Daily Caller Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson has apologized for reporter Patrick Howley's sexist and inappropriate comments about Buzzfeed's Rosie Gray, but Howley has a history of pushing misogynistic rhetoric at Carlson's outlet.
On March 19, Howley sparked backlash for tweeting “Not to make an obvious point, but who the Hell would want to pump Rosie Gray?” and "'Pumping' @RosieGray must be the most traumatic experience since Somalia," in response to a blog post which had pushed the sexist and crude suggestion that Gray got her Buzzfeed stories through a sexual relationship with another reporter. Howley and Carlson, his Daily Caller boss, subsequently apologized to Gray for the tweets, and Howley has deleted his entire twitter account.
Howley's comments were disgusting. But they were not terribly surprising -- he has previously dismissed rape culture, tweeting it “has nothing to do with rape. It's a smear for the sports, beer culture that libs hate,” and his writing for the Caller has included inappropriate and demeaning attacks on women.
For instance, in September Howley used his Daily Caller platform to launch numerous sexist attacks on CNN host Stephanie Cutter, denigrating the “catty air-kissing backstabbing” Cutter for her appearance (she allegedly has “roots jutting out from her blonde dye job as black as the recesses of her soul” ) and attacking her as “feminism mutated into grotesque cartoon.”
Howley has also complained at the Daily Caller that in “the progressive future, men will not be able to look at women's bodies,” insisting that “a lot of women like it” when men stare at their breasts (emphasis added):
Women are like Indians now. You can't give them a once-over, a polite grin, and be on your way. You can't notice the fruits of their several-hour morning project of preparing themselves to be looked at. Pretty soon, looking at a woman's chest will legally be a “hate” crime instead of a love crime.
This is what the progressives exist to do. They take away our activities. If it's an activity and it's kind of fun or pleasurable, the progressives are going to take it away.
When Howley was asked to respond to criticism of this piece, he accused the left of “pitting women against men” by calling out his misogyny:
[T]he left continues to demagogue the social debate, each and every day in the media, by accusing right-leaning commentators like myself of misogyny.
I strongly believe that the consequences of this - aside from trapping Mitt into his “binders full of women” disaster-quote - are going to be terrible for this country, not for policy reasons but for cultural ones. It creates a divisiveness in our culture, pitting women against men. We are now more divided than ever as a country, and these tactics are only making it worse.
Men looking at attractive women is human nature. To do anything more than look is either sexual harassment or sexual assault, the latter of which is a horrible crime and should put all men who do it behind bars. But it is my opinion that demonizing the so-called male “objectifying gaze” is not only contrary to human nature, it's a cynical ploy intended to divide people and to push a political agenda.
Indeed, such commentary has been part of the Caller brand since its inception. Carlson's website debuted with pieces comparing automatic speeding tickets to “legalized rape” and likening Rachel Maddow to a man. The Caller has published a piece advocating a loosening of domestic violence laws, and another that claimed restraining orders “hurt women” -- instead, it argued, women should avoid “late-night strolls in public areas.” More recently, the conservative website published a sexist cartoon attacking Meghan McCain which featured a photograph of McCain with speech bubbles emerging from her breasts. Tucker Carlson has also “unapologetically” told Politico that the site frequently publishes "slideshows of the female form" because they “care about traffic.”
No wonder Howley thought his tweets about Buzzfeed's Rosie Gray were appropriate to send in the first place.