At an event intended to teach aspiring journalists how to get noticed, Carlson told young people that the mantra that, ‘You can be anything you want to be,’ isn’t true.
“No you can’t. You can’t be most things that you want to be. Why? Because you’re not capable of it,” Carlson told the audience.
The theme of Carlson’s brutally honest speech could be summed up with this direct quote. “Most people’s voices are not worth being heard.”
Carlson spent the bulk of the hour and a half luncheon giving examples of good and bad journalists and news publications to the audience of 175 people and those watching the live stream of the event on Cato’s website. He also realistically explained to young writers should expect if they want to make it in the business and specifically at his publication, The Daily Caller.
Carlson compared working for The Daily Caller (TheDC) to being part of the Viet Cong and said writers are expected to work 20 hours . . . a day.
“And if you suck, guess what, we’re gonna fire you,” Carlson said to laughter from a room full of wannabe writers who didn’t seem to grasp that Carlson wasn’t joking.
“Our criteria for hiring are really straight forward – you need to be a ferocious and aggressive worker,” he said. “Laziness” is the one thing he said they would not put up with at TheDC.
Don’t have a journalism degree? Don’t need one, Carlson said. In fact, don’t go to college at all.
“I’m not the only crackpot who believes this,” he said. “I bet you $1,000 [sic] that five years from now, it will be a common place opinion that a lot of people should not go to college.”
Carlson said that he wishes he had not gone to college himself because it was a waste of time. He told students college was too expensive and the costs are “unsustainable.”
“It was never designed for everybody,” he said. “And I’m not being a snob here. Just let me restate – I should not have gone to college.”
Carlson told the students it would be better to work at an internship at a newspaper and get hands on experience than sit through some “government-subsidized college course” or “underwater basket-weaving for feminists or whatever” they talk about in class. To those students who think college professors are akin to sages, he told them to go work at The Washington Post.
After his uplifting speech, Carlson did take time to address questions from the audience on several unrelated issues, including his thoughts on Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart calling him a “d**k” and his personal feelings about likely GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
“Like I didn’t know I was a d**k before that?” he said. “Shocking.”
Of Romney, he said he didn’t know exactly how he felt about the former Massachusetts governor despite the fact that he had covered him as a reporter for years.
“My politics are not Mitt Romney’s politics,” he said, explaining that he is further to the right, or more libertarian, than Romney. “I think he would be preferable to Barack Obama that’s for sure, but so would my kids.
“Not that he’s a bad guy, but he doesn’t understand the market at all. He thinks government is the solution,” he said in a reference to Massachusetts’ health care law, AKA Romneycare.
Carlson said he was surprised Romney ended up as the nominee because Romney is the one person in the country who cannot run against Obama’s unpopular health care mandate that everyone buy insurance.
“There are only two people in world history who have signed laws containing an individual mandate. One’s the president, the other’s running against him,” he said. “So somehow out of three hundred and fifteen million Americans, The Republican Party managed to find the one guy who couldn’t run on Obamacare.”
In the end, it turned out the most inspiring part of Carlson’s speech came at the very beginning of his speech when he told young people to “Live for today” and to “always do the most interesting thing available at the time.”
Young, positive thinkers may want to stop watching the replay of the speech there.