(This article is the second installment of the series “Taking Tucker Carlson Seriously.” Part One can be read here.)

“We’re doing what we’ve always done but from within the fortress of a company that can’t be canceled.” (TCNetwork December 12, 2023)

“My goal in life is to say what I think is true, and I think this will allow it.” (TCNetwork December 12, 2023)

“The words your lips form should be utterly true all the time. And if you do that, you will find swelling in your breast a power of unknown origin but still unmistakably a power, a strength. You become strong. More than if you ran the Iron Man. You will find yourself empowered in the truest sense. You will find that a force moves through you. And other people can feel it.” [emphasis mine] ~Tucker Carlson, December 18, 2023

“To those who act as agents of chaos, I say this: I stand resolute and unyielding. And if you strike my voice down, know that a chorus of thousands shall rise up in its place, for you have no dominion over the righteous. We are the defenders of truth.” ~Padmé Amidala, a long time ago…


It has been an entire year since I decided to write about Tucker Carlson. By virtue of my profession, I, a professional sociologist and college professor, should revile this man. Apparently, the worldview he promotes, though ostensibly doesn’t act out in real life, “is a dangerous threat because it’s incredibly well-organized and powerful. There’s absolutely nothing like it on the left,” says a Yale sociologist. A threat to what, exactly, one might wonder.

At the very least, I should probably manufacture contempt for the sake of my career, but I won’t, and I don’t virtue signal. I accepted Christ into my heart on July 4th, 2020, and so it’s difficult for me, save for Evil (…murderers, liars, thieves, and hypocrites…dealing with feigned incompetence, lack of curiosity, and failure to pursue perplexity…waiting in lines, stubbing my toe, the taste of dish soap, etc., etc., etc. — I’m a work in progress), to truly hate anyone. But a lot of people seem to hate Tucker Carlson. Why? Tucker Carlson irritates and enrages those whose sense of security and will to power depends on deception and censorship. That’s why.

In point of fact, it was my professional curiosity that steered me toward studying Tucker Carlson. A colleague in a group of like-minded professionals shared a link that piqued my interest. I had long thought of Tucker Carlson as an anti-conspiracist if not just antipathetic toward those whom he once deemed “wrong, blasphemous, and sinful” for spreading conspiracy theories. I became aware of that quote while conducting my doctoral research on, with, and for the 9/11 Truth movement. Suffice it to say, this frog is in the pot. There’s really no way to hop out, so why not stir it up?

Introduction … and the Horse He Rode in On

On the morning of April 24th, 2023, Fox News ungraciously and unceremoniously announced that it and Tucker Carlson “agreed to part ways.” On his way out, Tucker Carlson took his ratings with him, threatening to turn Fox News’s prized self-description, “cable news’ most-watched network,” into a bygone slogan. [Update: In a recent interview, Tucker Carlson clarified that he also took his staff, dignity, and sanity with him; and, while its ratings slumped after dropping Tucker Carlson, Fox News still leads in ratings.] Proving he alone was drawing the numbers, Tucker Carlson’s first public statement, released at 8:01 pm (CT) on April 26th, 2023, on Twitter, amassed over 21 million views in 48 hours and garnered more than 80 million net views of the post as of May 4th, 2023. On the afternoon of May 9th, 2023, Tucker Carlson released a statement on Twitter informing his audience that he would be “bringing a new version of the show [he had] been doing for the last six and a half years to Twitter.” As of May 18th, that video amassed more than 131 million views. According to one commenter, “30 minutes after posting this video, it already has had more viewers than any single program on cable news,” which seems to be supported by cable news ratings during that week.

That all said, this essay series is not about Tucker Carlson, the Caucasian human male born May 16, 1969, in San Francisco, California. This essay series is about the persona known as Tucker Carlson and its meaning and function in the web of discourses related to truth, power, propaganda, and conspiracy — a “galvanizing” agent whose threat to “unify Americans around common beliefs & values [led] power to shove him into the wilderness.” [update: This seems to have bore out in reality due to Tucker Carlson moving to Twitter, now 𝕏—references to Twitter are based on the time of writing.] Much of this essay series was written even months before Tucker Carlson Tonight‘s cancellation; therefore, I never intended to tackle that topic as a reality, let alone anything he would eventually do on and for 𝕏. Ultimately, I never could have suspected Tucker Carlson would flick the first domino that eventually brought Alex Jones back to 𝕏, hence the latter part of this essay.

Fox News closed its doors to Tucker Carlson, but this opened windows for him and his audience and followers to breathe the air of free speech on 𝕏 and spread the light of truth, at least as far as they see it. After these events transpired, having already written a few thousand words on Tucker Carlson’s works at Fox News, I had to make sense of what I thought I knew then compared to now. I didn’t and couldn’t have known a year ago when I first started writing what is now a multi-part series that Fox News was willing to part ways with its most popular personality. Now that my hindsight is 20/20, I can correct or update past speculations, but much of what I wrote was correct then and needs few to no updates now.

On that note, here is part of what I originally intended to include in the conclusion:

Currently, Tucker Carlson is one of the most popular, or perhaps just one of the most well-known public figures evangelizing counter-truths in the face of official propaganda propping up the dominant paradigm. For example, in a 30-second clip posted on November 16, 2020, titled “Tucker: A quick note about this show’s future,” which has accumulated 1.6 million views so far, top commenters expressed their growing distrust in Fox News, with one person giving the tongue-in-cheek command, “Tucker, blink twice if you’re taken hostage.” While some commenters begged him to leave and take his show with him, other commenters voiced their growing distrust in Carlson for expanding his influence at the network, saying for example that “[t]he fact that he’s staying and even expanding on FOX, makes me loose [sic] a lot of trust in him.” But why would Fox News let go of its chief propagandist? He’s their cash cow, and since their golden goose was ousted, Fox News needs to replace its reliable revenue stream. And, apparently, Tucker Carlson has had no reason to leave, but rather he has, as he said he would, entrenched himself further. He’s selling something people want. Why would he quit while he’s ahead, and why would his beneficiaries stop him from becoming even more successful?

