The Fire-Breather Tucker Carlson and His Alma Mater St. George’s

Tucker Carlson

By Jack Sullivan at Air Mail: Like all speakers of truth, Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson has, at times, faced ridicule. Mostly the derision has been hurled by his enemies, but a little more than 10 days ago he had to take a hit from an institution near and dear to him—and it’s clear that it hurt.

St. George’s School sits on an idyllic peninsula directly across from Newport in Rhode Island. The campus was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted—the creator of New York’s Central Park—and near enough to the Atlantic that students might be lulled to sleep by the lapping of waves upon the hull of Geronimo, the school’s 70-foot-long sailing yacht.

Yes, St. George’s is as WASP-y as it sounds, “overwhelmingly white, and very well connected,” according to a former student, although its pupils are not known for their smarts. It’s part of a group of prestigious prep schools—along with St. Paul’s, St. Mark’s, Groton, and Middlesex—known as “St. Grottlesex,” New England’s answer to the traditional private schools of Old England. St. George’s alumni include an aggregation of Astors, Vanderbilts, and Bushes. Boarders can expect to pay $76,050 a year for the pleasure of joining them.

How did so serene a place—St. Gorgeous, as it’s known—come to blows with the former Fox pundit? The links between the two run deep. Not only did Carlson attend the school, graduating in 1987, but he met his wife, Susan, while they were both students—she was the headmaster’s daughter—got married on the school grounds, and sent three of his four children there.

Left, St. George’s School, a WASP-y bastion; right, a WASP-y Carlson in 2003.

It’s clear that Carlson (who did not respond to requests for comment) loved St. George’s. His wife was a board trustee until 2018, and the pair have donated tens of thousands of dollars to the school over the last decade. They hosted a reception for St. George’s students at their Washington, D.C., home while Carlson worked at Fox. And, in 2015, Carlson was the keynote speaker at the school’s annual Richard H. Dent Forum (which seeks to “enhance and enrich the study of the social sciences at St. George’s”). He was set to talk on campus again this spring, and that’s where the current drama unfolded.

The story as we know it is this: Earlier this year, a student group at St. George’s approached Carlson about speaking on campus. Carlson agreed, but concerns arose within the school regarding Carlson’s high profile, the media attention his appearance might draw, and the safety issues that could result from such a visit. In light of these hurdles, it was decided that the engagement would be best conducted over Zoom, to which Carlson agreed.

Then, on March 29, an eight-minute-long recorded excerpt of Carlson’s Zoom with the St. George’s students appeared on X. In it, Carlson says that his attempts to negotiate a visit to the school with St. George’s headmaster, Michael C. Wirtz, and members of the school board were, he claimed, met with unanswered phone calls, lies, and circuitous explanations. The reason for the school’s ambivalence was clear, at least to Carlson: “Why don’t you just say, ‘We don’t like your politics; we think you’re scary,’?” he lamented.

More here.