You know Tucker Carlson as the 48 year old conservative political commentator for good ol’ Fox News. And no, it doesn’t matter if you love the guy or you outright hate him. Either way, he’s something of a sensation across the globe. Which is precisely why we decided to take a look at the man behind the camera. So get ready, some of these facts are surprising.
Tucker Carlson’s Roots
Before we dive into the core of Tucker Carlson, it only makes sense to start at the beginning. Born in San Francisco, Carlson is the oldest of Richard Warner Carlson, former L.A. news anchor and U.S. ambassador to the Seychelles. Additionally, his dad was the president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and also the director of Voice of America. Dang, Richard Carlson is pretty impressive. Lastly, Carlson’s mother is Lisa McNear Lombardi, while his stepmother is the Patricia Caroline Swanson, heiress to the Swanson frozen-food fortune. Some roots, huh?
Middletown, Rhode Island is where you’ll find St. George’s School, a boarding school that Carlson attended. Upon graduation, Carlson studied at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and graduated in 1992 with a B.A. in history. Nope, not journalism, if that’s what you’re thinking!
Cause When You’re 15
During a Mother’s Day episode in 2014 on Fox & Friends, Carlson and his wife Susan admitted that they have known one another since they were 15! Yup, they met during the 10th grade at none other than St. George’s boarding school. In 1991, they exchanged vows and have four children together. “We’ve been together 30 years, so it’s a little hard to imagine what it’s not like to be [together],” said Carlson.
Carlson’s journalism career began when he was a member of the editorial staff at Policy Review, a national conservative journal. At the time, it was published by The Heritage Foundation, which has since been acquired by the Hoover Institution. We all have to start somewhere!
Trust Me, I’m A Writer
In his long career, Tucker Carlson has written for both magazines and newspapers alike. Additionally, he’s traveled the world to report on various topics. Oh yeah, he has also written for Reader’s Digest, Esquire, The Weekly Standard, The New York Times Magazine, and The Daily Beast. Dang, that’s quite an impressive list!
Youngest Anchor Ever
Not long after and Carlson joined CNN as its youngest anchor ever! Yeah, that’s an impressive accomplishment to say the least. In 2001, Carlson was appointed co-host of Crossfire, representing the political right. Until February 2005, Carlson remained at the network – until of course, THAT particular appearance in October 2004 alongside Jon Stewart.
Duh, of course we’re going to discuss the very memorable moment. Yah know, the one that occurred just before the 2004 presidential election. Now Carlson got into a heated exchange with Jon Stewart, the host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. After their televised intense confrontation, Carlson said that Stewart remained at CNN for hours in order to debate the issues raised on air. “It was heartfelt,” Carlson said, “He [Stewart] needed to do this.”
January 2005 rolled around and CNN announced they were terminating their relationship with Carlson and that his show Crossfire was canceled as well. Shortly after, Carlson was told by CNN’s chief Jonathan Klein that the network was not to renew his contract. However Carlson admits that before Klein approached him, he had already resigned long before. When speaking with Patricia Duff, Carlson said, “I resigned from Crossfire in April, many months before Jon Stewart came on our show, because I didn’t like the partisanship, and I thought in some ways it was kind of a pointless conversation … each side coming out, you know, ‘Here’s my argument’, and no one listening to anyone else. [CNN] was a frustrating place to work.”
Not long after Carlson left CNN, he signed a new contract with MSNBC. Thus his new early evening show, Tucker, kicked off! Despite all of Carlson’s best work, the show was eventually canceled after three seasons due to meager ratings. Brian Stelter, a reporter with the The New York Times explained that “during Mr. Carlson’s tenure, MSNBC’s evening programming moved gradually to the left. His former time slots, 6 and 9 p.m., were then occupied by two liberals, Ed Schultz and Rachel Maddow.”
Even though that’s what Brian Stelter believed, Tucker Carlson felt a whole lot differently. When discussing his feelings toward MSNBC, Tucker stated that the network had changed greatly and “they didn’t have a role for me.”
Tucker Carlson became a Fox News contributor in May 2009. Throughout this time, he appeared as a frequent guest panelist on a few late night satire shows s like Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld and Special Report with Bret Baier. Additionally, he was the substitute host for Hannity during Sean Hannity’s absence.
