Fox News is facing yet another round of backlash thanks to disgusting comments from its hosts this week, as they face the fallout of the emergence of tapes featuring Tucker Carlson launching into sexist, racist, at times violent rants. CNN’s Chris Cuomo slammed the Fox talking head for refusing to apologize for any of his unearthed remarks, although he originally went so far as to explicitly call for violence against Muslims and suggest that child marriage — meaning child sex trafficking under the guise of religiosity — isn’t such a bad thing after all!
Carlson and his allies have claimed that those criticizing him are just seeking to silence dissent. Cuomo, discussing the divide between Carlson’s rhetoric about the supposed attack on his free speech and the reality of the situation, pointed out:
‘Would he say the same things today? No, no, he’s too busy playing the victim. He’d only say that he was “naughty,” but he wouldn’t repeat them tonight. Come on big man — read the list of all the things that you said and do it again and show that you mean it! Come on! You’re not more about the money now than you are about the truth, are you? He says apologizing to the mob costs people their jobs — what a coward.’
Carlson’s only response to the tapes surfacing was to claim that Media Matters for America had caught him saying something “naughty,” ending his initial statement with an ad for his show and invitation for anyone who disagreed with his “views” to come on and discuss the issue.
Neither in his initial statement nor on his rambling follow-up show did Carlson explicitly address the substance of his scrutinized comments and clarify whether those “views” still include violent sexism and racism — although he did assert that Fox stands behind him. The network did not release a statement on the released tapes in the time immediately following their emergence.
Cuomo noted that no matter the niceties from Fox, Carlson gets paid for his rhetoric alongside hosts like Jeanine Pirro, who’s also faced harsh criticism this week after she suggested that Minnesota Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is not loyal to the United States because she wears a hijab.
Remarkably, Fox sought to distance themselves from those remarks, and Pirro apologized — but again, Carlson did not.
This week, Cuomo continued:
‘Apologize if you want, but that takes character. That is strength. That is integrity. Own that you did something wrong. People who just say ugly things to get attention and jump up and down on the fault lines in our society — you don’t have any of these virtues. You are a victim, though — not of others, of yourself.’
Carlson could face tangible self-destruction if outrage from his comments compounds into advertisers dumping his show, as has happened in the past when Fox personalities have come under scrutiny. Media Matters said they intended their release of the tapes to be “helpful to the media buying decision makers.” Just this week, Carlson’s network is holding what CNN’s Brian Stelter described as a “big event for advertisers to promote its news brand.”
Featured image via screenshot from the video