Some on Twitter wondered, “Why would Fox News get rid of their most popular anchor and the number one news show in all of the United States?” I speculated that even though Tucker Carlson brought in the most viewers at Fox News, his ratings didn’t necessarily translate to ad revenue, but that was just my educated guess. As it turns out, Fox News subsidized Tucker Carlson’s show with cable subscriptions, so I was right, and typically I hate being right. In the end, Fox News valued something more than its most popular host, and whatever that something is, it’s not what Tucker Carlson’s audience was tuning in for.

Fox News put their prized stallion out to pasture, but now, Tucker Carlson is off his reigns and out of the barn, so to speak. Many hoped he would trail off into the sunset, but as it turns out, Twitter/𝕏 provided a new dawn for Tucker Carlson’s career. This has allowed many more people who might have otherwise not while he was at Fox News to get to know the real Tucker Carlson. In the original conclusion for the originally intended essay, I speculated that Tucker Carlson presented a carefully crafted character to his audience, and I still could be wrong.

Possibly, Tucker Carlson presents his authentic, true self when sincerely stating his opinions, or maybe he’s just trolling factcheckers while amassing a fortune for himself, Fox News, and their sponsors. Perhaps both. Who can say for sure? Whatever you might believe, I stand stunned and credulous at what Carlson says and is allowed to say on Fox News and YouTube. How does he do it? Supported by the apparent fact that he wanted to join the CIA, cynics cast suspicions that Carlson is actually an active intelligence operative fanning the flames of bigotry and social conflict. I doubt it, but it’s possible. Alt-Right social media influencers, Carl Benjamin (aka Sargon of Akkad) and Styxhexenhammer666 (aka Tarl Warwick), recently aired their grief and doubt that Tucker Carlson genuinely portrays his authentic self to the camera. At the same time, sycophants seem to hang their hats on his apparent gravitas, acumen, and flippant feigning of naïve curiosity, which Carlson says is just how he actually is in real life, just an average guy who doesn’t even own a TV.

Discerning an individual’s true, authentic self from the face they put on in public is a tricky, sometimes pointless venture, and all the more difficult if they are a celebrity. I am not interested in Tucker Carlson’s motives other than if they factor into how his onstage performance is received by audiences. In this essay series, I am investigating Tucker Carlson’s role in contemporary propaganda mills. In doing so, I reserve the right to draw my own conclusions, just as you can yours, but I will also try to reserve ideological and sentimental affinities I might have with or for Tucker Carlson. Any similarity in our worldview is purely coincidence or possibly “structurally determined.”

Due to Tucker Carlson’s transgressions leading to his transition to Twitter (now 𝕏), in some cases, the intervening change in circumstances meant I had to delete sections expounding on the most watched personality on cable news:

Whatever you think of him, you have to admit Tucker Carlson has something people want. Tucker Carlson currently hosts one of the highest-rated cable news programs ever. As of Valentine’s Day 2023, Tucker Carlson “helped propel Fox News to its 104th consecutive weekly ratings victory over CNN and MSNBC, with an average prime time audience of 2.5 million viewers.” Currently, Tucker Carlson is Fox News’ biggest source of live ratings. As for his online presence — soon to be amplified if and when his new Twitter show commences, Media Matters reported that, Tucker Carlson accounted for 23 of Fox News’ 50 most popular YouTube videos. Tucker Carlson’s playlist – not his videos, just his playlist alone, consists of 3,273 videos that amassed 12,359,145 views as of April 21, 2023, which is not an insignificant portion of Fox News channel’s 14.2 billion views on YouTube.

In other cases, I re-wrote or deleted entire paragraphs in part due to discovering new information that put what I previously thought into a new light. So, forgive me if some parts seem disjointed. In any case, the decision at Fox News to sever ties with Tucker Carlson developed into a significant series of events.

In some cases, this meant that viewers and ratings shifted from Fox News to other outlets. Slightly more than 69% of respondents in an informal poll conducted by White House Correspondent Simon Ateba said they were switching from Fox News to competing conservative cable news outlet Newsmax, whose 8 pm timeslot tripled after Tucker Carlson was unleashed Fox News. And it wasn’t just Fox News that stood to lose viewers due to the decision that led to Tucker Carlson’s release from their network. One social media influencer asserted that “Tucker was the only thing keeping corporate news alive,” and he announced that he would be canceling his “cable package and just following the indy internet people for news coverage.”

Another influencer, Jeffrey A Tucker, stated that:

The only reason I subscribed to YouTubeTV was Tucker Carlson. It was the only thing I ever watched. And he has been great: on the administrative state, woke ideology, covid controls, collapse of the cities, war, you name it. The breakdown of major media seems nearly complete.

