Fox News primetime host Tucker Carlson took to the cable airwaves on June 24, 2021, to call Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, U.S. Army Gen. Mark Milley, a four-star general, “stupid” and “a pig.”
Carlson was responding on his show about a heated verbal exchange between Milley and U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, one day earlier. During that exchange, Gaetz baselessly accused U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin of hiring a “critical race theorist” to advise him. Austin said he had no knowledge of the assumption underlying that accusation.
In his response to this exchange, Milley stated that he found Gaetz’s accusation that the military is “quote, woke” to be offensive. That comment can be heard at the 1:07 mark in the video below:
Strong reaction from Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley on the issue of critical race theory before House Armed Services.
"I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military, our general officers, our noncommisioned officers of being quote 'woke'" pic.twitter.com/otWBw3YdPK
— Dave Brown (@dave_brown24) June 23, 2021
Carlson played a video of Milley’s commentary:
Tucker on Milley’s comments: He’s not just a pig. He’s stupid pic.twitter.com/XNxNCBjLHp
— Acyn (@Acyn) June 25, 2021
At the end of the video, Carlson giggled and stated, “He is not just a pig, he is stupid. So Mark Milley reads Mao to understand Maoism. He reads a communist to understand communism, but it is interesting that he doesn’t read white supremacists to understand white supremacy.”
Carlson’s commentary earned widespread backlash online, including some observing what they described as hypocrisy:
If I – a brown, lefty, Muslim immigrant – had opened my MSNBC show last Sunday by calling America’s top general a ‘pig’ & ‘stupid’, saying he wasn’t fit to wear uniform, & comparing America to Rwanda, the right would be demanding I be fired & calling me a traitor.
But Tucker: https://t.co/bm1Zx0Fgi8
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) June 25, 2021
According to the Department of Defense’s website, Milley has served in the U.S. military for 39 years, serving in “multiple command and staff positions in eight divisions and Special Forces” and embarking on multiple tours, which included the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Carlson, a long-time television personality, is the stepson of the Swanson frozen dinner heiress Patricia Swanson. Carlson did not serve in the military, but he supported the war in Iraq initially. He later changed his mind.