MSNBC host Rachel Maddow defended former colleague Tucker Carlson during a recent interview, saying that he really was the persona he presented on television.
Maddow, who was a frequent guest on Carlson’s MSNBC show between 2003-2008, sat down with Aidan McLaughlin for the latest episode of Mediaite’s “The Interview” podcast. She told McLaughlin that Carlson, since landing and moving into a prime time slot at Fox News, was often said to have “evolved and changed in some radical new direction,” but that as long as she had known him, he had “always been that guy.” (RELATED: ‘It’s Hard To Imagine Anything Uglier’: Tucker Carlson Says Biden Picks Could Unmake The American Meritocracy)
Rachel Maddow dismissed a common criticism of Tucker Carlson: That he has changed his beliefs.
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) December 18, 2020
“I think the thing that Tucker gets a knock for — that he doesn’t deserve — is this idea that he’s evolved and changed in some radical new direction,” Maddow explained. “Tucker has always been that guy. He is legitimately that guy. He is not faking it. He comes by his beliefs and his convictions and even his tone of voice quite naturally. He is not putting it on.”
Maddow went on to argue that Carlson often took a similar position to the one held by President Donald Trump — he was simply able to express that position in a way that was less likely to drive people away.
“It’s a powerful thing to hear somebody with Tucker’s delivery and capability as a TV communicator articulating the same ideas that the president — forgive me — is sort of braying about on Twitter, all caps, misspelled, and all those things. But you put those two things together and it can resonate in a way that moves people and becomes in that case, I think, a very powerful political force,” she said.
Carlson was the first guest when “The Interview” launched August 18, 2020.