Upon hearing the news, many people expressed their love, admiration, and support for Tucker Carlson, and many gave an insightful analysis of Tucker Carlson and the ending of his chapter at Fox News:

  • “What he did with his show there was incredible and light years more intelligent, thoughtful and genuinely groundbreaking than anything in the network’s history. Tucker stood up against the war machine and the covid regime in real time. It was nothing short of heroic. For someone my age it’s hard to overstate how crazy it was to see the Fox News 8pm hour be the most vocal and effective critic of the MIC, CIA and FBI.” ~Dave Smith, April 24, 2023
  • “Watching socialist comedian @jimmy_dore and @aaronjmate acknowledging today that Tucker was the only one in MSM telling the truth on @wikileaks, Syria, Big Pharma, and foreign wars, while also saying they disagreed with him on things like Immigration, is a master class in critical thinking — one should be able to praise certain things while criticizing others with out needing to put the subject in a conceptual box. No one in MSM seems able to do this. Nuance — it is the hallmark of Reason.” ~Sean Ono Lennon, April 25, 2023
  • “During the time when I was permanently banned on Twitter, Tucker and his team made it a point to platform my work. They even brought me out for his podcast and let me discuss my reporting and censorship. I’ll never forget meeting him. Despite being the number one host in the ENTIRE industry, he still greeted me like he was my biggest fan. It was a day I will never forget. He is one of the most humble and genuine people in this industry and if it wasn’t for him and his team, a huge portion of my reporting would have gone unnoticed. I will forever be grateful to him. His passion for truth and exposing lies has been one of the greatest inspirations of my career. Can’t wait to see what he does next.” ~Savanaha Hernandez, April 24, 2023
  • “A good measure of character & humility in a public figure is the time they’re willing to spend to help those ‘without status.’ I’ve encountered some who only associate as long as it benefits their brand or project. Tucker Carlson is one of the kindest public people who helped me over the years unconditionally. I’ve seen him do this for others as well. I’ll miss watching him on Fox News, but I’m excited about whatever he’ll do next.” ~Andy Ngo, April 24, 2023

In line with the final statement above, Greg Price highlighted the everyman character Tucker Carlson portrayed on his nightly show: “This was Tucker Carlson Tonight’s last moment. Eating pizza with the hero delivery man who stopped a car jacker. I can’t think of a better way for the greatest cable news show in history to end.”

Personally, I find Tucker Carlson affable, brazen, intellectually motile, smarmy, and, depending on the subject under discussion, either daringly courageous or deceptively sincere. I cannot say for sure I truly know who the authentic inner personae of Tucker Carlson is, but I have come to believe that what he presents to the world is as close as a celebrity pundit can get. Some believe Tucker Carlson is among, if not the worst, human beings on Earth, but I don’t even find him annoying, let alone worse than the FBI’s 10 most wanted. If anything irritates me about Tucker Carlson, he couldn’t hold onto his job for another few weeks so I didn’t have to deal with his debacle and re-write this essay. But that’s beside the point.

In the following section, I provide my analysis of Tucker Carlson’s disruptive discourse while at Fox News, the accumulative effect of which likely contributed to his excommunication from the Establishment media and exit from the Empire. Continuing his mission to destroy the Death Star, Tucker Carlson’s catalyzing interview with Alex Jones was an event that no doubt marks a significant point in contemporary history as it ultimately led to Alex Jones’s entrance back into the town square. Finally, I address the ramifications of Tucker Carlson’s continuing work on 𝕏 and elsewhere, which I argue has been part of the formation of an alliance of those rebelling against the dominant power structures in the USA and globally, which I refer to generally as the Establishment and Empire. In the end, I believe that Tucker Carlson is both a signpost and active guide for the growing rebellion against the Establishment organizations orchestrating false narratives and operating the machinery for a nebulous Empire bent on destroying Western Civilization.

Order 66: Defending Democracy

Tucker Carlson has become more than a carbon-based Earthling with a wife and kids who likes to take his friends partridge hunting. No, to some,

Tucker Carlson isn’t [even] a cable news host, the response today shows that. He’s a historic figure and American hero. The evil ones will try to win and remove him [from] history, and commence another Armenian style genocide against all of us. This is why we fight. ~Cernovich, April 24, 2023

To the “evil ones” Cernovich (probably) refers to, Tucker Carlson is a “virulent propagandist,” a “proven liar,” a “racist demagogue,” and a “fascist” who “…giggles like a small child and shaves his face. He’s also been seen with a bow tie. …” These types of assessments echo throughout the desolate techno-ideo-mediascape in which the dinosaur media roam. “Corporate media is dead,” said Tucker Carlson, “which is why The Babylon Bee is more trusted than CNN.”

One popular voice in the luscious landscape of new media, Catturd, tuned their 1.7 million Twitter followers into the seismic shift signaled by Tucker Carlson’s release from Fox News, asserting that “This is the beginning of the end of the mainstream media.” It’s possible, though, that Elon Musk’s platform will become, or already was, the Mainstream Alternative Media (MAM) platform and this is all a ruse, but see more on that below. What is clear is that Tucker Carlson trends on 𝕏, makes the news, and his views and engagements outpace and surpass most corporate media personalities’ nightly shows.

Casting closer to shore, one comedian podcaster quipped that “Fox News without Tucker is like Playboy without nudes,” and another social media influencer remarked that “Fox News without Tucker Carlson is going to be like Project Veritas without James O’Keefe.” Having been “stripped of [his] position as CEO and Chairman” of Project Veritas after the organization broke a story on Pfizer, James O’Keefe’s O’Keefe Media Group released an undercover investigation indicating that Tucker Carlson’s release was likely due to Fox News’s litigation with Dominion despite Tucker Carlson being “the lone voice pushing back against what he saw as false reporting.”

As exemplified by Business Insider, Establishment news media drew connections between Fox News canceling Tucker Carlson and the Dominion lawsuit. This gave them the impetus to reveal statements in those proceedings made by Tucker Carlson shortly after the 2020 election denigrating Donald Trump. Directly after reporting on revelations from the Dominion trial proceedings of text “messages from Carlson saying he ’passionately’ hated Donald Trump,” Business Insider then chose to speculate that possibly xenophobic and racist “controversial statements” made by Tucker Carlson on his Fox News show might have been a factor in his show’s cancellation. Immediately after that conjecture, Business Insider chose to report on the outcry of Trump supporters on social media upon hearing the breaking news, highlighting the trending Twitter hashtag, #FoxNewsIsDead.

