Banning TikTok, Pence’s and Burgum’s presidential announcements, Trump missing in Iowa, and more.

Speed Read

  1. Republicans across the Midwest have introduced bills that ban or lead to banning the social media app TikTok.
  2. This week, both former Vice President Mike Pence and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum unveiled their 2024 presidential campaigns.
  3. The Biden administration announces a new program to combat the rise in antisemitism.
  4. Nebraska state Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh (D) intends to “put aside” other policy goals to continue fighting for trans youth.
  5. With a little more than half a year before the 2024 Iowa Caucus, Donald Trump was the only GOP candidate truant from a notable Iowa campaign event.

The Lede

Does Tucker Carlson’s bizarre return signal the end of his influence?

After being unceremoniously axed from Fox News on April 24, Tucker Carlson — cable news’ formerly bow-tied bad boy — returned this week with a new, Twitter-exclusive “show.” The content Carlson posted, captioned simply “Ep. 1”, was a ten-minute clip that was essentially an updated version of the signature opening monologue that skyrocketed him to ratings nirvana.

Yet unlike his previous efforts, Carlson’s production didn’t contain boisterous newscast music, a serene glass desk or a news ticker.

Instead, one of America’s most prolific white nationalists sat alone, in what appeared to be a bed-and-breakfast. His show included ranting about Ukranians sabotaging their own infrastructure, slyly taking jabs at Lindsey Graham’s sexuality and implying the George Floyd uprising was a government psy-op. All before ending the segment how liberal media failed to report on a supposed whistleblower who claimed there was proof that the U.S. government was hiding evidence of alien life.

The clip immediately went viral: It was viewed over 100 million times and garnered more than 850,000 likes. But Tucker’s latest venture raises more questions than it answers, especially after a second, similar video was uploaded on Thursday evening. What exactly is the focus of this program? Will there ever be guests? What kind of revenue will this generate? Or is this something being paid for by Elon Musk?

For all his claims of being an anti-establishment truth-teller, Mr. Carlson appeared exposed by the lack of institutional support. Without the flashy fonts and chic production, Tucker’s admittedly attention-grabbing rhetoric felt sterile; his confounding, tumultuous perspective seemed especially unrestrained and lacking any thoughtful editorial conciseness, even for his standards.

The most urgent question after watching Carlson’s latest output, however, is how sustainable this new method of mainstreaming America’s most paranoid styles will be. And until that’s answered, it will be hard to call it a comeback.

Person of Interest: Doug Burgum

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Jamie Larson