Rare Moment: Tucker Carlson Receives Praise From Rachel Maddow in New Interview

(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

In a rare, unifying moment, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow praised Fox News host Tucker Carlson during an interview with Vanity Fair that was published on Sunday. For those who might not know, Carlson gave Maddow her first paid TV position when he used to work at MSNBC, when Maddow was starting out in media. About 17 years ago, Maddow worked on Carlson’s series called “Tucker.”

Maddow said:

“Tucker’s doing great right now … But look at Tucker’s career. The first show I worked on was his 11 o’clock show on MSNBC that nobody remembers. But he was always kicking around the business and has always been talented. It just — this turned out to be his moment.”

When Maddow was asked about the New York Times “investigation” on how Carlson “weaponized his viewers’ fears and grievances to create what may be the most racist show in history of cable news,” Maddow said:

“For me, more than the issue of, you know, how dangerous are Tucker’s ideas, and how do they interact with the growth of the authoritarian right in the Republican Party, more so than that question, which is obviously what the central thrust of the reporting was about, I was interested in how they deconstructed why it works.”

Maddow said she does not automatically reject Fox News hosts:

“If you think about baseball players, who are extremely competitive and who are fighting to win and who have rivalries, and some of those rivalries are bitter rivalries, that doesn’t mean you don’t study the pitching technique of their star pitcher … It doesn’t mean you don’t appreciate whatever they’re doing in terms of, you know, where they put their shortstop in order to give them a better defense. There’s a sort of, like, respecting the game, in terms of people who are doing well and people who are good at it.”

She continued:

“I mean that was the basis of my professional friendship with Roger Ailes. I wanted tips from him about how to be better on TV. And he was willing to talk to me about what I was doing well, and doing poorly, to help me get better.”

Of course, this did not sit well with liberal Nandini Jammi, who tweeted:

It’s good to see Maddow complimenting competitors with whom she disagrees on policy, and they disagree about virtually everything regarding politics. Yes, she noted that Tucker has “dangerous” ideas, but that is her opinion. It did not stop her from calling Tucker “talented,” or that she had a “professional friendship with Roger Ailes.”

When Joe Biden ran for President in 2020, he kept claiming that he would bring back unity. Maddow showed more unity with someone who’s her polar opposite than Biden has his whole presidency. At a time when there is so much division, this was good to see.

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