Tucker Carlson: Fox Needs to Act

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Fox News host Tucker Carlson has long since been a conservative and divisive face on American TV. Though he has stated there is no white supremacy in America, he is beloved by well-known white nationalists, including David Duke, the former head of the Ku Klux Klan. He has also argued that it is in fact white men who are “hated and despised” in America. He has advocated that “every life matters” in response to the BLM movement and has stated that immigrants make the country “poorer and dirtier.”

However, fresh controversy has recently hit Carlson with the uncovering of ten-year-old clips discussing a range of sexist, homophobic and racist opinions. The released recordings include Carlson stating, “I love women, but they’re extremely primitive, they’re basic” and “Iraq is a crappy place filled with a bunch of, you know, semiliterate primitive monkeys.” 

Additionally, the presenter has been found to suggest child rape is a “lifestyle” and almost excuses underage marriage, arguing “the rapist”, the older partner, “has made a lifelong commitment to live and take care of the person.” He has also defended the now convicted polygamous child sexual abuser, Warren Jeffs.  

Carlson has been making shocking and hate-fuelled statements for years, resulting in him being fired from both CNN and MSNBC over such comments. However, it is only recently that as many as 33 advertisers have dropped their support of his show, threatening to reduce Fox’s advertising revenue.

If his many sexist, homophobic and racist comments have not caused this backlash in the past, perhaps the current outrage is due to the comments sympathetic to paedophilia being the only truly taboo topic for viewers and advertisers. 

In an increasingly divisive, Trumpian America, where the all-important wall along the Mexican border is a pertinent symbol for the opposition and hostility the president continues to fuel, maybe the only evil people can still unite over is that done to innocent children.

This is certainly also applicable to the British Milo Yiannopoulos, a former editor of Breitbart News. Yiannopoulos has ridiculed Islam, feminism and political correctness, heavily inspired by neo-Nazi and white supremacist views. However, he was only removed from his position at Breitbart after videos surfaced of him saying that sexual relationships with 13-year olds and adults can be ‘perfectly consensual’ and even a positive experience.

While both Yiannopoulos and Carlson’s comments regarding paedophilia are unacceptable and horrific, they both should have been removed from their positions a long time ago for the many other harmful views they hold.

Carlson, so far, has not been removed from his slot on Fox. He has not even apologised, and Fox have not made a statement condemning his views (as they did when another host, Jeanine Pirro, made Islamophobic comments). Carlson even seems to think that Fox have and will continue to support him as he casts himself as a victim of “the great American outrage machine.”

With a show averaging 2.9 million total viewers per episode, Carlson has a scarily wide reach. I understand that there is an argument for free speech and not silencing someone just because they have more conservative views than you. However, Carlson has consistently expressed some very divisive, hostile and concerning beliefs, fuelling a narrative of “us vs. them” and proposing some white nationalist ideas to a huge audience through his prime-time slot. 

In a country already struggling with many inequalities, Carlson should no longer have such a prominent platform to further these views. It is time Fox realised this too.

Photo by AP/REX/Shutterstock (8467748a)
Tucker Carlson, host of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” poses for photos in a Fox News Channel studio, in New York
Tucker Carlson, New York, USA – 02 Mar 2017