Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Monday rejected what he called a culture of outrage from both Democrats and Republicans amid the fallout from recently resurfaced offensive comments he made about women and minorities years ago.
Carlson delivered a roughly seven-minute opening monologue on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” peppered with graphics that read “The Mob,” “Crackdown on Dissent” and “Liberal Hypocrisy.” While he did not reference any of his specific controversial comments, he doubled down on his initial refusal to apologize for them.
“Fox News is behind us, as they have been since the very first day,” Carlson said. “Toughness is a rare quality in a TV network, and we’re grateful for that.”
“We’ve always apologized when we’re wrong, and we’ll continue to do that,” he added. “That’s what decent people do. They apologize. But we will never bow to the mob, ever, no matter what.”
Carlson made a series of indirect references to the backlash his comments generated after the first batch was resurfaced Sunday by the left-leaning Media Matters. The Fox News host described the cycle of the “great American outrage machine,” in which he said one comes under questioning from reporters, is forced to apologize and still faces criticism.
“But what if we stopped pretending for a minute?” Carlson asked. “What if we acknowledged what’s actually going on?”
Carlson described Democrats as “deadly serious” in their effort to “crush” those who oppose their ideology.
“Why are the people who considered Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonJerome Corsi sues Infowars’s Alex Jones for defamation House heads down wrong path to impeachment with investigations 2020 Dems back legal marijuana in political sea change MORE a hero lecturing me about sexism?” Carlson asked. “How can the party that demands racial quotas denounce other people as racist? After a while, you begin to think maybe their criticisms aren’t sincere.”
“What’s interesting is how reliably the other side pretends that none of this is happening,” Carlson said, referring to Republicans.
“Republicans in Washington do a fairly credible imitation of an opposition party,” he added. “But on the deepest level, it’s all a pose.”
“The mob demands a response. Very often, the first people calling for the destruction of that person are Republican leaders. You saw it with the Covington Catholic High School kids. You see it all the time. [House Minority Leader] Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyShuttering of NSA surveillance program emboldens privacy groups The Hill’s 12:30 Report: House Dems pass electoral reform bill after difficult week House passes sweeping electoral reform bill MORE spends half his day telling Republican members not to criticize progressive orthodoxy. [Former Speaker] Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanMichelle Malkin digs in on jab at ‘the ghost of John McCain’ Schultz recruiting GOP insiders ahead of possible 2020 bid Scarborough blasts ‘inhumane’ CPAC reference to the ‘ghost’ of John McCain MORE did the same before him.”
Media Matters released audio Sunday featuring many of Carlson’s appearances on a popular “shock jock” radio program hosted by Todd Clem. In the clips, Carlson makes a number of derogatory comments about women. He also makes multiple observations about issues related to sexual abuse.
Media Matters released additional resurfaced comments as Carlson’s show aired that featured the Fox News host making incendiary remarks years ago, including saying that “Iraq is a crappy place filled with a bunch of, you know, semiliterate primitive monkeys. That’s why it wasn’t worth invading.”
“The Congressional Black Caucus exists to blame the white man for everything, and I’m happy to say that in public because it’s true,” Carlson said in August 2008, according to Media Matters.
Carlson has sparked controversy in the past with his comments about immigration and other subjects. He used the latest controversy to pivot toward his show, encouraging “anyone who disagrees with my views” to come on the program “and explain why.”
“There’s really not that much you can do to respond,” he said on Monday’s show. “It’s pointless to try to explain how the words were spoken in jest or taken out of context or in any case bear no resemblance to what you actually think or would want for the country. None of that matters. Nobody cares. You know the role you’re required to play: You are a sinner, begging the forgiveness of Twitter.”