On Monday night, after Preisdent Trump once again shocked the nation by staring at the solar eclipse without the necessary protective eyewear, Fox News host Tucker Carlson commented on Trump's eclipse watching controversy.
Almost the entire country saw 60 percent of the sun covered up by the moon. Even the president saw it, but in a move that is not a complete surprise, he looked directly at the sun without any glasses. Perhaps the most impressive thing any president has ever done.
Update: A Fox spokesperson reached out to Bustle to clarify that Tucker was, indeed, joking.
Earlier: Like many Americans, the Trump family gathered to watch the historic solar eclipse that could be viewed from across the continental United States. However, in a decision that could only be called inadvisable, Trump took his viewing glasses off and leaned back to get a fuller view of the eclipse, even though one of his aides reportedly shouted: "Don't look!"
According to medical professionals, staring directly at the eclipsed sun can burn a hole in the retinas of one's eyes — damage that wouldn't even be detectable until later, when one's vision is obscured, because retinas don't have pain receptors. NASA's website states that there are only a few moments during which looking at an eclipsed sun is safe.
Looking directly at the sun is unsafe except during the brief total phase of a solar eclipse ("totality"), when the moon entirely blocks the sun’s bright face, which will happen only within the narrow path of totality.
Some were confident that Carlson was joking about Trump (John Hendrickson at Esquire magazine wrote that the Fox News host is "self-aware," though only "sort of"). Others weren't entirely sure how to receive the remark, considering Carlson's largely positive cable news coverage of the president and his administration.
Carlson, for example, expressed sentiments similar to Trump's last week, when the president decried the so-called "alt-left" and said they were also to blame for the violence in Charlottesville. Defending statues of Confederate leaders, Carlson said:
The point, however, is that if we are going to judge the past by the standards of the present, if we're going to reduce a person's life to the single worst thing he ever participated in, we had better be prepared for the consequences of that.
Some also accused him of attempting to rationalize slavery in his on-air discussion about Charlottesville.
At the end of his segment about the solar eclipse, Carlson assuaged viewers' who feared that they missed out on the rare event — "If you missed out, don't despair. The next eclipse is seven years from now."
Carlson did not comment further on Trump's eclipse viewing.