Fox News host Tucker Carlson is apparently pivoting to YouTube-style reaction videos.
President Biden on Thursday evening delivered the first prime-time address of his presidency, discussing the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic. All of the major news networks covered the speech, but Fox News’s approach was certainly unique. Biden was speaking during the hour that Tucker Carlson Tonight would normally air, and Fox through much of the address threw a “live Tucker reaction” box in the bottom corner of the screen, which just showed Carlson sitting there silently listening to it.
Fox News has an inset box during Biden’s address showing Tucker Carlson reacting to what Biden is saying in realtime labeled LIVE TUCKER REACTION pic.twitter.com/pzTOBFvwTU
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 12, 2021
Presumably, the intention was partially to assure impatient Tucker Carlson Tonight fans that their regularly scheduled programming would begin soon, and the network even made use of a series of chyrons repeatedly hyping up Carlson’s comments, as if he were about to deliver the official response to the State of the Union.
“TUCKER RESPONDS TO BIDEN IN LESS THAN 3 MINUTES,” said one chyron, while another promised, “BIDEN SPEECH NEARLY FINISHED; TUCKER WILL RESPOND,” and still another oddly impatient one declared, “BIDEN SHOULD BE FINISHED; TUCKER IS ON ANY MINUTE.”
The reaction box quickly drew derision on Twitter, with CNN’s Oliver Darcy also ripping into the network’s chyrons, writing, “It goes without saying, this is not how an actual news network covers a presidential address.” It remains to be seen whether Fox could make this a staple, but either way, superimposing the “live Tucker reaction” box onto various other things may be a meme just waiting to happen.