Fox & Friends
By March 2013, Carlson was a co-host for Fox & Friends during the weekend editions. By April, Carlson joined the team officially alongside his co-hosts Alisyn Camerota and Clayton Morris for Saturday and Sunday morning shows.
Tucker Carlson Tonight
November 2016 ushered in a whole new era of Tucker Carlson, the one most of us are familiar with, Tucker Carlson Tonight. Get this, the show’s debut was actually “the network’s most watched telecast of the year in the time slot”. In fact, Tucker Carlson Tonight brought in 3.7 million viewers, making it the “Most-Watched Fox News Broadcast of 2016”.
If you thought it couldn’t get any better than get a load of this. Since March 2017, Tucker Carlson Tonight has been named THE most watched cable program for the 9PM time slot!
Just this year on April 19, an announcement came out stating that Tucker Carlson Tonight was replacing The O’Reilly Factor. Yup, that coveted 8PM slot now belonged to Tucker Carlson. And yes, before you ask, it was due to the Bill O’Reilly sexual harassment allegations.
Let’s talk numbers for a quick minute. A press release was published by Fox News and to put it lightly, they were gloating! Why? Maybe because in its first two months, Tucker Carlson Tonight averaged 2.8 million viewers! Which is actually up 23 percent in terms of total viewership for the time slot. Furthermore, Nielsen Media Research stated that Carlson is also bringing in more viewers than those of MSNBC and CNN – combined.
No Chance Of Failure
Although Fox News had many candidates to choose to take over for The O’Reilly Factor, they opted to choose someone familiar. Even better was that someone was in-house. On top of that, they would never let their “talent” be unsuccessful. Fox News immediately cuts down any chance that their star won’t “take” with their loyal audience when they choose someone in-house.
Tucker Carlson: Net Worth $8 Million
How could we not mention money? Reportedly, Tucker Carlson’s net worth is estimated at $8 million. To us mere mortals, that’s a boat load of dough. However it is actually way less than other Fox News hosts. Hmm.
The Daily Caller
Neil Patel, aide to former VP Dick Cheney, teamed up with Tucker Carlson in 2010 to establish a political news site, The Daily Caller. Therefore Carlson was the editor in chief and periodically he wrote some opinion pieces with Patel.
No Ads Needed
Ahem, The Daily Caller actually became extremely profitable without ever having to buy a single ad! From July, their traffic has dramatically jumped – so much so that by 2013, they’re gone over 35 million monthly views according to Quantcast, beating rival sites like The Washington Times, Politico, and Forbes. Achievement doesn’t even scratch the surface here.
Now here’s a blast-from-the-past fact! Once upon a time, Tucker Carlson was known for the fact that he wore bow ties! Eventually he stopped doing so because, “If you wear a bow tie, it’s like [wearing] a middle finger around your neck; you’re just inviting scorn and ridicule … the number of people screaming the F-word at me … it wore me down after a while so I gave in and became conventional.”
There is actually an episode on Curb Your Enthusiasm (season five specifically) when they poke fun at Carlson’s bow tie. Titled “The Bowtie”, one of their characters gets referred to as “Tucker Carlson” he is wearing a bow tie. As Taylor Swift would say, “Haters gonna hate, hate, hate.”
Dancing with the Stars
You read that right! The conservative that is Tucker Carlson was a competitor on Dancing with the Stars! Here’s why he agreed to participate, “I’m not defending it as the smartest choice, but I think it’s the most interesting. I think if you sat back and tried to plan my career, you might not choose this. But my only criterion is the interest level. I want to lead an interesting life.” He conclude that, “I’m 37. I’ve got four kids. I have a steady job. I don’t do things that I’m not good at very often. I’m psyched to get to do that.” Despite this, Carlson and his partner Elena Grinenko were the very first team eliminated from Dancing with the Stars!
Two Left Feet
Okay, so this fact stings a bit. His dancing partner disclosed that after they were eliminated from the show, she was a bit relieved! Why? Well, apparently teaching Carlson to dance was “like Einstein teaching addition to a slow child”. Yikes!
