On MSNBC’s “All In” on Thursday, host Chris Hayes examined the latest PR backlash against Fox News host Tucker Carlson, and noted his decision to take a vacation for a week and a half.
“In the wake of the murder of 22 people in El Paso who were gunned down by a suspect who allegedly warned of a ‘Hispanic invasion,’ Trump TV host Tucker Carlson stared at the camera and declared that white supremacy is not a real problem in America. In fact, he called it a hoax. In the wake of those comments, there are calls to boycott Carlson’s advertisers. The hashtag #FireTuckerCarlson began trending on Twitter, not for the first time incidentally. At the end of last night’s show, Carlson announced he was going on vacation.”
“A spokesperson insists the vacation had been planned before the uproar over his white supremacy comments, but sudden vacation announcements have been a go-to move for Trump TV,” said Hayes. “Last March, Laura Ingraham announced a vacation after coming under fire for mocking Parkland survivor David Hogg. Sean Hannity went on vacation after advertisers fled over his promotion of a conspiracy theory that exploited the death of DNC staffer Seth Rich. Jesse Watters took time off after criticism over a lewd comment about Ivanka Trump. And Bill O’Reilly took what he insisted was a pre-planned vacation after revelations he had settled multiple sexual allegations, and he never returned.”
“Carlson is the most adept and sophisticated communicator on Trump TV when it comes to pushing ideas that have been embraced by white supremacists,” continued Hayes. “But the tone is set from the top. Parent company chairman Rupert Murdoch and his son, the CEO Lachlan Murdoch run a media empire which has pushed nativist ideas across the globe. Rupert is reportedly ‘a big Carlson fan’ and made the decision to give him his primetime show.”
“After Fox News CEO Roger Ailes was forced out amid sexual harassment scandals, the Murdochs eventually installed one of Ailes’ longtime acolytes, Suzanne Scott, a longtime employee who had reportedly been in charge of enforcing Roger Ailes’ miniskirt dress code for women at Fox News,” said Hayes. “Scott had been running the channel since May of 2018, and overseeing the type of programming that Tucker Carlson now wants to pretend does not exist.”
Jason Johnson, politics editor at the Root, agreed with Hayes.
“We know that this is actually because of the pushback,” said Johnson. “And we’re at a moment now where the country’s actually in pain. It isn’t trying to listen to the ridiculous both-siderism, disingenuous excuses that Tucker Carlson has put forward. But the larger issue is this. This isn’t new. He has been playing a Forever 21 Klansman for like four or five years now. This isn’t a new thing for Tucker Carlson. So I think what Fox is realizing from a business perspective is oh, wait, this doesn’t sell the way it used to. Bow ties and earnest frowns don’t sell the way they used to, and that’s why he’s going on vacation now.”