Tucker Carlson under fire for speaking at Hells Angels president’s funeral

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Fox News host Tucker Carlson has come under fire for speaking at a funeral for the longtime president of the Hells Angels motorcycle club, Ralph "Sonny" Barger.

Mr Carlson stepped out from behind his anchor desk to help send off Barger on Saturday.

“Stand tall, stay loyal, remain free and always value honor,” he told the assembled bikers at the funeral, citing what he described as Mr Barger's personal motto. "Is there a phrase that sums up more perfectly what I want to be, what I aspire to be, and the kind of man I respect?”

The Fox News host did not resist the chance to include politics in his address, saying that Joe Biden "should be saying" Barger's motto "every single morning as he salutes the flag."

Barger died from throat cancer at the age of 83, and had been riding with the Hells Angels since 1957, according to The Guardian.

The Hells Angels have been linked by the US Department of Justice to organised crime.

The Justice Department wrote in a previous study that Barger that while he “describe[d] the organisation as ‘a bunch of fun-loving guys who just ride motorcycles’ … research data show that the Hells Angels are involved in murder; the manufacturing and distribution of methamphetamine; the distribution of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana; the purchase and sale of firearms; and other criminal activities.”

While it may seem strange that a former bow-tie wearing media figure who married into the Swanson family fortune and attended a private school in Rhode Island would speak at the funeral of the head of an outlaw biker gang, Mr Carlson is not the only rich right-winger with fans in the biker community.

Former President Donald Trump has also found fans among bikers, which coalesced into a group called "Bikers for Trump." The bikers are currently pushing for Mr Trump to run for the presidency again in 2024.

Mr Carlson faced some criticism online for speaking at an event held by the notorious biker gang and holding up its former leader as a role model.

"This is who Tucker thinks are real patriots," podcaster and self-described democracy advocate Fred Wellman said on Twitter alongside photos of Mr Carlson hanging out with bikers.

Another user wrote that "it's only a matter of time before Tucker Carlson tells the Hells Angels to 'stand back and stand by,' referencing Mr Trump's message to the Proud Boys, a far right-wing street gang, during a 2020 presidential debate.

The USA Singers, a group that says it makes "resistance music," called Mr Carlson a "silver-spooned jelly-armed frozen chickens*** elitist prep schooled lilly-livered fascist Putin propaganda puppet" and said it was "surprising the Hells Angels would lower themselves like that."