Tucker Carlson has decided to go the Nixonian limited hangout route to defend sexist, mysogynistic remarks from a decade ago, but Stephen Colbert artfully dismantled him last night on the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
Carlson was a regular caller on the “Bubba The Love Sponge” radio show between 2006 and 2011, where he perfected his coarse diatribes that eventually earned him a show on Fox News.
His specialty back them were right-wing culture and political topics. Media Matters, a media watchdog web site, published the clips this week.
Some of Carlson’s comments go beyond the pale. An argument can be made that his diatribes are protected under the First Amendment freedom of speech. But his comments are so inflammatory they’re tantamount to falsely yelling “fire” in a crowded theater.
Carlson defended and seemingly endorsed child rape by convicted polygamist and child-bride advocate Warren Jeffs, leader of an off-beat religious cult.
He called charges against Jeffs “bullshit” because “arranging a marriage between a 16-year-old and a 27-year-old is not the same as pulling a stranger off the street and raping her.”
“The rapist in this case has made a lifelong commitment to live and take care of the person so it is a little different,” he said.
Carlson also lauded under-age kids sexually experimenting at a boarding school. “If it weren’t my daughter I would love that scenario,” he guffawed.
The Fox News commentator also called Martha Stewart‘s daughter “cunty” and said he wanted to “give her the spanking she so desperately needs.”
He called Britney Spears and Paris Hilton “the biggest white whores in America.”
And, he also called journalist Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post web site, a “pig,”
In 2010, Carlson co-founded and served as the initial editor-in-chief of The Daily Caller, a hard-right conservative web site he once called an alternative to The Huffington Post.
The Daily Caller, however, bas devolved into a purveyor of hard-right fake news and conspiracy theories.
The web site has been a leading advocate of climate change denial.
In March 2015, Daily Caller columnist Mickey Kaus quit after editor Carlson refused to run a column critical of Fox News coverage of immigration policy.
During the 2016 election, the web site provided “amplification and legitimization” for “the most extreme conspiracy sites,” according to a Harvard University study.
In January a year ago, The Daily Caller posted a video that encouraged violence against protesters and has been called out for its ties to white supremacists.
His relationship with women may stem from his upbringing. Carlson was born in San Francisco, and grew up in Studio City.
His father, Richard Warner “Dirk” Carlson, was a prominent Los Angeles news anchor and later U.S. ambassador to the Seychelles. He also served as president of the liberal Corporation for Public Broadcasting and director of Voice of America.
His mother, Lisa McNear (Lombardi), abandoned the family when Carlson was 6 to pursue a “Bohemian” lifestyle in France. She had virtually no contact with him after that.
When Tucker was 10, his father married Patricia Caroline Swanson, an heiress to the Swanson frozen-food fortune. The family moved to La Jolla, Calif, a wealthy enclave north of San Diego. But he was shipped off to boarding school in Rhode Island.
During one of his rants, he said Women, in general, were “primitive” beings.
“I mean, I love women, but they’re extremely primitive, they’re basic, they’re not that hard to understand. And one of the things they hate more than anything is weakness in a man,” he said.
Tucker Carlson has hosted the nightly political talk show “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News since 2016. Before that, he served as a political commentator for Fox News. He had a show until 2009 on MSNBC>
His Fox show has been the subject of an advertiser boycott because of his inflammatory statements.
Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and other hard-right Fox News talking heads, who regularly traffic in conspiracy theories, outlandish claims and racist dog whistles, are becoming too toxic for corporate advertisers.
Tucker Carlson has gone off the rails, lately, with overtly racist screeds and white supremacist dog whistles and McCarthy-like attacks on large tech companies.
In August, Carlson implied that racial tension over land in South Africa could happen in the United States. He said land was being seized without compensation, which never happened. Legislation to authorize such a policy was soundly defeated.
Veteran newsman Brit Hume scolded the Fox News propagandist on his own show for hate mongering. Carlson was reduced to nervous giggles by the take down.
But leave it to Colbert to put the whole matter into perspective.
“You know folks, we have a lot of fun here talking about some of the horrible things the president says on camera. But it’s not fair to single him out. A lot of people say terrible things. And by a lot of people I mean Tucker Carlson, he said in his opening monologue.
“He has been saying just awful stuff for years. In fact, between 2006 and 2011, he spent an hour a week calling into a shock jock radio show.
“The most incredibly Tucker thing he ‘Carlsoned’ was about former cult leader Warren Jeffs who was convicted of sexually assaulting minors.”
Even radio host Bubba the Love Sponge schooled him on that, Colbert noted.
For his part, Carlson has chosen to hang tough in the face of near universal condemnation.
He portrayed himself as the victim of a “mob” on Monday night. And he said Fox News has his back. “We will never bow to the mob. Ever. No matter what,” he asserted.
Fox News declined to comment on the controversy.
Check out the videos below.