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Tucker Carlson isn’t ‘just asking questions’

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Tucker Carlson’s sit-down with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his subsequent tour of Moscow drew widespread criticism. Given his sympathetic views toward Russia, critics believed the interview served only to legitimize an autocratic regime and American adversary, while mocking the tour as childish propaganda. But seemingly no one found it insensitive that Carlson would explore a foreign country while his own nation faced invasion and his fellow Americans were being poisoned. 

Back in November, over a month into the on-going Israel-Hamas war, Carlson questioned why commentators like Ben Shapiro were showing emotion for the victims of the October 7 attack disproportionate to victims of domestic issues like illegal immigration and the fentanyl crisis. “I’ve never seen anything like the emotion from any commentator around those tragedies as I’m watching about a foreign tragedy,” Carlson said. “I think that’s odd.”

I find it odd that he finds it odd. The Simchat Torah Massacre marked the deadliest pogrom since the Holocaust, an earth-shattering event that claims a unique place in the Western memory, and resonates deeply with Americans who see the obvious historical parallels. The brutality of the attack was particularly shocking, with Hamas beheading infants, raping and mutilating women, executing entire families, to say nothing of the Israelis (some of whom dual American citizens) still being held hostage in the hellpit of Gaza. Millions at home and abroad continue to glorify, justify, and deny the atrocities, so many Americans feel a moral obligation to raise awareness and combat the subhuman ideology that motivated it. The reaction is understandable, if not admirable.

And is it really any secret that Americans, for better or worse, have always been deeply invested in global affairs, even amid problems at home? It certainly never stopped Carlson from covering political developments in Hungary, Spain, Brazil, Canada, and now, of course, Russia. 

More power to him, I suppose. But it would be foolish to assume he’s arguing in good faith. In December, Carlson again fixed his crosshairs on Shapiro, this time alleging that he and other Israel supporters “don’t care about the country [America] at all.” Then this week, he explained he has “a right to despise” Shapiro for advocating measures that would see Carlson’s children and other draft-age Americans fighting in foreign wars. Only Shapiro doesn’t support any of the things Carlson baselessly attributes to him.

“Tucker is simply lying about my positions,” Shapiro tweeted. “I’ve been calling for a negotiated end to the Ukraine war freezing the lines of conflict early on in the war. I have never called for American boots on the ground in Ukraine. Ever. I have never called for American boots to defend Israel. Ever.”

The Daily Wire host further claims he extended multiple invitations to Carlson to sit down and “clear the air” but his team informed Shapiro that he’s too busy right now due to – get this – “foreign travel.”

After the infantile Moscow tour, it became clear that Carlson is no longer a serious person, if he ever was. He poses as a populist dissident, slumming with the Forgotten Man and exploiting his frustration toward the establishment for the clicks and exposure. To mince around Moscow peddling the lowest-hanging propaganda of an American adversary, and then question the loyalty of people having an “emotional reaction” to an unconscionable assault on an American ally – instead of Carlson’s choice of domestic issues – indicates a total lack of self-awareness at best, and a latent antagonism toward Jews and Israel at worst.

If he genuinely cared, he wouldn’t be squabbling about UFOs or getting chummy with Andrew Tate. Instead, he’s misdirecting his legitimate political frustrations toward an asinine caricature of Shapiro, an influential Jew apparently eager and capable of leading America into nuclear destruction in service of Zionism. The implications of this delusional characterization couldn’t be less subtle.

Problem is, Carlson and his truth-seeking yes-men often claim they are “just asking questions.” They say things that obviously echo antisemitic messaging, but phrase it vaguely enough to accuse any Jew who objects of being a woke paranoid. A Ukraine skeptic myself, when Carlson likened President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to a Christian-persecuting rodent prone to flooding villages, I quickly recognized he wasn’t critiquing the leader, but vilifying his Jewish background. 

In his 2022 interview with Kanye West, he introduced it by saying he “rarely heard a man speak so honestly and so movingly about what he believes.” But he conveniently omitted the rapper’s bizarre antisemitic remarks from the final cut and failed to push back against them in what marked the beginning of West’s ongoing antisemitic crusade, and in retrospect, perhaps Carlson’s.

I, like most right-wing Jews, share concern about the open border and the consequences of demographic replacement. And when pro-Israel donors pulled funding from universities that permitted antisemitism after October 7, but didn’t previously show concern for anti-white racism on campus, the criticism wasn’t entirely unfair. But Carlson accusing Jewish donors of financing “white genocide” is not an honest criticism, only an exercise in blind hatred.

Carlson’s Walter Duranty act in Moscow informed us a lot about his insincerity and cynicism. Like why has he yet to acknowledge that the war against Hamas claimed the lives of Americans and that others are still being held hostage? Why is he so fixated on maligning pro-Israel journalists he otherwise sides with? Is he actually antisemitic? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe he just plays one on TV. You be the judge, I’m just asking questions.

About the Author
Aidan Segal is an award-winning freelance writer. He holds a bachelor's degree in English Writing and a certificate in Jewish Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. He intends on making Aliyah later this year.
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