Fox News host Tucker Carlson responded to Pentagon leaders and Democratic lawmakers who criticized him for pointing out that it appears President Joe Biden is more concerned about the military being politically correct than prepared to defend the country.
Carlson opened his Thursday program, which was delayed by Biden’s first address to the country, by opining that the U.S. military “is the last functional institution of any size” in the country and one “most people trust and respect.”
“So on Monday, when we saw Joe Biden pledge to bring an ‘intensity of purpose and mission to really change the culture and habits’ of the U.S. military, we paid attention,” Carlson noted.
After playing a clip of the president discussing changes in uniform and grooming standards for women, Carlson said it is more important for the military to be staffed with men and women who are the most capable of carrying out their assigned duties and missions, which he said is not Biden’s “priority.”
“Identity politics is Joe Biden’s priority. It’s all that matters,” Carlson said.
“You see this attitude throughout the U.S. government, as well as in the corporate world. Key positions filled on the basis of physical appearance, without any reference to ability or experience. Now, you can get by with that if you’re Citibank, which now cares more about wokeness than about banking. They can explain the results to their shareholders ten years from now. But it is not fine if your only job is to protect the United States from people who want to kill the rest of us. That is the worst kind of dereliction of duty,” Carlson said.
Earlier this week, Carlson earned a rebuke from Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, a retired Army National Guard officer and former helicopter pilot who lost both legs after being shot down in Iraq.
“While China’s military becomes more masculine as it’s assembled the world’s largest navy, our military needs to become — as Joe Biden says, more feminine, whatever feminine means anymore, since men and women no longer exist. The bottom line is, it’s out of control, and the Pentagon is going along with this. Again, this is a mockery of the U.S. military and its core mission, which is winning wars,” Carlson said.
Duckworth took to Twitter to denounce the host.
“F**k Tucker Carlson. While he was practicing his two-step, America’s female warriors were hunting down Al Qaeda and proving the strength of America’s women,” she wrote.
Meanwhile, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said on Thursday that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin shares the “revulsion” several senior military leaders expressed about Carlson’s comments. He added that “what we absolutely won’t do is take personnel advice from a talk show host or the Chinese military.”
Carlson also earned a critical response from Marine MGySgt. Scott Stalker, the senior enlisted non-commissioned officer for U.S. Space Command, who posted a video online defending pregnant women in uniform and overall Pentagon policies surrounding women.
— U.S. Space Command, Command Senior Enlisted Leader (@US_SpaceComCSEL) March 11, 2021
For his part, Carlson rejected their criticisms and said that Americans did not need to serve in the military in order to be critical of it or concerned about its policies.
“Lloyd Austin is openly political,” Carlson said. “In his first days on the job, Austin made the entire armed services submit to a kind of political purity test. Anyone with views that he found ‘extreme’ had to leave.
“Then Austin set about accelerating poisonous trends already in progress at the Pentagon, the worst of these being the use of irrelevant criteria in hiring and promotion,” he continued. “Now, if you dare to point any of this out, they become hysterical because they can’t defend their own policies. When people can’t defend what they’ve done, they yell.
“You hear politicians like Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill. say that it’s unpatriotic to question the Pentagon unless you’ve served in the military yourself. You haven’t earned that right. Really? Can only cops talk about police brutality? If you haven’t been elected to office, can you criticize Congress? They’re not making a real argument. They’re trying to silence dissent,” he said.
“We’re not playing along, sorry. Every American citizen has a right, maybe an obligation, to know what the military they pay for is doing because our lives may depend on it,” Carlson added.
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