ANALYSIS: The 5 Issues on Which Tucker Carlson Went Against the Left and the Right

ANALYSIS: The 5 Issues on Which Tucker Carlson Went Against the Left and the Right
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 29: Fox News host Tucker Carlson discusses 'Populism and the Right' during the National Review Institute's Ideas Summit at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel March 29, 2019 in Washington, DC. Carlson talked about a large variety of topics including dropping testosterone levels, increasing rates of suicide, unemployment, drug addiction and social hierarchy at the summit, which had the theme 'The Case for the American Experiment.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Jackson Richman
News Analysis

Throughout his time on the most-watched show in cable news, Tucker Carlson ruffled feathers on both the left and the right.

The “Tucker Carlson Tonight” host and Fox News parted ways on April 24 after Carlson made a profound impact on the national political discourse by defying the establishment consensus on both sides of the aisle.

“Tucker, in his approach to his thoughts on the news, he had an ideological tilt or views on all sorts of things that, when you put him up against all the other Fox News personalities, creates a richer diversity of opinion than all the different hosts at CNN or all the different hosts at MSNBC put together,” Curtis Houck, managing editor of the conservative media watchdog Media Research Center blog, NewsBusters, told The Epoch Times.

“So you take Tucker out of the equation, then regardless of what you think about his views about things like Ukraine, he was a different voice. He had a different opinion about all sorts of things.”

Here are five issues on which Carlson broke from both Republicans and Democrats.


Carlson came under fire for being on Russia’s side amid its war in Ukraine.

In November 2019, just a couple of years before the Russian invasion, Carlson expressed support for Russia against Ukraine—in which he soon backpedaled and said he was joking.

“Why do I care what is going on in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia?” he said. “I’m serious. Why do I care? Why shouldn’t I root for Russia? Which I am.”

On Feb. 22, 2022, just three days before the invasion, Carlson came to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s defense.

“It may be worth asking yourself, since it is getting pretty serious, what is this really about? Why do I hate Putin so much?” he said on that night’s show. “Has Putin ever called me a racist? Has he threatened to get me fired for disagreeing with him?”

In December 2022, Carlson denounced Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy following his speech before a joint session of Congress, appealing for more assistance to his country to fight off the Russian offensive.

“As far as we know, no one’s ever addressed the United States Congress in a sweatshirt before, but they love him much more than they love you,” he said.

“The president of Ukraine arrived at the White House dressed like the manager of a strip club and started to demand money. Amazingly, no one threw him out. Instead, they did whatever he wanted. American taxpayers, Joe Biden declared, will continue to give Zelenskyy whatever he demands for ‘as long as it takes.’

“Tellingly, Biden never specified what ‘it’ is. ‘As long as it takes’ to do what? Push the Russian army back to pre-invasion borders? Sounds reasonable. That’s what most Americans likely assume, most who are paying attention. But that is not what Zelenskyy means, and it is not what he’s asking for.”

On Feb. 17, Carlson suggested that Vice President Kamala Harris was benefiting from the conflict.

“No one has benefited more from these new standards—these very inflexible, genetics-based standards—more than Kamala, Carmela, Komolah, whatever you’re calling her, the vice president,” he said. “Now, she hasn’t strictly speaking been a success. She was supposed to keep the peace in Ukraine. That resulted in a war.”

Carlson didn’t criticize only the Democrats for supporting Ukraine.

In May 2022, he also blasted Republicans for backing U.S. assistance to Ukraine.

“You’ve got to hope that there’s some sincere billionaire out there who’s going to fund a primary challenge against every single one of those Republican senators standing by Mitch McConnell,” Carlson said, naming then-Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.). He also called out Nikki Haley, now a Republican presidential candidate.

That same month, he claimed that the Democrats are backing Ukraine as payback to Russia, which they accused of interfering in the 2016 U.S. election to help elect Donald Trump as president.

“Democrats have convinced themselves that Russia stole the presidency that rightfully belonged to Hillary Clinton. They mean it when they say it,” Carlson said. “That is why they are taking us to war with Russia ... on some level, the core motivation is just that simple. We know the war in Ukraine is not about saving democracy, please. We know it is not about protecting the sacred borders of a sovereign country.”

Iraq War

In March, appearing on the “Full Send Podcast,” Carlson said one of his biggest regrets was supporting the 2003 Iraq War.

“The media are part of the control apparatus ... but what if you’re me and you spend your whole life in that world and to look around and all of a sudden you’re like: ‘Oh wow. Not only are they part of the problem, but I spent most of my life being part of the problem, defending the Iraq War. Like I actually did that.’ Can you imagine if you did that?” he said.

In August 2022, Carlson blamed the left for its interventionism, including in Iraq.

