Fox News host Tucker Carlson told his viewers on Tuesday night that women who are raped but don't immediately report the attack to the authorities are "part of the problem."
Carlson, who invited radio host Ethan Bearman on as a guest, expressed dismay at what he characterized as a "guilty until proven innocent" standard that was being applied to men like Brett Kavanaugh, who has been accused by California research psychologist Christine Blasey Ford of sexual misconduct decades ago.
"Sex offenders tend to commit serial sex crimes. Doesn’t she have an obligation to tell someone? To stop him from doing that if he is, in fact, a sex criminal?” Carlson asked Bearman. “Where’s her obligation here? What about the rest of us?"
As Bearman tried to respond by explaining why it is often difficult for sexual assault survivors to come forward, Carlson cut him off.
"I'm not asking her about her reasons. I'm sure she has a million reasons. And maybe they're legitimate," Carlson said. "I'm asking about the rest of us, the other 320 million people who live here. If he's actually a sex criminal, we have a right to know that and she has an obligation to tell us. And I know it’s hard, but why don’t we have a right to know? If there’s a rapist on the loose, if you don’t tell anybody, if Bernie Madoff rips you off and you don’t tell his other investors, you’re part of the problem, are you not? What am I missing?"
Prior to making these claims, Carlson expressed skepticism about both Ford's accusations and the way Senate Democrats have responded to them.
"It's not about all men and it's not about all women, it's about one man and woman," Carlson told Bearman. "It's not about me, it's not about you, it's about Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Ford. The case is specific. We're not putting men on trial or trying to exonerate women for the crimes committed by our ancestors. We're talking about the here and now in the Senate Judiciary Committee."
He continued, "Let me ask you a very specific question about Christine Ford: You're suggesting that you're not allowed to disbelieve somebody, but I retain my right of reason and I can determine, as an adult and a US citizen, whether I believe the evidence or not."
According to a piece from Psychology Today from 2017, sexual assault victims don't come forward for reasons that include shame, denial and minimization, fear of reprisal and other negative consequences, low self-esteem, feeling hopeless and helpless, having a history of being sexually violated, having been intoxicated at the time and lacking information about the options available to them to report the crimes that occurred.