At a speech in front of the CATO institute, conservative media mogul Tucker Carlson told his audience, apparently mostly aspiring conservative writers, that most of them won’t ever make it as writers.

According to an article by Francesca Chambers in the Washington Examiner:

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.

Aspiring writers should expect to work 20 hours a day. “And if you suck, guess what, we’re gonna fire you,” Carlson explained.

He also didn’t have many good things to say about higher education.

“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.” He also said college was too expensive. “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 (B.A. Trinity College, 1991) apparently said it would make more sense for aspiring writers to intern at a newspaper than go to college.

Duly noted. One’s chances of making it as a journalist, whether as a conservative or a liberal, are quite slim. Hard work, ridiculously hard 20-hour-a-day work, is pretty much essential to success in such a field.

But I’ve got to say that one’s chances of making it as a successful journalist go down dramatically if one skips college.

Part of the way people develop writing skills, perspective, understanding, and intellectual discipline is by going to college. Beyond that, seriously, what newspaper will hire someone, even as an intern, who didn’t go to college? [Image via]

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer