Tucker Carlson sat down, one on one with OutKick for a deep conversation about the problems that face our country. We got into what we are told to believe, the lies we hear, and who we are as a country. We also discuss the media’s role and their fear of the word “why.”
Other topics include why Carlson tried to prevent his four children from attending college, and why if he were 22, he would consider leaving the country.
There are quotes in here you will not forget:
Bobby Burack: Friday, you debut a new series on Fox Nation, Tucker Carlson Originals. Why is this project so personal to you?
Tucker Carlson: Because we have as much time as we want. We have ample resources to essentially do a documentary series, to spend 45 minutes or an hour on one topic. Think about that. You spend the month making it, sending a bunch of reporters and cameramen out there, interviewing everybody, look deeply at something. It’s just basic journalism. That’s almost groundbreaking today. It doesn’t really happen anymore. Just straightforward. Look at a specific issue.
For example, we got, almost accidentally, probably a thousand hours of surveillance footage from cameras around the city of Chicago that was leaked to us. So, we had a reporter sit down and screen it. It painted an almost unbelievable picture of what’s going on in the city of Chicago, just from cameras mounted on street lights. Telephone poles around the city just picking up, passively recording what’s going on. This footage formed the basis of an hour-long documentary on why Chicago was falling apart. It’s really compelling. I think you will enjoy it.
The staff is great. They are like geniuses. Simultaneously, they are super-aggressive and charming. Try to pull that off. You can be one, but you can’t be both.
Burack: What are the stories that you plan to shine a light on, stories that Americans aren’t yet aware of? I can think of some, Tucker.
Carlson: I bet you can. That’s a really great question. It’s an obsession of mine, actually. The news, the entire American news media talks about three things at a time. And that’s it. For four years, we only talked about one thing: Donald Trump. He was the president, that’s inherently significant, it’s interesting, I get it. You know this, you cover the news and the media. But there’s a lot else going on. There are a lot of stories I’ve been seeing, that my producers have been seeing, that are not getting any attention.
Here’s one: the destruction of the natural environment under the weight of green energy. You have to wonder: whatever happened to the conversation about the land, the country itself?
I’ll give you a perfect example: the largest standing forest in the eastern United States, east of the Mississippi is the Great North Woods in Maine. It goes from the Canadian border, mostly downstate. It’s huge. It’s the largest forest in half the country. A lot of it is about to get clear-cut, thanks to green energy projects. You don’t have to be a tree hugger to care about trees, and you don’t have to be a liberal to think, “Well, I live here, so let’s not destroy the environment.” Particularly so, the foreign-owned companies and people who happen to be friends with administrators in the White House can get rich off some ridiculous green energy scheme that is not in any sense green. You’re destroying the environment. Stop it.
Sorry to go long on this, but it’s real. It concerns me. I’m a lifelong hunter, fisherman, and outdoorsman. This is something that I’m interested in, that I care deeply about. I spend a lot of time in the woods. I love the woods — they’re being wrecked.
Unrestrained mass immigration has also put a huge strain on the natural world, just the amount of pollution and litter and destruction that’s generated by the movement of hundreds of thousands of people, unrestrained, across the border. That’s not a small thing to me. But you never hear that. I’ve never heard anybody mention that. And it’s so awful.
Burack: You said the media focuses on three stories at a time. What’s more, the media is afraid to ask questions to advance any story. Politicians, establishments, and subjects of a story are less worried about opposing opinions than they are about questions.
Look at the coverage of the vaccine, Big Tech, COVID, white supremacy, Derek Chauvin — has there been a legitimate, story-advancing question asked among them?
Is the word “why” the actual threat? Or for the few fighting back, the answer?
Carlson: That’s such a deep question. It’s ominous. It makes you stop and just think. I’ve been in journalism my whole life. My dad was in journalism. I grew up around it. The only thing I know much about is journalism. What you just said is the basic charge, it’s the whole reason we’re in it. Our only real duty is to find out what’s happening and to tell the truth about it to our viewers or readers. It’s a very simple job. You definitely don’t need a master’s degree to do it, or even a high school degree. You just need curiosity and honesty. And all of a sudden, you need bravery. Bravery is more of a challenge than getting a degree.
The reason that we’re protected by the First Amendment is we need someone pushing back against the people in power and asking them, “Why?” “Why are you doing this?” “Why are you spending all this money?” I mean, we give them guns. They do everything in our name. What exactly are they doing? All of sudden that is difficult? What are these people doing who are supposed to be asking? Nothing, that’s what. And what are the people in power doing? We don’t know.
Just be persistent. Ask honest questions of the people running things. That’s all we’re supposed to be doing. That’s our life, and yet that’s the one thing we are not doing. Instead, we are covering for the people in power.
