After criticizing President Biden’s remarks about updating military guidelines to accommodate more women in the armed forces, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson received what some consider predictable blowback. Carlson’s defenders say his detractors are purposely misconstruing his argument.
In a monologue last week, Tucker Carlson criticized the Biden administration and Defense Department for being more concerned about the U.S. culture wars rather than being prepared to fight real wars after President Biden announced a pledge to bring “an intensity of purpose and mission to really change the culture and habits” of the military, including flight suits designed for pregnant service members (PolitiFact pointed out the pregnant flight suit initiative was started under President Trump).
- Carlson’s comments drew a swift rebuke from the Pentagon’s press secretary, who responded by saying “the diversity of our military is one of our greatest strengths” and questioning Carlson’s manhood by suggesting he had “something to prove.”
- Biden’s comments about “creating maternity flight suits” and updating tailored combat uniforms for women came on International Women’s Day during an announcement of promotions of two female generals.
- Official social media channels of various military branches and senior leaders actually responded, directly and indirectly, to Carlson, misconstruing his words and accusing him of attacking female servicemembers.
- Carlson volleyed back, criticizing “woke generals” who “if they treat [Carlson’s show] like they treated the Taliban, we’ll be fine.”
- Newsweek gave plenty of coverage to Democratic politicians who were outraged by Carlson’s remarks and the secondary developments surrounding it.
- The Washington Post focused extensively on the military’s response critical of Carlson, but slipped a sentence in to subtly insinuate Carlson was condoning sexual assault in the military, saying women cite assault as one of the reasons for leaving the military after detailing efforts to retain female servicemembers (none of which have to do with stopping sexual assaults).
- After several official social media accounts responded directly and with considerable snark to Carlson, they backtracked and apologized, saying their intention was to support female servicemembers, not start a twitter war with Tucker Carlson.
- An opinion piece in Bloomberg outrageously lumped Tucker Carlson in with Communist China (which has a history of female infanticide), saying both have an antiquated view of masculinity.
- RedState writer “Streiff” accused the “dishonest military hierarchy” of purposely misconstruing Carlson’s argument and “spun it as an attack on all women in the military.”
- Townhall.com highlighted a mostly-ignored portion of Carlson’s comments, comparing the size of China’s navy to that of the United States and criticizing Biden for considering updated grooming, uniform, and fitness standards as “advances” for the military as China’s continues to grow in strength and prowess.
- Breitbart detailed the back and forth between Carlson and the Defense Department, focusing on Carlson’s rebuttal in which he said President Biden’s priorities are not to find “the most effective” combatants, but to promote identity politics.
- The Blaze compiled social media criticism of an official Marine Corps unit’s mocking of Carlson, highlighting responses from several members of Congress who served in the military.
- An opinion piece by a Daily Caller associate editor and veteran argued Tucker Carlson was right, that the brushfire of outrage was misleading and saying Carlson’s warning that American military readiness could be compromised was correct.
© Dallas Gerber, 2021