Fox News' Tucker Carlson is best known for stoking fear among white conservatives and calling it "news." And while Carlson appears to have suffered from amnesia that precludes him from uttering his former buddy-buddy Rep. Matt Gaetz's (R-FL) name on air, Carlson's latest target has been a favorite of his over the past year: people who wear masks because they're considerate and trust science and medical professionals. More specifically, the conservative talking head is taking issue with Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff.
"Just today, Kamala Harris and her husband made a point of kissing each other in front of photographers while wearing masks. They did that despite the fact that they are married, that they live together, that they were standing outside at the time, and despite the fact that both have been vaccinated," Carson said on Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight on Wednesday. "Now a number of crude jokes come to mind but for once we are going to pass on that. What exactly are we watching here? We are watching the crudest kind of propaganda designed by the cynical for the benefit of a population they consider stupid and weak and malleable."
In the *very* short clip Carlson shared, Harris and Emhoff are seen walking a long distance away from photographers, likely unaware of them, in a group of guards and other people, before they briefly peck with their masks on. A conspiracy!
But the fact that Carlson has — once again — denounced people wearing masks is hardly surprising. On April 26, Carlson encouraged his audience to harass parents who put masks on their children when they're out in public, likening the act to child abuse.
"Your response when you see children wearing masks as they play should be no different from your response to seeing someone beat a kid in Walmart," Carlson said. "What you're looking at is abuse. It's child abuse. And you are morally obligated to attempt to prevent it." Carlson has also equated wearing a mask outside to "exposing oneself in public," and has attacked COVID-19 vaccines by regurgitating unproven, inaccurate misinformation about vaccine safety.
It's also unsurprising that Carlson decided to attack Vice President Harris and her husband. Carlson has repeatedly mispronounced the vice president's name on purpose and has often refused to apologize on air when corrected. He has called Harris a "fraud" and "transparently one-dimensional," and given his fanatic dedication to espousing white supremacist ideological viewpoints and themes, often directs his mediocre white man ire at Black women and other people of color.
Carlson — whose own employer admits is not a credible source of news, and during a defamation lawsuit case, argued that "any reasonable viewer 'arrive[s] with an appropriate amount of skepticism' about the statements he makes" — is good at two things: stoking fear and tying bow ties. That he chose to take a routine moment between a husband and wife and twist it into some Democratic-led conspiracy theory to dumb down the masses is par for Tuck Tuck's course. But a two-second masked kiss between partners is not a red alarm cause for concern.