Right-wing commentators have rushed to defend former Fox host Tucker Carlson after leaked messages show his off-air racist comments.
After Carlson’s ousting on April 24, Fox News leaks have shown behind-the-scenes footage of him as well as private messages that were previously redacted in the Dominion suit filings. According to New York Times reporting, one text that alarmed Fox executives involved Carlson describing an Antifa protester getting beaten by conservatives. Referring to the pile-on by apparent Trump supporters, Carlson wrote: “It’s not how white men fight,” and “I found myself rooting for the mob against the man, hoping they’d hit him harder, kill him.” Media Matters has also received behind-the-scenes footage of Tucker making creepy and misogynistic comments, as well as attacking a Dominion lawyer and Fox’s streaming platform.
The text is another example of the racism that Carlson has been promoting on his program for years. Media Matters has long reported on the former Fox News star’s descent into white supremacy and racist conspiracy theories.
The right-wing echosphere has rallied around Tucker and defended his comments, often making further racist remarks.
- The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh furthered the racist narrative, saying, “In nearly every video on the Internet where gangs of people viciously assault another person, the gangs are comprised of people who are not white.”
- On the May 3 episode of The Megyn Kelly Show host Megyn Kelly first praised Carlson for “being this introspective in a casual text exchange with a producer on his show” while condemning mainstream media because “they pluck this one phrase out…to try to make him look like a demon.” Kelly then suggested that it “sounds like gang violence to me. … And if you look at stats on gangs in America … literally it’s 99% non-white. … If Tucker is responding to what looks like gang violence, it is not inaccurate to say it’s not typically a group of white people doing that.”
- TPUSA’s Charlie Kirk claimed, “Tucker Carlson did nothing wrong,” adding, “There is a disturbing pattern of Blacks jumping people of all races in the urban corridors in America. That is a fact.”
- As a guest on Infowars, Louder with Crowder host Steven Crowder stated, “I would be lying and you would be lying if we said we weren't more aware of it happening more with groups of Black people because of actual crime statistics.”
- Infowars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones tried to justify the leaked text, saying, “It really is a Western thing to not gang up on somebody,” adding, “We see these videos everyday of racist Black youth … ganging up on white people and beating them, many times to death.”
- Conspiracy theorist Dinesh D’Souza argued that “Tucker is actually right that there is a Western tradition, a white man's tradition,” citing “the Crusades” and duels in “old Westerns” as proof of this alleged “code of ethics among white people.”
- Right-wing radio host Erick Erickson tweeted: “The irony of the coverage of Tucker's text is that a lot of those covering it are reducing Tucker to his politics, that they hate, instead of covering it in its totality. Doing to Tucker what he realize he risked doing to the Antifa person.”
- American Greatness writer Julie Kelly linked to a Fox News article and tweeted: “DC was under siege by these groups for months starting in May 2020 when violence prompted the shutdown of the White House. But ya Tucker's text is the real threat...and it was the day after the INSHUREKSHUN no less!”
- Podcaster Donald Trump Jr. tweeted: “Fox News leaking to the left-wing New York Times to smear Tucker Carlson isn't just an attack on Tucker, it's an attack on all of his fans and conservatives everywhere!”
- The Gateway Pundit described the text as “a very decent statement and a very thoughtful awareness” because Carlson realized he should be bothered by the violent beating of a protestor in their post: “Latest Dominion Leak: Tucker Carlson Texted About White Men Fighting, Antifa, and His Own Humanity and Personal Growth – And Fake News Media Wants You to Be Outraged for Some Reason.”