How a topic is framed is an important factor in how it is interpreted: Bringing up Tucker Carlson’s text messages revealed in the Dominion lawsuit and sandwiching speculations about bigotry between how Tucker Carlson “‘passionately’ hated Donald Trump” and Trump supporters’ outrage at Tucker Carlson leaving Fox News, were no accidents. I speculate that whoever wrote and edited that piece intended to either confuse their audience or give off the impression that Tucker Carlson is a mealymouthed bigot who was rightfully taken off air from Fox News, or both.

That’s all just hypothetical, speculation and conjecture. What about the truth of the matter? The Los Angeles Times reported that what really sealed Tucker Carlson’s fate at Fox News was a discrimination lawsuit filed by a Fox News producer:

In a statement, attorneys for Grossberg suggested her suit was a key factor in Carlson’s exit. ‘Tucker Carlson’s departure from Fox News is, in part, an admission of the systemic lying, bullying and conspiracy-mongering claimed by our client, former top producer Abby Grossberg,’ said Tanvir Rahman, one of Grossberg’s attorneys. ‘Mr. Carlson and his subordinates remain individual defendants in the [Southern District of New York] case, and we look forward to taking their depositions under oath in the very near term.’ Fox News said in a statement will defend itself against what it called Grossberg’s legal claims, which the company called ‘riddled with false allegations’. [emphasis mine]

Suffice it to say, there’s been much speculation about the real reason(s) for the split between Tucker Carlson and Fox News. Some believed it was due to his questioning of COVID-19’s origins, pandemic policies, and pharmacological therapies. Others cited his stance on the war in Ukraine, and still, others believed he got too close to the truth of JFK and 9/11. Some individuals on Twitter, like Ben Swann and others, speculated that powerful special interest groups such as BlackRock, which owns a 15.1% stake in Fox Corporation, had a decisive factor in Tucker Carlson’s departure from Fox News. Or, maybe Dominion was the key that unlocked Tucker Carlson from Fox News’s cage. Tucker Carlson has recently said he is not exactly sure what he said that led to his ousting from Fox News. So, who knows for sure, other than the puppet masters themselves?

I suspect that Tucker Carlson’s proselytization of conspiracy theories, in general, positioned him and his audience against the interests of global power structures. Fox News, like other corporate propaganda outlets, has been entrenched in the military-industrial-media complex since its inception, and so they excommunicated their Rumpelstiltskin. Tucker Carlson might have been spinning straw into ratings gold, but he eventually piled it so high that he was bucked off to save the camel. Myriad voices on Twitter reacted to news of his show’s cancellation with foreboding pessimism, tempered shock, facetious bemusement, celebratory scorn, speculative ad hominem, derisive jubilation, and a host of other nonchalantly spewed negative affectations. The same pattern followed after he continued his work on 𝕏 and pursued other ventures.

Fox News likely took Tucker Carlson’s show off its programming due to the sensitive societal nerves irritated by his monologues and interviews, but what could they be, exactly? One reliable source seems to know, but those facts have yet to be fully revealed. [update: Tucker Carlson said he sincerely doesn’t know exactly why he was fired, but he speculated that it was his accumulative polemical allocutions.] Perhaps it was the cumulative contrary notions he expounded upon over his years at Fox News (2016-2023), a reverse ‘death by a thousand cuts’: suicide by a thousand controversies. If you believe the plethora of Establishment news outlets, factcheckers for the Empire, and ineffectual naysayers on social media, Tucker Carlson presented his audience with little more than lies, bigotry, hate, and calls for violence.

The corporate press has claimed Tucker Carlson promoted violence against medical doctors, urged his audience to harass those who wear medical masks in public, and is a “superspreader” of fear and doubts about the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines. For airing such views, Tucker Carlson is frequently labeled a “right winger” and “conspiracy theorist” by many sources, and he recognizes the function of such labels when used against him. After searching, I had trouble finding instances of Tucker Carlson using the conspiracy label himself, though he has stated regret for using it in the past. In the end, Tucker Carlson’s spread of “conspiracy theories” is viewed as a threat to democracy itself. Progressive anti-conspiracist Chip Berlet views conspiracy theories generally as Toxic to Democracy and argues that the violence of right-wing populism is a short-circuit to the democratic process. So, maybe Fox News was trying to save democracy from Tucker Carlson.

For the democratic process to function properly, you do not question Critical Race Theory, George Floyd’s death, or why nobody was arrested for burning down a police station in the ensuing riots in Minneapolis. Empowering future generations who will operate democratic institutions means you don’t ask if the transgender movement is a threat to Christianity and Christians. In a democracy, apparently, you’re not allowed to speak out against child sexual abuse or look into the strange circumstances of Jeffrey Epstein’s death, and you certainly shouldn’t call out the NSA if it is spying on you. In a democracy, you don’t question the causes of Climate Change or its proposed solution, the Green New Deal. If democracy is to be preserved, you don’t question how major banks and Big Business have created a corporatocracy. Protecting the democratic process means you don’t ask how Big Tech influenced the 2020 election, and you do not question the deep politics of open-border immigration policies. Safeguarding democratic principles means you do not call out lies about the Capitol riots on January 6 or ask if government agents were helping foment the unrest. No, the sanctity of democracy depends on not asking why Ray Epps was never prosecuted. If you want to live in a democracy, don’t ask the obvious questions about the Nord Stream pipeline: Enjoying the freedoms afforded by democracy entails acceptance of the Washington warmongers’ agenda. If you embrace democratic values, don’t ask about the Pentagon’s role in the Ukrainian Biolabs, host a Chinese whistleblower exposing the origins of COVID-19 in a virology lab in Wuhan, China, or ask, “How many Americans have died after taking the COVID vaccine?

