CHICAGO (CBS/CNN) — U.S. Sen Tammy Duckworth on Thursday denounced Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who mocked women serving in the armed forces and lamented efforts to accommodate female service members “while China’s military becomes more masculine.”
Duckworth, a combat veteran who lost both legs when her helicopter was shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade during the Iraq War, took to Twitter on Thursday with a simple message for Carlson: “F*ck Tucker Carlson.”READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Stray Sprinkles On Friday
“While he was practicing his two-step, America’s female warriors were hunting down Al Qaeda and proving the strength of America’s women. Happy belated International Women’s Day to everyone but Tucker, who even I can dance better than,” Duckworth wrote in a Twitter post featuring a clip of Carlson from his 2006 appearance on the reality show Dancing With The Stars.
“…and we all know it was his female partner who did all the hard work,” Duckworth added, referring to professional dancer Elena Grinenko.
…and we all know it was his female partner who did all the hard work. pic.twitter.com/yoGBy2iaQF
— Tammy Duckworth (@TammyforIL) March 11, 2021
Carlson was the first contestant eliminated on that season of the show.
Duckworth’s rebuke comes after Carlson, who is effectively the face of Fox and hosts the top show on the right-wing channel, ridiculed President Joe Biden Tuesday for saying that the US military had created uniforms to fit women properly, created maternity flight suits for those who are pregnant, and updated requirements for hairstyles.
“So we’ve got new hairstyles and maternity flight suits. Pregnant women are going to fight our wars. It’s a mockery of the U.S. military while China’s military becomes more masculine,” Carlson quipped.
Carlson’s comments also prompted severe backlash from the Pentagon and some of the most senior members of the U.S. military, who took to Twitter on Wednesday and Thursday to call Carlson out for what they described as harmful and divisive rhetoric.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said the Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin shared the same “revulsion” that many military leaders have expressed about the comments Carlson made.
Kirby said the military still had “a lot of work to do” to become “more inclusive, more respectful of everyone — especially women.”
“We pledge to do better, and we will,” Kirby said. “What we absolutely won’t do is take personnel advice from a talk show host, or the Chinese military. Maybe those folks feel like they have something to prove. That’s on them.”
The pointed comments from Kirby came as a number of senior military leaders excoriated Carlson for his rhetoric.
“Women lead our most lethal units with character. They will dominate ANY future battlefield we’re called to fight on,” tweeted the Sergeant Major of the Army, Michael A. Grinston. “@TuckerCarlson’s words are divisive, don’t reflect our values. We have THE MOST professional, educated, agile, and strongest NCO Corps in the world.”
Women lead our most lethal units with character. They will dominate ANY future battlefield we’re called to fight on. @TuckerCarlson’s words are divisive, don’t reflect our values. We have THE MOST professional, educated, agile, and strongest NCO Corps in the world. https://t.co/WeqWk6IWDq
— SMA Michael Grinston (@16thSMA) March 11, 2021
General Paul Funk, who as head of Army Training and Doctrine Command sets policy and guides future changes for troops, tweeted that “thousands of women serve honorably every day around the globe.”
“They are beacons of freedom and they prove Carlson wrong through determination and dedication,” Funk added. “We are fortunate they serve with us.”
I agree Pat . Thousands of women serve honorably every day around the globe. They are beacons of freedom and they prove Carlson wrong through determination and dedication. We are fortunate they serve with us. https://t.co/R4dycOXknl
— GEN Paul E. Funk II (@PaulFunk2) March 11, 2021READ MORE: Young Boy Shot And Seriously Wounded In Bronzeville High-Rise Apartment
The senior enlisted leader at the US Space Command, Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sgt. Scott H. Stalker, posted a video in which he called Carlson’s show “drama TV” and said he wished to “remind everyone” that Carlson’s opinion was “based off of actually zero days of service in the armed forces.”
— U.S. Space Command, Command Senior Enlisted Leader (@US_SpaceComCSEL) March 11, 2021
Major General Patrick Donahoe posted a video of him “conducting a re-enlistment for one of the tens of thousands of women who serve in our Army.”
— Patrick Donahoe (@PatDonahoeArmy) March 11, 2021
“Just a reminder that @TuckerCarlson couldn’t be more wrong,” Donahoe said. Fort Hood Deputy Commanding General John B. Richardson IV tweeted, “Mothers in uniform fight & win our nation’s wars. Fathers in uniform fight & win our nation’s wars. Soldier is not a gendered noun.”
Mothers in uniform fight & win our nation’s wars. Fathers in uniform fight & win our nation’s wars. Soldier is not a gendered noun.
America’s army is made up of countless mothers and fathers. Being a parent (& being pregnant) does NOT negatively impact on our nation’s defense.
— John B. Richardson IV (@_JBR_IV_) March 11, 2021
Lieutenant General Theodore D. Martin shared a photo of his daughter and said that “contrary to what you may be hearing” she and other women “are NOT” making “a mockery of our military.”
“You WISH your daughter was as AWESOME as MINE!” Martin added. “So BACK OFF.”
A spokesperson for Fox did not respond to a request for comment Thursday morning.
Carlson regularly makes incendiary comments on his primetime show. He was also called out by The New York Times this week for encouraging harassment against one of its journalists. And, in the past, he has seen large-scale advertiser boycotts over comments on the Black Lives Matter movement and immigration.
Carlson’s top writer quit his job last year after a CNN report revealed he had for years used a pseudonym to post racist and sexist remarks on an online forum.
The programming on Fox has become increasingly extreme in the last several years and even more so following the November election when it saw competition from smaller channels making a bid for its conservative audience.
The days in which Fox marketed itself as a “fair & balanced” news channel are long gone. Most of the channel’s programming is now filled with right-wing commentary.
Fox Corporation chief executive Lachlan Murdoch even conceded recently that he views the network’s role in the Biden years as being the “loyal opposition” to the White House.MORE NEWS: Family Of Girl Who Died At Age 11 Finds Her Headstone Overturned And Damaged At Cemetery In Hillside
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The CNN Wire contributed to this report.)