Fox News host Tucker Carlson blasted Jill Biden as ‘borderline illiterate’ and ‘not very bright’ because of errors in her Ph.D. dissertation that earned her a doctorate in education from the University of Delaware.
Carlson’s comments are part of a simmering controversy ignited by a Wall Street Journal op-ed earlier this week criticizing the incoming first lady for using ‘Dr.’ as an honorific even though she’s not a physician.
The op-ed by Joseph Epstein, who addressed Biden as ‘kiddo’ and wrote that the use of the honorific felt ‘fraudulent’ and ‘comic’ since the wife of President-elect Joe Biden doesn’t have a medical background.
Epstein’s take sparked an angry backlash and accusations of sexism on social media.
During his talk show on Wednesday night, Carlson said that Biden ‘has an education degree from some school in Delaware, and you’re supposed to find that highly impressive.’
Fox News host Tucker Carlson (left) on Wednesday blasted Jill Biden (right) as ‘borderline illiterate’ and ‘not very bright’ because of errors in her Ph.D. dissertation that earned her a doctorate in education from the University of Delaware
Carlson said that he read Biden’s 130-plus page Ph.D. dissertation (above) from 2006 that earned her a doctorate in education from the University of Delaware
The prime time host told his viewers that he read through the 130-plus page academic paper written by Jill Biden in 2006.
‘Dr. Jill needs reading glasses,’ Carlson said.
‘Either that, or she’s borderline illiterate. There are typos everywhere, including in the first graph of the introduction.’
‘Dr. Jill can’t write, she can’t really think clearly either,’ Carlson said.
‘Parts of the dissertation seems to be written in a foreign language using English words.
‘They’re essentially pure nonsense like pig Latin or dogs barking.
‘The whole thing is just incredibly embarrassing. And not simply to poor illiterate Jill Biden, but to the college that considered this crap scholarship.
‘Embarrassing, in fact, to our entire system of higher education, to the nation itself.
‘Jill Biden’s doctoral dissertation is our national shame.’
Carlson then took aim at Joe Biden, saying that his wife is ‘a lot smarter than the man she married’ and that he isn’t sexist because he would not hesitate to criticize the president-elect in the same manner.
‘They’re (the media) telling you that no one would ever call a man dumb,’ Carlson said.
‘Okay, well, that’s wrong. We call Dr. Jill’s husband dumb all the time.
‘In fact, we’re going to go full feminist here and admit that Dr. Jill is a lot smarter than the man she married.
‘Not that it’s saying much.’
Carlson continued: ‘Joe Biden never wrote a dissertation, even on community colleges.
‘The only thing Joe Biden has written recently are reminder notes to himself to wear matching socks.
‘So it’s not a sexism thing. What it is actually is a class thing.
‘We have a class system in this country. And it’s based on credentials like the ones Dr. Jill Biden has.’
Twitter user Matt Bethlehemanti pointed out several problematic excerpts from Biden’s dissertation which contained mathematical errors and poor sentence structure and grammar
Carlson blasted the news media, saying it wouldn’t ‘allow’ people to ‘point out that Jill Biden isn’t really a doctor, maybe not even very bright.’
Several observers on Twitter noted some errors in Jill Biden’s dissertation, including mathematical miscalculations and poor grammar and sentence structure.
In one excerpt, Jill Biden gets her fractions wrong, writing: ‘Three quarters of the class will be Caucasian; one quarter of the class will be African American; one seat will hold a Latino; and the remaining seats will be filled with students of Asian descent or non-resident aliens.’
In another excerpt, she wrote: ‘Admission to the College is open to all Delaware residents who have a high school education or its equivalent or to anyone who is eighteen years of age or older and able to benefit from instruction.’
This is the second night this week that Carlson has weighed in on the ‘Dr.’ controversy.
On Monday night, Carlson publicly backed Epstein and mocked Jill Biden for holding the same honorific as the Dr. Pepper soft drink.
Carlson also said Jill Biden had ‘status anxiety’ and that she was ‘a doctor of education, which means basically nothing.’
He said he was making a ‘true and obvious point’.