“I love democracy. I love the Republic,” quoth the tyrant, nevermore. In a democracy, everybody gets to speak, yet deplatforming and censorship are routinely used to silence those who raise troubling questions about narratives spun by the Establishment media. This is leading to recreancy in our Republic. There seems to be “a dark force” trying to destroy our democracy and our Republic. Darth Sidious gave the command to execute Order 66, and along with other truthsayers, Tucker Carlson was abruptly purged from Fox News. If taking flak happens when one is over the target, Tucker Carlson has assuredly been within the no-fly zone where at least one of the discursive cluster bombs he dropped daily was right on target, collateral damage be damned.

Tucker Carlson still commands a massive audience, shaping discourse far and wide, making him a central target of many media watchdog groups. There is now more reason than ever to take Tucker Carlson seriously as a voice of influence due to his continuing work on 𝕏 and elsewhere. What is clear now is that Tucker Carlson has maintained a mass following and inspired others to follow his lead. Fox News let the horse out of the barn. 𝕏 users rallied, and notable influencers were spurned on in their efforts to oppose the Establishment, evade the Empire’s grip, and move on in their mission to destroy the Death Star before it abolishes Western Civilization.

Return of the Rabble-Rouser

Ages ago, in December 2022, I originally sought to briefly address a single issue: Tucker Carlson’s promotion of the conspiratorial angle on the JFK assassination. Part of me regrets not having done so immediately. But, as I said in Part 1 of this series back in September of this year, “I either could not or would not set aside the time to finish the piece, and every delay opened time for Tucker Carlson to say something or interview someone I wanted to add to this perpetually deepening investigation.” This is no less true today. However, my strategic delay allowed time for Tucker Carlson to, well, be Tucker Carlson.

Since September 16, 2023, when my last article in this series was published, Tucker Carlson has, likely to expand his reach in the online media landscape, created his own YouTube and Rumble accounts, started a podcast (already ranking at number one Spotify’s ranking of podcasts), and debuted on one of the largest attended 𝕏 Spaces (#XTownHall). Probably in part due to having more time on his hands since April of this year, as well as doing a type of publicity tour, Tucker Carlson has appeared on numerous podcasts and radio programs, including Megyn Kelly’s, Tim Pool’s, Glenn Greenwald’s, Jack Posobiec’s, Dan Bongino’s, Clay Travis & Buck Sexton’s, Natali & Clayton Morris’s, Krystal Ball & Saagar Enjeti’s, Chamath Palihapitiya et al.’s, Alex Stein’s, Roseanne Barr’s, Jimmy Dore’s, Theo Von’s, and last but not least, Dave Smith’s. Check the view counts. These are not small audiences. What were people tuning in for? Check the comment sections and see for yourself.

Tucker Carlson has also engaged audiences at a number of well-attended and live speaking events, reported from Madrid, Spain, visited Julian Assange at Belmarsh Prison, and attended UFC fights at Madison Square Garden, walking into the arena to much fanfare alongside Kid Rock and former President Donald Trump—links are to both of Tucker Carlson’s interviews with them. Along with all of that—and hopefully having a meaningful private life in the meantime, since September 2023, Tucker Carlson more than doubled the number of episodes of his show, Tucker on 𝕏, and started the Tucker Carlson Network (on 𝕏 @TCNetwork). But most significant of all his work since I last published was a single interview: Tucker Carlson, on December 7, 2023, at 6 pm, dared to release on 𝕏 his interview with Alex Jones, “the most banned man on the Internet.”

As of 6 am, exactly one week later, that post had attained 21.6M views, 17k comments, 90k reposts, 266k likes, and 60k bookmarks. Essentially, Tucker Carlson smuggled Alex Jones back into the mainstream, not unlike Luke Skywalker and Obi-Won Kenobi’s clandestine mission to Mos Eisley in pursuit of a ship’s captain. The same day Tucker Carlson posted Ep. 46 The Alex Jones Interview, videos of Alex Jones surfaced on 𝕏 showing him standing alone with an open field in the background. In it, Jones thanks Tucker Carlson for giving him a platform and said this:

Elon Musk says he’s a free speech absolutist but still hasn’t let me back on Twitter with my own channel. I’m not even mad at Elon Musk. I understand he’s done as much as he thinks he can. But I hope Elon will watch this interview and actually hear from me why I was really banned on Twitter before he bought it, not the false reasons he’s been given.

Two days after Tucker Carlson posted his interview with Alex Jones, Elon Musk conducted a poll on 𝕏, and 70.1% of the 1,966,125 votes were in the affirmative to the question: “Reinstate Alex Jones on this platform?” Almost three hours later, Alex Jones’ wife, Erika Wulff Jones, posted a video of “the Big Bad Wolf,” as she calls him. Once again, Jones stood alone, but this time in a darkened hall with lighted world maps and a Christmas tree in the background. In it, Jones makes his case for being reinstated to 𝕏. Less than 14 hours after the poll opened, Elon Musk stated, “The people have spoken and so it shall be.” Luke and Obi-Won had found their captain, whose mission was to ferry them to Alderaan, a safe world for the Alliance to Restore the Republic.

A Stellar Disturbance

On December 10, 2023, Alex Jones’s account was reinstated on 𝕏. A diverse array of personalities, like U.S. Representative (R) Marjorie Taylor Greene, Syrian Girl, and Liz Wheeler, enthusiastically welcomed Alex Jones back into the town square. In celebrating the return of possibly the most (in)famous polemical firebrand in our living age, fellow fAr-RiGht CoNsPiRaCy guru Mark Dice noted

the complete absence of mainstream conservative pundits from the chorus of people who encouraged others to vote for Alex Jones’ return to X, and missing from noting the victory for free speech once Elon restored his account.

