<private> Carlson (Swanson)parent
About Tucker Carlson
Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson (born May 16, 1969) is an American political news correspondent and conservative commentator for the Fox News Channel. He is co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Daily Caller. He is a senior fellow of the Cato Institute and formerly co-hosted CNN's Crossfire and MSNBC's Tucker.
Family and education
Carlson grew up wealthy in Carlsbad, a suburb of San Diego. He is the elder son of Richard Warner Carlson, a former Los Angeles news anchor and U.S. ambassador to the Seychelles who was president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and director of Voice of America. His adopted mother is Patricia Caroline Swanson (born 1945), former wife of Howard Feldman and an heiress to the Swanson food-conglomerate fortune. He has a brother, Buckley Swanson Peck Carlson. A great-uncle was Sen. J. William Fulbright.
He attended St. George's School, a boarding school in Newport, Rhode Island. After graduation, he majored in History at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
He is married to Susan Carlson, née Andrews. They have four children: Lillie, Hopie, Dorothy, and Buckley.
Carlson began his journalism career as a member of the editorial staff of Policy Review, a national conservative journal then published by the Heritage Foundation (and since acquired by the Hoover Institution). He later worked as a reporter at the regionally influential Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper in Little Rock, Arkansas and at The Weekly Standard.
As a magazine and newspaper journalist, Carlson has reported from around the world. He has been a columnist for New York and Reader's Digest. He has also written for Esquire, The Weekly Standard, The New Republic, The New York Times Magazine, and The Daily Beast.
Carlson joined CNN as its youngest anchor ever, remaining at the network until February 2005. Carlson got his television start in 2000 as co-host of The Spin Room opposite Bill Press.
He later was appointed co-host of Crossfire, where he represented the political right. During the same period, Carlson also hosted a weekly public affairs program on PBS, Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered.
Interview with Jon Stewart
One of Carlson's most memorable appearances on Crossfire was his 2004 heated exchange with Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, prior to the 2004 presidential election. Stewart criticized the format of shows like Crossfire, calling Carlson and co-host Paul Begala "partisan hacks," and asked them to "stop hurting America."
Carlson countered by criticizing Stewart's July 2004 interview with then U.S. Presidential candidate John Kerry. He accused Stewart of "sniffing Kerry's throne" and "not asking tough questions." Stewart replied, contextualizing his own show as a comedic rather than informational venue, "I didn't realize that [...] the news organizations look to Comedy Central for their cues on integrity." After Carlson told Stewart "I think you're more fun on your show," Stewart replied by saying: "You know what's interesting though? You're as big a dick on your show as you are on any show."
After their televised confrontation, Carlson recalls, Stewart "stayed at CNN several hours after the show to discuss the issues that he raised on the air... He (Stewart) needed to do this".
In January 2005, CNN announced they were ending their relationship with Carlson and would soon cancel Crossfire. CNN chief Jonathan Klein told Carlson on January 4, 2005, that the network had decided not to renew his contract. Carlson, however, claims he had already resigned from CNN and Crossfire long before Stewart was booked as a guest, telling host Patricia Duff: "I resigned from Crossfire in April, many months before Jon Stewart came on our show, because I didn't like the partisanship, and I thought in some ways it was kind of a pointless conversation... each side coming out, you know, [raises fists] 'Here's my argument,' and no one listening to anyone else. [CNN] was a frustrating place to work."
Carlson's early evening show, Tucker, premiered June 13, 2005, on MSNBC (originally entitled The Situation with Tucker Carlson). The show lasted fewer than three seasons; the network announced its cancellation due to low ratings on March 10, 2008. The final episode aired on March 14, 2008.
Carlson had also hosted a late afternoon weekday wrap-up for MSNBC during the 2006 Winter Olympics, during which he attempted to learn how to play various Olympic sports. In July 2006, he reported live for Tucker from Haifa, Israel, during the 2006 Lebanon War between Israel and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. While in the Middle East, he also hosted MSNBC Special Report: Mideast Crisis. He appeared regularly on Verdict with Dan Abrams as a panelist in political discussions.
Fox News Channel
In May 2009, it was announced that Carlson was hired as a Fox News Contributor. Since then, he has been a frequent guest panelist on Fox's late-night satire show Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld, made frequent appearances on the All-Star Panel segment of Special Report with Bret Baier, been a substitute host of Hannity in Sean Hannity's absence, and produced a Fox News special titled "Fighting for Our Children's Minds."
