Tucker Carlson has made a fortune pretending to be a populist everyman, but his incredibly sketchy past includes ties to neocons, the CIA, and multiple trips to Nicaragua as a “freedom-fighter” with the Contras. Tucker Carlson is the hottest media personality in America. Comfortably the most watched cable news show, Tucker Carlson Tonight is a ratings bonanza, with even former President Donald Trump said to be a keen viewer. Part of Carlson’s appeal is that he presents himself as a maverick outsider, someone who thinks outside the box and is not afraid to launch tirades against the powerful and criticize the government and its foreign policy. Certainly, he does surprise many people, covering subjects other cable news hosts do not touch. However, on closer inspection, this populist everyman persona is all a facade; Carlson himself has deep connections to the government and the national security state and works hard to obscure the real centers of power, channeling popular rage towards safer targets. Carlson is a blue-blood through and through. His great-uncle was Arkansas Senator William Fulbright, while his step-mother, Patricia Swanson, is the heiress to the Swanson Frozen Food company fortune. In his earlier years, before his character change, Carlson openly described himself as a trust-fund baby. “I’m extraordinarily loaded just from money I inherited from a number of trust funds,” he said in 2008.
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