From CNN to Fox News, why Tucker Carlson is the most watched conservative pundit in America

People pass by a promo of Fox News host Tucker Carlson on the News Corporation building in New York, U.S., March 13, 2019. Photo by REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

The most powerful voice in consevative America isn’t an elected official. It’s Tucker Carlson — the cornerstone of Fox News’ weeknight opinion block and a fervent defender of being unapologetically white in America.

“Tucker Carlson Tonight” is the most-watched primetime cable news program today. Fox also far outpaces its cable rivals CNN and MSNBC. Earlier this month, the only non-Fox cable program in Nielsen’s top 10 lineup was a soccer championship game between Italy and England. More than 3 million viewers tune in every night for Carlso’s take on America’s racial politics, immigration, or conspiracy theories (like federal law enforcement officers orchestrated the January 6 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol). 

So how did Carlson become the pundit of choice for aggrieved right-wingers? And how is he shaping the real decision of millions of Americans, like the potentially life-or-death choice of whether to get vaccinated?