Kid Rock blew smoke. Big clouds of bluish cigar fumes. He blew them at Tucker Carlson, the Fox News Channel anchor who grinned and chuckled and smirked and never blinked during his guest’s great gusts of haze, hype, and hate.
“To you critics, haters, and trolls: Go fuck yourself!” Rock said, the curse word bleeped from the audio track because, after all, Fox News has high standards.
Most of the time, Rock held the cigar in his right hand, the middle finger decorated with a big, gold Detroit Tigers “D” ring. Their interview — shown nationally Monday night — was a 20-plus minutes promotion for Rock’s new Bad Reputation album and tour of the same name.
“Interesting guy,” Carlson told his audience. “Smart guy.”
Carlson and Rock share many ideas and ideals. Both are known to be homophobic, sexist, racist, right-wing creeps. So this heavily-promoted interview was a perfectly cynical pairing of mutual — let’s call it “back-scratching” — for America’s right-wing entertainment complex on cable’s top-rated show.
When Carlson asked him why he doesn’t fear the bogey man of “cancel culture,” Rock responded: “I am un-cancelable because I don’t give fuck. There’s nobody I’m beholden to. You can’t cancel me.”
Asked his opinion of Dr. Anthony Fauci — who leads the American medical effort against the COVID-19 pandemic, Rock had a quick answer.
ROCK: “Fuck Fauci.”
CARLSON: “You speak for many when you say that.”
And Rock repeated his vow not to allow any arena restrictions regarding masks and vaccinations on his 26-show tour that begins in Evansville, Indiana, on April 6 and ends with two shows at the recently renamed Pine Knob north of Detroit on Sept. 16 and 17.
Although somewhat political, the interview avoided topics like the Russian invasion of Ukraine. With Russian war criminals slaughtering soldiers, civilians, and journalists, some cable news anchors — like Don Lemon of CNN — have dashed overseas to report from the dangerous battlefront.
But Brother Tucker slithered in a different direction last weekend. He went south to visit Nashville and spend time in the studio and the bar with Rock. Still a “Kid” at age 51, Rock is a Macomb County rich boy who used to pose as a city-gritty Detroit rapper.
In recent years, however, he’s repackaged himself as an aw-shucks, down-home, country-western, redneck, shit-kickin’, reg’lar feller who calls himself “the King of White Trash” and just happens to play golf a lot with former President Donald Trump.
This is to say Rock is a perfect cross-section of Carlson’s ideal audience and Trump’s voting public.
Still a “Kid” at age 51, Rock is a Macomb County rich boy who used to pose as a city-gritty Detroit rapper.
Last week, after Vladimir Putin’s troops killed two Fox journalists and wounded another — Carlson continued to tout Putin’s point of few. Carlson also compared gun-toting Russian invaders of Ukraine with Latin-American immigrants crossing the southern border of the United States in a quest of a better life.
And just in case you think Carlson isn’t a tough guy, too, he showed Monday night a still photograph of himself standing next to Rock with the smiling Carlson holding a big, long, strong, macho-man assault rifle.
Although Carlson allowed Rock a great deal of exposure Monday, he never showed clips of Rock’s current videos. He should have. In one called “We the People,” Rock chants:
“Wear your mask, take your pills
“Now a whole generation’s mentally ill . . .
“Fuck Facebook, fuck Twitter, too
“And the mainstream media, fuck you, too.
“You piece of shit, I don’t see color
“Black Lives Matter, no shit, motherfucker.”
The chorus of the song is “Let’s go, Brandon,” a coded catcall from right-wingers that stands for “Fuck Joe Biden.” In fact, Carlson showed a still photo of Rock’s Rolls Royce with a metal brand label on it saying “Let’s Go Brandon.”
In another recent song, “Don’t Tell Me How to Live,” Rock brags: “I’m hard and crisp, high-risk hillbilly. But I’m filthy rich.” In a review, the website Metal Injection said this song “Comes off as the audible equivalent of truck nuts.”
It might have been interesting for Carlson to ask Rock about losing his restaurant connection with Little Caesars’ Arena two years ago after he insulted Oprah Winfrey, among others, during a drunken rant.
And tell us, Kid, why do you use the word “faggot” so casually? And, “Kid, why did you stop using the Confederate flag on stage?” And, “Kid, tell us why you so often shout, ‘Fuck Colin Kaepernick!’”
Instead, Carlson asked Rock what it was like to play golf with Donald Trump.
“He sits down and just cuts it up,” Rock said of Trump. “How sharp he is, it’s incredible.”
Many of Rock’s showbiz pals, he said, are “closet” conservatives who can’t publicly express their admiration for Trump.
“There’s a ton of ‘em,” Rock said. “Me and Trump talk about them a lot.”
And who can doubt this? Oh, to be a caddy for these two wealthy and important men and to overhear them as they smoke their cigars and discuss the woes of the world on the golf course of a wealthy country club. No, they wouldn’t just be blowing smoke. Not them.