Chadwick Moore appeared on the final episode of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on that fateful night in April, just days before Fox News abruptly canceled the show April 24. Carlson and Moore didn’t know it would their last time on Fox News, but it makes Moore’s biography of Carlson all the most interesting—and fortuitous.
Moore is the author of “Tucker,” a biography that’s available for pre-order ahead of its Aug. 1 publication by All Seasons Press.
Long before taping that interview with Carlson, Moore began work on his biography. It tells the story of the former CNN and MSNBC host who anchored the top-rated primetime show on Fox News for seven years.
But the book is about more than Carlson’s TV career. Moore spoke to The Daily Signal about the hundreds of hours he spent interviewing Carlson and others who have influenced his life. Listen to the full interview on “The Daily Signal Podcast” or read a lightly edited transcript below.
Bluey: Congratulations on this fantastic book. It couldn’t be better timed. Obviously, you did not know on April 21 when you appeared with Tucker Carlson on the show what would happen a few days later with Fox News, but it’s a book that you began working on a long time before that interview took place, and we’re grateful that you’re joining us today to talk about it.
Moore: Thanks. That was Tucker’s last show on Fox, and we started this book over a year ago, as you said, and we had no idea what was about to happen that Monday. No one on the show did at all either.
Bluey: Take us back to your connection to Tucker Carlson. How did you first meet him and when did this relationship begin?
Moore: I was a regular guest on the show for basically the entire run of the show, and my first appearance was February 2017. I’d written up an article in the New York Post coming out as a conservative.
At the time I was working in liberal media magazines and newspapers. I was writing for The New York Times, I was writing for various other places. And I just got so fed up with what I was seeing in the media that I wrote a piece.
I didn’t think anyone would read it, and just clearing the air, I didn’t want anyone to think that I was like these other people, like my colleagues in that being totally Trump-deranged and pushing all of this fake news and really unconcerned with freedom of the press or freedom of speech or genuine inquiry or curiosity, which I always thought journalists were supposed to have.
And Tucker’s people got wind of that piece and they invited me on his show. And after that I was just a regular. That’s how I got to know him.
Bluey: It sounds like your story is like so many other guests who have appeared on his program over the years. He was always looking for people who went outside, even at Fox, of your typical booking. I’m grateful to hear that his team found you.
When it came to the biography, though, how did you approach that topic with him? Did you pitch him on the idea? Did he approach you about the idea? What was the origin?
Moore: My publisher, All Seasons Press, approached me and they said, this was early last spring, “We want to do a book about Tucker Carlson. We feel he is the most important and influential voice in American politics, and we want you to write it.”
I was very honored and very flattered. And I first said, “I don’t really think Tucker’s going to be into that. I’m a guest on his show. Is this a little weird? I don’t know. Let me ask him and see what he thinks.”
So I called him up and at first he said, “Oh, I’m not very interesting. No one wants to read a book about me. I’m a really boring guy.” And he’s like, “I don’t really think that’s a good idea.” And I said, “Yeah, I don’t think you’re a boring guy. I think millions of people would disagree, but I respect that.”
And as we were about to hang up, he just started talking and he was saying, “Boy, I read your columns all the time, and you’re a really talented writer.” And he started talking about columns I’d written years ago that he remembered, and I was so flattered by that. I didn’t even know he read my work.
And occasionally, actually, he would text me, he read something. And he talked himself into it and said, “Well, yeah, let’s do it. I think it’d be fun and you’re a good writer and I respect you,” and stuff like that. So that was also flattering. And after that we were just off to the races and we started working on it immediately after that.
Bluey: The book is called “Tucker.” It’s a biography of Tucker Carlson. And Chadwick, what can readers expect when they open this book?
Moore: I really wanted to write about who he is as a man, as a human being, who he is off camera, what he is like to work with. And also, really pinned out his entire history, his entire career, and also his childhood, his high school years, his college years, and even beyond that.
His father, Dick, continues to be his greatest mentor and inspiration. So I write a lot about Dick’s life, about his childhood, and then even going as far back into the family history of when they immigrated to this country, with who his ancestors were, up until two weeks after his show was taken off the air. That’s where we end the book.