Despite what all the critics say, Tucker Carlson is not against gay marriage. Back in 2007, Carlson said, “I’m just for marriage generally. I’m for people making a lifelong commitment. Do you know what I mean? I’m not against gay marriage, actually, and I’m the most right-wing person I know.” Carlson added, “I think, marriage has been a great thing for me, and I think it’s a really civilizing force, and I think it would be a civilizing force for gay people too.”
Let’s make one thing clear, Tucker Carlson has his own beliefs and he is welcome to voice them. Whether or not you agree is up to each of us, of course! When it comes to his views on Russia, Carlson doesn’t believe they’re a credible threat. Heck, he has asked that America works together with Russia when it comes to the Syrian Civil War. Peter Beinart of the Atlantic has also said that Carlson is an “apologist for Donald Trump on the Russia scandal”.
Sure, it’s easy to say that not everyone is a fan of Tucker Carlson. James Poniewozik, a reporter for the The New York Times wrote once, “Mr. Carlson does not seek to interview his subjects but to defeat them … He shifts topics to imply hypocrisies … He prods, pounces, guffaws and interrupts … The camera holds tight on his face to show every squint of bemusement, contempt and confusion. (His default face is that of a bear puzzling out how to get at a beehive.) A long ‘Ohhhhh’ means he believes a guest has just let slip a secret agenda. ‘I agree with you!’ means he does not agree at all.” Can’t win them all!
Now when it comes to climate change, Carlson definitely rejects all of the scientific consensus on climate change. Furthermore, Tucker Carlson doesn’t truly believe that human activities contribute to climate change and that’s it is “unknowable”. Isn’t that something?
Criticized 2000 Presidential Candidate John McCain
Salon.com asked Carlson about his thoughts on John McCain, to which he replied, “I liked McCain. And I would have voted for McCain for president happily, not because I agree with his politics; I never took McCain’s politics seriously enough even to have strong feelings about them. I don’t think McCain has very strong politics.” Furthermore, he added, “He’s interested in ideas almost as little as George W. Bush is. McCain isn’t intellectual, and doesn’t have a strong ideology at all. He’s wound up sort of as a liberal Republican because he’s mad at other Republicans, not because he’s a liberal.”
Not A True Conservative
When talking about former President George W. Bush, Carlson called him to be “not a true conservative”. During a 2004 interview with the Washington Post, Carlson elaborated on his views, i.e. dissatisfaction, with Bush. At the end, Carlson simply asked, “Why do so many antiwar liberals give [John] Kerry a pass when he adopts the Bush view on Iraq, as he has? The amount of team-playing on the left depresses me.”
2004 Is A No
When the 2004 election rolled about, Carlson did not vote! His reason was down to the fact that he was disgusted with the circumstances of the Iraq War and also the small-government Republican Party. Carlson would say, “I don’t know what you consider conservative, but I’m not much of a liberal, at least as the word is currently defined. For instance, I’m utterly opposed to abortion, which I think is horrible and cruel. I think affirmative action is wrong. I’d like to slow immigration pretty dramatically. I hate all nanny state regulations, such as seat belt laws and smoking bans. I’m not for big government. I think the U.S. ought to hesitate before intervening abroad. I think these are conservative impulses. So by my criteria, Bush isn’t much of a conservative.”
Let’s talk about immigration now, shall we? Numerous times, Tucker Carlson has been called out for demonizing immigrants whether legal and undocumented. Multiple news organizations, like The Washington Post and Huffington Post, have even called him out plenty of times. Although Carlson ignores their jobs and carries on as he normally would.
The Iraq War
At first, Carlson was a true supporter of the Iraq war but his views eventually changed. After an interview with the New York Observer, Carlson said, “I think it’s a total nightmare and disaster, and I’m ashamed that I went against my own instincts in supporting it. It’s something I’ll never do again. Never. I got convinced by a friend of mine who’s smarter than I am, and I shouldn’t have done that. No. I want things to work out, but I’m enraged by it, actually.”
Welp, it is no secret that Tucker Carlson is an outspoken conservative. With that being said though he has become quite critical of mainstream views concerning conservatism. Actually he has even called such mainstream opinion as “insufficiently conservative.”