Tucker Carlson remains an unstoppable force, achieving record-breaking viewer ratings since his unexpected departure from Fox News. In an exclusive interview with Weltwoche, the renowned political media figure dismantles the mainstream media’s manipulation tactics, expresses his apprehensions regarding a potential return of Donald Trump to power, addresses concerns about the Biden family, and delves into his future plans in a post-Fox News era.
When Tucker Carlson made his departure from the Fox News Channel back in April, it was met with cheers from his enemies. However, those who believed that the resilient and unwavering commentator had finally been defeated were sorely mistaken, just as misguided as their dismal approval ratings.
This seasoned news anchor has broadened his mission, aiming to combat the mainstream media’s pervasive bias and lack of curiosity not only regarding crucial domestic events but also in capitals worldwide.
Fresh from a meeting with Mohamed bin Zayed, the President of the United Arab Emirates, Carlson hails the sheikh as “the most interesting and wisest leader I’ve ever spoken to,” a statement that certainly raises eyebrows, especially considering Carlson’s recent interview with Donald J. Trump. He goes on to praise the Arab leader’s humility, which he believes is an essential quality for wisdom.
In stark contrast to his admiration for international leaders, Carlson does not mince words when discussing his peers in the press. He disparagingly labels them as “fearful people,” asserting that instead of holding those in power accountable, they do the exact opposite—they serve the interests of the powerful.
Looking ahead to the 2024 Presidential elections, Carlson asserts, “They’re attempting to imprison President Trump for the mere act of running against Joe Biden… That’s the crux of this election. Will we allow it, or won’t we? And I genuinely believe we cannot.”
Interviewer: Ever since your departure from Fox News and embarking on your solo journey, your posts have been reaching tens, and at times hundreds, of millions of viewers. It’s almost like watching Buzz Lightyear take off. Can you describe the sense of freedom you’ve experienced in terms of exploring a wider range of topics and ideas, as well as expressing your viewpoints?
Tucker Carlson: Absolutely. If anything, I’ve been less vocal about my own opinions. I haven’t engaged in many direct-to-camera scripts where I express my views. Instead, I’ve pursued something I’ve yearned to do for quite some time but couldn’t due to the demands of my daily show: I’ve been able to board airplanes and explore the world beyond. This opportunity has been incredibly enlightening.
Over the past few years, particularly since the onset of the conflict in Ukraine, I’ve grown increasingly convinced that the world is undergoing profound and rapid changes, far quicker than most Americans realize. Unfortunately, because American media offers scant coverage of global events, most Americans lack a comprehensive understanding of these transformations.
What we commonly refer to in this country as the “Post-War Order” — the institutions established in the aftermath of World War II to foster global peace, prosperity, and U.S. dominance, including the supremacy of the dollar, the SWIFT system, and NATO — all of this, from my perspective, seems to be crumbling. That’s my assessment, and I’ve been eager to travel and witness firsthand if this is indeed the case — and my experiences have confirmed that it is.
Interviewer: With your increased global travels, is there a particular international figure or personality who has captivated your interest and fascination?
Carlson: Presently, I would say that the most intriguing and wise leader I’ve had the privilege to converse with is none other than the ruler of Abu Dhabi, MBZ. [Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, commonly known as MBZ, serves as the President of the United Arab Emirates and is the ruler of Abu Dhabi.] I hold great respect for him.
Interviewer: Have you recently returned to the United States after your visit to Abu Dhabi?
Carlson: Yes, I have just returned, and I had the opportunity to speak with him. Throughout my career, spanning three decades, I’ve had the privilege of interviewing numerous individuals who lead nations or organizations. I’ve engaged with many leaders over the years. However, I’ve never encountered someone in a position of authority who is as willing to openly admit when they lack understanding or lack answers to certain questions. The humility displayed by this leader is unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed, and I firmly believe that humility is an essential characteristic of wisdom.
Wise individuals readily acknowledge their areas of ignorance, a trait seldom seen in the Western world. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll interview a presidential candidate in the United States, or even a sitting president, who would openly say, “I don’t have the answer. I’ve pondered it, but I remain uncertain.” Such admissions are rare, primarily because it’s challenging to concede ignorance.
