Tucker Carlson: Biden's propaganda is meant to distract you from the real crises

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A lot of COVID regulations weren’t really about science

Fox News host reflects on the COVID-19 pandemic two years later, China’s new lockdowns and a cartel firefight on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight.’

We keep a detailed daily calendar. We checked this morning and believe it or not, this week is the two-year anniversary of the coronavirus lockdowns. Those are the first mass quarantines in American history and if you look back, you’ll be struck by how much has changed since those lockdowns began. Think back to the America you grew up in. There were three things you knew about that country: It was a free country. It was a middle-class country. It was defined by small business and it was a constitutional country. Our politicians were limited by the guardrails in our founding documents. They couldn’t go past that. So, it was a happy place.  

Unfortunately, none of those three things are still true about the United States and lockdowns are not entirely to blame for that. No single cause ever is, but there’s no question that the coronavirus lockdowns accelerated the transformation of the United States. Just think of masks. So, we knew early on that paper masks were not going to stop the spread of COVID.  

A couple of studies, including a big study from Vietnam, showed pretty clearly that they were not effective and then we watched the behavior of our public officials. It turns out they didn’t like masks any more than anyone else liked masks, despite the fact they had ordered you to wear masks. When they thought no one was watching, they often went bare faced. So, you saw that, and you had to wonder: If masks are so darn effective and lifesaving, why aren’t our leaders wearing them?  


An employee arranges finished protective masks into piles on the production line at the Taiwan Comfort Champ Manufacturing Co. plant in Taoyuan, Taiwan, on Friday, June 12, 2020. 
( I-Hwa Cheng/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

We made that point. We made many points like it. We made them dozens of times on the show and, needless to say, it had no effect at all. The mask mandates stayed. In some places, they still remain. So, as this unfolded, we started to realize that masks, in fact a lot of this, was not really about science or public health. So, what was it about?  

Well, recently we learned the answer because we watched it. Masks were a training exercise. Mandatory masking was a shock collar designed to teach Americans unquestioning obedience and, of course, it worked because shock collars do work. In a single day last month we watched, for example, our entire professional class dutifully changed their Twitter avatars from mask up to the now mandatory Ukrainian flag.  

There was no debate about doing this, no reflection. There was not even a real conversation. They just did it. Millions of people simply assumed reflexively a partisan position in a highly complicated foreign crisis, the next crisis, and as they did it, they moved in perfect lockstep. They were guided by their masters of the social media companies who were themselves taking direction from the White House.  

The whole thing was like watching synchronized swimming in Pyongyang. It was an amazing performance. Most amazing of all was seeing Republican leaders join the herd after two years of COVID training, they couldn’t help themselves. The result was the largest political flash mob in American history—Republicans, Democrats, business titans and the media all on one side.  

So, of course, dissent of any kind was banned instantly and if you persist in asking questions about all of this found themselves censored and those who persisted in asking questions because they were lucky enough to have a rare, protected platform, found themselves threatened with something worse—maybe indictment, maybe arrest. Here’s former Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, threatening this show just last night.  

CLAIRE MCCASKILL: Tucker Carlson and others are really, really close to treason in terms of what they are saying and parroting what is… Putin’s dream.  

Oh, so defending our country from your recklessness and unwise decision-making is treason? Declare your loyalty to Ukraine or you’ve committed a crime, right? Claire McCaskill, whatever you think of her, was not talking like that two years ago. No one in public was talking that way two years ago, before COVID. In a free country, you’re allowed to say what you think is true. You can defend your country if you want, even if politicians disagree with you. That was the whole point of living in the United States, but not anymore.  

Now, if enough powerful people, that would be former senators, New York Times columnists, retired Intel chiefs working as contributors to MSNBC, if enough of these people call for you to be indicted, you probably will be indicted. If not for the core crime, then for another crime. They’ll find something. That’s our justice system now works. Those are the rules. This is a big change over what we had before for about 250 years. 


Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) concedes defeat in her bid to keep her U.S. Senate seat during an election-night rally on November 6, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. McCaskill lost to Republican challenger Josh Hawley.  
(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

So how do we get this new system? Simple, we eliminated the guardrails. We got rid of the principles that set limits to our leaders’ power. Those principles, in short, were personal autonomy and the sanctity of the citizens’ conscience. And we surrendered both of those during COVID. They no longer exist. We let them go. Once we allowed political leaders to force Americans to take drugs they didn’t want, the old arrangement where the citizen had as much or more power as the leaders was over. Our politicians now have effectively limitless power, and they know that. They know it perfectly well. That’s why they did it and if you doubt that they know it, watch the way they communicate with the American population.  

