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Tucker Carlson Gave His First Speech Since Fox Departure

Flickr via Gage Skidmore

Fresh off his departure from Fox News, Tucker Carlson made an appearance in Alabama on Thursday to deliver the keynote address at a charity event for Rainbow Omega, a faith-based group supporting persons with mental and developmental disabilities, joking that he's probably the first "unemployed person" ever invited to speak. 

While ticket sales for the event were initially slow, the venue was sold out following news of his parting from Fox, and the crowd gave the former host a standing ovation when he took the stage. 

Aside from the unemployment joke, Carlson largely steered clear of the subject other than to say he rarely would agree to give speeches due to his work schedule: "When I accepted this speech six months ago, I didn't realize how much free time I would have. One never knows, does one." 

He spoke at length about why he loves the state and said the national perception of it is changing, too. 

"The perceptions, national perceptions kind of shift very slowly, then you wake up in the morning, and everything's different," he said. "The rest of the country's view of Alabama is one of those things that just changed completely. Nobody makes fun of Alabama, at all, because they realize actually that's how you're supposed to be living. The only way to know what people think about something is to not listen to what they say; I say this as someone who has talked for a living for a long time, ignore the words. Watch what they do. Watch how they live. That's the only accurate measure of what people really think. Ignore that. Be like your dog, who understands not a single word of what you're saying but knows exactly who you are." 

Carlson also touched on the importance of charitable giving and helping organizations like Rainbow Omega, which he was surprised to hear was built through grassroots support, not some billionaire donor. 

"That actually is the way things should work," he said. "Helping people is the core mission of life for all of us."

Carlson then turned his attention to social and political issues of the day, noting that he believes the divisions we're currently seeing are "pretty much manufactured."

"Obama's first term was how we were going to get past race. I didn't vote for the guy, but everybody I knew was excited, and so was I," Carlson said. "We elect some guy I disagree with, but we get to the point where we stop picking at the scab and move forward as one country. Why wouldn't I be for that? As a Christian, I was totally for that."

But that's not what ended up happening, he said, as Obama made race a key focus, especially during his second term.

"Oh no, we're not post-racial. All we're going to talk about is race and make each other hate each other on the basis of race," he said. 

"I don't think most Americans hate each other on the basis of their ethnic differences," he added. "I think a lot of that is just a lie, actually, designed to distract people."

And journalists are big players in pushing the "propaganda." 

"Why are they not only not addressing the issues that matter? But they're kind of going out of their way to ignore them?" he wondered. "They have no idea that the economy is sagging, really? How could you not know that? We have no idea that we're actively fighting Russia in a war?"

"I just think that at some point, you have to call it what it is—which is lying," he continued. "And lying with a very specific purpose, which is to avert your gaze, to pull your attention away from the things that matter. That's not news coverage. That's just classic propaganda."

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