Pentagon officials are “quietly cheering” popular conservative media figure Tucker Carlson’s departure from Fox News, according to a report.
Politico reported Tuesday that a senior defense official told the outlet:
We’re a better country without him bagging on our military every night in front of hundreds of thousands of people.
The official also said Carlson “made a mockery” of the free press and “repeatedly cherry-picked department policies and used them to destroy DoD as an institution.”
“Good riddance,” a second defense official said.
Carlson was one of few media figures who criticized the Biden Pentagon’s efforts to push diversity, equity and inclusion measures down the ranks, including making the military accommodating to pregnant women and changing physical fitness and appearance standards.
Politico reported that news on Monday that Carlson was out at Fox News was met with “delight and outright glee in some corners” at the upper levels at the Pentagon.
All officials spoke anonymously to “discuss a politically sensitive topic,” although it did not prevent them from wading into the political discussion in the first place.
Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH), a Marine veteran, called them cowards for commenting anonymously.
“Every ‘senior Pentagon official’ who commented on this story while hiding behind anonymity is a coward,” he tweeted.
“Call me old fashioned, but senior military officials should maintain neutrality about hot button political topics. And they certainly shouldn’t run to one media outlet to gossip — anonymously — about another.”
Call me old fashioned, but senior military officials should maintain neutrality about hot button political topics. And they certainly shouldn’t run to one media outlet to gossip—anonymously—about another.
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) April 26, 2023
As Politico noted, at least one former military leader also weighed in on Carlson’s departure — retired Army Maj. Gen. Patrick Donahoe, who fell under investigation for tweeting public criticism to Tucker, as well as for tweeting to junior female service members. That investigation, while it did not result in punishment, curtailed his military career.
He tweeted about Carlson’s departure, “I have thoughts,” but declined to comment to Politico.
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