Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson on Sunday said he will not apologize after Media Matters for America published a video compilation in which he opined on a range of controversial topics.
In a series of segments on Bubba the Love Sponge Show between 2006 and 2011, Carlson discussed issues such as underage women, statutory rape, and polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs, who was sentenced in 2011 to life in prison for raping a 12-year-old girl. He made the remarks during his tenure at MSNBC (2005-2008) and his tenure at Fox (2009-present).
On Sunday evening, Carlson shared a statement to Twitter refusing to apologize and instead invited his detractors to debate him on his popular program. “Media Matters caught me saying something naughty on a radio show more than a decade ago,” said Carlson. “Rather than express the usual ritual contrition, how about this: I’m on television every weeknight live for an hour,” Carlson continued. “If you want to know what I think, you can watch. Anyone who disagrees with my views is welcome to come on and explain why.”
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) March 11, 2019
In 2009, Carlson called the charges against Jeff “bullshit,” arguing that “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.”
“I am not defending underage marriage at all — I just don’t think it’s the same thing exactly as pulling a child from a bus stop and sexually assaulting that child… The rapist, in this case, has made a lifelong commitment to live and take care of the person, so it is a little different. I mean, let’s be honest about it,” he told host Todd “Bubba the Love Sponge” Clem.
During another segment, Carlson recalls a story regarding a teacher who had allegedly molested a 13-year-old student nearly 30 times in one week. In response, the shock jock asks Carlson if he was “physically capable” of enduring such unwanted advances or “do you take your hat off to this kid?” Carlson replied: “So my point is that teachers like this, not necessarily this one in particular, but they are doing a service to all 13-year-old girls by taking the pressure off. They are a pressure relief valve, like the kind you have on your furnace.”
In the compilation video, Carlson is also heard proposing eliminating rape shield laws, arguing that it “gives the accuser all of the power.” During other segments, he described socialite Paris Hilton and pop singer Britney Spears as “two of the biggest white whores in America,” and called Alexis Stewart, the daughter of Martha Stewart, “c*nty.”
Laura Keiter, a communications director for Media Matters, said in a statement to TheWrap: “Anyone remotely familiar with Tucker Carlson won’t be surprised by the misogyny. But what’s striking about these clips is that it comes off as so natural and normal for him; it’s like you’re getting a chance to see who Tucker Carlson really is and what those ideas really mean. The clips provide insight into the misogyny of his current Fox News show.”
Fox News has not issued a statement on the unearthed video.