Tucker Carlson is not perfect. However, he has been by a very wide margin, the most intelligent, critical thinking, consistent, courageous, political commentator on broadcast or cable/streaming media. Whether he will regain that mantle depends on what platform he adopts next and how successful Fox and others are at defaming him.
His imperfections are several. He is not a skilled lawyer. His legal analyses, particularly on constitutional law, are sometimes not impressive.
His religious views are a little more in my face than I prefer. For example, he often has said that proponents of transgender orthodoxy suffer from the illusion that they are God, but that they are not. I would prefer that he say that transgender activists appear to believe that human opinions, internal human experience, cultural norms or social pressure invoke supernatural power to change genetics, biomechanics, biochemistry and other physiological phenomena. I do not believe in a god that is unbound by the laws of nature, particularly physics and chemistry. I wrote a book about that. (See We Are That We Are (chucktroe.com)). Certainly I don’t believe that human beings have supernatural powers. In the end, Tucker and I come to the same conclusion concerning the power of humans to act outside the laws of nature.
When Carlson began his 8:00 pm ET show on Fox News, the formula was to invite a liberal progressive guest to articulate some preposterous woke proposition, demonstrating himself a fool. Absurdity would speak for itself, and the host would make fun of the guest. It was very entertaining but not very useful in advancing civil debate or addressing the relative merits of hypotheses that underlie progressive policies.
Then something happened to Tucker Carlson that brought forward courageous commitment to learning and exposing facts, laying bare government duplicity and idiocy, suppression of free speech, conflicts of interest and corruption. I can’t say exactly when this began to unfold, but it was fairly early in the Covid debacle. He became the most effective voice against government overreach and bad public health and economic policy. It was obvious to many that the government response was misguided. (See for example I Told You So, Dr. Fauci.) But Tucker Carlson stood above all other commentators on significant media platforms.
Carlson’s courage, insight, analysis and effective communication addressed an increasing number of issues and events that were glossed over by other commentators who towed the establishment line: The lack of clear purpose and honest reporting on the war in Ukraine; bogus conspiracy theories about Donald Trump’s Russia collusion; suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop contents; phony assertions on the same subject from the “intelligence” community; unequal application of law to protest demonstrators; politically based enforcement of law; lies about illegal immigration; suppression of videotape of January 6 events.
Establishment politicians and mainstream media are working overtime to find material to use against Tucker Carlson. It doesn’t seem likely that the crowd can destroy him, but we shall see. Piranhas are small fish but there are a lot of them.
Whether Lawrence Jones is getting a try-out as Carlson’s permanent replacement or is only part of a rotation is unclear. I haven’t watched a lot of Jones, partly because I don’t find him compelling as a commentator. He is very young and has a tiny fraction of the professional experience of most of his colleagues. I don’t hold it against him that he checks the Black Box. But it does seem too cute by half that Fox may be trying to avoid criticism by installing someone who cannot be criticized since to do so is manifestly racist.