I got to interview him twice after his show was taken off and updated the book for that content. But I hope that they really get a sense of not just his political beliefs, which everyone knows pretty much where he stands on everything, but just who this guy is, where he came from, what motivates him, who is he as a man, how does he operate in the world, and not just the person that millions of people were watching on television every night.
Bluey: And I understand that Tucker gave you unprecedented access, not only to interview him, but his family, co-workers, and other acquaintances, and even some adversaries who he’s clashed with over the years. What was that process like as you went through those interviews and really heard the stories of Tucker Carlson’s life?
Moore: The hardest part of this book was getting liberals to talk to me. Even people who spend their careers and even had full-time jobs just writing hit pieces about Tucker Carlson. Of course, they ran and hid whenever they were asked for an interview.
It was telling also that a lot of people who he actually still has friendly relationships with wouldn’t want to appear in this book because they think he’s so toxic, which is sad and just speaks to how spineless and callow so many people are in media and politics.
But I did get, obviously, plenty of people to talk to me, hundreds of hours of interviews. And it was great really speaking to his wife, Susie. She’s lovely. They’ve been together since they were 15 years old, which is amazing. They were married when they were 21. And hearing stories from her, also his dad, Dick, as I mentioned before, because family is really what’s most important to Tucker Carlson and it has been for a long time.
And that shows through—not only does he speak of that, but it shows. And his family is very close. He has four children, four dogs, four spaniels. They’re also very important and a part of the family. And his relationship with his wife, with his father, with his brother, Buckley, are really what’s at his core and what’s most important. And I wanted that to come through in the book.
So he’s not just someone who’s entire life is driven by politics. He’s actually a very well-rounded person, has a very rich inner life, a very rich spiritual life and family life. And that’s really at the core of his being. It’s the core of what keeps him sane and what really makes him able to do what he does, is having that bedrock behind him. And I really wanted that to come through in the book.
Bluey: From all those interviews you did with him and others, are there any particular stories or moments in his life that stand out to you that were consequential?
Moore: There are so many. What immediately popped in my head, maybe just because I just mentioned Susie, is a story that she told me that no one knows. This is the first time I’m telling it, except for in the book, is that if any of your listeners recall in November 2018, Antifa attacked his home in D.C.
This was right after the midterms, and his wife Susie was home alone. And that was the reason they left D.C. They moved out of D.C. because of that.
But Susie told me a story that after that, President [Donald] Trump actually called her on the phone and said to her, “I just want you to know that there’s a lot of love in this world and you should focus on that.” And then he said, “Do you want me to come and stand in front of your home?” And Susie said, “No, no, please don’t do that, but thank you, Mr. President.”
And Susie said to me that was something that she carries with her to this day because, obviously, she doesn’t pay attention much to social media, but she obviously gets wind of all the hate that comes at her family. And she said that she’d always remember President Trump’s words on that.
I thought that was such a sweet story that nobody knows about. Well, they will when they read the book and now after listening to you. But it was really a nice moment. That story just really stuck out to me for some reason.
Bluey: Thank you for sharing that and so many other stories that, as you say, are featured in the book. I think it’s an eye-opening read for so many people who probably don’t really know the true Tucker Carlson. And my next question goes to that point.
What are the biggest misperceptions that people have about Tucker Carlson that you hope that either the book will correct or you can tell me right now some of the things that are top of mind for you?
Moore: Aside from the usual racist, sexist, homophobe, transphobe, whatever they want to call him—which, obviously, no one believes that stuff anymore.
I don’t know if it’s necessarily a misconception, but I think one of the most revealing things about him is that if you spend a lot of time around people in television, especially cable news, there’s tons of egos out there, and a lot of people tend to think that they’re God and they tend to have big heads.
And I don’t know if anyone really has that perception of Tucker, but I think it’s interesting that if you do think that way about cable news people, and you’d be right most of the time, I think it’s interesting to read in this book to the extent to which he really isn’t that. I mean, the extent to which he goes through things to make sure he doesn’t think that he is God, that he really humbles himself.
