(Fox News)

Tucker Carlson remains defiant as new tapes of the Fox News host using racist language resurface

Carlson says a so-called leftist "mob" assails free speech and demands "total conformity" to political correctness


Shira Tarlo
March 12, 2019 3:37PM (UTC)

Fox News host Tucker Carlson refused again Monday night to apologize after old audio clips surfaced Sunday night of the host making racist, sexist and homophobic comments about marginalized groups.

"We've always apologized when we're wrong, and we will continue to do that," Carlson said as he opened his primetime show Monday night, claiming that a so-called leftist "mob" assails free speech and demands "total conformity" to political correctness. "That's what decent people do – they apologize. But we will never bow to the mob."

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Carlson argued that the Democratic Party is hijacking free speech after self-described "progressive media watchdog" Media Matters for America on Sunday released audio clips and transcripts of him, in which the conservative pundit can be heard dismissing the crimes of cult leader and convicted child sex offender Warren Jeffs. In other clips, Carlson described women as "extremely primitive" and suggested that illegal marriages between adults and underage girls were not as serious as forced child rape and that he would "love" a scenario involving young girls experimenting sexually. He also said he feels "sorry for unattractive women," called journalist Arianna Huffington a "pig" and labeled celebrities Britney Spears and Paris Hilton as "the biggest white whores in America."Carlson's remarks were made during appearances on a Tampa-based radio program called "Bubba the Love Sponge" between 2006 and 2011.

As the Fox News host remained neither apologetic or remorseful during Monday night's broadcast of "Tucker Carlson Tonight," Media Matters published additional transcripts of the conservative TV host, in which he can be heard using racist and homophobic language to rail against African-Americans, gay people, immigrants, Iraqi people and the Obamas, while calling into the "shock jock" show for about an hour per week between 2006 and 2011.

In a 2006 interview, after a host discussed a 40-year-old doctor marrying a 19-year-old "fresh off the boat," Carlson revealed that he values certain immigrants over ones who "come over and pick lettuce."

"People who come to this country ought to have something to offer: Be hot. Be really smart. You know what I mean?" Carlson said. Later, he added, "But people to come over and pick lettuce — I mean, I'm not saying that's an undignified. I mean — that's great, you know. And I admire people who work hard. But on the other hand, is that — are those people who are going to build — you know — a stronger country 20 years from now?"

Carlson in 2008 said he does not like "the feminist crap" and lamented that "everyone's embarrassed to be a white man," which he claimed "kicks ass" before stating that white men deserve credit for "creating civilization and stuff."

Before hosts challenged him, Carlson in 2009 said it was "ridiculous" that people would attack former President Barack Obama because he is black and claimed that Obama would still be serving in Illinois's state senate if he were white. Three years earlier, Carlson said former first lady Michelle Obama was "going to be a problem for him," because she "turns into a sister."

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In another interview, the conservative host said the U.S. should invade Canada and compared its "good-looking women and good fishing" to Iraq.

"If I didn't like Canada, I wouldn't consider it worth invading," Carlson said in a clip from 2008. "I mean, Iraq is a crappy place filled with a bunch of — you know, semiliterate primitive monkeys. That's why it wasn't worth invading."

Carlson in 2008 spoke again about the war in Iraq, which he said would be worth fighting "if, somehow, the Iraqis decided to behave like human beings or something."

"I just have zero sympathy for them or their culture," the Fox News host said about Iraqis in 2006. "A culture where people just don't use toilet paper or forks." Carlson said Iraqis should "just shut the f--k up and obey" the U.S.

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In 2009, after an anonymous co-host mentioned parts of Afghanistan beyond the control of NATO forces, Carlson said the country is "never going to be a civilized country because the people aren't civilized."

Carlson said in a 2006 clip that he would vote for a presidential candidate, who expressed Islamophobic views.

"If you are really heavily into Islam, I really — I'm sorry. I just don't — I don't care for you that much," Carlson said. "And I don't care what that sounds like. You can call me a racist. You can call me whatever the f--k you want."

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He also said imagined a presidential candidate blaming "lunatic Muslims who are behaving like animals" and saying, "I'm going to kill as many of them as I can if you elect me."

Carlson also called efforts to increase diversity in radio programming "racist" and "worse than Jim Crow."

Carlson addressed the audio clips in a statement Sunday night, describing the comments he made on the radio as "naughty" and invited those who disagreed with them to appear on his TV show.

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"Rather than express the usual ritual contrition, how about this: I'm on television every weeknight live for an hour," Carlson wrote in the statement. "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."

Those who support Carlson called Sunday's Media Matters report a "hit piece" meant to taint his name. In a Monday night tweet, Fox News political analyst Brit Hume pointed out that Carlson's 8 p.m. ET program was the most-watched show in cable news, writing: "Doing well is the best revenge."

Meanwhile, freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., blasted Carlson's misogynistic remarks and slammed Fox News host Jeanine Pirro, who recently came under fire after she asked if a Muslim lawmaker's religious beliefs undermine her loyalty to the United States.

"Who do you think Fox News will give a promotion to first?" Ocasio-Cortez asked.

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Shira Tarlo

Contact Shira Tarlo at shira.tarlo@salon.com. Follow @shiratarlo.

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