I should note that Mark Dice appeared on Alex Jones’s syndicated show Infowars shortly after the reinstatement. Highlighted in the teaser at the beginning of the recording is the following from Mark Dice, in which he was pointing out to Jones

Tucker Carlson’s standing up for you. And I think, by the way, that interview was so fantastic because—for people who are familiar with you, it was still a great interview, but because it was Tucker, and he can introduce Alex to a larger audience, maybe who aren’t listeners of the show—only see the memes, only see little clips… Tucker was so brilliant in asking the correct questions that that interview, I believe—and people bombarding Elon with the facts about what really happened—led to [Elon] seeing who the real Alex Jones is, and that’s who us the listeners have known who Alex is…

Dice’s point is that Tucker Carlson potentially opened Alex Jones up to a broader audience and that this exposure led to Elon Musk’s consideration of a) hearing out what Jones had to say for himself and/or b) giving a public hearing on reinstating Jones to 𝕏. Either way, Alex Jones was resurrected on mainstream social media shortly after his interview with Tucker Carlson. But not all conspiracy theorists were bemused.

David Icke, who has appeared on Jones’s show for lengthy discussions of God, demons, and the end of the world, responded to the situation with a somewhat less banal or stochastic interpretation, essentially calling the entire situation a Deep State conspiracy:

The decision was made a long time ago and the Carlson interview with Jones was just the calculated prelude to it. The interview was the set up for what was long planned. Musk could have simply done this long ago, but the ritual had to be played out to both eulogise Musk, the new MAM God, and to put Alex Jones centre stage as a symbol of the Mainstream Alternative Media [MAM] alongside Musk, Carlson, Rogan, Tate, Peterson, Brand, Vlaardingerbroek, and all the rest.

Others on 𝕏 share the same skeptical cynicism, claiming that Elon Musk is gaslighting people into believing there truly is free speech in the modern town square. Many believe that “𝕏 is a honeypot,” a trap for people who want to speak their minds freely when in reality they/we are being monitored, data harvested, and potentially categorized for the upcoming global social credit system. Whatever the case, the Establishment media is not happy with what transpired.

After all of the above occurred, the Establishment news media headlines were predictable:

  • “Tucker Carlson Is Fading Away: The former Fox News host has his own ‘network’ now. But recapturing his Fox News relevance won’t be easy” (Alex Shephard, December 13, 2023).
  • “Is this the best time or the worst for Tucker Carlson to launch a new streaming service? The former Fox personality is under fire for his interview with Alex Jones” (Jennifer Graham, December 11, 2023).
  • “Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones reinstated on X after Musk poll” (Mrinmay Dey and Jyoti Narayan, December 10, 2023).
  • “Elon Musk restores X account of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones” (The Associated Press, December 10, 2023).
  • “How Tucker Carlson helped persuade Elon Musk to reinstate Alex Jones on X” (Timothy Bella, December 11, 2023).
  • “The Curious Alliance of Alex Jones and Elon Musk: The latest right-wing ideologue to have a ban lifted by X (formerly Twitter) spent months alternately flattering and needling its mercurial owner” (Miles Klee, December 12, 2023).
  • “Elon Musk Brings Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones Back to X: Jones was banned from the social media platform in 2018 after posting harassing messages” (Kate Conger, December 9, 2023).

To me, these headlines use clear rhetorical strategies designed to malign the men’s characters. The first two presume a foreboding failure for Tucker Carlson’s new venture, and then by guilt through association and direct implication cast Elon Musk as a failed decisionmaker (what’s new?). Then there are the unnecessary descriptions and elaborations, but it is the obvious use of the conspiracy label as a denigrative slur that captures the real beauty of the propaganda:

Don’t worry about nuance; we all know a “conspiracy theorist” when we see/hear one, and they can and should all be talked out of their nonsense. After all, conspiracy theorists are all the same, and they should all be banned, censored, or dissuaded from public discourse, proposed a political science professor and Harvard Law professor. What could be said if we applied those same standards to Establishment propagandists? Are they all serial liars and public masturbators with an anti-conservative/Trump, pro-Biden bias? Are they all “presstitutes” who spin conspiracy theories?

As I addressed in Part 1, there is a marked and increasing loss of trust in U.S. social institutions, i.e., recreancy. In a Knight Foundation report titled “American Views 2022: Part 2, Trust Media and Democracy,” the report declares, “Democracy in America relies on an independent press to inform citizens with accurate information. Yet today, two forces pose significant challenges to this function: the growing struggle of news organizations to maintain financial independence and the growing distrust of news among the public.” The same report states, “Only 26% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the news media, the lowest level Gallup and Knight have recorded in the past five years, while 53% hold an unfavorable view.” If the Empire keeps squeezing, more people will rebel against it and its Establishment-imposed order, but perhaps that’s the point.

The schism is growing between those who hold allegiance to the Establishment and its Empire vs. those who rebel against it. Tucker Carlson is sledgehammering one of the largest wedges in that divide. Fortified “within the fortress of a company that can’t be canceled,” armed with the support of swelling waves of adoration, Tucker Carlson aims to stand on the graves of the dead and dying Establishment media he’s helping bury— ”The corporate media lied too much, and it killed them.” The plans for the Death Star have been acquired. The next step is organizing the rabble and recruiting troops to take it down.

Building a Rebellion

As I alluded to at the beginning of the section in Part 1 of this series titled “In a Democracy, Everybody Gets to Speak,” banning, censoring, deplatforming, excommunicating, or silencing people does not always have the desired effects the Establishment seeks. Call it the Law of Unintended Consequences, but unintended does not connote unanticipated. My point in that section was to highlight what Princess Leia said to Grand Moff Tarkin moments before he gave the order for the Death Star to destroy Alderaan and its enlightened and sovereign civilizations: “The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.”

