If you’re a reporter for a liberal outlet, you’re probably not going to have any trouble finding someone in President Joe Biden’s woke Pentagon to talk to you about how it’s good riddance to Tucker Carlson, the first cable news host an administration ever weaponized the Department of Defense against.
As for the rank-and-file in the military, they probably feel a lot like former Sean Parnell — podcaster, former Republican House candidate in Pennsylvania and veteran Army Ranger — who shot back after a Pentagon official accused Carlson of “bagging on our military” during his Fox News show.
Now, it’s still unclear why Carlson was let go on Monday. Carlson certainly wasn’t expecting the move — his last words on his Friday show indicated that he’d be back on Monday, after all — and a terse statement from the network didn’t elucidate much.
“FOX News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways. We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor,” the statement read.
“Mr. Carlson’s last program was Friday April 21st. Fox News Tonight will air live at 8 PM/ET starting this evening as an interim show helmed by rotating FOX News personalities until a new host is named.”
This hasn’t stopped speculation, because why would it? The dominant theory at first was that Carlson’s departure had to do with Fox’s settlement with Dominion Voting Systems over a suit involving voter fraud claims during the 2020 election — except Carlson was one of the earliest to denounce those claims on air after those in then-President Donald Trump’s orbit began making them:
Tucker Carlson calls out Sidney Powell, saying he asked her for evidence to support her election fraud claims, but “she never sent us any evidence despite a lot of requests, polite requests, not a page.”
“When we kept pressing she got angry and told us to stop contacting her.” pic.twitter.com/IOlOdhp6MJ
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) November 20, 2020
A more nuanced theory from Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman was that Carlson’s faith — in particular, “a speech at the Heritage Foundation’s 50th Anniversary gala on Friday night” in which “Carlson told the Heritage audience that national politics has become a manichean battle between ‘good’ and ‘evil'” — was the tipping point for Rupert Murdoch, the 92-year-old Fox News scion, who was described by sources inside the network as becoming increasingly unstable.
And then there were those who looked toward the fact that Carlson was a skeptic of the direction the Pentagon was taking under President Joe Biden, including misgivings about U.S. involvement in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
This was the angle Politico’s Lara Seligman took in her Tuesday report: “From maternity flight suits to diversity policies to Ukraine aid, the military was a favorite punching bag for Tucker Carlson. Now that he’s off the air, some Pentagon officials are quietly cheering his departure,” her report began.
“Carlson’s criticism of Biden-era personnel policies appealed to many of the rank-and-file, which has a large bloc of conservative members. But at the upper levels of the Defense Department, news of Carlson’s firing from Fox News on Monday was met with delight and outright glee in some corners.”
This included quotes from Pentagon sources who were — of course — unnamed.
“We’re a better country without him bagging on our military every night in front of hundreds of thousands of people,” said one of Seligman’s sources, described as a “senior DoD official.”
“Good riddance,” another said.
Carlson’s response about Pentagon officials gleefully toasting his exit was three words long: “Ha! I’m sure.”
However, Parnell decided to speak for that “rank-and-file” Seligman was talking about early in the article.
“This is BS. Tucker never bagged on our military,” the former Army Ranger wrote in a tweet.
“He demanded accountability of the senior leadership who gave us the disaster of Iraq & Afghanistan. Who to date, have not been held accountable for anything,” he added. “Thousands of Americans dead. Wounded. Trillions wasted. And for what?”
This is BS. Tucker never bagged on our military.
He demanded accountability of the senior leadership who gave us the disaster of Iraq & Afghanistan. Who to date, have not been held accountable for anything.
Thousands of Americans dead. Wounded. Trillions wasted. And for what? https://t.co/F0Lauvc8eb
— Sean Parnell (@SeanParnellUSA) April 26, 2023
And keep in mind, Carlson was public enemy No. 1 inside the Pentagon, to such an extent that if any host were targeted like he were while there was a Republican president, there would be a hue and cry like no other among the establishment media — with Carlson likely piling on, as well.
In the Politico piece, Seligman doesn’t particularly elucidate what the Department of Defense did after Carlson’s segment denouncing the Pentagon’s woke policies. Specifically, they actually issued a media release titled, “Press Secretary Smites Fox Host That Dissed Diversity in U.S. Military.”
“The United States military is the greatest the world has ever seen because of its diversity, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said during a news briefing this morning,” the release read.
“Kirby addressed this because a Fox cable show host used his show to denigrate the contributions of women in the military and to say the Chinese military is catching up to the U.S. military because it does not allow women to serve in the percentage the United States does.”
While vague details of how the U.S. military was weaponized against free speech were discussed in Seligman’s piece, you would think an official government media release titled “Press Secretary Smites Fox Host That Dissed Diversity in U.S. Military” would merit mentioning at least once, even in Politico. You’d think wrong.
Furthermore, after Carlson criticized Joint Chiefs of Staff head Gen. Mark Milley for remarks in front of Congress in which he defended the teaching of critical race theory, former Gen. Barry McCaffrey — former drug czar under the Clinton administration, then a military analyst with NBC News and MSNBC — demand he be fired for joking that Milley was “not just a pig, he’s stupid.”
Let this sink in. Tucker Carlson on live Fox TV called Gen Mark Milley the Chairman of the JCS “Stupid” and a “Pig”. Why hasn’t he been terminated? Who talks like this about a public official? Mark Milley …Princeton and Colombia. Years in combat.
— Barry R McCaffrey (@mccaffreyr3) June 25, 2021
Again, the idea that a former member of the military was lending his imprimatur for demanding the firing of a cable host for lampooning a current member of the military is the kind of thing that you want to believe only happens in banana republics and absurdistans. Yet here we were with McCaffrey practically demanding the termination of Carlson for snapping-to and behaving as he was told. (Oh, and that’s Columbia, Mr. McCaffrey.)
And then there were those who accused him of being a Putin puppet because he didn’t support the Biden administration’s efforts to aid the war in Ukraine. It’s one thing to disagree with Carlson, another to essentially accuse him of sympathy for the enemy.
But this is how Biden’s woke Pentagon feels: The enemy is within, either in conservative media or among conservative rank-and-file members. It needs to be stamped out, in their opinion. Of course they’re celebrating — but the fact that they are should tell us everything about their prerogatives, which don’t necessarily involve defending America or her interests.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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