On Monday, Tucker Carlson officially takes over Fox News’ coveted 5pm time slot. It had been held by Bill O’Reilly since the network’s launch in October 1996.
In those days, you may recall, Tucker was openly contemptuous of O’Reilly and the populist right:
There’s kind of a deep phoniness at the center of his schtick…he’s not right-wing! He’s a populist!
Prior to Ailes’ rebranding, Tucker was your run-of-the-mill, Northeastern moderate elitist:
Tucker defends Karl Rove’s Anti-Tea Party Group
Tucker trashes Sarah Palin
Tucker sides w/ Karl in his feud w/ Sarah Palin.
Tucker defends his pornographic attacks on Sarah Palin
Greta scolds Tucker for publishing misogynistic remarks about Sarah Palin. After the conservative backlash, Tucker “added context” (aka threw in a bunch of shit to make it seem like a legitimate article– no judgment, MFP does that all the time).
Tucker censors immigration hawks
Anti-amnesty activist Mickey Kaus resigned from Tucker’s website after Tucker personally pulled an article accusing Fox News of pro-amnesty bias:
“It’s pretty simple,” Kaus said in an interview, “I wrote a piece attacking Fox for not being the opposition on immigration and amnesty — for filling up the airwaves with reports on ISIS and terrorism, and not fulfilling their responsibility of being the opposition on amnesty and immigration…I posted it at 6:30 in the morning. When I got up, Tucker had taken it down. He said, ‘We can’t trash Fox on the site. I work there.'”
That the Tucker character is now considered real by so many on the Right is a testament to Ailes’ talent and deep understanding of the Fox News low-information audience.