The Daily Caller
On January 11, 2010, Carlson and former Dick Cheney aide Neil Patel launched a political news website titled The Daily Caller. The editorial staff is led by executive editor Megan Mulligan and features reporting from White House correspondent Jon Ward, formerly of The Washington Times and reporter Alex Pappas. Other high-profile bloggers include Jim Treacher (DC Trawler) and Mickey Kaus (Kausfiles.)
In an interview with The Politico, Carlson said that The Daily Caller will not be tied to ideology but rather will be "breaking stories of importance". In a Washington Post article, Carlson added "We're not enforcing any kind of ideological orthodoxy on anyone."
Carlson has stated that while he votes and cares deeply about conservative ideas, he does not care about the success or failure of any political party. In addition, his definitions of conservative views often conflict with the mainstream opinion.
Carlson has stated that former U.S. President George W. Bush is not a true conservative. Despite his general reputation as a political conservative, this and other views have been interpreted as partisan ambivalence by some Republican political figures and movement conservatives.
In an August 27, 2004, Washington Post interview, Carlson expressed his "displeasure with Bush." "Why do so many anti-war liberals give Kerry a pass when he adopts the Bush view on Iraq, as he has? The amount of team-playing on the left depresses me." Carlson did not vote in the 2004 election, citing his disgust with the Iraq War and his disillusionment with the once small-government Republican party.
"I don't know what you consider conservative," Carlson said, "but I'm not much of a liberal, at least as the word is currently defined. For instance, I'm utterly opposed to abortion, which I think is horrible and cruel. I think affirmative action is wrong. I'd like to slow immigration pretty dramatically. I hate all nanny state regulations, such as seat belt laws and smoking bans. I'm not for big government. I think the U.S. ought to hesitate before intervening abroad. I think these are conservative impulses. So by my criteria, Bush isn't much of a conservative."
Self-proclaimed conservative Republicans have accused Carlson of not being sufficiently conservative. This first began following Carlson's public and private endorsement of 2000 Presidential candidate John McCain. Speaking to Salon.com, Carlson responded:
“I liked McCain. And I would have voted for McCain for president happily, not because I agree with his politics; I never took McCain's politics seriously enough even to have strong feelings about them. I don't think McCain has very strong politics. He's interested in ideas almost as little as George W. Bush is. McCain isn't intellectual, and doesn't have a strong ideology at all. He's wound up sort of as a liberal Republican because he's mad at other Republicans, not because he's a liberal.”
1999 Bush interview
In 1999, during the 2000 Republican Presidential primary race, Carlson interviewed George W. Bush, then Governor of Texas, for Talk magazine. Carlson reported that Bush mocked soon-to-be-executed Texas Death Row inmate Karla Faye Tucker and "cursed like a sailor." Bush's communications director Karen Hughes publicly disputed this claim.
Asked by Salon about the response to his article on Bush, Carlson characterized it as "very, very hostile. The reaction was: You betrayed us. Well, I was never there as a partisan to begin with. Then I heard that (on the campaign bus, Bush communications director) Karen Hughes accused me of lying. And so I called Karen and asked her why she was saying this, and she had this almost Orwellian rap that she laid on me about how things she'd heard — that I watched her hear — she in fact had never heard, and she'd never heard Bush use profanity ever. It was insane. I've obviously been lied to a lot by campaign operatives, but the striking thing about the way she lied was she knew I knew she was lying, and she did it anyway. There is no word in English that captures that. It almost crosses over from bravado into mental illness. They get carried away, consultants do, in the heat of the campaign, they're really invested in this. A lot of times they really like the candidate. That's all conventional. But on some level, you think, there's a hint of recognition that there is reality — even if they don't recognize reality exists — there is an objective truth. With Karen you didn't get that sense at all. A lot of people like her. A lot of people I know like her. I'm not one of them."
Supporting, then opposing, the U.S. war in Iraq
Carlson initially supported the U.S. war with Iraq during its first year. After a year, he began criticizing the war, telling the New York Observer: "I think it’s a total nightmare and disaster, and I’m ashamed that I went against my own instincts in supporting it. It’s something I’ll never do again. Never. I got convinced by a friend of mine who’s smarter than I am, and I shouldn’t have done that. No. I want things to work out, but I’m enraged by it, actually."
On July 24, 2007, Carlson said on his show, "I'm just for marriage generally. I'm for people making a lifelong commitment. Do you know what I mean? I'm not against gay marriage, actually, and I'm the most right-wing person I know." Carlson later went on to say, "I think, marriage has been a great thing for me, and I think it's a really civilizing force, and I think it would be a civilizing force for gay people too."
On May 3, 2007, Carlson interviewed Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul and recalled voting for Paul in 1988 when he was running as the Libertarian Party presidential candidate.
On November 20, 2007, Carlson was seen showing his support at a Ron Paul rally in Reno, Nevada.
On the conservative Media Research Center-owned blog "Newsbusters", Carlson was called an "MSNBC conservative" explaining that: "Carlson is clearly the kind of conservative MSNBC could love - one who doesn't support the incumbent Republican president and opposes the cornerstone of his foreign policy. It's the same phenomenon that explains Pat Buchanan's ubiquity on MSNBC." At the 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference, Carlson was booed "for saying that the journalists at the New York Times care about accuracy."
On November 26, 2007, it was reported that Carlson lobbied Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof to support Paul's candidacy. Explained Carlson, "Dennis Hof is a good friend of mine, so when we got to Nevada, I decided to call him up and see if he wanted to come check this guy out."
On September 2, 2008, Carlson participated in Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty Rally for the Republic in Minneapolis, MN, as the first speaker to introduce the rally and also acted as the MC by introducing nearly every guest speaker.
On February 23, 2009, Carlson was introduced as a senior fellow for the Cato Institute.
Season 5, Episode 2 of Curb Your Enthusiasm ("The Bowtie") referenced Tucker Carlson when one character referred to Larry David as "Tucker Carlson" for wearing a bowtie.
On April 11, 2006, Carlson—who was known for wearing bow-ties—announced on his MSNBC show that he would no longer be wearing a bow-tie, adding, "I just decided I wanted to give my neck a break. A little change is good once in a while, and I feel better already." He now wears long neckties on the air.
Dancing with the Stars
On August 14, 2006, the ABC television network announced that Carlson would be a participant in its Fall 2006 Dancing with the Stars reality show.
Carlson reportedly took four-hour-a-day ballroom dance classes in preparation for the competition, and mourned "missed classes" during an MSNBC assignment in Lebanon. "It's hard for me to remember the moves," he stated. When asked why he accepted ABC's invitation to perform, Carlson responded, "I'm not defending it as the smartest choice, but I think it's the most interesting. I think if you sat back and tried to plan my career, you might not choose this. But my only criterion is the interest level. I want to lead an interesting life." He concluded, "I'm 37. I've got four kids. I have a steady job. I don't do things that I'm not good at very often. I'm psyched to get to do that."
The gambling site BetBet placed Carlson's odds of winning the competition at 15:1. Jerry Springer was ranked as having the longest odds of winning, at 30:1.
Carlson, who was paired with professional partner Elena Grinenko, was voted off on September 13. His performance on the previous night was the lowest ranked among the judges; the low score resulted from him spending much of the performance sitting down in a chair.
At the close of the show Carlson said that teaching him to dance was "like Einstein teaching addition to a slow child."
On air admission
On MSNBC Live, on August 28, 2007, Carlson told host Dan Abrams that as a teenager, an apparently homosexual man allegedly grabbed Carlson in a public restroom in Georgetown in Washington, D.C. As Carlson explained, "I went back with someone I knew and grabbed the guy by the -- you know, and grabbed him, and...hit him against the stall with his head, actually.... And then the cops came and arrested him."
In the initial exchange, Carlson only described the man as having "bothered him" in the restroom. A day later, Carlson described the incident in a statement to Media Matters for America, which had reported on the exchange, writing:
In the mid-1980s, while I was a high school student, a man physically grabbed me in a men's room in Washington, D.C. I yelled, pulled away from him and ran out of the room. Twenty-five minutes later, a friend of mine and I returned to the men's room. The man was still there, presumably waiting to do to someone else what he had done to me. My friend and I seized the man and held him until a security guard arrived. Several bloggers have characterized this is a sort of gay bashing. That's absurd, and an insult to anybody who has fought back against an unsolicited sexual attack. I wasn't angry with the man because he was gay. I was angry because he assaulted me.
In multiple later airings of the August 28, 2007 episode of MSNBC Live, Carlson's comments about the 1980s incident were omitted. After his second statement, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) expressed outrage and called on Carlson and MSNBC to apologize for "remarks that appear to condone violent assault" against gay people.
Autobiography discusses false rape allegation
In 2003, Carlson authored an autobiography, Politicians, Partisans and Parasites: My Adventures in Cable News, about his television news experiences. One of the book's revelations was Carlson's description of how he was falsely accused of raping a woman he did not know. Carlson wrote in the book that the incident was emotionally traumatic and strengthened his belief in the presumption of innocence, particularly on allegations of a sexual nature.