And he had his father to teach him that along the way—his father was also in television—and other mentors to instruct him to don’t really believe your own B.S. and that is to believe the hype about yourself. Do things to remind you that you are no different than any other human that walks this earth. You’re no different than any other child of God. You’re just a man. Not everyone’s on television.
I think that was really interesting, if you think a certain way about how he might be in person, having the notoriety he does and having the highest-rating show in cable, that respect of how he stood out I think for most people who work in television was pretty revealing and really interesting to get to know and to get to see that.
Bluey: One thing that I’ve heard Tucker say in interviews is how he goes about absorbing the news. He doesn’t watch television or read The New York Times or do things that probably so many other TV hosts and producers do. Instead, he talks to everyday Americans and those are individuals who he probably met over the course of his life.
I remember him telling the story, I think it was a waitress in Montana whom he keeps in touch with. It’s really interesting, and that goes to the heart of how the two of you made your connection—he’s looking for people who aren’t part of the typical cabal on cable TV news.
How has he come to form the beliefs he has today and how has that changed over the course of his life?
Moore: It’s a good question, and he’s always been a mischievous scamp. He always likes poking and stirring the pot. He loves debate. He absolutely loves debate.
I had stories about his time in the debate club in high school and how it became a spectacle, and people would show up for this and crowd the room, particularly when he debated staff at the school. And so, he always had that edge to him.
I think that he just has probably, as he’s gotten older and more importantly, as the country changed, I think that he became more galvanized and really driven by a mission to save the country.
I think that his wife believes it was a calling from God that this is his calling to do this, that he really feels this, in a way that maybe in his CNN years and MSNBC years he didn’t necessarily feel the urgency of the moment, I think that he certainly does now.
And I think that motivates him so much and that that changed his content so much, and that really led him to really come into his own during the Fox years, and he was given a lot of freedom at Fox to do that.
At the same time, the nation was changing in a way that aligned with a lot of values and perspectives that he’d always had, this civil libertarian perspective, this idea that as we’ve seen the traditional definitions of Left and Right, or Democrat and Republican, aren’t really holding as they once did, and he’s always skirted that line.
He’s never been a party-line hack in the way that a lot of people are. And that really has spoken to people and people have responded to that because the nation is in that place right now.
Bluey: One area where he has recently challenged the Republican Party establishment is on foreign policy. Tucker himself was an early champion of the intervention in Iraq, if I’m not mistaken. But then upon seeing firsthand what was going on in a foreign country, he began to change his mind about American foreign policy.
Can you walk us through that evolution in his life and where he stands today, and how, as somebody who stands up to Republican presidential candidates, specifically how that’s shaping politics in the nation today?
Moore: Absolutely. That was his first big break from Beltway conservatism. And in 2003, he went to Iraq to write a story for Esquire. He was embedded with civilian contractors in Baghdad in the Green Zone.
And he says that that experience, that was his first big break that completely changed his mind about American foreign policy, interventionism, American empire, because he saw firsthand what was happening on the ground there and it horrified him. And he said that he learned that neoconservatives were no different than liberals with guns, or all they were was liberals with guns.
That was when he really started to wake up to this problem of the establishment and of the uniparty. And we certainly saw that with the summit in Iowa last week where he really took to task some candidates on the Republican Party.
And I mean, that sit down, if anyone saw it, showed that he is representing the conscience of so many Republican voters in this country, and really exposing how the candidates are completely detached. Maybe they don’t even know that this is what’s on voters’ minds or maybe they just simply don’t care. But for some of those candidates, it was an absolute disaster.
But for voters, everyone was cheering, as they did nightly on his show, many of them, for finally hearing what they want to hear and their perspectives and the questions they have being aired on a national platform.
Bluey: When it comes to his next steps, we obviously have seen “Tucker on Twitter,” both his monologues and long-form interview with Andrew Tate. What do you think he has in store for the future? Is it going to be a similar mix of content? We’ve also heard about this potential media company to maybe take it to the next level with subscribers. Any advice or guidance that you can share with our listeners about what’s to come?
