Fox News host Tucker Carlson refused to apologize Monday night after a slew of newly-surfaced racist, anti-immigrant, and misogynous remarks he made years ago on a radio show were published, arguing that doing so would make him another casualty of the “great American outrage machine.”
On Sunday, Media Matters, a progressive media watchdog group that frequently calls out Fox, published a collection of audio clips from an incendiary radio show, “Bubba the Love Sponge,” in which Carlson would call in weekly from 2006 to 2011 and try and shock the “shock jock” hosts by making offensive and crude comments about women, immigrants, the Obama family, and a host of other things.
Carlson frequently demeaned immigrants and, in one 2006 clip, even lauded the idea of having a presidential candidate who owned being a “racist” and ran on the promise to protect the US against “Muslim lunatics.”
“‘It’s these lunatic Muslims who are behaving like animals, and I’m going to kill as many of them as I can if you elect me.’ If a Democrat were to say that, he would be elected king, OK?” Carlson said.
At times, host Bubba the Love Sponge challenged Carlson on some of his more ridiculous and lewd remarks, but often he and the various co-hosts would play along and encourage him.
In one segment from October 2008, the conservative personality called Iraq “a crappy place filled with a bunch of, you know, semiliterate primitive monkeys,” which is why it “wasn’t worth invading.” Two years earlier, he told the hosts that Iraqis should “just shut the fuck up and obey us.”
Carlson also questioned former President Obama’s race and said he would not have been president if he had been white.
“How is he black, for one thing? He has one white parent, one black parent,” Carlson said in 2006. Two years later, he added, “I don’t know how black he is, but I’m sure he’s a good basketball player, he says he is, anyway.”
“Everybody knows that Barack Obama would still be in the state Senate in Illinois if he were white,” Carlson said.
Earlier that year, in April, the men critiqued Michelle Obama, saying that she would be a “problem” for the new president because she came off as too black.
“She gets a little chicken-headed at times…she turns into a sister” Bubba said, to which Carlson repeated, “Turns into a sister.”
The men also ranted against women, degraded and sexualized young women and girls, and made light of sexual predators.
In regards to underage marriage, Carlson said he wasn’t defending the practice, but reasoned that he did not think it was “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,” he said.
During a discussion about wealthy, private boarding schools, Bubba told Carlson that his 14-year-old daughter and her female classmates were probably experimenting with their sexuality. The two went back-and-forth about what the “little girls” were doing in their dorms, until Carlson said, “If it weren’t my daughter I would love that scenario.”
Carlson and the hosts also attacked prominent women, like Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, Hillary Clinton, Arianna Huffington, Sarah Palin, Britney Spears, and Martha Stewart’s daughter, Alexis.
“I feel sorry for unattractive women,” Carlson said of Kagan. “I mean, it’s nothing they did, you know. Nobody deserves that. And men are just mean.”
In May of 2006, during a discussion about the Stewarts, Carlson called Alexis “very cunty” and said he “wanted to give her the spanking she so desperately needs.” He also called Arianna Huffington a “pig” and said sex workers in Florida are “slutty and pathetic.”
In another clip from 2006, Carlson, apparently joking, told the radio host that he liked him “in a completely faggot way.”
Women, the Fox News host said in October 2007, are “like dogs” in the way that they “hate weakness” and can “smell it on you.”
“I mean, I love women, but they’re extremely primitive, they’re basic, they’re not that hard to understand,” he went on.
Carlson has a history of making inflammatory, offensive comments and regularly runs segments slandering immigrants and questioning the benefits of diversity in the US. Last December, at least 14 companies pulled their advertisements from his show after he said immigrants make the country “poorer and dirtier and more divided.”
In March, more than two dozen companies removed their ads from fellow Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s program after she mocked a Parkland school shooting survivor. Several advertisers also pulled their spots from Sean Hannity’s show over his coverage of sexual misconduct allegations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.
On Monday night, Carlson staunchly refused to apologize for his past comments and devoted more than six minutes of his show to defend himself from mounting backlash, which he described as “bewildering” since the “quotes in question are more than a decade old.”
“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,” he said. “None of that matters. Nobody cares. You know the role you’re required to play: You are a sinner, begging the forgiveness of Twitter.”
When reached for comment, a Fox News spokesperson referred BuzzFeed News to the host’s on-air statement.
In his monologue, Carlson described other Fox News hosts, conservative figures, and powerful industry men who have been caught making offensive comments or sexually harassing women, as falling victim to the “mob.”
“They are not shocked by naughty words. They just pretend to be when it’s useful,” Carlson said of critics. “Since the day we went on the air, they’ve been working hard to kill this show…We’ve always apologized when we’re wrong, and will continue to do that. That’s what decent people do. They apologize. But we will never bow to the mob. Ever. No matter what.”