The Wall Street Journal’s opinion editor, Paul Gigot (pictured in 2016) has defended an op-ed piece that called on America’s incoming first lady, Jill Biden, to drop the use of her doctor title
Columnist Joseph Epstein, 83, referred to Dr Biden, 69, as ‘kiddo’ in the piece published Friday in which he said she should forego the use of Dr
Epstein’s words sparked anger on social media, from President-elect Joe Biden’s team and even prompted a response from Dr Biden who tweeted: ‘Together, we will build a world where the accomplishments of our daughters will be celebrated, rather than diminished’
‘Jill Biden is not a doctor, no. Maybe in the same sense Dr Pepper is,’ he said.
‘In 2007, at the age of 55, she got a doctorate in education, so she’s got the same degree as Dr Bill Cosby.’
Cosby, serving a three to ten year sentence for sexual assault, obtained a doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1976.
Carlson pointed out that in 2009, Jill Biden said she wanted to get a PhD because she was tired of letters to ‘Senator and Mrs Biden’.
He accused her of having ‘status anxiety,’ saying she ‘decided to cure that, as so many do in our country, with another pointless title’.
His attack came as The Wall Street Journal’s opinion editor defended the op-ed, as people demand for him to resign, retract the piece and apologize.
Epstein, 83, referred to the future first lady, 69, as ‘kiddo’ in the piece, in which he said she should forego the use of Dr.
‘A wise man once said that no one should call himself ‘Dr.’ unless he has delivered a child. Think about it, Dr. Jill, and forthwith drop the doc,’ Epstein wrote in the piece titled: ‘Is There a Doctor in the White House? Not if You Need an M.D.’
‘In the social sciences and humanities, calling oneself Dr. is thought bush league.’
His words sparked anger on social media, from President-elect Joe Biden’s team, and even from Jill Biden herself, who tweeted: ‘Together, we will build a world where the accomplishments of our daughters will be celebrated, rather than diminished.’
In response to the backlash, Gigot, authored another opinion piece on Sunday called ‘The Biden Team Strikes Back.’ He claimed that the Biden administration launched an ‘attack’ on the WSJ, saying: ‘It’s the left’s version of Donald Trump’s ‘enemy of the people’ tweets’
Gigot concluded the piece with: ‘These pages aren’t going to stop publishing provocative essays merely because they offend the new administration or the political censors in the media and academe’
Dr Biden earned four degrees while raising her family. She has a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees, and earned a doctorate of education from the University of Delaware in 2007. She is pictured with Joe and their children
In response to the backlash, WSJ opinion editor, Paul Gigot, wrote an opinion piece on Sunday called ‘The Biden Team Strikes Back.’
He wrote: ‘Why go to such lengths to highlight a single op-ed on a relatively minor issue? My guess is that the Biden team concluded it was a chance to use the big gun of identity politics to send a message to critics as it prepares to take power.’
He added: ‘There’s nothing like playing the race or gender card to stifle criticism. It’s the left’s version of Donald Trump’s ‘enemy of the people’ tweets.’
Gigot continued: ‘The difference is that when Mr. Trump rants against the press, the press mobilizes in opposition. In this case the Biden team was able to mobilize almost all of the press to join in denouncing Mr. Epstein and the Journal.
‘Nearly every publication wrote about the Biden response, reinforcing the Biden-New York Times line: ‘An Opinion Writer Argued Jill Biden Should Drop the ‘Dr.’ (Few Were Swayed),’ Gigot wrote.
He then pointed to a 2009 piece that the Los Angeles Times wrote about Jill Biden’s doctorate.
‘The outrage is overwrought because, whether you agree or disagree, Mr. Epstein’s piece was fair comment. The issue of Jill Biden’s educational honorific isn’t new.
‘As long ago as 2009, the Los Angeles Times devoted a story to the subject. From the piece by Robin Abcarian: “Joe Biden, on the campaign trail, explained that his wife’s desire for the highest degree was in response to what she perceived as her second-class status on their mail.
‘She said, “I was so sick of the mail coming to Sen. and Mrs. Biden. I wanted to get mail addressed to Dr. and Sen. Biden.” That’s the real reason she got her doctorate,’ he said.’
According to Gigot, the backlash has seen several people demand that he retract the piece and ‘apologize personally to Mrs. Biden, ban Mr. Epstein for all time, and resign and think upon my sins’.
Gigot concluded the piece with: ‘If you disagree with Mr. Epstein, fair enough. Write a letter or shout your objections on Twitter. But these pages aren’t going to stop publishing provocative essays merely because they offend the new administration or the political censors in the media and academe.
