Tucker Carlson wants his viewers to sic the police on kids wearing masks

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 29: Fox News host Tucker Carlson discusses 'Populism and the Right' during th...
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Here's a hypothetical situation: It's a sunny, quiet day and you're walking down a city block. The occasional passerby walks past. Walking toward you are two parents and their child. They are holding hands while they are walking, and all of them are wearing masks.

Do you:

A. Think nothing of it because that is a perfectly normal thing to see, we are still in the middle of a pandemic after all;


B. Call the police immediately, approach the parents and accuse them of child abuse, and try to free the child of their dangerous and repressive guardians.

If you chose B, you are Tucker Carlson. On his prime-time Fox News show Monday, Carlson told his millions of nightly viewers that having a child wear a mask while outdoors is child abuse.

You might be thinking that we're twisting his words, or perhaps that he used some form of hyperbolic language that we've decided meant the equivalent of child abuse. But no, Carlson, who is more boat shoe than man at this point, apparently truly believes that having a child wear a mask outside is abusive behavior that should result in the child being taken away from their parents. He thinks it should be a crime, and he would like his audience to play the role of mask police.

Here's what he said, verbatim: "As for forcing children to wear masks outside, that should be illegal," Carlson. "Your response when you see children wearing masks as they play should be no different from your response to seeing someone beat a kid in Walmart. Call the police immediately. Contact Child Protective Services. Keep calling until someone arrives. What you're looking at is abuse — it's child abuse, and you are morally obligated to attempt to prevent it."

First of all, and this should go without saying, please do not call the police or CPS if you see a kid wearing a mask. CPS has actual cases of child abuse to deal with, 911 dispatchers are trying to put out literal fires; these people do not need someone dry snitching on mask-wearers as if that is a thing that should be on anyone's radar. Also, thinking something should be illegal does not mean the police will respond to your theoretical crime.

Finally, and it's probably the least important part of Tucker's tirade here, but you don't have to keep calling the police until they show up. That would be a really terrible way for the police to work. And also, we all know what can happen when the police actually do show up to a situation that they're not properly trained to handle.

Later in his rant, Carlson compared a child wearing a mask outside to a child getting punched in the face by a teacher, because subtlety is a concept that eludes him. "That is unacceptable," he said, "it is dangerous, and we should act like it because it is."

There is a lot of debate about wearing masks outside, especially for those who are already vaccinated. In fact, the Biden administration is expected to loosen its guidance on outdoor mask-wearing this week. Most experts agree that you are likely fine to ditch the mask if you're by yourself or with small group of people. Masks are mostly recommended for larger outdoor gatherings.

But while wearing a mask outside may not be strictly necessary, it isn't dangerous. At the very least, it's certainly no more dangerous than taking advice from Tucker Carlson.