Last week, Tucker Carlson's lead writer, Blake Neff, resigned after a CNN report revealed that Neff spent years posting racist, sexist, and xenophobic comments on an online message board under a pseudonym. As recently as last month, Neff posted racial slurs that targeted Black and Asian people.
On Monday evening, Carlson briefly addressed the controversy on his prime-time show. “What Blake wrote anonymously was wrong. We don’t endorse those words. They have no connection to the show,” Carlson said, before unloading on the “ghouls” who were “beating their chests in triumph at the destruction of a young man.”
Although it’s shocking that the most popular cable news show on television would hire a racist, sexist bigot as a lead writer, Fox and its prime-time host knew exactly what they were getting when they hired Neff. Before joining Fox, Neff wrote nearly 2,000 articles as a reporter at The Daily Caller, an outlet that has drawn criticism in the past for hiring writers linked to white nationalist and other racist groups. (Carlson co-founded the Daily Caller and had a stake in it till recently.)
Many of these pieces were on the education beat, which at The Daily Caller amounts to producing news stories that objectify teachers who sexually abuse their students, question the ubiquity of sexual assault on college campuses, fearmonger about academics who supposedly endorse “white genocide,” and lionize professors who openly express their bigotry.
Here are some the lowlights we found searching through Neff’s Daily Caller catalog:
- On three separate occasions, Neff wrote stories about teachers who were fired or suspended for using the N-word in class. In each instance, Neff quoted the full slur — a style choice mirrored in other Daily Caller articles. In November 2016, Neff down played the conduct of a Baltimore teacher who had yelled the slur at her elementary grade students. “The teacher’s conduct was clearly unacceptable for a public school classroom, and she was unsurprisingly fired,” Neff hedged. “But the swift condemnation of the teacher misses a deeper problem that won’t go away simply by firing her: she had every right to despair for her students’ futures, because Harlem Park is a terrible school.”
- In May 2015, Neff wrote a similar story about a substitute teacher in Arizona who allegedly “body slammed” a student who called him the N-word. The only quotes Neff offered in the story were from the racist student’s mother, who told the local Fox station that the teacher should be sent to prison.
- In April 2015, Neff played down an incident at Duke University where a student left a noose hanging in a campus tree. “While Duke’s students rush to judgment, it must be considered a possibility the noose wasn’t intended as a racist threat, but rather as a hoax,” Neff wrote. “Fake hate crimes have occurred many times on college campuses in years past.” After an investigation, the university determined that the incident was a racist joke gone wrong that was borne of “ignorance and bad judgment.”
- In October 2016, Neff described a driver running over a group of Native Americans protesting Columbus Day as a reenactment of “the conquest of America.” The article ran with a subhead that read “White man overruns indigenous peoples with superior technology.”
Blake Neff, the fired Tucker Carlson writer (https://t.co/5BRti3ZsZq), had his byline on this Daily Caller article (subhed: “White man overruns indigenous peoples with superior technology” : https://t.co/uuxgQyb1oO
— Eric Hananoki (@ehananoki) July 10, 2020
- Shortly after a couple gunned down more than a dozen people at an office building in San Bernardino, California, Neff penned a satiric column likening bloody wars to “workplace disputes” to critique people’s reluctance to call the act “Islamic extremism.”
- Neff once compared an NAACP chapter to the Taliban when the group called for the destruction of Stone Mountain, a massive bas-relief sculpture commissioned by the Ku Klux Klan commemorating leaders of the Confederacy.
- When chaos erupted on the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina, after Keith Lamont Scott was slain by police, Neff wrote a series of race-baiting articles that focused on the protest’s most outrageous instances of violence and destruction.
- Neff also has a history of writing stories that justify xenophobia. In 2015, he wrote an article titled “Zimbabwe Has 99 Problems And White People Are All Of Them” in which he mockingly stated that then-President Robert Mugabe was confident that “turning over a few hundred farms to the majority black population will improve its terrible living standards.” Another time, in 2016, he fearmongered about hundreds of African migrants who were supposedly heading to the U.S.-Mexico border to seek asylum. The following year, he also wrote an article that suggested that racial profiling men of “African or Middle Eastern heritage” had stopped “a wave of sexual assaults during New Year celebrations” in Germany.
- When President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 95 low-level drug offenders, in 2015, Neff wrote about it under the race-baiting headline “Obama Commutes 95 Sentences, And Almost All Of Them Are Crack Dealers.”