Fox host Tucker Carlson returned fire after the Pentagon launched a “large and coordinated” PR blitz against his show over criticism that the military may be too “feminine,” saying the DOD has no place attacking a US news outlet.
“Since when does the Pentagon declare war on a domestic news operation? I can’t remember that ever happening,” Carlson said on a segment of his show on Thursday night, adding “This is genuinely worrisome. The Department of Defense has never been more aggressively or openly political.”
The TV pundit responded after the Pentagon issued several different statements addressing a segment of his show the night prior. While sabre rattling against Beijing, Carlson pointed to the military’s new “maternity flight suits,” under development since the Pentagon altered its rules to allow pregnant women to fly non-combat craft into their second trimester.
“It’s a mockery of the US military,” he said, arguing that the shift toward more “feminine” armed forces would spell trouble as the US moves to confront a “masculine” China.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby weighed in on Carlson’s comments on Thursday, saying “What we absolutely won’t do is take personnel advice from a talk show host or the Chinese military” while lauding the “diversity” of the US armed forces. Separately, the DOD also issued a news release with the oddly-worded headline: “Press Secretary Smites Fox Host That Dissed Diversity in US Military.”
“‘Smites’ – like we’re a hostile foreign power,” Carlson commented. He added that he and his show would nonetheless “pass” on a confrontation with the military, joking that the DOD may have a “manpower advantage” over his news crew at Fox.