Tucker Carlson finds unlikely ally in Gen Z after rant on today’s workplace

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Tucker Carlson, the far-right former Fox news host known for his incendiary takes, might have actually made himself the darling of liberal Gen Zers. During a recent appearance on comedian Theo Von’s “This Past Weekend” podcast, Carlson, 54, took an unexpected angle: Supporting young workers who are exasperated by thankless work. 

“I just so hate that culture that treats people like they’re not people,” Carlson said. “And for what?” 

Von posted a clip of Carlson’s comments to TikTok, and it quickly went viral, amassing over 453,000 views—and nearly 1,500 comments agreeing with the bombastic newscaster’s opinions. It seems out of left field considering that Carlson was once Fox News’ highest-rated and most-viewed star—he was abruptly fired by amid contract negotiations to continue his gig through 2029 (He was removed soon after the far-right network agreed to pay nearly $788 million to Dominion Voting Systems, which filed a defamation lawsuit against Fox in 2021 for spreading falsehoods about the 2020 election.). But Carlson, who now hosts a show called “Tucker on X” on X, formerly Twitter, spoke directly to the problems Gen Z has with today’s work culture.

“If your life is all about efficiency, and every moment is being monitored and counts towards something, then you’re not really human,” Carlson said. “You’re a machine at that point, aren’t you?”

Carlson went on to reference a video posted by a recent college graduate that went viral on TikTok. The poster, struggling with time management and work-life balance, told viewers she doesn’t understand how a typical 9-to-5 is sustainable. 

“If I was able to walk to work, it’d be fine,” the poster said. “Nothing to do with my job at all…Being in the office 9-to-5, like, if it was remote, you’d get off at 5, and you’re home and everything’s fine.” But because her job is in person, “I get on the train at 7:30 and I don’t get home till like 6:15 earliest. How do you have friends? How do you have time for, like, dating? Like I don’t have time for anything, and I’m like so stressed out.”

Naturally, certain corners of the internet were quick to ridicule the poster, saying she needs a wake-up call. As Carlson put it, “Everyone’s like, ‘shut up and work, honey.’” But he, famously short-tempered, took a more sympathetic approach. “I watch this, and I’m like, ‘no, no, I hope you win.’ The seeds of revolution are sprouting in my heart.”

Developing into a good boss and leader was tough, Carlson went on. “Learning to do that has been a journey for me. With companies, it’s like, how do we get away from that? Sometimes I think America was just this Christian experiment that got compromised and turned out poorly.” 

Encouraged by Von, Carlson continued that though he hated to say it because he didn’t want to admit it, “what’s obviously true is you can’t have a democracy unless it’s a voluntary system…there has to be some sense of the common good. You can’t just be like, how much can I grab?” Otherwise, humanity will simply “descend into greed and selfishness—which is where we are now.”

“Never thought I’d agree with Tucker on anything, but here we are”

Gen Zers, who comprise the largest share of TikTok users, are known for their outspoken desire to bring their whole selves to work and feel valued as individuals. Many viewers of the Theo Von clip were quick to express appreciation for Carlson’s words, which they may have read as support for their cause. 

“Was Tucker Carlson playing a character the entire time he was on fox?” one commenter wrote. “Did I just find myself agreeing with Tucker Carlson?????” another added. 

“I might actually kinda like Tucker Carlson after all,” another said. 

Some expressed belief that perhaps the Carlson they knew was simply a caricature made for TV. “Used to hate Tucker Carlson but now I think that may have just been a character he was forced to play on Fox News.”

Others were simply content to appreciate the new iteration of the firebrand. “How in the absolute hell am I enjoying something from Tucker Carlson right now? Someone tell me.”

The comments may not be surprising—even if the commenters themselves are taken aback by Carlson’s new stance. But Gen Z is infamous—and often ridiculed—for their resolute anti-work stance. They’ve expressed, in different words, Carlson’s precise sentiment. They’re sick of being treated as cogs in the machine, and are bucking tradition by seeking out “lazy girl jobs,” “acting their wage,” and “quiet quitting” to show their bosses how they feel about being underappreciated.

And perhaps one user summed it up best: “Never thought I’d agree with Tucker on anything, but here we are.”

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