Bill Kristol: Tucker Carlson and Fox News Have Become "Ethno-Nationalist"

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In an interview with CNBC's John Harwood, conservative commentator Bill Kristol described Fox News Channel's transformation into an "ethno-nationalist" network:

BILL KRISTOL: Fox was always somewhat conservative, but it was one thing when it was the somewhat conservative alternative to somewhat liberal CNN, MSNBC, mainstream media. I was on Fox for ten years, 2002-2012, primarily on Fox News Sunday. I think it was pretty good. A little tilted right? Sure.

It is wrong for me to say after I left, it all when downhill, but it does coincide. During the second term of Obama, really, a sort of ramping up of the, you know.



Now Fox is sort of 90 - 75 percent of it seems to be birther-like coverage of different issues. That’s been, I think, bad. Put that together with the social media, the segmentation of everyone into bubbles...

It was happening already before Trump, so I don't know, there was a gradual increasing of recklessness. The second term of Obama, i think, was a shock. The re-election over Romney was a real shock to the system. That was 'We're losing our country' to a certain segment of Fox viewers...

Then the Tea Party won in 2010, checked Obama in 2011-12... The Obama administration was more left-wing in the second term than the first term. So things objectively changed some, the mood of Republicans changed some, and Fox News maybe saw a marketing opportunity and changed some.

I do feel, now we are in a different world. Tucker Carlson began at the Weekly Standard. Tucker Carlson was a great young reporter. He was one of the most gifted 24-year-olds I've seen in years. I edited the magazine.

He had always a little touch of Pat Buchananism, I would say, paleo-conservativism. But that’s very different from what he's become now. I mean, it is close now to racism, white — I mean, I don’t know if it’s racism exactly — but ethno-nationalism of some kind, let’s call it. A real silly combination of dumbing down, as you said earlier, and stirring people's emotions in a very unhealthy way.

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