In 2020, if you wanted to get a Democrat outraged, you’d have someone in President Donald Trump’s administration speak ill of the media. In 2021, if you want to get a Democrat outraged, have a member of the media speak ill of someone in President Joe Biden’s administration.
In this regard, Fox News host Tucker Carlson seems to be a prominent target, particularly when he criticizes how the military has gone woke. On his program Thursday, he criticized Joint Chiefs of Staff head Gen. Mark Milley for his remarks defending critical race theory training and saying he wanted to understand “white rage” before a congressional hearing.
Carlson called Milley “obsequious” and said, “He knows who to suck up to and he’s more than happy to do it. Feed him a script and he will read it.”
In one of the more jocund parts of the segment, after a clip was played featuring Milley noting that reading about critical race theory didn’t make him a critical race theorist — “I’ve read Mao Zedong. I’ve read Karl Marx. I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a communist,” Milley said — Carlson laughed and said Milley was “not just a pig, he’s stupid.”
For that, a retired four-star general wants Carlson fired.
In a tweet on Friday afternoon, Barry McCaffrey — a former drug czar during the administration of President Bill Clinton, now a military analyst with NBC News and MSNBC — asked why Fox News hadn’t terminated Carlson for making those remarks.
“Let this sink in. Tucker Carlson on live Fox TV called Gen Mark Milley the Chairman of the JCS ‘Stupid’ and a ‘Pig,'” McCaffrey tweeted.
“Why hasn’t he been terminated? Who talks like this about a public official? Mark Milley …Princeton and Colombia. Years in combat.”
Let this sink in. Tucker Carlson on live Fox TV called Gen Mark Milley the Chairman of the JCS “Stupid” and a “Pig”. Why hasn’t he been terminated? Who talks like this about a public official? Mark Milley …Princeton and Colombia. Years in combat.
— Barry R McCaffrey (@mccaffreyr3) June 25, 2021
Firstly, that’s “Columbia,” Mr. McCaffrey. Secondly, I’d posit a member of the media criticizing the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in a humorous tone is a bit less problematic than a member of the media (who also happens to be a retired four-star general) talking like this about a public official, but you do you:
Reluctantly I have concluded that President Trump is a serious threat to US national security. He is refusing to protect vital US interests from active Russian attacks. It is apparent that he is for some unknown reason under the sway of Mr Putin.
— Barry R McCaffrey (@mccaffreyr3) March 16, 2018
The White House Trump statement telling the entire Federal Government to terminate subscriptions to the NYT and Wash Post is a watershed moment in national history. No room for HUMOROUS media coverage. This is deadly serious. This is Mussolini.
— Barry R McCaffrey (@mccaffreyr3) October 25, 2019
Thirdly, there’s something a bit more problematic at work here than either McCaffrey’s spelling of Ivy League schools or his belief in the Russia-Trump collusion conspiracy theory:
This is a retired four star general saying that a cable news host should be fired because he criticized a powerful public official on television.
Last time I checked, we don’t live in China, sir https://t.co/JhAGb4jzmd
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) June 25, 2021
You want a civilian fired because he insulted a general, says it all.
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) June 25, 2021
Just so we’re clear, this is the part of the commentary McCaffrey claimed he wants Carlson fired for:
Tucker on Milley’s comments: He’s not just a pig. He’s stupid pic.twitter.com/XNxNCBjLHp
— Acyn (@Acyn) June 25, 2021
Even if McCaffrey were an ordinary MSNBC or NBC News analyst, calling for the termination of Carlson for a self-evident joke that isn’t patently offensive would be troubling. McCaffrey isn’t an ordinary member of the media, however. In fact, the only reason he’s there is that he’s a decorated retired general — and he’s using that perch to call for a civilian to be fired.
The wider problem is that this isn’t just retired military men attempting to silence Carlson when he talks about the sudden breakout of wokeness in the U.S. Armed Forces.
In March, Carlson aired another commentary about wokeness in the military, noting that Biden’s Pentagon was busy “designing body armor that fits women properly, tailoring combat uniforms for women, creating maternity flight suits, updating requirements for their hairstyles” and that “identity politics is Joe Biden’s priority. It’s all that matters.”
He also brought up China’s new emphasis on masculinity in its enlisted ranks, saying that “China’s military becomes more masculine as it’s assembled the world’s largest navy, [while] our military needs to become, as Joe Biden says, more feminine.”
The response to this was uniquely chilling.
The Pentagon issued out a news release titled, “Press Secretary Smites Host That Dissed Diversity in U.S. Military.” This was in reference to Pentagon press secretary John Kirby saying the Department of Defense won’t “take personnel advice from a talk show host or the Chinese military. Maybe those folks feel like they have something to prove — that’s on them. We know we’re the greatest military in the world today and even for all the things we need to improve, we know exactly why that’s so.”
Equally disturbing was Space Force Command Senior Enlisted Leader Scott H. Stalker using his official military Twitter account — now deleted — to go after the Fox News host.
Stalker said Carlson’s “opinion, that he has a right to, is based off zero days in the armed forces.”
“The bottom line is that we value women in our armed forces, we value those that have served in the past and those that serve today. We value our families in the military,” he said, adding, “Let’s remember that those opinions were made by an individual who has never served a day in his life.”
As conservative pundit Ben Shapiro pointed out at the time, “President Biden’s military declared its first war … on Fox News host Tucker Carlson.” In both cases, Carlson’s great crime was criticizing someone within the Biden administration or the administration as a whole.
The first time, top military brass used their positions to strike back at a member of the media. This time, a former member of the top military brass demanded he be fired. This is what happens in communist China, not America.
They didn’t win that battle. McCaffrey didn’t win this one. When it comes to the war, however, this is evidence the woke side is quite stuck in — and Carlson won’t be their last target.
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