Fox News and MSNBC are bitter rivals, so it’s rare that hosts with each network defend anyone who works for the other. That’s why it came as a surprise this week when MSNBC host Rachel Maddow did just that as she defended her former colleague, Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
During the latest episode of Mediaite’s “The Interview” podcast, Maddow spoke out to defend Carlson, whose former MSNBC show she often appeared as a guest on between 2003 and 2008.
“I think the thing that Tucker gets a knock for — that he doesn’t deserve — is this idea that he’s evolved and changed in some radical new direction,” Maddow explained. “Tucker has always been that guy. He is legitimately that guy. He is not faking it. He comes by his beliefs and his convictions and even his tone of voice quite naturally. He is not putting it on.”
She went on to say that Carlson has often had opinions that are similar to those of Donald Trump, he is just able to talk about them in a more eloquent way than the president does.
“It’s a powerful thing to hear somebody with Tucker’s delivery and capability as a TV communicator articulating the same ideas that the president — forgive me — is sort of braying about on Twitter, all caps, misspelled, and all those things,” she said. “But you put those two things together and it can resonate in a way that moves people and becomes in that case, I think, a very powerful political force.”
Maddow went on to say that she believes that Carlson is successful because of shifts in the Republican Party.
“The Republican Party and conservative viewing audiences are latched on to that point of view now,” she said. “A president got into office who articulated many of the most controversial things that Tucker has long advocated and that were most sort of hot in terms of riling people up and attracting controversy and attracting attention.”