In reality, the scope of human knowledge is profoundly limited. We are still in the dark about many things, from the workings of the human brain to the construction methods of ancient pyramids. The list of what we don’t know far surpasses what we do know, yet few are willing to openly admit this fact. Those who do, those who vocalize their acceptance of this fundamental limitation, are the individuals I place my trust in. Therefore, I was greatly impressed. I’ve never encountered a leader who left me with a stronger sense of admiration.
Nevertheless, there are many fascinating individuals from around the world. For instance, I found Javier Milei to be a captivating personality. [Javier Gerardo Milei is an Argentine economist and politician renowned for his libertarian perspectives and is currently leading in polls for the next presidential election.]
Interviewer: Let’s take a moment to reflect on your extensive tenure with Fox News, where you achieved global media stardom and secured the number one spot with “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on cable news. In a recent episode of your show you made a statement: “The Murdochs never got in my way. They were always good to me. But there were always small-minded… It’s a company run by fearful women, you know what I mean?” Could you please elaborate on what you meant by that statement?
Carlson: Well, during my fourteen-year tenure at Fox, I primarily focused on my show and had no involvement in the management of the company. I was simply an employee, so there were aspects of the company’s operations that I wasn’t privy to.
In my experience, the Murdoch family, who own and control the company, were consistently courteous and respectful towards me. They granted me significant creative freedom, even though I sometimes sensed differences in our viewpoints. They allowed me to express my opinions, and for that, I am and will remain appreciative. I’ve never had any personal issues with them, then or now. While we may disagree on certain matters, I’ll always be thankful for the opportunities they provided and the kindness they extended to me.
Fox News is home to many outstanding individuals, but it’s also true that there are some who are quite apprehensive, simply trying to get through the day. It’s almost as if they could use a stronger prescription of Xanax to calm their nerves. [laughter]
What I meant by my earlier comment is that, in my experience, this fearfulness is not unique to Fox News. I’ve worked at various news organizations across the United States, and they all share a similar culture. They’re all concerned about potential lawsuits, public backlash, termination, or humiliation. Interestingly, their primary worry isn’t accuracy; it’s more about staying in line with prevailing trends and avoiding topics deemed taboo. Their top concern seems to be steering clear of telling the truth.
One would expect that accuracy would be the paramount concern for a news organization, and that they’d be petrified of making factual errors. However, that’s not the case. This pattern holds true not only at Fox but also at MSNBC, CNN, PBS, and even during my time at ABC. I’ve had the opportunity to work in various news environments, and it’s a pervasive issue. They are staffed by fearful individuals who, in many cases, are earning more than they perhaps should and are constantly anxious about job security. Occasionally, you’ll encounter a courageous individual, but they are exceedingly rare. Very, very rare.
Interviewer: The media, often referred to as the “fourth estate,” is facing a significant credibility challenge, not only in the United States but also here in our country. According to YouGov data from May 2023, the only national news organization in the US that garners the majority of the public’s trust is The Weather Channel.
Interviewer: It’s disheartening to note that according to Gallup data from February 2023, half of the American public believes that the news media purposefully engages in efforts to mislead, misinform, and propagate. Given your extensive experience in the news industry, why do you think the state of the media has reached such a dismal point?
Carlson: The state of the media has deteriorated to this extent because, in essence, if you aim to undermine a democracy, you must exert control over the information that citizens receive. I would argue that the news media in democratic societies is often less trustworthy compared to other countries precisely because it wields more influence in a democracy. People make their voting decisions based on the information they have access to. Therefore, if you seek to manipulate their voting choices, you must manage what they are aware of.
Over the span of several decades, there has been a concerted and assertive effort by those who hold power in the United States to influence the content available on our news channels and in our newspapers — effectively attempting to control the news media. And, regrettably, they have succeeded to a significant degree.
Interviewer: The people working for news media seem to go along with it.
Carlson: Indeed, they do, primarily because they’re driven by fear. They are afraid, and they often comply with the agenda set by those in power. They are afraid to utter anything that might offend government officials and corporate giants, and more often than not, they refrain from doing so. This isn’t just a perversion of their role; it’s a complete reversal of it. Their fundamental purpose should be to hold those in positions of power accountable, but instead, they find themselves doing their bidding.
For instance, consider the rollout of the vaccine in the United States. It had enormous implications for the population, with hundreds of millions of people taking it. Yet, there was little room for genuine reporting on the vaccine’s efficacy and safety. People were literally losing their jobs for questioning the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness, which is absurd. In a properly functioning democracy, especially when dealing with a mandatory drug that everyone is required to take, the news media’s responsibility should be to thoroughly investigate its safety and efficacy. However, in this case, they did precisely the opposite.
