In the year 2021, it was never going to be enough for the right to simply nod approvingly as Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty on homicide and reckless-endangerment charges that could have put him in prison for life, despite the fact that he did, in fact, kill two people. Instead, Republican lawmakers and the conservative media have made the 18-year-old—the same one who, to reiterate, killed two people in August 2020 out of a supposed desire to defend a car dealership—their new mascot. Representative Matt Gaetz has suggested making him a congressional intern. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene has dubbed him one of the “good guys.” Senator Tom Cotton has demanded Joe Biden apologize to him. And Tucker Carlson is effectively two shows away from publicly inviting Rittenhouse to come and live with his family and insisting before signing off that it would be an honor.
How do we know Carlson feels this way? Because he more or less told us on Monday night, during a cringeworthy, stomach-churning interview in which he lavished so much praise on the teen vigilante it should be considered an FCC violation. Introducing the segment, the Fox News host boldly claimed that the U.S. would be better off if there were more people in it like Rittenhouse, which fact-checkers tell us is only true if the majority of the population has a death wish. Then he described the guy as “bright,” “decent,” “sincere,” “dutiful,” and “hardworking.”
Later, during a break, Carlson told viewers, “What a sweet kid. I think that comes through loud and clear.” Sweet kid is usually a turn of phrase you’d use for a neighbor who clears the snow from your driveway without being asked, or the Girl Scout down the street who always remembers your cookie order, not someone who shot and killed two people, but potato, po-tah-to!
Elsewhere, Carlson described Rittenhouse as “a working-class kid who sincerely believes in America…he tries his best to do the right thing at a time when almost no one else in the community is trying to do the right thing.” If that’s not enough to make you lose your lunch, and you’re a true glutton for punishment, Carlson has more in store in his campaign to lionize someone many people believe should be in prison right now. Per The Washington Post: