Tucker Carlson is a pox on the collective American psyche. Five nights a week he blasts his cryptofascist diatribes into living rooms across the country, spewing white nationalist talking points and pro-Trump misinformation. Millions of people have their political compasses calibrated and their moralities warped by a man who assures them he is well-intentioned even as he wallows in the worsts kind of racism.
Lest Fox News viewers cue into the fact that Carlson exists solely to serve the plutocrats who pull the strings of the GOP, he affects a “man of the people” shtick by regularly telegraphing faux concern about the welfare of the average American worker. His toothless rants against the ruling class are carefully engineered to convince his viewers that he, a multi-millionaire born to incredibly wealthy and well-connected parents, actually has their best interests at heart.
In a recent segment, Carlson actually had the gall to call Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) a “child of privilege,” a laughably hypocritical insult considering his own upbringing. True to his consistently crude form, he also cast aspersions on her “silly pointless degree” from a “silly pointless college.”
The reason for the attack is obvious. Carlson regularly belittles and smears AOC because her progressive agenda is a direct threat to the ill-gotten wealth his benefactors and employers have so greedily hoarded for decades. What’s more, she embodies everything that Carlson pretends to be. He gives lip service to the working class, she fights on a daily basis to improve their lives.
Never one to back down in the face of bad faith right-wing rhetoric, AOC retweeted the clip and pointed to the obvious problem with Carlson’s characterization of her.
Republicans love to mock the fact that she used to work as a bartender (revealing their own deeply ingrained disdain for the working class in the process) and yet here’s the golden boy of the reactionary media apparatus calling her a “child of privilege.” So which is it? Is she a lowly bartender or a lifelong member of the upper class?
AOC’s perfect coup de grace was to mock Carlson for calling anyone privilege while his own stepmother is an heiress of the Swanson frozen empire. His full name is Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson. Here is a man who has never had to worry about financial security or career opportunities. He is comfortably positioned within the wealthiest strata of the United States and every time he opens his mouth to accuse someone else of being privileged that fact should be stuffed into his mouth like one of those frostbitten refrigerated meals that filled his family’s coffers.
I’ve lost track –
Am I “just a bartender” who should go back to making drinks without health insurance, or am I a secretly deceitful child of privilege because I’m an heiress of the Swanson frozen food empire OH WAIT sorry that’s Tucker Carlson. https://t.co/CNw32VwTbh
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 21, 2020
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Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.