Just hours after it was revealed that criminal investigations were inching ever closer to the door of the president, Fox News host Tucker Carlson had a very different threat in mind: deadly “sex-crazed” pandas.
“You know the official story about pandas—they’re cute, they’re adorably helpless, which is why they’re almost extinct,” the conservative firebrand began, on the same day as the revelation that the FBI had conducted a raid on the office, home and hotel room of the president’s lawyer Michael Cohen. “But like a lot of what we hear, that’s a lie. The real panda is a secret stud with a taste for flesh and a fearsome bite.”
The prompting for Carlson’s segment was a recent article in The Wall Street Journal that sought to counter at least part of the narrative surrounding the endangered animals.
“The real panda is a secret stud, with a taste for flesh and a fearsome bite, at least in its natural habitat. But that habitat is withering thanks to human encroachment,” read the article.
Carlson appeared particularly keen to highlight the parts of the piece that countered the widespread identification of pandas as being sex-shy.
“They’re not against sex, either, they just hate unsexy zoos. But when they’re in the wild, male pandas engage in a fierce sexual contest—the winner has sex 40 times in a single afternoon,” he said, while behind him lurked a picture of a panda, teeth-flared, complete with the caption “pandas exposed” and the headline “pandas are aggressive and sex-crazed.”
The segment was widely mocked on social media, particularly in light of the major news event of the day. But it was likely to please at least one loyal viewer. Trump is a regular watcher of and tweeter about Fox News and reportedly spent much of his evening venting about the raid on Cohen and an investigation creeping ever closer to his inner circle. Carlson did briefly discuss the raid, but only to criticize CNN for choosing to prioritize coverage of it.
Fox News has been frequently criticized for failing to cover news stories that paint the president in a negative light, often choosing instead to focus on stories involving Trump’s defeated 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton. Pandas, though, appear an altogether new diversion tactic.
For those still in disbelief that Tucker Carlson was talking about pandas instead of Trump's attorney getting raided by the feds pic.twitter.com/UP0IaappUA
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) April 10, 2018
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