Tucker Carlson's go-to misinformers in 2022
Over the past year, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, who is being named Media Matters' Misinformer of the Year, leveraged his platform to amplify the reach of these 10 individuals as they spread misinformation. They pushed topics including: bigotry against immigrants and the LGBTQ community, misinformation about COVID-19, the war in Ukraine, climate change, and general right-wing grievances.
Seattle-based conservative radio host Jason Rantz was Tucker Carlson’s most frequent guest in 2022, appearing 29 times. Rantz appears on Tucker Carlson Tonight to spread misinformation on a range of right-wing grievances, fearmongering about crime and disparaging the homeless in Democrat-run states and cities in particular.
Former Intercept writer-turned-right-wing “manufactured controversy” commentator Glenn Greenwald appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight 22 times. Carlson platformed Greenwald to demonstrate that perceived conservative injustices, like Big Tech and federal government collusion and election fraud, can be blamed on elitist Democratic forces in mainstream media targeting conservatism.
The Daily Wire’s Candace Owens was Carlson’s second most frequent guest, appearing 28 times on the show. Owens, who purports to be at the forefront of Black conservatism, has a history of defending fascists and racists and attacking victims of sexual misconduct. She is hostile to a society that adheres to principles of diversity and inclusivity, weaponizing culture war issues to attack individuals with ideological differences, including the LGBTQ community.
Former Democrat presidential candidate and brand-new Fox contributor Tulsi Gabbard was one of Carlson’s most frequent guests, even guest hosting for him twice during the year. In these appearances, Gabbard has established herself as a pro-Putin, misinformation-spreading, conspiracy-mongering culture warrior. Gabbard has capitalized on her influence with conservatives, recently launching a podcast where she hosted Carlson to spread conspiracies.
The Daily Wire’s self-described “theocratic fascist” and anti-trans extremist, Matt Walsh was a frequent guest on Tucker Carlson Tonight. Walsh, who has helped lead a right-wing campaign of harassment against children’s hospitals providing lifesaving gender-affirming care to trans youth and who has previously slandered LGBTQ people as “groomers,” was on the show 12 times.
While Carlson hosted Chaya Raichik, the woman who runs the prolifically hateful “Libs of TikTok” account, only twice, he repeatedly praised Raichik and the account for targeting and harassing the LGBTQ community. With Carlson’s exposure, Raichik has made Libs of TikTok central to right-wing politics by amplifying anti-LGBTQ hatred.
America First Legal founder and known white supremacist Stephen Miller frequented Carlson’s show to avidly push anti-immigration rhetoric. Miller’s nativism has been well-featured on Fox News (including regular promotion of the “great replacement” conspiracy theory), and the former Trump official has even criticized Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch’s stance on immigration.
COVID-19 contrarian Alex Berenson continued his campaign against the COVID-19 vaccines and credited Carlson (along with Fox host Laura Ingraham) for the success of his coronavirus book. In addition to spreading antivax misinformation, Berenson has misled about masks and baselessly speculated about the origins of the coronavirus. Carlson and Fox News continue to host Berenson despite the danger his commentary poses to their viewers.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine
Carlson hosted fellow Putin apologist and retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor a startling 17 times to push appeasement to Russia. Macgregor is a conspiracy theorist with a long history of xenophobic commentary who was once introduced by Carlson as “an honest man.”
Right-wing Dutch commentator Eva Vlaardingerbroek appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight to baselessly claim that a Dutch climate policy was an attempt by the government to steal farmers’ land “under the guise of the made-up nitrogen crisis,” land which would be used “to house new immigrants.” Vlaardingerbroek went on to accuse the Dutch government of conspiring to enact “the Great Reset plan.”
The number of guest appearances accounts for appearances on Tucker Carlson Tonight from January 3, 2022, through December 5, 2022, per Media Matters’ internal database.