Even when it comes to the war in Ukraine, a potential nuclear conflict involving superpowers, shouldn’t we have access to all the information available? The answer, sadly, is “no.” You’re not permitted.
I attempted to secure an interview with Vladimir Putin, and the U.S. government intervened to prevent it. Consider the implications of that for a moment. Moreover, nobody in the news media defended my right to interview anyone I chose, or the public’s right to hear what Putin had to say. We were denied access to Putin’s perspective. Why? No one asked for our opinion, and there was no vote on it. I’m 54 years old, have paid my taxes, and abided by the law. I am an American citizen, and I consider myself more loyal to this country than, say, Joe Biden or Kamala Harris, who didn’t even grow up in the United States – Harris grew up in Canada. And yet, they presume to define what it means to be a loyal American? At this point, I’m simply not interested. I don’t even care anymore. When someone like David Frum from Canada lectures me about my loyalty as an American, it’s a farce. It’s a complete farce. Frankly, I don’t care about their opinions anymore, and I don’t have to. So, I don’t.
Interviewer: The consistently high ratings of your show indicate that you are giving voice to the concerns of many viewers. One instance of media manipulation that’s been widely discussed is the suppression and dismissal of information related to Hunter Biden’s laptop. You’ve delved into the infamous “laptop from hell,” and so have we at Weltwoche since the spring of last year. Given your in-depth examination of the Biden business network and your interview with Tony Bobulinski, a Biden business insider, in October 2020, would you draw the conclusion that Joe Biden was aware of his son’s business activities, possibly facilitated them, and may have benefited personally from them?
Carlson: Well, those aren’t opinions; those are established facts. In our recent interview with Devon Archer, who was a close business partner and friend of Hunter Biden, he confirmed that Joe Biden had, on numerous occasions during business meetings, spoken with his son Hunter over the phone. Hunter put his father on speakerphone while Joe Biden was serving as Vice President of the United States to assist his son’s business endeavors. It’s essential to note that Hunter Biden’s business ventures essentially revolved around being Joe Biden’s son. Hunter had no expertise in the energy sector and no knowledge of Ukrainian gas; these are not matters of speculation. He lacked relevant experience or expertise in any of the so-called “businesses” he was involved in.
In essence, Hunter was selling access to his father. This is not a matter of conjecture; it’s a fact confirmed by his business partner, on the record and on camera. There is no room for debate on this issue. It’s a fact.
I can only speculate that the media’s intense disdain for Trump or some form of profiteering linked to Joe Biden’s presidency may be driving their motivation to misrepresent the facts. Regardless, they are indeed distorting the truth, and there’s no getting around that fact.
Interviewer: There’s another story that seems to have garnered virtually no interest from the Washington, D.C. press, and it pertains to an allegation, reportedly made by Joe Biden’s own daughter, Ashley, in her private diary. She described an incident where Joe Biden may have behaved towards her in a manner that she referred to as “probably not appropriate” during her childhood. Additionally, Hunter Biden used the alias “Pedo Peter” for his father in his cell phone contacts. I would assume that in the United States, “Pedo Peter” is not a typical or respectful term of address for one’s father. Why do you believe the press has displayed such limited curiosity in investigating these troubling details, especially in the wake of the #MeToo movement?
Carlson: Indeed, Ashley Biden documented it in her diary, which was meant solely for her own eyes. She didn’t make an allegation; she recorded an account of her father taking showers with her when she was a child. She went on to suggest that this experience contributed to her developing a sex addiction. That’s what she wrote in her diary. Rather than addressing this issue, the Biden administration responded by having the Department of Justice conduct a raid on the home of the individual in possession of the diary and arresting those who had it, even though they hadn’t stolen it – they had purchased it. Ashley Biden had left the diary behind in a house she had been renting, and no one initially raised any concerns about it.
It’s important to emphasize that such behavior raises significant questions. As a father of three daughters, I can assure you that it is not customary for a father to shower with his daughters. In her diary, Ashley Biden explicitly stated, “I think I have a sex addiction because my father showered with me.” Those are her words.
Furthermore, there are concerns about Joe Biden’s mental health and whether he is genuinely leading the United States. This naturally prompts the question: “If not him, then who is?”
Interviewer: Who is?
Carlson: I would assume Barack Obama through his cutouts who work for Joe Biden. But I don’t know that. The New York Times hasn’t bothered to report on it, but Joe Biden has dementia. He’s not capable of speaking a complete sentence much less running the largest organization in human history, which is the US government. The whole premise is ridiculous, and now they’re telling us? He’s 80 years old. He can barely speak. He can barely walk. And he’s going to run, again, for president of the United States while there’s a war going on? The whole thing is so demented that we’re moving to the point where they’re not trying to convince anybody. They’re just trying to suppress and arrest people who ask questions. They’ve arrested dozens of people, of political opponents, not for committing crimes, but for opposing them in the past month. Dozens in the past month.
Our system is collapsing in real time. We’re watching this happen. If you read the American media, it’s stories about Kim Kardashian and lots of irrelevant crap about trannies and all this stuff. The bottom line is the president of the United States is non compos mentis.
Who is running the government? If you can’t answer that question, you’re not doing your job in the media, it would seem to me. Whatever.
Interviewer: You scored a significant scoop with your interview of former President Donald Trump, which aired during the first Republican candidates’ debate on your former channel, Fox. When we first met for an interview in 2018, Trump had been in office for nearly two years, and you expressed the view that, at that time, “Trump is not capable” as the U.S. president. You cited issues at the border, such as the incomplete border wall, as an example. If Trump were to make a successful return to the White House, do you believe he can be an effective president?
Carlson: No, I don’t have the ability to predict that. It would be purely speculative. What we saw during his first term as president is that it’s exceptionally challenging to govern an organization as vast as the U.S. government, comprising millions of individuals, especially when a significant portion of them are politically opposed to your leadership, which they were. There are federal employees who belong to unions, and their employment often hinges on the political party in power. The system itself is inherently challenging for someone who aims to reform it.
However, at this juncture, there are efforts to potentially prosecute Trump for the act of running against Joe Biden. I’m speaking here as a voter, and for me, that’s what’s at the forefront.
Do I believe that if Trump were to return to office tomorrow, he would hold the CIA accountable to the voters? I can’t say for certain. Would he continue working on the border wall? I don’t know, but I hope so.
What I do know is that allowing a political party to exploit our justice system to imprison the primary opponent of the sitting president is completely unacceptable. It simply cannot be allowed.
From my perspective, that’s what this upcoming election hinges upon. Will we permit this, or won’t we? And personally, I don’t believe we should.
Interviewer: Your fellow journalists can’t stop criticizing you. They call your reporting “pro-Russian” or “pro-Trump.” Recently, you took a lot of heat for your Larry Sinclair interview where he talked about [conducting] an alleged gay affair with Barack Obama. [Sinclair, a convicted con artist, claims that he saw former United States President Barack Obama smoking crack before engaging in sexual activities with him in 1999 when Obama was a state senator.]While it’s true that his claims were never pursued by an Obama-besotted press, are you concerned that the one-on-one, interview format of your online show limits your ability to fully investigate the truth of your guests’ claims of fact?
Carlson: Oh, sure, of course. I’ve been doing one-on-one interviews on television for 25 years.
Interviewer: During that period when you conducted those interviews, you had a substantial team working with you.
Carlson: Yes, my team from that time is still with me. [laughs] I have the same team, and actually, they’ll be coming over for dinner in just a moment.
Regarding Larry Sinclair, he has indeed faced significant criticism and even arrest at one point. He has been labeled as “non-credible,” and this has been ongoing for fifteen years. People have either attacked Larry Sinclair or dismissed him. My perspective on this was, “I can provide the balance, I suppose.” Why not hear from Larry Sinclair? You can form your own opinion about him.
In essence, individuals like Ben Smith, who was at Politico at the time, were able to assert that everything Larry Sinclair said was untrue. That was Ben Smith’s stance. On the other hand, here’s Larry Sinclair’s perspective. To me, it appears that I serve as a counterbalance in this regard. Does that make sense?
Interviewer: There are critics who question whether airing Larry Sinclair’s personal recollections is any different from the situation involving Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations against Brett Kavanaugh.
Carlson: Well, it’s quite different. The situations have distinct particulars. However, I also believe that Larry Sinclair, in what I consider a credible manner, claimed to have had a sexual encounter with Barack Obama. In a society that has become fervently supportive of LGBTQ+ rights and inclusivity, why would this be seen as negative? If we’re embracing the idea that everything related to LGBTQ+ is positive, why should this be viewed as an attack on Obama? Am I the only one here who isn’t prejudiced against homosexuality?
