Tucker Carlson misidentifies and attacks Canadian high school teacher
Carlson attempted to deadname someone he believed was a transgender teacher. He named the wrong person.
Update (9/22/22): Following this report, Carlson’s team released an update on this story before his Fox prime-time show aired on September 21. While Carlson acknowledged the person he attacked was not Stephen Hanna, he also complained that the school would not release the name of the teacher in question and described the person as “a dangerous creep.” Additionally, in a statement to Media Matters, Jonathan Kay noted that his newsletter was "not the source for this erroneous information” about the teacher’s identity and said that he had reached out to Carlson’s producer, “who acknowledged the error.”
Fox News host Tucker Carlson misidentified and attacked a Canadian high school teacher during the September 19 edition of Tucker Carlson Tonight.
During his opening monologue, Carlson showed photos and video footage of a woodshop teacher wearing large prosthetic breasts while working at Oakville Trafalgar High School in Ontario. Carlson incorrectly identified the instructor as “Stephen Hanna.”
According to a statement released by the Halton District School Board, Stephen Hanna is not the person in the footage. Hanna is a different instructor at the school.
The Halton District School Board would like to formally correct misinformation that is being spread online and in the media about a staff member.
Oakville Trafalgar High School has received significant attention online over the past several days. As part of this coverage, a teacher has been incorrectly identified as “Stephen Hanna”. While we cannot confirm the identity of the individual in the photos/videos/radio segments, we can confirm that the individual is not Stephen Hanna. Stephen Hanna is a staff member of the Halton District School Board who is an entirely separate individual and is completely unrelated to this matter.
The HDSB requests that all news outlets/online publications who have incorrectly reported on this, correct this immediately and remove Mr. Hanna’s name from all content (i.e., print, online, video, etc.) related to this matter.
On September 19, Carlson, who has one of the most watched cable news programs in the country, called Hanna a “pervert” and “sicko” who is “a threat to children.”
Carlson also described Hanna as “the guy in the van trying to give your sixth grader candy” and said, “In every society, there are people like this, and every society deals with them swiftly and harshly,” seemingly encouraging his audience to harass and threaten Hanna.
Following the media storm about the instructor, the school is creating a “safety plan” to protect against backlash and anti-trans protesters.
Carlson claimed that he sourced the story from Quillette senior editor Jonathan Kay, who ran a newsletter about the Oakville Trafalgar High School teacher one day before Carlson’s segment. Kay sourced his reporting from Reduxx, an anti-trans blog.
A September 17 Reduxx follow-up article about the teacher cited a social media user who identified the person in the footage as Hanna, but clarified that “while Hanna is also an instructor at OTHS, he is not the individual in the viral images.”
It is currently unclear where Carlson’s team sourced the incorrect teacher’s name from. The name was circulating around far-right media prior to the segment, including the neo-Nazi blog Daily Stormer, right-wing blog PJ Media, and conspiracy theory website Gateway Pundit. The name was also circulating on 4chan’s white nationalist /pol/ message board. The Daily Wire has added an editor's note saying, "A previous version of this story identified the teacher by the wrong pre-transition name."
Other right-wing outlets that pushed the viral story without mentioning the name include Infowars, Libs of TikTok, and The Post Millennial.
Fox News also reposted Carlson’s segment on its website, which includes Hanna’s name 13 times.