Glenn Greenwald Describes Tucker Carlson, Bannon, and 2016-Era Trump as Right-Wing ‘Socialists’


Glenn Greenwald Calls Tucker Carlson, Steve Bannon, Donald Trump Right-Wing 'Socialists'

Glenn Greenwald offered his own, unique take on the ideological slant of some of the biggest names in the right-wing political firmament, declaring that he thought Fox News prime time host Tucker Carlson, former Breitbart executive and staunch nativist Steve Bannon, and the 2016-era Donald Trump were all examples of modern-day, right-wing “socialists.”

Greenwald comments came during a recent Daily Caller podcast entitled “Wall Street Meets Washington” hosted by Christian Datoc and Omeed Malik. The Daily Caller was co-founded by Carlson and Neil Patel back in 2010; last June, the Fox host officially severed all ties with the conservative website.

During a conversation about politics in Brazil, where Greenwald lives, the group segued into discussing the history — and stigma — surrounding the term “socialism” in the United States.

Greenwald has become a frequent guest on Fox News — and on Carlson’s show in particular — in the past few months since his acrimonious departure from The Intercept, prompting a wave of criticism for lending his imprimatur to a network detractors say has consistently aided and abetted Trump’s misinformation and lies. “I go on Fox is because Tucker has a story that he thinks… I’m an important piece of and can tell,” Greenwald said by way of explanation.

Carlson had faced repeated criticisms that his populist stance is grounded in white nationalism, having at one point infamously declared the threat of white supremacy a “hoax” and “not a real problem in America”

“Obviously the term ‘socialism’ carries a lot of baggage from the Cold War. It evokes, on purpose, the Soviet Union, or [Fidel] Castro, or [Hugo] Chavez,” Greenwald explained. “But I think what you are seeing is this kind of hybrid socialism that really is about nothing more than trying to sandpaper the edges off of neoliberalism.”

Greenwald, continuing, then said he “would describe a lot of people on the right as being socialists.” Among this group were the 2016 campaign trail version of former President Trump and Trump’s former White House strategist — and hardline immigration opponent — Bannon. “I consider Tucker Carlson to be a socialist,” Greenwald added.

I think the vision is, you know, you have this kind of right wing populism, which really is socialism, that says we should close our borders, not allow unconstrained immigration, and then take better care of our own working class people, and not allow this kind of transnational, global, corporatist elite to take everything for themselves under the guise of neoliberalism.

New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait responded to Greenwald’s ideological assessment with a rebuttal column attacked the logic as flawed and superficial.

It’s true that, on some issues, Carlson has positioned himself to the left of Trump and the Republican Party. He criticized Trump’s plan to repeal Obamacare as well as his corporate tax cuts. The problem is that every single Democrat also opposes Trump’s tax cuts and the repeal of Obamacare. What’s more, the Democratic Party proposes not just to keep Obamacare and repeal Trump’s tax cuts but to tax the rich even more and expand health-care coverage. Bannon and Carlson don’t believe in any of those things.

Chait went on to note Carlson’s opposition to raising the minimum wage and greater regulations on fossil-fuel companies and corporate wealth among other socialist policy proposals. He pointed to a 2019 moment on the Fox host’s show, where Carlson dismissively mocked Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as “childish socialists,” despite complimenting a piece of legislation that the pair sponsored. Using the word “socialist” as a term of abuse, Chait noted, is “a habit that usually indicates you’re not a socialist.”

Have a tip we should know?

Filed Under: