“Is Tucker Carlson losing his mind?” Politico‘s Playbook team asked Tuesday morning. “As careful students of his evening show, we’ve noticed that Carlson has gradually become more unhinged in recent weeks,” devoting “enormous attention” to Jan. 6 insurrection truthers, laughing maniacally after Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdict, “and under the banner of just asking questions! he has given quarter to anti-vaxxers and COVID-19 conspiracists.”
Then, on Monday night, “Carlson made a comment that was beyond the pale even for him, and especially strange for a self-styled anti-nanny state libertarian,” Politico notes. It’s hard to know if his rant about people who wear masks outdoors — and urging viewers to call the cops on parents whose kids are wearing masks outside — “was serious or not.” Obviously, siccing child protective services on parents who are merely following CDC guidelines is a bad idea, Politico says. “And we’re pretty sure Carlson knows that, even if some of his viewers might not, which makes his appeal to snitch on mask wearers even worse.”
On the other hand, Carlson’s laugh is getting pretty theatrically hysterical, as The Daily Show captured.
So is Carlson actually losing it or just losing it in a performative manner? “His Trump-like way of distancing himself from the content of his monologues is to always keep you guessing as to whether he’s just putting you on,” Politico says. So the only thing to do is speculate.