Tucker Carlson continued his dangerous coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, this time characterizing state stay-at-home orders as "totalitarianism."
May 2, 2020

As Media Matters has documented, Fox host Tucker Carlson has been using his show to downplay the dangers of the coronavirus pandemic, and making reckless and deadly claims that social distancing doesn't stop its spread:

After state and local governments implemented social distancing measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic, Tucker Carlson has used his prime-time Fox News show to falsely claim that these measures failed to slow the spread of the virus. In the broader context of Fox News’ pattern of airing misinformation about the coronavirus, Carlson’s campaign to discredit social distancing policies is particularly glaring and dangerous.

They go onto detail the claims he's been making for the last month on his show, lying about the benefits of social distancing, and lying about the fact that they've worked to flatten the curve and helped to stop the spread of the virus. Carlson was rightly criticized by MSNBC's Chris Hayes this week for being a "Covid Truther," telling others that it's safe to go back to work, consequences to their health be damned, while broadcasting from the safety of isolation.

This Friday, Carlson continued to put the health and safety of his viewers at risk by going after the governors who are trying to keep their constituents safe with these stay-at-home orders, attacking the orders as "totalitarianism," claiming they have no right to order people to stay home in the first place, and defending these yahoos who have been out there in recent weeks protesting and holding church services, telling his audience "Let’s draw a line at some point."

CARLSON: The other day, prosecutors in New Jersey charged nine people for daring to participate in a Jewish wedding in their backyard. A few months ago, this would have been news.

For 250 years, Americans have enjoyed the unfettered right to practice their faith as they choose. Now they don’t. It happened overnight.

Last month, Christians across the country were legally prohibited from celebrating Easter in their own churches. The national media barely noted it.

How exactly is this happening? It turns out, that’s not clear. Strangely, not very many people have asked.

Politicians have no right to do any of this. They can’t make it illegal for people to go to religious services. The Constitution of the United States expressly prohibits that. The words couldn’t be clearer.

The First Amendment explicitly prevents government from making any law that inhibits the exercise of religious faith. It’s a cornerstone of our history and our law.

Millions of people have fled to America from around the world precisely because our Bill of Rights gives them this guarantee. It’s why this country was founded. Now it’s gone.

Where did politicians get the authority to do all this? Because some elderly, power-drunk doctor told them to? That’s not how our system works – or can work.

Occasionally, you’ll hear some lonely civil libertarian fret that we may be on a “slippery slope” toward losing our rights. If only. We’re already there.

We’ve slid to the bottom of that slope. Our rights are gone. No one has explained how politicians are allowed to do this, to override the Constitution. No one seems to care. They’re too afraid.

But if we think this is moment scary, consider what might come next. Now that we’ve ceded all authority in the country to our political leaders, what can’t they do? What are the limits to their power?

That’s not a theoretical question. It’s not an argument over philosophy or political theory. It’s the most practical possible question. The answer will define where this country goes next. What can’t politicians do in the name of public health?

As it stands, politicians won’t let people worship, or work, or go to school, or see their aging parents. They’ve placed the nation under house arrest. That’s happening today, right now. But let’s say we all get more afraid. What then? What couldn’t they start doing? Could they intern people? Seriously.

You can dismiss the possibility if you like. But remember just a few months ago, most of us would have dismissed the idea of propaganda-spewing drones from above. Now we have them. So what’s next? What can’t they do? Let’s draw a line at some point.

No word from Carlson on Trump's claim that he alone had the power to open up the economy, while simultaneously wanting to take no responsibility for the consequences of doing so, and whether that amounted to "totalitarianism."

If Fox is actually worried about the lawsuits over their dangerous coronavirus coverage, maybe they should take Carlson off the air before he's allowed to do even more damage.

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.