Bias Watch

Fox News hires Tulsi Gabbard after she abandons Democrats over “wokeness”

Fox News hires Tulsi Gabbard after she abandons Democrats over “wokeness”
Tulsi Gabbard Photo: Tulsi Gabbard's Facebook page

Former Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard left the Democrats in October after years of denigrating the party’s priority legislation and civil rights protections for LGBTQ people.

In a video announcement, Gabbard – who has a history of anti-LGBTQ actions and rhetoric – said she could no longer remain in the Democratic Party, citing perennial rightwing complaints like “wokeness” and “anti-white racism” as well as more recent conservative issues like the FBI investigating the Trump administration for its alleged crimes.

And where better to take the typical rightwing grievances than Fox News? One month after making her big announcement, she inked a deal with the rightwing network this week.

Her first appearance? Filling in for Tucker Carlson.

“[The Democratic Party is] under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers who are driven by cowardly wokeness, who divide us by racializing every issue and stoking anti-white racism, who actively worked to undermine our God-given freedoms that are enshrined in our Constitution, who are hostile to people of faith and spirituality, who demonize the police but protect criminals at the expense of law-abiding Americans, who believe in open borders, who weaponize the national security state to go after their political opponents, and above all, who are dragging us ever closer to nuclear war,” she ranted in a video announcing her departure.

Gabbard served as a House Democrat representing Hawaii from 2013 to 2020. As a young politician, she railed against pro-marriage advocates as “homosexual extremists” and once worked for a religious-right hate group that promoted conversion therapy.  She apologized for these offenses when she unsuccessfully ran for president in 2020, but she also accused Democrats of “fomenting religious bigotry” for wanting Christian judges not to impose their religious beliefs on others.

During her campaign, Gabbard refused to respond to an HRC questionnaire on LGBTQ issues, unlike every other major Democratic candidate. She also repeated right-wing attacks against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and now-Vice President Kamala Harris.

After her campaign crashed and burned, she spent her final days in Congress introducing legislation to ban trans women from sports that could have required genital examinations for young girls. She has said that gender-neutral language denies the “existence of women.” She has also long been a fixture on Fox News — especially on the show of transphobic, pro-Russian, white supremacist Tucker Carlson, which she has guest-hosted.

After Russia first invaded Ukraine, Gabbard repeated a conspiracy theory about U.S. biological labs in Ukraine, a lie that Russian authorities could use as a pretext to use of biological or nuclear weapons against Ukrainian civilians.

This year, she also spoke at the far-right Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) alongside anti-LGBTQ politicians like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL).

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