On Tucker Carlson
Last week I was interviewed on a podcast for New England Broadcasting. I discussed Oh Great, Another Vampire Book. I’m new to the world of podcasts and radio. It’s daunting to cram information about my book into ten minutes or so. But it was helpful that the host was a satirical comedian type, lending the right vibe for me to feel comfortable.
He began by asking how I developed my idea for the book. I described sitting in Starbucks one morning in 2018 during what felt like an increasing cultural divide. I thought of Doctor Manhattan from The Watchmen, in particular the floating blue man’s status as a new god. This elicited a string of inquiry. What if there was a new god? How would the media react? What if this all happened simultaneously with a vampire problem? A logical train of thought, I joked.
It was an opportune moment to reveal I’m not actually a big fan of vampire books, hence poking fun at the genre. I also said it was fun depicting contrasting views of CNN versus Fox. I had to bring up Tucker Carlson, who’s at the center of a pivotal scene where Sara Fielding, my god character, is interviewed on his show. Tucker irritates her, so she retaliates by whisking him into another dimension, resulting in him throwing up on live TV moments later upon their return.
Carlson is known as a polarizing figure. He piques strong opinion regardless of political leanings. I believe him to be a multi-faceted journalist, unafraid to express unpopular views. To illustrate this point, I mentioned the relatively benign topic of UFOs. In 2021 Tucker questioned why our government continues to cover up UFO information. On Fox Nation’s “Tucker Carlson Originals,” he stated there seem to be “distinct patterns” between UFO sightings and nuclear test sites. It’s always a bold journalistic move to criticize big government/military institutions.
I’m no expert on Tucker, but I described myself as sort of a “Tucker apologist.” My point: he’s not all good or all bad. Most of the time, lumping individuals or institutions into a monolith is questionable thinking. That was my point of the vomit scene. To get inside Tucker’s mind to interpret his complex thought processes while speaking to a new god.
I was somewhat nervous during the podcast; I’m still getting used to interviews. Perhaps I was not clear on the distinction between how Tucker is represented in my book, and my personal opinion on the man. There was some audio overlap in our phone connection. I didn’t hear when the host asked if I know Tucker personally. I don’t.
Discussing a culturally relevant figure is weird if they happen to be controversial. (In recent days Tucker’s been accused of promoting white nationalist rhetoric in relation to the mass shooting in Buffalo, NY.) Controversy elicits a nagging concern that one’s opinion on someone informs how people view me. This is a consequence of our current body politic— speech is taken out of context, causing reflexive negativity on social media. People are afraid of being canceled. During the podcast I made sure to emphasize I’m not an ideologue. Instead, I have fun poking fun at everyone.
Feeling comfortable during podcasts is a skill I aspire to. I love podcasts and consider them integral to the daily pursuit of truth and inspiration. I strive to do my best as an author, so please bear with me as I sally forth and most likely make mistakes on occasion.
Diane Hunter is the author of Oh Great, Another Vampire Book. Visit her at dianehunterauthor.com