To me, it appears evident that Obama had same-sex attractions. He reportedly confided this to his girlfriend at the time, Alex McNear, who incidentally is a distant cousin of mine. Obama allegedly told her, “I fantasize about having sexual experiences with men.” I find it somewhat perplexing that stating this openly is perceived as an attack. I don’t understand why it should be. I thought we were supposed to support LGBTQ+ individuals. [laughs] It’s hard to keep up.
Interviewer: Tucker, you’ve made a remarkable journey. Over the years, you’ve changed your mind about big issues, important issues, like the invasion of Iraq.
Carlson: Yes, absolutely.
Interviewer: You went public about the issue you just mentioned. Not many journalists are willing to acknowledge a mistake, let alone make a significant course correction. Is there any issue currently that you’re reevaluating or giving a second look, where a previous stance is now under review?
Carlson: Oh, I change my mind on just about every issue. [laughs] I’m constantly reevaluating and reconsidering my positions. There are many issues that I’m not entirely certain I fully understand. Take Artificial Intelligence (AI), for instance. I have genuine concerns that AI might pose a threat and potentially become autonomous to the detriment of our world. But will it? I’m not sure. Beyond my gut-level concerns, I don’t possess an expert opinion on AI.
There are numerous subjects like this one that I’m actively trying to comprehend. Fortunately, I don’t need to have a definitive opinion on everything. I’ve reached an age where I’m perfectly content to acknowledge when I don’t have the answer to something.
I can tell you this: My belief that the war in Ukraine poses a threat to Western civilization has grown stronger over time, not weaker. I truly feel this way. I held this view before, and now I’m even more convinced of it. There have been many concerns in the past that I worried about but ultimately turned out to be less significant than anticipated. For instance, I recall being in the Middle East shortly after 9/11, in 2001, and we were genuinely convinced – I was personally convinced – that we were on the verge of a 500-year war between the West and Islam. However, it didn’t unfold in that manner at all.
In my experience, the Gulf Arabs I’ve interacted with over the years have demonstrated greater tolerance than the average white, secular liberal in America. They even celebrate Christmas on a larger scale in Abu Dhabi than we do in New York.
Interviewer: In general, what gives you hope in a rather worrisome time, looking into the future?
Carlson: What I’ve noticed is that the stakes have suddenly risen to such a level that intelligent individuals are reevaluating their assumptions. I see this happening all around me. People are asking themselves questions like, “I used to believe this. Is it still true? Was it ever true? What is the truth?” People are delving into questions of truth and falsehood much more deeply than before, and I believe that’s a positive development.
Additionally, I’ve observed a resurgence of spiritual awareness and religious faith in the United States, which I find to be a positive trend. Not everyone is arriving at the same conclusions that I have, but that’s perfectly acceptable. It’s far better than believing that Amazon will bring happiness because, in reality, Amazon won’t make you happy. That’s a falsehood. More and more individuals appear to be recognizing that it’s a falsehood, and I consider that a positive development.
There seems to be a misconception that religious individuals pose the primary threat to our happiness. That notion is absurd. The real threat to our happiness comes from individuals who believe they are gods themselves. They are the ones who are dangerous. If you think you are a god, there are no limits to what you will do because you perceive yourself as the ultimate authority, the ultimate judge, and all-powerful. That is truly terrifying.
Personally, I feel much more at ease around religious people. I am a Christian, but others do not need to share my beliefs. In fact, just the other day, I was meeting with a group of people, and in the middle of our meeting, there was a call to prayer. Everyone in the room got up, knelt down, and faced towards Mecca to worship Allah. Twenty years ago, I might have thought, “Oh my goodness, how threatening!” But today, I thought, “How wonderful. How great is that?”
Interviewer: Switzerland is changing, too.
Carlson: I agree, it’s true. But at least it’s beautiful. When you have breathtaking natural beauty, it’s challenging to diminish it. I hope Switzerland remains just the way it is. The moment the American empire crumbles, you’ll regain your banking secrecy.
It’s essential to understand that secrecy does not equate to wrongdoing. Privacy is a fundamental requirement for freedom. I have a lock on my bedroom door. That doesn’t mean I engage in illegal activities in my bedroom. I am not a slave; I am a citizen. I have the right to privacy.