The Pentagon on Thursday publicly condemned Tucker Carlson’s criticism of the Biden administration’s efforts to make the military more inclusive.
What did Tucker say? During a Tuesday night installment of his primetime show, the Fox News host contrasted the Chinese government’s intention to promote traditional masculinity in the military with President Joe Biden’s recent announcement that the U.S. military is taking steps to make the armed forces more welcoming to women.
- “So we’ve got new hairstyles and maternity flight suits,” Carlson said, referencing remarks made by Biden on International Women’s Day. “Pregnant women are going to fight our wars. It’s a mockery of the US military.”
- “While China’s military becomes more masculine … our military needs to become, as Joe Biden says, more feminine,” he added. “It’s out of control and the Pentagon’s going along with this. Again, this is a mockery of the US military and its core mission, which is winning wars.”
- Counterpoint: According to PolitiFact, initiatives to develop maternity flight suits originated during President Donald Trump’s administration.
The response: Two days after Carlson’s critical segment aired, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby issued a statement rebuking the Fox News host for his comments, which news outlets, such as CNN and Axios, characterized as “sexist.”
- “I want to be very clear right up front, that the diversity of our military is one of our greatest strengths,” Kirby said. “I’ve seen it for myself in long months at sea and in the combat waged by our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. I’ve seen it up on Capitol Hill just this past month. And I see it every day here right at the Pentagon.”
- “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,” Kirby added.
- Some military leaders and veterans also joined Kirby in slamming Carlson.