start of the new millennium after years of being a writer. Carlson spent the first half of the 2000s with the Atlanta-based news network and made his way to both PBS and MSNBC before heading to Fox News in 2009.
Ever since then, Carlson has been a staple for conservatism on the right-wing news network, with “Tucker Carlson Tonight” beginning in 2016. The show has been consistently near the top of the ratings since its inception, with some agreeing with what he’s saying while others see him as one of the most controversial people in the history of media. So what is it that Carlson says that makes him so controversial? Here are five of his opinions that had people reacting the most.
One major study conducted regarding the content of the Fox News Channel said that in the first half of 2019, there were nearly 250 segments that spoke about climate change. Of those, 86 percent were dismissive of the severity of climate change or outright said that it was a hoax. No other anchor on Fox News had more of these segments throughout the months than Tucker Carlson.
Carlson has hosted countless climate change deniers on his program, echoing his feelings regarding the topic. “It is a war against people,” Carlson said of the introduction of green energy. He went as far as to say that fossil fuels were “our greatest blessing,” and that “It’s not global warming; it’s global cooling. That’s what’s going to kill your grandmother.”
Perhaps the most controversial line from Carlson came when he said “in the hands of Democratic politicians, climate change is like systemic racism in the sky. You can’t see it, but rest assured, it’s everywhere and it’s deadly.”
And that line leads us to our next point. Nobody has stoked the flames of race-related topics quite like Carlson since he landed his own show on Fox News. Many of these times have concerned immigration in the United States. Many sources have said that Carlson’s show has promoted racism, which he has denied.
Carlson has said that white supremacy as an idea is “a conspiracy theory used to divide the country and keep a hold on power.” When pushed back on the issue, Carlson said “I’ve never had a white supremacist work for me. I don’t think I’ve ever talked to a white supremacist…I’m stating my sincere views as reflected in my personal life and my professional life as clearly as I can.”
When talking about the LGBT community, especially transgender people, Tucker Carlson has been extremely outspoken. He has said that gender-related treatment for minors is “sexual mutilation of children” and encouraged parents to get in the face of any teacher who talked about transgender people.
Even during the Colorado Springs nightclub shooting, Carlson said “These horrifying murders in Colorado over the weekend quickly became a pretext for yet more censorship of your speech. You are responsible for this, they told you, because you said the wrong thing.” Members of GLAAD responded by saying that Tucker was fueling anti-LGBT hate speech.
Throughout the first couple of years of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tucker Carlson had opinions that seemed to be all over the place. At first, Carlson said that the virus was incredibly deadly and needs to be taken more seriously than Republicans had been. However, just two months later, he minimized the seriousness of the pandemic.
Carlson then went on to claim that people shouldn’t be vaccinated and that the entire pandemic was a hoax. This caused an uproar as his viewers that follow him loyally weren’t sure what to believe because of the constant changes. He has now stood firm on being anti-vax despite receiving it himself.
Despite once being a registered Democrat, Tucker Carlson has been a long-time supporter of the pro-life movement. Carlson has only dug his heels deeper onto that side of the argument and said that many people only support abortion because they don’t want to spend money and it will affect the economy.
“When you get to this point, and this point is a place where the economy is so completely distorted that only Democratic voters – donors – can still afford to have normal families,” Carlson said. “When you get there, the solution is simple: Don’t reproduce. Childlessness is the cure for the economy they created. And that’s why abortion is so very important, especially now.”