Posted on July 30, 2023



Tucker Loves Tate

Hardball interviewer plays the stooge


Daniel Clark



Tucker Carlson's interview with web celebrity and professional manly man Andrew Tate is being hailed as the most-watched interview of all time. For those of us who have sat through its entirety, it may be hard to believe that a large number of other people have done the same, but that's okay. If you happen to have "viewed" the video without watching all two and a half hours of it, you have already seen enough, because the sycophantic slobberfest remained the same throughout.

To conduct the interview in person, Carlson had to visit Tate at his home in Romania, where he remains on house arrest for reasons never adequately explained during the 150-minute chat. Considering that this was primarily a conversation about manliness, it was ironically fitting that it took place in the homeland of Nadia Comenici, because Tate put on a clinic in verbal gymnastics, while Carlson executed a flawless triple-supine.

The former cable news personality opened by asking Tate what crimes he'd been charged with, a question he should have been able to answer himself before bothering to cross the ocean. "I'm charged with being the head of an organized criminal group, which is in charge of recruiting girls to make TikTok videos, to steal the money from the TikTok views," Tate said. "The state thinks that I, as a 35-year-old man, woke up -- I was already extremely financially successful, I was already a father, I was already very well known; I have no financial motivation, I have no criminal record, it's not my personality profile -- but I woke up at the age of 35 and decided to make girls do TikTok to enrich myself with the pennies that I would earn from TikTok views."

Carlson, a man who detects balderdash for a living, and who had more than enough time to study his subject beforehand, nevertheless allowed this rehearsed expression of incredulity to pass, implicitly trusting Tate to provide the true story. What Tate, his brother and two female accomplices are actually accused of doing is holding women against their will and compelling them to appear in pornographic videos.

Except for the coercive aspect of this alleged activity, it sounds a lot like what Tate acknowledges already having done, though legally, to earn as much as $600,000 a month. In his webcamming business, he employed 75 women, many of whom he described as his own girlfriends. For a price, a woman appearing in front of a web camera in negligee would engage in an online chat with a customer, sort of like what used to be known as phone sex, but with video. So, it's not really as if he had just woken up one day recently and decided to do such a thing, nor would he perceive it as a penny-ante operation.

Had Carlson been conducting a serious interview, instead of merely providing an outlet for Tate to indulge in a series of unchallenged orations, he might have pointed out that the accusations really do fit Tate's personality profile up to a point, and asked him exactly how his activities in Romania differed from his previous webcam business back in England. Incredibly, Tate's webcam venture didn't even come up at the point in the interview in which he discussed the destructive properties of pornography. When he complained that "men are replacing genuine sexual relationships with just the computer screen and it's becoming a very, very big problem," Carlson let it pass without noting that it is a problem to which Tate himself has contributed.

A closer inspection of Tate's personality profile would have brought up the subject of his dismissal from the British version of the reality show Big Brother, apparently over the discovery of what he admits was a "kinky sex video" in which he beat a woman with a belt and shouted threats at her. He argues that the act was consensual, and that they were merely "acting out a role play." Admittedly, there's no reason to disbelieve that, but what does it say about his personality, and whether it fits in with the behavior of which he now stands accused?

Tate has faced multiple rape accusations, one of which was the subject of a case that was dropped because the woman continued to have a consensual relationship with him after the time of the alleged assault. The accuser in this case has since released a series of WhatsApp voice notes from Tate that amount to a defiant admission of his own abusiveness (e.g., "Are you seriously so offended I strangled you a little bit?"). More role playing? Perhaps. For all we know, all of his violent sexual encounters might have been consensual. Even if that is true, it would certainly be no reason to look to him as a sage, or suggest that he was a fitting role model for impressionable boys.

This is far from the only area in which he needed to be challenged. For all of Tate's sensible-sounding concerns about the decline of masculinity in Western society, he claims to have fathered at least ten children out of wedlock. Carlson might have asked him how many of those children are boys, how big a part of their lives he can possibly be, and whether leaving them to be raised without a man in the family undermines his message about the importance of masculinity.

Near the end of the interview, Tate talked about the importance of financial independence in maintaining personal freedom. This should have prompted an examination of his own successful financial venture, an online community called Hustler's University, which offers financial guidance that its critics claim is easily available elsewhere online for free. Enrollees are charged about $50 a month, but they can earn commissions by recruiting other new subscribers. Assuming that the promise of these commissions, and not the value of the site's content, is the main driver of new membership, this would meet the textbook definition of a pyramid scheme. So what is Tate's advice to his followers about financial independence, exactly? Be smarter than the people you're scamming?

It would have been helpful if Carlson had confronted him over this, but even if he had brought up the subject, he would only have allowed Tate to get away with his all-purpose evasion: "The Matrix." This is what Tate calls the global, omnipotent array of powers he imagines are aligned against him, just because they feel threatened by his message of manliness. Why is he under house arrest? The Matrix willed it to be so. Memo to Andrew: There's nothing manly about blaming your misdeeds on an imaginary antagonist. Most boys stop doing that before kindergarten, actually.

Mind you, this is the same Tucker Carlson who, only days later, was lauded for his hardball interviews of Republican presidential candidates at the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa. In particular, his supporters are celebrating his having "DESTROYED!" former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson over his doublespeak on the subject of transgender surgeries for children. Good for him, but in the grand scheme of things, so what? Not only does Asa Hutchinson stand absolutely no chance of becoming president, but he's struggling just to qualify for inclusion in a debate. In terms of societal relevance, he probably ranks somewhere between Marianne Williamson and Carrot Top.

Andrew Tate, by comparison, is an influential internet phenomenon who has achieved wild popularity among young British and American men, while engaging in subhuman behavior and peddling a morally troubling jumble of messages. He is the one who really needed to be challenged, but the closest Carlson came to doing that was to giggle, fluff his hair and say, "Oh, that is so true!" Was his kneejerk agreement with everything Tate had to say meant to imply manliness by association? If so, then it was no more credible than anything else in the entire production.



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