John Oliver on why Tucker Carlson is so dangerous

Tucker Carlson (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Tucker Carlson (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) /

Fox News host Tucker Carlson found himself at the center of yet another controversy last week. Last night on Last Week Tonight, John Oliver explained just what it is about Carlson that makes him so dangerous.

Carlson sparked outrage when he criticized maternity flight suits, military uniforms redesigned to better fit women, and changes to hairstyles. The Fox News host also complained about the feminization of the military and compared it to the Chinese military.

The comments were condemned by other political commentators as well as by senior members of the Pentagon. But the rebuke is unlikely to affect Carlson in any major way as his show continues to be one of the most-watched programs on Fox News.

To better understand why Tucker Carlson is so popular and explain the dangers of that popularity, John Oliver profiled Carlson on Last Week Tonight. Oliver broke down the tactics used by Carlson to spread his message and what it represents.

John Oliver takes the audience through Tucker Carlson’s career beginning in print journalism and quickly transitioning to television. Oliver pulls some old clips to demonstrate how Carlson developed his “tricks of the trade.” The same victim card that Carlson saw played by others is now his signature, says Oliver. Carlson frames himself as a wanted man for speaking the truth about Washington.

Oliver details how this tactic evolved, noting that Carlson gets his message across under the guise of asking questions that real people want the answer to and “they” don’t want him asking. On the other hand, anyone who asks questions of Carlson is attacking democracy. The hypocrisy is “a bit much” according to Oliver.

Carlson’s racist commentary and promotion of white nationalist ideals may not be directly spoken into the camera but they do become obvious, says Oliver. Last Week Tonight provides example after example of how Carlson twists stories and dangerously reframes them.

Oliver’s takeaway is that Tucker Carlson’s minor controversies can’t be dismissed or ignored as a product of “cancel culture.” Carlson’s talking points are seen by millions of Americans every night and are at risk of buying into Carlson’s version of America.

John Oliver is the latest late night host to go after Tucker Carlson

Tucker Carlson has a long history of getting the attention of late night television hosts. The profile from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is just the latest example.

Fans may recall The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart confronting Carlson on Crossfire back in 2004. The Daily Show with Trevor Noah has continued to mock Carlson in more and more creative ways.

The entire roster at Fox News has been mentioned during “A Closer Look” on Late Night with Seth Meyers at some point or another. But Carlson has been mentioned more lately, allowing Meyers to show off his spot-on Tucker Carlson impression.

The list goes on and on. Jimmy Kimmel Live!The Late Show with Stephen ColbertSaturday Night Live, and more have turned Carlson into a punchline. After John Oliver explained why the Fox News host is so dangerous, it’s easy to see why so many people are eager to expose him.

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What did you think of this segment from Last Week Tonight? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.