Never one to shy away from controversy, Fox News prime time host Tucker Carlson on Tuesday critiqued the wisdom of new Defense Department (DOD) efforts designed to make the military a more attractive career option for women.
The backlash against Carlson from the Pentagon itself was tragically misguided, with DOD press secretary John Kirby issuing a nasty rebuttal in which he stated that promoting women to senior military ranks would remain a top priority and that the department would not “take personnel advice from a talk show host.”
The segment in question began with Carlson drawing a contrast between efforts launched by the Chinese government to bolster “traditional masculinity” among its young male population and the initiatives recently announced by President Joe Biden meant to increase the appeal of military service among women.
Carlson opined, “So we’ve got new hairstyles and maternity flight suits. Pregnant women are going to fight our wars. It’s a mockery of the U.S. military,” as the New York Post noted, continuing:
While China’s military becomes more masculine…our military needs to become, as Joe Biden says, more feminine.
It’s out of control and the Pentagon’s going along with this. Again, this is a mockery of the U.S. military and its core mission, which is winning wars.
Kirby’s riposte was highlighted in an official DOD press release headlined “Press Secretary Smites Fox Host That Dissed Diversity in U.S. Military,” and it included his assertion that said diversity among the ranks remains “one of our greatest strengths.”
In a not-so-veiled swipe at the Fox News host, Kirby added that anyone who thinks otherwise may “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.”
Army veteran Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) took to Twitter to echo Kirby’s sentiments, albeit in a rather more vulgar manner, saying, “F – – – 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,” a reference to Carlson’s 2006 appearance on Dancing with the Stars.
Clearly taken aback by the nakedly hostile comments from Kirby, and by extension, the Pentagon, Carlson told viewers during his Thursday broadcast that “the Department of Defense has never been more aggressively or openly political,” and characterized the response as “a large and coordinated public relations offensive” against the program, as the Post further noted.
Carlson lamented the DOD press release as being akin to an attack on “a hostile foreign power,” and sadly, in the eyes of what he aptly called the “woke generals” at the helm these days, that’s precisely how he and the millions of Americans who agree with him are viewed.