Tucker Carlson: Ex-Fox News star calls UAE's MbZ 'wisest leader of all'

Tucker Carlson: Ex-Fox News star calls UAE's MbZ 'wisest leader of all'
3 min read
27 September, 2023
Tucker Carlson, a controversial, political commentator best known for his time on Fox News, expressed admiration for UAE leader Mohammed bin Zayed, who has a record of authoritarianism.
Tucker Carlson poured copious praise on controversial UAE leader Mohammed bin Zayed [Getty]

Controversial right-wing commentator and former Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson has praised UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed, calling him "the wisest and most interesting leader he’s ever met", in a recent interview.

Carson made the unexpected comments whilst speaking to Swiss website Die Weltwoche (The World Week) last week after he was asked which global personality fascinated him the most, to which he answered "the leader of Abu Dhabi, MbZ."

The abrasive former TV host - who has promoted right-wing conspiracy theories ever since he was sacked from Fox News last April - revealed that he spoke with the UAE leader during a recent trip to the Gulf state.

"I’ve interviewed a lot of people who run countries [in my 30-year career], and I’ve never interviewed anybody in charge of anything more willing to admit that he doesn’t understand something... I’ve never met a more humble leader, ever," he said.

Carlson continued to praise MbZ’s "humility" calling it "a prerequisite for wisdom," and that "no leader or presidential candidate in the West" would be "willing to admit that they may not know something."

On his show, Tucker Carlson Tonight, the media personality previously peddled a number of far-right conspiracy theories - notably The Great Replacement theory - and engaged in monologues criticised as racist and anti-immigrant.

Carlson, who hosted his show between 2016 and 2023, also frequently advocated for Donald Trump, the former US President who also espoused far-right political views.

The show, known for its populist style, drew a loyal right-wing audience. In April 2023, Carlson was dismissed from Fox News Media following a defamation lawsuit. 

Carlson called bin Zayed, who became president of the UAE last year following the death of his brother Khalifa, the most "impressive leader" he's ever met.

The UAE, a key economic hub in the Middle East with a significant tourism industry, has been criticised for its poor human rights record, which includes suppression of freedom of expression, cracking down on dissent and extensive use of digital monitoring.

Scores of activists are still languishing in jail including members of the UAE94 collective -  a group consisting of lawyers, rights campaigners and academics who were imprisoned almost a decade ago over an alleged plot to overthrow the government.

The UAE has also played a key role in supporting dictators and warlords across the Middle East following the Arab Spring, notably Egypt's Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Libya's Khalifa Haftar.