Moore: Reports have it that they are fundraising for a new media venture. Tucker’s executive producer, Justin Wells, told me that if this happens, and it looks like it will, people can expect to see a lot more Tucker Carlson than they ever did on Fox. And apparently there’s some negotiations happening here.
I do suspect that Tucker wants to be his own boss. I don’t think that he’s going to join some other platform or really, I don’t think he’d bring on investors who want to have editorial control in his content, which I don’t think of a problem finding.
So we’ve also, Justin teased that soon they’re going to have a very big interview, a long-form interview posted on Twitter very soon. We don’t know who that’s going to be with, but people can look out for that. So it’s anchored to Twitter right now, I think, for legal reasons.
That makes a lot of sense because Tucker’s obviously still under contract with Fox News, but I’ve heard, I haven’t seen his contract, I’ve heard that Fox didn’t include Twitter in their noncompete, which is why he’s able to do this.
He’s not making money off Twitter right now. He’s not being paid by Elon Musk. I guess, from a legal standpoint, he could just be giving his political opinions of the day on Twitter, like anyone on Fox does and is allowed to do.
So his contract expires after the next presidential election in early 2025. It looks like, if Fox has their way, they would like for him to be silent until after the next election, which is chilling and terrifying, and they’re still paying him, he’s still getting his usual paycheck to not have a show. And that’s what we know right now.
Bluey: And are you of the opinion, as so many of us are, that we don’t know the real reason why Fox canceled his show? Or were you able to gather some inside knowledge from Tucker or some of the other people close to him as to what transpired on April 24?
Moore: We have some people quoted in the book about that. Nobody knows for certain. I’ve got what my sources told me. I’ve got what I speculate happened. It could have been any number of things.
I think what’s clear is that it was content related. It was political related. And I think that that is obvious because, No. 1, the hassle they’re giving him now about keeping quiet.
Obviously, there’s big globalist corporations that have controlling stakes in Fox. There’s people like Paul Ryan who are on the board of Fox. There are people like the Murdochs who are big fans of the war in Ukraine. They’re big fans of [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelenskyy.
There are many forces that wanted him to be quiet, despite the fact he was propping up not only the entire prime-time lineup, but the network, and I would argue, propping up all of cable news in terms of its relevancy and lifespan, perhaps artificially so.
And this is confounded with the fact that Fox News fired his entire team, about 25 people. They’re working across his three shows. That’s not normal at all for a news company. People are hired to work for a network, not for shows, but of course, he had a very close-knit team, and they were all let go.
So speculation has run wild. We address a lot of the speculations in the book. We tell what some of my sources said. But Fox News has not given an official reason. They’ve not told Tucker an official reason. They’re happy to just let everyone speculate and they seem to think that’s the best approach.
Bluey: Are we going to see you on Fox News anytime or are you also in that same camp as Tucker?
Moore: Unfortunately, I was banned from Fox News two hours after we announced this book. I was a regular on not just Tucker’s show, but on Greg Gutfeld’s show, Jimmy Failla’s show, several others, but I was banned when we announced the book. So I’m on the Fox blacklist with so many great Americans. It’s a really good list to be on. So I don’t think you’ll be seeing me there anytime soon.
Bluey: Thank you again for being with us. Again, the book is called “Tucker,” it’s by Chadwick Moore. How can people follow your work? I know this is just one aspect of the journalism that you do. What would you like our listeners to know about you?
Moore: Sure. You can find me on Twitter at @Chadwick_Moore. I’m a contributing editor and columnist at The Spectator and you can find a lot of my columns there. And you can find more about the book at tuckerthebook.com or you can go anywhere you get your books. If you’d like to pre-order a copy, it’s shipping Aug. 1.
Bluey: Excellent. Chadwick Moore, thanks so much for joining “The Daily Signal Podcast.” We appreciate all the work that you’ve done and encourage our listeners to pick up a copy.
Moore: Awesome. Thank you. It was such a pleasure.
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The post Granted Unprecedented Access, ‘Tucker’ Biographer Chadwick Moore Tells Carlson’s Life Story appeared first on The Daily Signal.
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