Fox News host Tucker Carlson promoting yet another unproven, non-medically-approved solution to a medical problem is not something new, but Carlson really has some cojones to try to convince his audience of his latest controversial medical conspiracy theory.
Carlson premiered the trailer for his upcoming documentary “The End of Men” recently, complete with shirtless men, doing – you know – “manly things.” Remarkably, in 49 seconds, he manages to cram, nearly every stereotypical activity associated with the right wing’s view of “masculinity.”
Nikki McCann Ramirez of Media Matters tweeted a copy of the trailer with a warning that you may not be prepared for what you are about to see.
I promise you are not prepared for Tucker's latest montage pic.twitter.com/8tdvYTW2cn
— nikki mccann ramírez (@NikkiMcR) April 16, 2022
Shirtless men shooting rifles, grilling over an open flame, wrestling, and chopping wood. It was one particular part of the trailer, however, that has the internet abuzz. And no, I don’t mean the scene of the shirtless man milking a cow, but that of a fully nude guy, standing atop a hill, welcoming the warmth of a – testicular tanning machine?
It makes you wonder if there’s an SPF high enough for men choosing to follow Carlson’s advice.
Carlson interviewed a self-proclaimed “fitness expert” Andrew McGovern who talked up the benefits of “bromeopathy,” a red light therapy to increase testosterone levels that are on the decline by targeting the Leydig cells that produce sperm in a man’s body. It’s a treatment that McGovern claims isn’t being “picked up or covered.”
That could be because it’s expensive – a full-body version of the Joovv seen in the video costs a cool $1499.00 – and frankly…is just plain weird.
The response on social media was particularly brutal in its commentary on Carlson’s bizarre masculine health regimen.
Black Mirror episode where awful unctuously racist talk show host patiently cultivates a horrible audience for 30 years and then at the end convinces the worst 10% of men in America to microwave their own nuts.
— LeavePlutoAloneHat (@Popehat) April 18, 2022
Quick! Call Tucker’s Testicle Tanning Salon to book your appointment today. ☀️ pic.twitter.com/Hm7VoRxagk
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) April 18, 2022
I am sitting here next to my gay husband living my gay life reading a gay novel as research for my new gay book…and yet I am not and will never be as gay as whatever is haunting Tucker Carlson's fantasies. https://t.co/wU05PVIrfG
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) April 16, 2022
Tucker Carlson's "The End of Men" trailer is beyond parody in an unintentionally hilarious way. But the radical message it sends to viewers needs to be taken seriously. https://t.co/mtOmTbEqMJ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 19, 2022
Two years ago Trump suggested bringing "ultraviolet or just very powerful light…inside the body."
Now Tucker Carlson's suggesting infrared light for "testicle tanning."
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) April 18, 2022
Lyndsey Graham signs up to Tucker Carlson's new 'Testicle Tanning' Salon. pic.twitter.com/suNk5SNJm4
— ABBA is not Putin's Puppet (@Abba_Annabelle) April 18, 2022
I guess Trump watched Tucker Carlson’s “documentary” 🤷🏻♂️ pic.twitter.com/H6Wt0yqOKl
— Gabe Sanchez – @firstname.lastname@example.org (@iamgabesanchez) April 19, 2022
Who already knew Tucker Carlson had low testosterone and pale sad balls?
— Kate 🤍🇺🇸 (@ImSpeaking13) April 18, 2022
So, according to Tucker Carlson’s “theory of manliness” — it’s unmanly for men to hold babies. Does this photo of me (holding my grandson) make me look any less of a man? pic.twitter.com/FPS3Gzhb4G
— Lakota Man (@LakotaMan1) April 17, 2022
Tucker Carlson has MAGA men, across the country, applying ultraviolet radiation to their balls..