“The deeper question is, when’s the last time American liberals built something? When’s the last time Nancy Pelosi or Joe Biden or any of these people—Susan Rice—created something worth having?” he rhetorically asked.

“Never. They break things. They show up, they make things worse, they move on to the next thing. They never apologize. They did it in Afghanistan, they did it in Iraq, they did it in Ukraine, they did it in Syria, they did it in Libya. Are they going to do it now with China?”

In February, on another podcast, Carlson railed against the Republican foreign policy establishment that supported the Iraq War.

“Neoconservative foreign policy, I thought, had completely corrupted the Republican Party and steered the entire nation in a wrong and very sad direction,” he told The Overton Window Podcast.

Big Tech

Carlson railed against Big Tech.

He accused the Democrats of colluding with Big Tech to rig the 2020 presidential election in Biden’s favor.

“Above all, Democrats harnessed the power of Big Tech to win this election. Virtually, all news and all information in the English-speaking world travels through one company, Google. A huge percentage of our political debates take place on Facebook and Twitter,” Carlson said in November 2020.

“If you use technology to censor the ideas that people are allowed to express online, ultimately, you control how the population votes. And that’s exactly what they did. They rigged the election in front of all of us, and nobody did anything about it.”

He didn’t exempt Republicans from his wrath against Big Tech.

In December 2019, Carlson called out The Heritage Foundation, which hosted him on April 21 as their keynote speaker at their gala to celebrate 50 years of the conservative think tank, and other right-wing groups.
In July 2020, Carlson lamented the lack of “Republicans [who] have forced [big tech companies] to face any consequences for the past four years.”
In April 2022, Carlson blasted now-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for reportedly wanting social media companies to censor controversial statements made by his fellow members in order for the Republican Party to not jeopardize its chances in that year’s midterms.


In December 2022, Carlson attacked Democrats and Republicans over a possible immigration bill that reportedly would give amnesty to millions of illegal aliens.

“And of course, immigration destabilizes your society. It makes it far less cohesive. That’s always true. It doesn’t matter where they’re coming from. If you have a ton of new people, you’re less cohesive,” he said.

“So why are they coming? There’s only one reason. Because the Democratic Party wants new voters, period. That’s not a racist conspiracy. No, it’s not. It’s true. And we know that it’s true not because we heard on Alex Jones, but because leading Democrats have said so repeatedly in public for years.

“New reporting suggests that Democrats and several Republicans are working on a deal to pass mass amnesty for millions of illegal aliens before the new Congress can be seated. Kevin McCarthy, the incoming house speaker, has promised not to hold a vote for any immigration bill until the border is secure because it would be insane to do otherwise.

“And yet, several Republican members of the Senate are trying to pass a mass amnesty before the new Republican Congress is seated next month. Leading that effort, he should become famous for this, is Thom Tillis, the Republican senator of North Carolina, joined by Democrat Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.”

Jan. 6

In 2021, Carlson released a documentary about the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters seeking to stop the electoral college certification of Biden’s victory as president, titled “Patriot Purge.”

In March, Carlson presented to his millions of viewers security footage from that day after being provided access by the office of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

Carlson called what happened at the Capitol, where Trump supporters clashed with and beat up police, a “mostly peaceful chaos.”

“‘Deadly insurrection.’ Everything about that phrase is a lie,” he said. “Very little about Jan. 6 was organized or violent. Surveillance video from inside the Capitol shows mostly peaceful chaos,” he said.

In addition to Democrats decrying Carlson for getting the tapes and his descriptions of what happened on that tragic day, Republicans also blasted him.

“I don’t really have a problem with making [the Jan. 6 footage] all public,” Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) said. “But if your message is then to try and convince people that nothing bad happened, then it’s just going to make us look silly.”

Graham, in response to Carlson’s commentary, said he’s “not interested in whitewashing Jan. 6.”

Carlson fired back at the critical Republicans, saying they’re “on the same side” as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who said that in “handpicking Tucker Carlson, Speaker McCarthy laid bare that this sham is simply about pandering to MAGA election deniers, not the truth. Tucker Carlson has no fidelity to the truth or facts and has used his platform to promote the Big Lie, distort reality, and espouse bogus conspiracy theories about Jan. 6.”

Carlson said: “Chuck Schumer, the Senate majority leader, was joined in this outrage by the Senate minority leader, and that would be a Republican—Mitch McConnell. And they were joined by a cascade of other Republicans—Thom Tillis from North Carolina, Mitt Romney from Utah—all sharing the same outrage.”

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Jackson Richman is a Washington correspondent for The Epoch Times. In addition to Washington politics, he covers the intersection of politics and sports/sports and culture. He previously was a writer at Mediaite and Washington correspondent at Jewish News Syndicate. His writing has also appeared in The Washington Examiner. He is an alum of George Washington University.
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