I’m guessing Tucker Carlson has heard worse, but it’s alway nail-bitingly good to watch a brilliant woman demolish the turgid arguments of a smug Republican male. Even if his sense of moral and intellectual superiority inevitably remains unshaken.
This is what happened when Teen Vogue writer Lauren Duca, whose essay about Donald Trump “gaslighting” America recently went viral, faced off with Carlson on Fox this Friday. The two began by discussing a few of Duca’s tweets about Ivanka Trump, which Carlson tried to cast as commentary on Ivanka’s recent run-in with a political dissident on a JetBlue flight. Duca stressed, I think without need, that her tweets were not a response to the incident, and that “no one deserves to be yelled at on a plane.”
Duca was careful to balance her critique of Ivanka’s political and commercial gamesmanship—her “sinister complicity” in the Trump administration, as she put it—with praise for her business acumen and beauty. I’d have stopped at “sinister complicity.” Carlson, on the other hand, tried to put even more words in Duca’s mouth, claiming for instance that she had called Ivanka “anti-woman,” when in fact she had noted that Ivanka has been a longtime advocate for the “most anti-woman candidate in decades” (her daddy).
The two also discussed Duca’s piece for Teen Vogue (“which I guess you write for,” Carlson scoffed with adolescent impertinence). The conversation quickly devolved from an aggressive debate to a one-sided argument between an angry misogynist and a woman trying to run out the clock.
Carlson berated Duca for criticizing Trump’s proposed Muslim ban, which he had asked her about, calling her answer “moronic.” He spent the rest of the interview trying to delegitimize Duca by referencing articles she’s written about fashion and celebrities (“you should stick to the thigh high boots, you’re better at that”), and misrepresenting her argument about Trump gaslighting the America people. Ironically, Tucker’s line of questioning itself contained all the hallmarks of gaslighting, except for subtlety.
So, yeah, eventually Duca called Carlson “a partisan hack.”
Moreover, some people, like Tucker Carlson, deserve to be yelled at on a plane.