I noticed, and you probably did too, that NBC in Utah found that some blue-collar worker sent $10 to Kyle Rittenhouse’s defense, and ABC sent a reporter to this guy’s house on camera just so you can see where he lives. They basically tried to destroy a guy for a $10 donation. I thought there are many things wrong with this. But the main thing, the main problem with it is the direction it’s aimed. It’s aimed downward.
Journalism should always be upward. We should be doing the tough stories on the people with the most power. Jeff Bezos should be subjected to some intense scrutiny since he’s the richest man in the world. He owns the Washington Post. He is China’s biggest retailer. I mean, he’s really changed our country. And yet, there’s no scrutiny on Jeff Bezos. It’s all, you know, “What a great guy,” and “Jeff Bezos is a genius.” We suck up to power, and we hurt those below us. I can’t think of anything more dishonorable than that.
I just can’t overstate how disgusted I am, not simply by the details of the lying of the medium, but disgusted by the emphasis. The media is basically Praetorian Guard for the ruling class, the bodyguards for Jeff Bezos. That’s the opposite of what we should have.
I really hate them for it, I’ll be honest.
Burack: So, let’s ask a question. Why? Why is the media like this?
Carlson: That’s something I’m obsessed over. I spend a lot of time thinking about it. When I was a kid, my dad worked in print in the newspaper and then in television. He had a sound guy, a cameraman, a producer. They’d come over to our house a lot. And I remember thinking, “These are truly open-minded, courageous guys.” They took no bullshit from anybody. They were also skeptical. They were hilarious. They acted like they lived in a free country. They acted like they had the right to demand answers from above. They were fearless in the best way, not the kind of fake, posing way but in a sincere way. Now, we just have those who are small-minded, status-obsessed, insecure, not that bright, just not impressive who are pretending to ask questions. It just makes me sick. I really hate them.
Maybe it’s because there’s no incentive to go into journalism anymore. I think that’s part of it. It doesn’t pay anything. If you want to get rich, if you’re smart, you go into private equity or leave the country and move to Barbados. Maybe the smart people don’t want to do journalism anymore. They want no part of it. Maybe everyone in journalism is from the same social class. It doesn’t matter if they are black, Hispanic, gay, or straight. They might look different, but they are all from the same world. That’s a huge problem. We are supposed to be representing the whole country. I mean, there’s probably a lot of reasons for it, but they are such cowards.
As soon as someone asks a tough question, it’s these cowards who say, “Bam! Take his job away, crush him, ruin his life.”
How can someone doing this ask their wife to respect them? How can they ask their kids to respect them? How can you say you are a man anymore? They are cringing animals who are not worthy of respect.
60 Minutes, that was once a great show. It’s partisan garbage now. Sunday, they told me the greatest threat to America is white supremacist groups. Really? Even as Minneapolis and other cities burn? I’m not listening to you anymore. You are lying to me.
Burack: Colleges tell students what to think, whom to follow, who is racist, who is right, who is wrong, and how to take orders. It diminishes students’ ability to think independently, create, and stand out by the work they accomplish. That’s the idea, by the way.
Do you plan on addressing this issue on one of your new shows?
Carlson: Oh, of course. We’ve done a lot on this subject. It’s hard for me because I just don’t believe any of it. I believe in reading. I believe in education, passionately. I try to self-educate every day. It’s one of the reasons I love my job. It forces me to learn a lot of stuff that I wouldn’t know otherwise. What I don’t believe in is how education is presented. Education should be sincere for the length of your life, but for many, it’s not.
There is this idea that college improves your worth. Where is the evidence of that? I’m sure that hard sciences do. If you’re an engineer or you are in medical school, you would learn discrete information, actual facts that you can use and that you need to know in order to join the profession that you want to join. But for kids like me who go in for liberal arts education, I believe it diminishes you.
I pushed for all four of my children not to go to college, all four. Think about that. My fourth is about to enter college now. I said to all four of them: “Please, don’t do this.” I told them, “I’ll take the money we’re gonna spend in college — we were blessed to have, we saved money for them — and figure out something more interesting to do with this.” But, to my shame, all of them went. And they’re independent, smart, and freethinkers. But the pressure, the social pressure to conform and take this path — which is so clearly a dead end for so many kids — it terrifies me.
I’m not even factoring in drug addiction, alcoholism, and chlamydia. Do you know what I mean? There are all the other costs of college before even the financial cost. There’s the spiritual cost. Are you more secure? Are you more curious? Are you braver? Are you better educated than you were when you entered? And for most people, of course, the answer is no. So, why are we doing this?
