Tucker Carlson Drawing Comparisons to Gwyneth

He's put 'testicle tanning' in the spotlight
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2022 8:50 AM CDT
Tucker Carlson Drawing Comparisons to Gwyneth
Tucker Carlson is a fan of testicle tanning.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

(Newser) – There's just no avoiding the phrase "testicle tanning" this week, and credit/blame goes to Tucker Carlson of Fox News. The details:

  • The clip: As Mediaite reports, all this stems from the new episode of Tucker Carlson Originals, in which he interviews an advocate of the idea that men should expose their naughty bits to "red-light therapy" to increase testosterone levels. See this clip.
  • Carlson: “So, obviously, half the viewers right now are like ‘What? Testicle tanning, that’s crazy,'” says Carlson, “but my view is, OK, testosterone levels have crashed and nobody says anything about it, that’s crazy, so why is it crazy to seek solutions?”

  • Context: Sam Wolfson at the Guardian, who has spent some time on the testosterone beat, says the science is shaky. "The potential for UV or red light to increase testosterone levels has been quite well documented but there are no peer-reviewed double-blind studies that are able to prove these claims," he writes. Yes, sperm counts and testosterone levels have indeed been declining, but he cites obesity as a prime factor. "The idea that this in some way is a problem of manliness, and that if only we tanned our balls men would become happier, is patently untrue."
  • Critics: Dana Milbank at the Washington Post also thinks Carlson is off base. "To the extent declining testosterone levels are a problem, the correct solution would be to address a major cause: rising obesity," he writes. "Instead of shining a red light on your private parts, dear Fox News viewer, turn off Tucker Carlson, get off the couch and go exercise." Post colleague Philip Bump says the "End of Men" premise is right in Carlson's wheelhouse. That is, the idea that "white Americans, particularly older men, are embattled in an increasingly hostile culture and he is giving them the tools to fight back."

  • Goop-like? At the Intelligencer, Margaret Hartmann sees Carlson as the "Gwyneth Paltrow of the MAGA set" (and suggests liberals should be thrilled he's focusing on "bromeotherapy" rather than, say, the idea that the Capitol riot was a "false flag operation), while the Daily Beast similarly characterizes this as "Goop for bros."
  • Late night: Stephen Colbert and company took aim at Carlson Monday night. "I'm no urologist, but if the Lord intended testicle health to include a lot of sunlight, I think he would have put them where the sun do shine," said Colbert. (See the clip.) Seth Meyers also joined in.
  • Solid suggestion: In answer to the Twitter question, "If you opened a testicle tanning salon, what would you name it?" the best response might have been, "great balls of fire."
(Read more Tucker Carlson stories.)

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