Fox News host Tucker Carlson spent a week in Hungary fawning over autocratic leader Viktor Orbán. Home and abroad, Carlson was attacked for glorifying a leader known for censoring journalists, attacking immigrants, and promoting right-wing nationalism.
"Night after night, he's promoted rhetoric that was once on the fringes, or at least should be on the fringes, to millions of viewers," said Hannah Gais, a researcher at the Southern Poverty Law Center. "Tucker has already carried water for Orbán's anti-immigration policies and his attacks on philanthropist George Soros — now he's further whitewashing this authoritarian government for an American audience."
According to his critics, Carlson gave Orbán the American airwaves to promote right-wing populism so Fox News viewers could see how such a movement could be the future of the United States.
Carlson even did his own report on the coverage he was getting from Hungary, saying that the mainstream media was mischaracterizing the country. Carlson claimed that they aren't as repressive as the media is making them out to be.
Yet, when Carlson asked his new idol about China, Orbán not only dodged the question, the interview ended up being censored by Hungarian authorities.
But Carlson's own
Hungarian govt sent out a transcript to reporters of @TuckerCarlson’s interview with PM Orban. The transcript with… https://t.co/gH8BxIs0sH— Benjamin Novak (@Benjamin Novak) 1628277987.0
Fox News hasn't been supportive of Xi Jinping or China. Carlson, in particular, has spent months attempting to link Democrats to China and communism. Right-wing firebrands like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) consistently attack Democrats as supportive of the Chinese Communist Party.
It was too much for those online, who couldn't help but notice the humorous paradox.
See their ridicule below:
So Tucker got censored by Orban for criticizing China? Trouble in illiberal autocratic paradise? https://t.co/3VZ8VeB9hy— Josh Rogin (@Josh Rogin) 1628516098.0
ill be joining tucker carlson at 8PM tonight to discuss how hungary is better than america because in america the nba doesnt criticize china— Andrew Lawrence (@Andrew Lawrence) 1628520925.0
I’m sorry but this is the best thing out of Tucker’s fun with fascism tour https://t.co/0quBXlsVuL— Molly Jong-Fast (@Molly Jong-Fast) 1628510524.0
Tucker Carlson: Americans can learn a thing or two from Hungary. Orban: Preach, Tucker! Tucker: Americans are so ba… https://t.co/D1FJ4VCuvh— January 6, 2021: The Album - Now Available (@January 6, 2021: The Album - Now Available) 1628519458.0
@SykesCharlie The gun laws and the fact that Hungary censored Tucker on China should be shouted from the rooftops.… https://t.co/hsKCWUaz2y— Two Seasons Partial Landscaping (@Two Seasons Partial Landscaping) 1628516254.0
@TuckerCarlson Tuck's new bff Orban of Hungary doubles down on support for China. https://t.co/OAROkx4xR1— Patrick Wayne (@Patrick Wayne) 1628520088.0
Because Orban has much better relations with the Chinese communists than with the United States. https://t.co/hPNaXUD6Ki— Anne Applebaum (@Anne Applebaum) 1628346172.0
I'm shocked, shocked I tell you, that Tucker Carlson got played by Orban concerning China. 🙄 https://t.co/qydNOsCpzc— Ｔｈｏｍａｓ Ｆｏｒｎａｓｈ (@Ｔｈｏｍａｓ Ｆｏｒｎａｓｈ) 1628521340.0
Looks like @TuckerCarlson's buddy Viktor Orbán cancelled the @FoxNews host's criticism of #China. The context:… https://t.co/YMgaF9PwSM— Dave Keating (@Dave Keating) 1628327677.0
@DaveKeating @TuckerCarlson @FoxNews Nonsense ! Orban is in favor of a strict China strategy.— André Viktor Baron Thyssen Bornemissza von Kaszon (@André Viktor Baron Thyssen Bornemissza von Kaszon) 1628331425.0