‘And since it’s a time to heal, we’ll give the Biden crowd a mulligan for their attacks on us.’
The Wall Street Journal op-ed has sparked fury after it argued Jill Biden’s doctor title ‘sounds and feels fraudulent, not to say a touch comic’. Kamala Harris’ husband Doug Emhoff said: ‘This story would never have been written about a man’
Former White House photographer Pete Souza shared an image of Dr Biden on a golf buggy, calling the piece ‘ridiculous and misogynistic’
Gigot’s response came as several people took to Twitter to call out the Wall Street Journal for allowing the ‘misogynistic’ piece to be published.
Singer Pink, actress Debra Messing as well as vice president elect Kamala Harris‘ husband Doug Emhoff and her spokesperson Michael LaRosa, all rushed to defend Dr Biden.
Former White House photographer Pete Souza shared an image of Dr Biden on a golf buggy, calling the piece ‘ridiculous and misogynistic’ and adding: ‘The Dr. is on her way!’
LaRosa called the piece a ‘disgusting and sexist attack’ and said the paper should be ’embarrassed’ to print it. He added: ‘If you had any respect for women at all you would remove this repugnant display of chauvinism from your paper and apologize to her.’
Joe Biden’s communications director, Elizabeth Alexander, added: ‘Sexist and shameful. Be better @WSJ.’
And Harris’ husband Emhoff said: ‘This story would never have been written about a man.’
Dr Martin Luther King’s daughter Bernice tweeted: ‘Dear @DrBiden: My father was a non-medical doctor. And his work benefited humanity greatly. Yours does, too.’
The View host Meghan McCain said: ‘I am so sick of the way accomplished, educated, successful women like @DrBiden are talked about in the media by misogynistic men. BEYOND SO SICK OF IT.’
Singer Pink called the article ‘bulls***’ and Messing tweeted: ‘What a disgusting display of misogyny. Your hatred for women is showing.’
And former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg’s husband Chasten said: ‘The author could’ve used fewer words to just say ‘ya know in my day we didn’t have to respect women.’
Jill Biden gives the commencement speech at Broward College on May 4, 2012, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Epstein also acknowledges that he ‘only has a B.A. in absentia from the University of Chicago’, adding: ‘I taught at Northwestern University for 30 years without a doctorate or any advanced degree.’
But Northwestern sought to distance themselves from Epstein, saying in a statement it disagreed with his ‘misogynistic views’, and adding: ‘Joseph Epstein was never a tenured professor at Northwestern and has not been a lecturer here since 2002.’
Epstein had been listed as an ’emeritus lecturer of English’ on the school’s website earlier Saturday, but the page had vanished later in the day.
‘While we firmly support academic freedom and freedom of expression, we do not agree with Mr Epstein’s opinion and believe the designation of doctor is well deserved by anyone who has earned a Ph.D., an Ed.D. or an M.D.,’ the statement reads.
‘Northwestern is firmly committed to equity, diversity and inclusion, and strongly disagrees with Mr Epstein’s misogynistic views.’
Northwestern’s English Department also released a statement accusing him of casting ‘unmerited aspersion on Dr. Jill Biden’s rightful public claiming of her doctoral credentials and expertise’.
‘The Department rejects this opinion as well as the diminishment of anyone’s duly-earned degrees in any field, from any university,’ the statement said.
In 1970 Epstein was denounced after repeatedly using the N-word and writing that the LGBTQ community was ‘afflicted without apparent cure’ in an essay for Harper’s Magazine, Newsweek reported.
Jill has been married to the president elect for 43 years, becoming a stepmother to Beau and Hunter Biden, his two sons from his first marriage, after their mother and baby sister died in a car accident in 1972.
She has earned four degrees while raising her family.
She has a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees, and earned a doctorate of education from the University of Delaware in 2007.
During Joe Biden’s eight years serving as vice president she was a full-time English professor at Northern Virginia Community College.
Prior to moving to Washington, DC, she taught at a community college in Delaware, at a public high school and at a psychiatric hospital for adolescents.
Writing in her memoir, she wrote: ‘Being a teacher is not what I do but who I am.’
In April 2019, she took a break from teaching for the first time since 1981 in order to help her husband on the campaign trail.
One of her most high profile appearances during the campaign came when she delivered a rousing speech from a classroom at the virtual Democratic Convention.