A new Time interview lets Tucker Carlson slither away again from the obvious truth that he has been vaccinated against COVID-19 despite fear mongering about the vaccine to his viewers. UPDATED.
Last month, I wrote about how Carlson implicitly acknowledged his vaccination status in an article by The New York Times’ Ben Smith highlighting another Carlson hypocrisy: that while Carlson attacks journalists on the air, behind the scenes, he is “their best source.” The article opened with this (my emphases added):
Last month, I texted Tucker Carlson to ask him a question that was on my mind: “Did you get vaccinated?”
“When was the last time you had sex with your wife and in what position?” he replied. “We can trade intimate details.”
Then we argued back and forth about vaccines, and he ended the conversation with a friendly invitation to return to his show. “Always a good time.”
As I wrote in my post about this exchange, if Carlson had not been vaccinated, wouldn’t the guy who called the vaccine “the single deadliest mass vaccination event in modern history,” just come out and say, “of course I haven’t?” Smith is coyly suggesting the obvious here but failed to call a conspicuous charade a charade.
Yesterday, Time came out with a profile of Carlson that feigned tough scrutiny yet ultimately whitewashed his perniciousness. It’s just the kind of duplicity Tucky, himself, might have manufactured. But this one exchange shows he almost certainly didn’t:
Near the end of our call, I asked Carlson if he’d been vaccinated against COVID-19. He paused. “Because I’m a polite person, I’m not going to ask you any supervulgar personal questions like that.”
I told him he was welcome to ask me whatever he wanted.
“That’s like saying, ‘Do you have HIV?’” he said. “How about ‘None of your business’?” He broke into a cackle, like a hyena let loose in Brooks Brothers. “I mean, are you serious? What’s your favorite sexual position and when did you last engage in it?”
Time interviewer Charlotte Alter noted that Carlson used that same deflection with Ben Smith. Then she wrote, “For someone who talks a lot about the right to ask questions, Carlson never did give me a straight answer.”
Not explored in the interview or in the Smith article is the question as to why Carlson refuses to reveal whether he walks his own talk about vaccinations, even though that answer could not be more obvious. This is not just bad journalism, it’s a threat to public health. Alter pointed out that Carlson's early warnings about the pandemic likely saved lives. She should have known that his anti-vaccination talk (which even his own colleagues have called out as BS) endangers viewers for the sake of his populist persona. COVID cases are rising in every state but it’s the unvaccinated who are dying. 41% of Republicans refuse to get vaccinated. In 2018, Tucker Carlson was Republicans’ favorite news host.
In his excellent dissection of this interview, Steve M. wrote, “The next time [Carlson] throws out that ‘What’s your favorite sexual position and when did you last engage in it?’ line, I hope someone just says, ‘Reverse cowgirl, last night. Now it's your turn: Answer the question.’"
Agreed. Let’s hope there’s at least someone out there more interested in exposing the truth about Carlson than in keeping him as a source.
You can watch Carlson “just ask” how much harm the COVID vaccines have caused, while suggesting that the government is covering up that harm, below, from the May 6, 2021 Tucker Carlson Tonight, via Media Matters.
UPDATE: Carlson has since stated he "skipped" the COVID vaccines.