In the Star Wars universe, The Tarkin Doctrine is State terrorism. This doctrine was designed to bring order through compliance, compliance through fear, and fear through destruction, actual or perceived. Its unintended consequence was instigating the Rebel Alliance, a cornucopia of species, races, genders, ages, and believers and unbelievers in the Force. Together, the rebels overcame the odds stacked against them, destroyed the Death Star, and overthrew the Empire. Setting this in motion decades prior was an ambitious politician, then-Senator Palpatine, whose machinations to become the Supreme Chancellor involved accumulating emergency powers to reformulate the Senate as the first Galactic Empire, a deathblow to liberty received with “thunderous applause.” Supreme Chancellor Palpatine used the rebellion in the galactic Civil War to foment support for his agenda, and then, as the Emperor of the galaxy, his final scheme was feeding the rebels information about the location of his second Death Star. Thus was born what would eventually become a well-known meme, “It’s a trap!” What saved the day? Luke had unfailing hope and faith that Light remained in his father’s spirit, and Darth Vader chose to turn from the dark side.

The Star Wars Rebel Alliance is not unlike the group that met and spoke live on 𝕏 Spaces on December 10, 2023. Manifestly, this was a virtual space to provide Alex Jones with a platform to speak, but its latent function was to produce group identity, cohesion, and solidarity around the core humanistic value of free speech. (See for yourself: #TeamHumanity, #TeamHuman.) As of December 14, 2023, over 15 million people have heard the ideologically diverse group of speakers commune peacefully, including (in order of appearance and their follower count) Alex Jones (1.9M), Laura Loomer (710.8k), Tristan Tate (2.6M), Jack Posobiec (2.3M), Brian Krassenstein (792.9k), Jackson Hinkle (2.3M), Elon Musk (166.2M), Ed Krassenstein (1M), Vivek Ramaswamy (1.5M), Andrew Tate (8.4M), Mark Dice (697.2k), General Mike Flynn (1.4M), CJ Pearson (451.6k), Matt Gaetz (2.4M), Sulaiman Ahmed (287.4k), @Jason (777k), Patrick Bet-David (831.9k), The Redheaded Libertarian (559.8k), ALX (638.3k), and Benny Johnson (2M). To summarize the conversation: The protection and practice of free speech outside of censorious control systems is paramount to saving humanity and Western Civilization from imminent destruction by those seeking to impose censorship.

To Establishment insiders, outsiders like Vivek Ramaswamy, who purport to “speak TRUTH to power, shut down the deep state & end corruption in our government,” are “just scum,” but for such “Rebel Scum,” “The Establishment in both parties is corrupt to the core and is alive more than ever.” Another faction of the Rebel Alliance, Turning Point USA, met December 16-19 in Phoenix, AZ, for AmericaFest, which hosted a range of speakers, including Kari Lake, Rosanne Barr, Glenn Beck, Donald Trump, Jr., Seth Dillon, Roger Stone, Steve Bannon, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Tucker Carlson. The event was also host to Tim Pool’s show, “Timcast IRL – LIVE From TPUSA AMFest w/ Tucker Carlson, James O’Keefe, Charlie Kirk.” This would be the first appearance of Tucker Carlson on that show, but there was an immediate and conspicuous comradery and kismet in the conversations. Here is a segment from that discussion that puts into irl perspective the sci-fi metaphor I have been constructing:

Tucker Carlson: My views on Iraq, which I had — I had a daily TV show leading up to that war, and I had kind of endorsed it, sort of halfheartedly, against my better instincts. But I did, I did. I did that. I have felt ashamed about it ever since. And then I went to Iraq in December of 2003, twenty years ago this month, and I got there the day they captured Sadam in Tikrit. And I watched the whole place fall apart. And I won’t bore you with the details, but I realized that everything I had advocated for was a complete lie. That this was a disaster that can only hurt my country, which is the only country I really care about. And, by the way, it eliminated the entire Christian population of Iraq, which I guess we’re not allowed to say. But if you’re a Christian, you should care what happens to Christians globally, and I must say, they do bear the brunt in almost all of our foreign policy. And no one says that. It’s happening now, happened in Syria. And it’s like, “SHUT UP! YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO NOTICE THAT!” Why? I’m a Christian. And I care about other Christians, why wouldn’t I? And they do wind up bearing the disproportionate harm in our foreign policy adventures. And you have to ask yourself, why is that? Honestly, what? I don’t know the answer, but it’s super evil.

Tim Pool: I feel like a large component—and I think you were saying this earlier, if not the component of what the culture war is is the destruction of Christianity.

Tucker Carlson: Of course, exactly!

Earlier in the conversation, during the introductions of the all White, mostly Christian, alt-right/far-right panel of conspiracy theorists, Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, opened by saying what I anticipated while writing this section a week before their convention: “The Empire is going to strike back in ‘24.”

What that looks like, we don’t know. And in ‘20, they did declare war. That’s what COVID was: COVID was a domestic declaration of war that gave unelected bureaucrats unlimited power to change the voting laws. And they’re going to try to do it in 2024, probably a foreign war, but who knows? And we have to be prepared for that if we want even a chance to win. And people ask all the time, “Do you think we’re going to win.” I have no idea.

Win what? Kirk spoke directly about the 2024 election, but the overall theme of the conversation centered on the culture war. From the rebels’ perspective, the Establishment figures that operate the machinery of the Empire use ideological, bureaucratic, juridical, law enforcement, and military means to reach their ends. And what are “their” ends? Abolition of privacy and private property. The elimination of Christianity. Dissolution of the nuclear family. Complete takeover of society [by the State]. Implementation of “a worldwide revolution” to achieve global governance. These are all hallmarks of one of the most widely assigned texts in U.S. colleges for several decades, The Communist Manifesto, a holy destructive text that concludes with a declaration that Communist “ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions.” [emphasis mine] So, to my audience and the Yale sociologist cited in the introduction, again I ask, Tucker Carlson’s worldview is a threat to what, exactly?

