Fox News host Tucker Carlson found himself in trouble this week when Media Matters released recordings of Carlson making derogatory statements about women, sex workers, underage girls and others. The statements were made during Carlson’s appearances on Bubba the Love Sponge’s radio show between 2006-2009.
Media Matters, according to their web site, is an internet-based, not-for-profit progressive research and information center that monitors, analyzes and corrects conservative misinformation in the U.S. media. It released the first audio clips Sunday night.
In those clips, Carlson can be heard defending Warren Jeffs, the former president of the Fundamental Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints, who is serving a jail sentence of life plus 20 years for two felony accounts of child sexual assault. He also arranged marriages between adults and underage girls.
“He’s like got some weird religious cult where he thinks it’s OK to, you know, marry underaged girls, but he didn’t do it,” Carlson said. “Why wouldn’t the guy who actually did it, who had sex with an underaged girl, he should be the one who’s doing life. The rapist, in this case, has made a lifelong commitment to live and take care of the person, so it is a little different. I mean, let’s be honest about it.”
Instead of coming out and publicly apologizing for the insensitive remarks, Carlson decided to take a different approach: he sent a tweet encouraging anyone who wished to raise a debate with him on his views to come on his show and do so.
“Media Matters caught me saying something naughty on a radio show more than a decade ago,” Carlson said. “Rather than express the usual ritual contrition, how about this: I’m on television every weeknight live for an hour. If you want to know what I think, you can watch. Anyone who disagrees with my views is welcome to come on and explain why.”
On Monday night, one minute after Carlson’s show “Tucker Carlson Tonight” began, Media Matters released a second set of audio clips that showed Carlson echoing white nationalist themes and insulting Muslims.
“Iraq is a crappy place filled with a bunch of, you know, semiliterate primitive monkeys,” Carlson said on the radio show that aired Oct. 7, 2008.
Following the clips from Monday, NowThis News published a third set of audio Wednesday, which ultimately revealed Carlson joking about having sex with underage beauty pageant contestants.
Carlson, who has been with Fox News since 2009, is used to having a negative spotlight on him, as he has made remarks on sensitive topics, like anti-immigration, in the past. Despite losing a number of advertisers, he made it known on his show Monday night that the network was behind him and that he wouldn’t apologize.
It’s not surprising that Fox would employ a man who made so many derogatory and disgusting remarks, considering they gave Bill O’Reilly a platform for over 20 years, but it’s scary that they haven’t denounced him or taken him off the air.
In a time where women and minorities are using platforms to finally stand up to injustices they have been facing since the beginning of humankind, there is no place in society for these kinds of thoughts and behaviors.
Fox needs to take a stand against Carlson, just like they finally did with O’Reilly, and prove to the American public that they don’t share these disgusting, alt-right views.