With a primetime show broadcasting to millions of viewers each night, far-right Fox News host Tucker Carlson has become one of the most influential voices in American politics—a platform he uses to repeatedly amplify and promote white supremacy.
Carlson's racism is well-documented. He's promoted the white supremacist "great replacement" theory. He's said immigrants make America "dirtier" and called Iraquis "semiliterate primitive monkeys." He employed Blake Neff as a writer, until Neff was resigned for obscenely racist posts he made under an online psuedonym. The list goes on.
In a lengthy profile, the Washington Post's Michael Kranish detailed how Carlson became "the voice of White grievance." For the piece, he contacted Carlson's first grade teacher, Marianna Raymond, whom Carlson credits with sparking his opposition to liberalism.
Kranish described Carlson's characterization of Raymond in the piece:
"He caricatured her as 'a parody of earth-mother liberalism' who 'wore long Indian-print skirts. . . . She had little interest in conventional academic topics, like reading and penmanship.' He recalled her sobbing theatrically at her desk, saying, 'The world is so unfair! You don't know that yet. But you'll find out!'
Carlson said he just wanted liberals to 'stop blubbering and teach us to read. . . . Mrs. Raymond never did teach us; my father had to hire a tutor to get me through phonics.' Thus, Carlson says, he began his sojourn as a conservative thinker, questioning the liberals who he said were all around him, exemplified by his first-grade teacher."
But, after being tracked down by Kranish, Raymond herself told a much different story.
According to her, she not only taught Carlson at the La Jolla County Day School, but was hired to tutor him at his home—she was the very tutor he described in his book.
Raymond said of Carlson's account:
"Oh my God. That is the most embellished, crazy thing I ever heard."
Social media users trusted her over Carlson.
People weren't surprised that Carlson had apparently fabricated his origin story.
For her part, Raymond still remembered Carlson as "very precious and very, very polite and sweet."