Fox News host Tucker Carlson is no stranger to criticism of his political opinions, including the response that followed his recent denouncement of women serving in the U.S. military.
One unusual aspect of the most recent backlash, however, was the fact that the Pentagon took part in attacking the popular on-air personality.
“Because it does not allow women”
An article released by the Department of Defense proclaimed that Pentagon press secretary John F. Kirby smote the “Fox host that dissed diversity” within the nation’s military ranks.
According to the article, Carlson “used his show to denigrate the contributions of women in the military and to say the Chinese military is catching up to the U.S. military because it does not allow women to serve in the percentage the United States does.”
Kirby is quoted in the article as declaring his belief that “the diversity of our military is one of our greatest strengths.”
The controversy seems to have stemmed from recent remarks by President Joe Biden in the context of International Women’s Day.
“I’m incredibly proud that in 2015, under the Obama-Biden administration, we took the final steps to open up all positions in the military to anyone qualified to serve in them,” he said. “The women who join today’s military aren’t told ‘no’ when they apply to fly fighter jets or attack helicopters just because of their gender. They aren’t told ‘no’ when they want to apply to Ranger School or infantry officer basic training.”
“A mockery of the U.S. military”
Nevertheless, the president said that there is “much, much more work to be done,” which includes “designing body armor that fits women properly; tailoring combat uniforms for women; creating maternity flight suits; updating … requirements for their hairstyles.”
Subsequently, Carlson offered a disapproving take on Biden’s plans for the military, asserting: “So we’ve got new hairstyles and maternity flight suits. Pregnant women are going to fight our wars. It’s a mockery of the U.S. military.”
He went on to mock the assertion that “our military needs to become more feminine — whatever feminine means anymore because men and women no longer exist,” calling the move toward so-called equality “out of control” and “a mockery of the U.S. military and its core mission, which is winning wars.”
The Defense Department arguably missed the point in slamming Carlson for remarks that had little, if anything, to do with women or diversity specifically. Instead, he focused on the military’s priorities — namely, whether America’s armed forces can compete with an adversary like China while spending so much time worrying about maternity flight suits and updated hairstyle requirements.
Carlson also pointed out another glaring problem with the critical statements against him, asking: “Since when does the Pentagon declare war on a domestic news operation?”