I think everyone should opt out, except people with very specific goals. I don’t believe in the system at all. Again, just to restate how much I don’t believe it: my own children, the most important thing in my life, I counseled them all to skip it. That’s how I feel.
Burack: We are told, at least growing up: Go to college and you will be more successful than those who don’t. Thus, those who can go. Afterward, a select few realize they now work for a boss who is gutless, an industry that is rigged, and just signed up for a life as a stooge. What do they do, Tucker? You can’t say go find another job because most jobs — most “prestigious” jobs –subscribe to the same thought.
What would a 22-year-old Tucker Carlson do in 2021?
Carlson: Oh, I would drop out completely. No question. I’m about to be 52. If I was 22, there’s literally no chance I would join some big company or work for the government. Or even some system with central control. That’s just a disaster. And, of course, the system is openly racist now. So depending upon your skin color, you know exactly what your chances of success are. It’s gross. I would opt out of it completely.
If I were doing it now, I don’t know, I would move to southeast Idaho. I’d move to western Montana, and I’d start my own thing. Maybe I would start a newspaper there. If I were going into journalism, I’d start a podcast. I wouldn’t go work for a major company in a big city and enter the system — no way. I would rather start a fishing guide or try to buy a hardware store. I wouldn’t participate in the system at all. It’s a dead end. It’s collapsing. It certainly doesn’t want people like me.
I probably shouldn’t be saying this stuff, but it’s what I really think. Why would you ever join a rigged game? You are an idiot if you do. It’s right in front of your face. You can see it, and everyone’s like, “Oh, you got to join.” Why would I do that? I’m going to lose. This is going to diminish me. You expect me to participate in the lie and pretend it’s not a lie, to go along with a lot of other lies.
There’s no chance I would ever do that. I might even leave instead of joining this system that is now based upon lies. I might even leave. I love America, but if I were 22, I might look to see if there’s another place that’s going to treat me as an individual and not as a member of a tribe. A system that actually cares about people, not identity.
At 52, these are not choices that I’m facing. But I certainly said to a lot of young people: “Why would you ever go to work for Citibank?” First of all, Citibank is so mismanaged, will it exist in 10 years? I don’t know, probably not. But even if it does, I would say, “You don’t have a future there.” Because in order to succeed, you have to be something that you’re not. And never deny who you are. I thought this was all sort of common knowledge, that we all agreed on this some time ago that we shouldn’t have to deny our nature in order to succeed. We should celebrate each person as an individual, but we’ve given that up completely. I’m serious, don’t play along.
Burack: Americans in power, social media, athletes, and really anyone who has a voice now sees John go to the market and thinks, “John, who is a [insert skin color] [insert political affiliation] [insert gender], goes to the market.”
Is there a more pressing issue than stopping this? I don’t see how there can be, Tucker.
Carlson: That’s a totalitarian mindset, what you just accurately described. People undervalue and don’t see clearly the consequences of this. We’ve got 350 million people in the country. In a democracy, we say that each person has an equal vote. Well, in order for a system like that to work, there has to be something that unites all of the people in the country. It’s obviously not going to be race, it never has been. It’s always been a multiracial country. It’s no longer language, a good percentage of the population doesn’t speak English day to day. It’s not going to be religion. And so it can only be national identity. The only thing that can plausibly unite us — and this is fine by me — is national identity. Meaning, you are from one group, I’m from another, but we are both Americans. If you take that away from us, which they are doing at high speed, we have nothing. Nothing at all.
We don’t ask for the assimilation of our immigrants. We don’t celebrate our country. We don’t acknowledge its founding documents. We say our history is condemnable, that you should be ashamed of your own ancestors. We’re attacking the idea of national identity. Without national identity, what do we have? How does a country like this survive? It doesn’t. It’s that simple. What you have is a group of warring tribes, each one trying to grab the piñata. It’s a war. Maybe there is some good end game, but no one has ever described what that is, and I can’t imagine it ending well.
I’m genuinely worried about the question of what unites us as a country. Our leaders are telling us it’s this thing called “equity.” This was the new president’s very first executive order, making equity an operating principle of the US government. What is equity exactly? It’s not equality, it’s the opposite. It says that some groups are favored, others are disfavored. Oh, okay. I’m obviously in the disfavored group. But take that out. If I were in a favored group, I’d feel the same way. How does this work? We are told this operating principle is that we are not all equal. We are told some groups are better than others.
Ten years down the road, where are we with this? Is there a time limit on this? Like, what are you doing? They are basically re-writing the reason for the existence of the country. They’re changing the secret sauce. You can’t overstate what a big deal it is. This is not about who gets into Princeton. It’s not. It’s much deeper than that. And I’m just sincerely worried. I don’t see how this ends well. I really don’t. We need to stop this immediately.