On that point, Tucker Carlson’s speech at AmericaFest, on December 18, 2023, provides a framework for understanding the Empire and its Establishment operators:

I think people misunderstand Evil. They assume that Evil is something that you inflict on other people—I do an evil thing to you because I am evil. And what they miss is that that’s not exactly how it works. Evil pre-exists us. Evil’s been around since the beginning of time, and certainly the beginning of recorded history, we know that. And it’s not something that people simply do to one another, it’s something that acts through people. People become conduits for Evil. And in the process of doing that, what happens to them? They’re destroyed. The people doing evil do not win in the end, they are destroyed by the Evil that flows through them. They are miserable people. And that’s kind of the tell, right? … And by the way, there are people who do bad things who seem kind of happy with their lives. But if you’re channeling actual Evil, if you’re trying to destroy people for the sake of destroying them, if you are lying for the sake of lying, for the thrill of telling a lie, and if you are hurting people for the sin of telling the truth, and you’re offended simply because it is true, if the idea that somebody somewhere might be saying a true thing enrages you, that’s not politics. That’s theology. You are a conduit for Evil. So the reason I’m going on about this is not to give you some half-to-bake theology lecture. It’s merely to let you know what the plan is. There is no plan. They don’t have a plan. There’s not a plan… No. There’s no plan… [But what they’re doing will] destroy the country, and that’s why they’re doing it. And I think a lot of people who are doing that have no conscious awareness of this. I don’t think the staff of the Atlantic Magazine… wake up every morning thinking, how could I destroy America, the country where my kids live? I don’t. But there is no mistaking the effects of what they’re doing. It’s destruction for its own sake. And so that lets us know that it’s not even about the next election, which I think is pivotal. It’s not about some political debate between, I don’t know, pick the buffoons. It’s not about whatever the dumb cable channels are doing. It’s about your existence here, actually.

I must disagree on one point. In Star Wars, how do we know the Empire is evil? It destroys entire planets, life, and hope. The beings who rebel struggle to save what they love. As H.G. Wells spelled out in his 1940 book, The New World Order, “Countless people … will hate the new world order, be rendered unhappy by frustration of their passions and ambitions through its advent and will die protesting against it.” As Karl Marx said in Part III of The Class Struggles in France, “The revolution, which finds here not its end, but its organizational beginning, is no short-lived revolution … It not only has a new world to conquer, it must go under in order to make room for the men who are able to cope with a new world.” [emphasis mine] On one of the World Economic Forum’s Global Governance web pages, titled “We must work together to build a new world order…,” the author discusses, “a brave new world in the making, one that we can all embrace and shape together … [for] … creating sustainable peace .…” But that’s all just a conspiracy theory, allegedly. So, I’ll recall a line from Star Wars spoken by the Emperor: “Once more, the Sith will rule the Galaxy, and we shall have peace.”

Peace, that’s what they want; sure, just like there’s no plan. In the Empire of Lies, free speech is the great enemy, truth is treason, and peace is a trap. True peace arises out of open, deliberate debate and discussion, voluntary and cooperative negotiations, and mutually recognized attempts at persuasion. As Tucker Carlson put it during a conversation on the All-in Podcast on December 1, 2023,

I certainly think that reasoned disagreement is essential. It’s the alternative to violence, by the way. That’s what that is: Debate and politics are the alternative to violence. You get two choices: We’re going to do it by arguing about it, or we’re going to do it by force. Okay? So, I think it’s absolutely essential to debate things. Because if we don’t, we just have to shoot each other, and I’m against that.

Add to that this statement by Tucker Carlson on the Jimmy Dore Show on December 14, 2023, which harkens back to Charlie Kirk’s quote from above:

I’m worried about the next year, I really am. And I think I have cause to worry about it. It feels like—and I hope I’m wrong—I’ve certainly been wrong a lot: I don’t lie if I can help it, but I have been wrong, and I hope I am once again wrong when I predict that this will be a very different country in December of 2024. It feels that way. It feels like we are on the brink. They’ve taken the mask off. They’re not hiding who they are anymore. They are not trying to convince you anymore. They’re not pretending it’s for your own good; they don’t care about your own good, and they’re not saying they do. So when you reach that stage, like what’s next? Not good things at all; they’re not even pretending to rule by consensus. They’re ruling by force. When you give up argument you get to force; there’s nothing left. And so I think we’re gonna see a lot of force in the next 12 months, and I sincerely hope that I’m just being crazy.

The dark forces of Establishment propaganda and censorship depend upon deception to bring the Empire’s plans to fruition. The purported plans are peace, but to quote from a different cinematic universe, “Yeah, you say ‘peace.’ I kind of think you mean the other thing.” Truth is the force of the light side, and Tucker Carlson and the rest of the allied rebels are the sworn enemies of censorship, lies, and propaganda. As Tucker Carlson put it, “The hatred of Truth is the hallmark of Darkness,” and in the following part, I interrogate what he considers true as compared to how Establishment media and its fact-checker industry frame and portray his statements.

(Featured Image: “Tucker Carlson” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.)


  • Richard Ellefritz

    Richard G. Ellefritz is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of The Bahamas. He earned his Ph.D. in sociology at Oklahoma State University after successfully defending his dissertation on how the conspiracy label is used to avoid offering direct and rigorous rebuttals to empirical claims made by so-called conspiracy theorists. His research interests range from conspiracy discourse to pedagogical techniques, and his main occupational focus is on teaching a variety of courses in the social and behavioral sciences.

    View all posts


  • Richard Ellefritz

    Richard G. Ellefritz is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of The Bahamas. He earned his Ph.D. in sociology at Oklahoma State University after successfully defending his dissertation on how the conspiracy label is used to avoid offering direct and rigorous rebuttals to empirical claims made by so-called conspiracy theorists. His research interests range from conspiracy discourse to pedagogical techniques, and his main occupational focus is on teaching a variety of courses in the social and behavioral sciences.

    View all posts