Fox News’ Tucker Carlson was named to Time’s 100 Most Influential People list Wednesday.
Time senior correspondent Charlotte Alter wrote his biographical blurb: “Love him or hate him, Tucker Carlson may be the most powerful conservative in America. With roughly 3 million viewers every night, ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ is the top-rated show in cable-news history.”
She went on, “As Republicans have lost nearly all their political power on the federal level, Carlson has emerged as the de facto cultural leader of the right. His diatribes against ‘the elites,’ the federal government and the scientific consensus shape the belief system of millions. If it seems like Americans can’t agree on anything—including whether COVID-19 vaccines work and whether Joe Biden won the presidential election—that’s partly the evidence of Tucker Carlson’s influence.”
Carlson does draw millions of viewers each night, breaking ratings records with his primetime program on Fox News. Amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis, he’s drawn criticism for his stance that vaccine skepticism is fine. His views on immigrants, refugees and the Jan. 6 Capitol riot have also drawn significant ire, especially considering they reach so many millions of viewers each night.
Also on Time’s list are President Joe Biden, musicians like Lil Nas X and Bad Bunny, athletes like Naomi Osaka and Tom Brady and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Time CEO and editor in chief, Edward Felsenthal, said he found “reason for optimism” in this year’s list.
“It features extraordinary leaders from around the world working to build a better future, from entertainers striving to make Hollywood more inclusive to activists fighting for sustainability and human rights,” he wrote. “They are disrupters, fixers, doers, iconoclasts, problem solvers—people who in a year of crisis have leaped into the fray.”