— Old Man Lefty (@OldManLefty1) April 19, 2022
Seth Meyers mocks Tucker Carlson's testicle-tanning fetish: “Nothing is crazier than a conservative’s second idea… Are there ever solutions somewhere between Plan A and the craziest shit you’ve ever heard?” https://t.co/hKnalcO6EP
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) April 19, 2022
The testicle-tanning thing is a great bit of marketing. But don't overlook the point of Carlson's shows — undercutting expertise — or that the trailer's featured expert on the purported decline of testosterone is RFK Jr. https://t.co/D6zqjiAcZJ
— Philip Bump (@pbump) April 18, 2022
While the internet had a chuckle at Tuckems’ expense, the release of this video speaks to Republicans’ continued obsession — and politicization — of what makes a man a man. Frankly, this is nothing new. It has been building since the twice impeached Former Guy was in office. Trump was obsessed with testosterone, frequently equating low testosterone and perceived weakness in men with being a Democrat or a “liberal.” And he never missed an opportunity to brag about his “success” with women.
During his 2016 Presidential campaign, Trump went on the Doctor Oz Show. Oz, looking at a paper, proclaimed that Trump’s testosterone level was 441 and described it as “good,” prompting a round of applause from the crowd.
Trump is not known for his humility, and after the results were revealed, his campaign released this statement:
“We are pleased to disclose all of the test results, which show Mr. Trump is in excellent health and has the stamina to endure, uninterrupted, the rigors of a punishing and unprecedented presidential campaign.”
It was both a brag and a dig at Trump’s political opponent, Hillary Clinton, who he smeared with accusations of her being weak. His base ate it up.
The politicization would spread throughout MAGA. Who can forget doctored images of TFG, shirtless dressed like Rambo?
I wish I could!
Republican Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) made masculinity a focal point in 2021. He told Axios that he would make masculinity — or his perceived attack on it — a central issue.
📺 Sen. Josh Hawley tells #AxiosOnHBO that he'll make masculinity a signature political issue, because he claims "the left" is telling men: "You're part of the problem…Your masculinity is inherently problematic."
— Axios (@axios) November 7, 2021
A week before the Axios interview, Hawley delivered the keynote speech at the National Conservatism Conference, where he said “we must seek a revival of strong and healthy manhood in America.”
Hawley wasted no time in criticizing and demonizing those on the left, accusing them of emasculating men and bending gender norms. It was an obvious attack on the transgender community, slamming AOC and President Biden for calling out toxic masculinity and systemic racism. It is something that Hawley considers an attack on “traditional” American values and way of life, blaming unemployment and substance abuse on the left.
Here’s an excerpt of Hawley’s speech at the conference:
“The deconstruction of America begins with and depends on the deconstruction of American men. The Left want to define traditional masculinity as toxic. They want to define the traditional masculine virtues—things like courage, and independence, and assertiveness—as a danger to society. This is an effort the Left has been at for years now. And they have had alarming success. American men are working less, getting married in fewer numbers; they’re fathering fewer children. They are suffering more anxiety and depression. They are engaging in more substance abuse. Many men in this country are in crisis, and their ranks are swelling. And that’s not just a crisis for men. It’s a crisis for the republic.”
To take Hawley at his word, one would need to believe that teaching men empathy, compassion, and respect for women – all positive things in the progressive worldview – is somehow detracting from who they are as men.
In February, Tyler Stone of Real Clear Politics posted a transcript of Joy Reid’s The Absolute Worst segment on her MSNBC program. Reid calls out the fragility and perpetual victimhood of the Republican male.
“But this fixation on making politics more manly isn’t new, it goes back to the ’80s about Democrats being the mommy party and Republicans the daddy party. But a cadre of Trumpists have turned it into a full-on rallying cry. Like Madison Cawthorn, whose claim that society is trying to demasculate men and call parents to raise monster men. Or fake MAGA Hedgefund manger JD Vance endorsing violence by praising Kyle Rittenhouse for showing basic manly virtue, I can’t. And who can forget Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, who has made defending masculinity, as he sees it, his entire M.O. He gave a speech after being told that manhood is the problem, it’s driving men to pornography and video games. Sir, me thinks you doth protest too much,” Reid said.
In this edition of "The Absolute Worst," @JoyAnnReid examines the conservative manosphere, where there's no shortage of whining about the lack of macho men in our country. #TheReidOut #reiders pic.twitter.com/m5MmKqt667
— The ReidOut (@thereidout) February 4, 2022
Reid absolutely nailed it. And, unlike Tucker Carlson or Josh Hawley, she didn’t need testosterone to do it.
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick