Skip to content


Ohh, how the mighty fell. This time last year, Tucker Carlson had a primetime spot on Fox News where his factual hate speech drew an audience of over 4 million people. Then, in April, he was summarily fired. Fox didn’t explicitly explain why, but Carlson claimed it was a condition of the media company’s $787.5 million settlement with Dominion Voting Systems over the spread of Donald Trump’s voter fraud lies. .

Once the rooster of the walk, the humbled Carlson quickly relaunched his show on the social network formerly known as Twitter, calling him Tucker on Twitter. (Elon Musk’s renaming to X really ruined his alliteration.) Over the past few months, he’s resorted to increasingly inexpensive tactics to stay relevant. If someone is controversial, Carlson wants them on his show.

Even though everything about Carlson is in bad taste, he really outdid himself this week. Obviously desperate for a hearing, he interviewed a man called Larry Sinclair who claims he took drugs and had sex with Barack Obama while the young politician was working for the Illinois government, just before his meteoric rise . According to Sinclair, he wasn’t the only man who had drug-fueled alliances with Obama, but no one else is around to talk about it because they were all murdered by the Obama campaign.

Sinclair, who has a lengthy criminal record and appears to specialize in scams, has been making the allegations for 15 years now. No one has ever been able to verify them and, one imagines, many media have deployed considerable means to try to do so. Despite the fact that Sinclair claims that Obama roamed Chicago using crack cocaine and powder cocaine, stopping at the Comfort Inn to perform oral sex, no one else seems to know anything about it. Which is odd because, at the time all of this allegedly took place, Obama had a public profile as an Illinois politician. These claims are either unverifiable because all the witnesses were murdered or because it all makes no sense. I have a sneaky suspicion that it’s the latter.

Why did Carlson feel the need to unearth a discredited conspiracy theory about Obama? Had he uncovered new information supporting Sinclair’s claims? Had evidence finally been uncovered?

No of course not. Carlson clearly wanted to spend 40 minutes being racist, homophobic and trying to humiliate Obama. The segment, which aired Monday night, was full of racist whistles (at one point, for example, Carlson claimed no one could pronounce Obama’s name when it was really, really easy to pronounce) and homophobia at hardly veiled. Carlson made sure to point out to his audience that he was very, very heterosexual and if any man tried to try it with him, he would break his hand. After the interview, Twitter was flooded with right-wingers spreading homophobic jokes about Obama.

Did Carlson believe what he was broadcasting? “We don’t claim that (Sinclair’s claims) are true, but they were certainly believable,” he said at the start of his conversation. It seems unlikely that he actually thinks that. There was certainly nothing compelling about the show. The most compelling thing Carlson could find to say about Sinclair’s credibility was that the convicted swindler would gladly sign an affidavit stating that everything he said was true.

During the interview — if you can call it that — Carlson in no way challenged Sinclair or demanded evidence. He just got Sinclair to dwell on sordid details (“so you started rubbing his leg…”) and made a lot of surprised faces. “Interesting, interesting,” repeated Carlson. “Incredible, incredible.” I’m not sure anyone else found the segment interesting and amazing. The interview wasn’t just ridiculous; it was boring. The ramblings of fantasies tend to be.

Even Musk, who likes to spread homophobic conspiracy theories (remember his thoughts on Paul Pelosi?) seemed a bit taken aback by the interview. “Of course, the likelihood that (Sinclair’s) claims are true should be based on objective evidence, rather than claims made by someone with a questionable past,” he said. wrote on Twitter on Wednesday after the segment aired. It’s a very diplomatic way for Musk to say that the whole thing was inflammatory bullshit – and possibly defamatory.

There is a real story in all this, but it is not about Obama. Rather, it’s about how far Carlson and Twitter have sunk. It’s clear from this episode that Carlson has now given up any pretense of being a journalist and has accepted a full-time troll job. Twitter, meanwhile, has gone from a valuable source of breaking news to a cesspool of misinformation.

As for Obama? He writes bestselling books, goes kitesurfing and generally lives his best life. Carlson may have tried to humiliate the former president, but in the end he only humiliated himself.