Carlson, who is effectively the face of Fox and hosts the top show on the right-wing channel, ridiculed President Joe Biden Tuesday for saying that the US military had created uniforms to fit women properly, created maternity flight suits for those who are pregnant, and updated requirements for hairstyles.
“So we’ve got new hairstyles and maternity flight suits,” Carlson snarked. “Pregnant women are going to fight our wars. It’s a mockery of the U.S. Military.”
The comment from Carlson has prompted severe backlash from some of the most senior members of the US military who have openly called him out for harmful rhetoric.
Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said the Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin shared the same “revulsion” that many military leaders have expressed about the sexist comments that Carlson made.
“The Secretary certainly shares the revulsion of so many others to what Mr. Carlson said,” Kirby told reporters Thursday.
Kirby said the military still had “a lot of work to do” to become “more inclusive, more respectful of everyone — especially women.”
“We pledge to do better, and we will,” Kirby said. “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.”
Other prominent military figures also weighed in on Twitter.
“They are beacons of freedom and they prove Carlson wrong through determination and dedication,” Funk added. “We are fortunate they serve with us.”
Lieutenant General Theodore D. Martin shared a photo of his daughter and said that “contrary to what you may be hearing” she and other women “are NOT” making “a mockery of our military.”
“You WISH your daughter was as AWESOME as MINE!” Martin added. “So BACK OFF.”
A spokesperson for Fox did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday morning.
The programming on Fox has become increasingly extreme in the last several years and even more so following the November election when it saw competition from smaller channels making a bid for its conservative audience.
The days in which Fox marketed itself as a “fair & balanced” news channel are long gone. Most of the channel’s programming is now filled with right-wing commentary.
Fox Corporation chief executive Lachlan Murdoch even conceded recently that he views the network’s role in the Biden years as being the “loyal opposition” to the White House.