They’re giving you propaganda. They always have. What’s changed is that their propaganda is no longer sophisticated or persuasive because it doesn’t have to be. Instead, their propaganda is blunt and vulgar. They summon TikTok performers to the White House so that some 18-year-old, who has never had a job, can tell you that inflation and historically high gas prices are actually Vladimir Putin’s fault. They just did that, in fact. Here’s the result.  

ELLIE ZEILER, TIKTOK: I had the opportunity to ask the White House why gas down the street is $7 and here is what they said. … Russia is one of the top three producers of oil and it is actually their number one revenue source. … Now, with Putin starting this horrific fight between Ukraine and Russia, nobody wants to work with him and do international trade. So, with people being scared of war and limited resources, prices are bound to go up as well.  

OK, so nothing against teenage energy expert in Lycra you just saw, but that is not the way you communicate with a population in a democracy. That’s not the way you talk to free people. That is the way that you command your serfs. You assume that they’re stupid and so you serve them up stupid propaganda. You patronize them like you’re speaking to a housekeeper at a hotel in Cabo. “We call this oil. It costs very much now. Vladimir Putin, very bad man.” That’s what they’re saying and they’re saying it for a reason, because when you no longer respect your own citizens, you can’t be bothered to speak in complex sentences.  

You have TikTok influencers deliver your lines. All around this, this is happening even on former news channels. This is exactly what they’re doing. That’s their power, but it’s not their main power. Their main power, the one they deploy most often, is the power to change the subject, the power to force you to ignore what actually matters to you and your family and your country, and focus instead on what matters to them. They call it democracy. Congress, at the moment, for example, is totally absorbed in the question of how to arm Ukraine. How many MiGs should be sending to Zelenskyy and how do we get them there? 

 Now, that’s not an issue that directly or even indirectly is related to the many, many…growing number of pressing problems the United States is facing domestically, but even on its own terms, even you think that’s the most important thing that we could be talking about, they’re not really talking about it in any complete sense and if you doubt that, ask yourself how you would handle it.  


The TikTok logo is seen on an iPhone 11 Pro max in this photo illustration in Warsaw, Poland on September 29, 2020. 
(Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

You’re the Congress and you’re moved by the suffering in Ukraine. Every American is. Americans are kind people. They want to help. Civilians in Ukraine are being crushed by Vladimir Putin. That’s true. How can we help? Well, why don’t we send more weapons to Ukraine in the middle of a war? It doesn’t sound like a bad idea, but if you’re going to make that decision, you’d probably feel some kind of moral obligation to consider the ramifications. Like, what effect will this actually have? Is it possible that doing this, as well-intentioned as it is, (and it is) is it possible doing this will be counterproductive? Will it hurt the people I’m hoping to help?  

Will it, for example, prolong the fighting in Ukraine at the expense of the vulnerable civilian population in Ukraine? If I do this, could I inadvertently be doing to Ukraine what the West inadvertently did to, let’s say, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Afghanistan? You wouldn’t want that. You’d hate to do something like that again, because that would be cruel. So, you’d want to make sure you weren’t doing that. But not a single person in Washington, at least in public, appears to be asking that question. No one’s allowed to ask that question. What are you a Putin defender? And in fact, as well-meaning as most Americans are—most of our lawmakers are well-meaning—you get the sense that the core figures in our foreign policy establishment don’t really care. And in fact, never have cared about the effects of their policy.  

We can give you a million examples. Here’s one: Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright way back in 1996, shrugged off the documented deaths of half a million Iraqi children. Not a small number, half a million, because imposing sanctions on Saddam Hussein was “worth it.”  

LESLEY STAHL: We have heard that a half a million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died when in Hiroshima and, you know, is the price worth it?  

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price, we think the price is worth it. It is a moral question, but the moral question is even a larger one. Don’t we owe, to the American people, and to the American military, and to the other countries in the region that this man not be a threat?  

So, keep in mind that debate, that conversation, was about sanctions, which were certainly going to hurt Saddam Hussein. They didn’t. He ended up invading seven years later because sanctions didn’t work. When have sanctions worked exactly to achieve their desired outcome? Let us know when you find out, but in the meantime, a half a million children died, but it was worth it. Because, because why?  


Former United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright attends the 2017 Museum of Arts & Design MAD Ball at Cipriani 42nd Street on November 7, 2017 in New York City.
(Mike Pont/Getty Images)

Well, in retrospect, sadly, and it burdens the conscience of every decent person, it’s hard to see why it was worth it, but you should know that these are exactly the same people who are now giving you more lectures right now. In fact, at this very moment on every other channel on television, 24 hours a day, about how we have a moral obligation to wade blindly into a war in Eastern Europe against a country that has not attacked us and if we don’t do that, you’re a traitor.  

What’s going on here? High levels of aggression, that’s for sure, but deflection too. Our leaders are a master of deflection. They yell so you won’t notice what else is happening. What else is happening? Well, it turns out one of the biggest stories of the decade dropped this morning, you may not even be aware of it, the Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Arabia is considering accepting Chinese currency rather than U.S. dollars for its oil sales to China now. Why is that a big deal? Seems like some little financial story. Well, because it would spell the end of the petrodollar. The petrodollar is one of the keys to the United States’ wealth.  

Saudi Arabia has traded oil exclusively in U.S. dollars for nearly half a century and that is one of the key reasons the United States has the highest living standard of any big country in the world, despite the fact that our manufacturing sector long ago collapsed. You may have wondered how that worked. Why are we still so rich? Well, this is how. Petrodollars allow our government, in short, to spend money that we don’t have and that money pays for an awful lot of what we have—healthcare, retirements, the military. We could go on—everything, essentially. 

As economist Gal Luft put it in interview with The Wall Street Journal today, “The oil market and by extension, the entire global commodities market, is the insurance policy of the status of the dollar is the reserve currency. If that block is taken out of the wall, the wall will begin to collapse.” 

What’s the wall? Well, it’s the U.S. economy. Not a small story, maybe even a bigger story than the invasion of Ukraine. Weird that we’re not talking about it. Meanwhile, at the exact same moment that happened there’s this: The Chinese government has decided to wound our already teetering economy once again by using the pretext of COVID. So, the Chinese have ordered lockdowns in factory towns, towns that make Toyotas, Volkswagen, circuit boards, air conditioning units, batteries, televisions and, yes, iPhones.  

Now why are they doing this? Well, you’re supposed to believe it’s all about the coronavirus, which has mysteriously resurged in China in the middle of a war in which China is siding with the country that we are against, Russia. Can that really be true? Hard to believe. Is it really just the virus that’s causing this behavior? Yes, say the propagandists of The Washington Post, it definitely is. It’s definitely not a trade war brought on by the Biden administration’s incompetence in international affairs. We’re not suffering for the fact they don’t know what they’re doing. No, it’s just a virus.  


A pundit called Catherine Rampell, for example, told us with a straight face that, “Daily COVID cases in China have reached numbers not publicly reported since 2020…Thanks partly to low vaccination rates for the elderly in China, plus the relative ineffectiveness of Chinese-made coronavirus vaccines, the Chinese government has responded to outbreaks with an iron fist.” 

They should have gone with Pfizer like we did. Now none of that, of course, explains why cases are higher in China now that they were in the beginning of the pandemic, but The Washington Post doesn’t want you to think about that. They want you to think about vaccines. It was all about vaccines. It turns out the Chinese have a pandemic of the unvaccinated too, and don’t they deserve it?  

Speaking of news you may not be hearing about, a hot war is in progress 50 yards from Texas, which is an American state. No one seems to notice that either because we’re focused on Ukraine. According to one report, a Mexican cartel engaged local authorities in a shootout for more than three hours. There were burning trucks with no one responding to them. That’s a war.  

The U.S. Consulate has just warned Americans to avoid the area or secure shelter. That’s our southern border, over which two million people flowed this year with no restraints whatsoever. Meanwhile, in our country, a convoy of American citizens dared to peacefully protest their own government as they assume the Constitution guaranteed them the right to do and yet they have been blocked unconstitutionally from entering their own capital city, Washington, D.C.  


It’s not just truckers who are banned from entering Washington, D.C., it’s everyone. D.C. police somehow were allowed to block off many exits yesterday to drivers for more than two hours. This is the same city that rewarded violent Black Lives Matter protesters with a mural.

So maybe you’re for that, maybe you’re not, but in normal times, that would be a big story because our constitutional rights are wrapped up in it and we should be debating what the limits of those rights are, how much power our politicians have, how much power we want them to have, but we’re not because Ukraine, because you changed your Twitter name to the Ukrainian flag. 

It’s the new crisis. You’re not supposed to pay attention to any of the other crises, particularly here at home.   

This article is adapted from Tucker Carlson’s opening commentary on the March 15, 2022 edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

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