Fox News host Tucker Carlson made a series of shocking comments about women prior to and during his employment at the cable network, including instances where he called women “extremely primitive,” said a teacher sleeping with an underage male student was “doing a service to all 13-year-old girls” and lambasted rape shield laws as “totally unfair” because they protected victims, according to clips uncovered by Media Matters for America.
The outlet sifted through hours of Carlson’s previous appearances on the program “Bubba the Love Sponge,” hosted by the shock jock who was born Todd Clem. Carlson was a weekly guest on the syndicated show from 2006 to 2011, and was hired by Fox in 2009.
In more than a dozen clips compiled by Media Matters, Carlson regularly shared misogynistic comments with Clem, used demeaning terms to describe prominent women, and defended the actions of Warren Jeffs, who had been accused of facilitating the marriage of an underage teenage girl to an older man. During a discussion of “miscegenation,” Carlson refers to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears as “two of the biggest white whores in America.”
The host responded to criticism over the clips late Sunday, moving to distance himself from them by saying he was simply caught “saying something naughty.”
“Media Matters caught me saying something naughty on a radio show more than a decade ago,” Carlson said in a statement to HuffPost. “Rather than express the usual ritual contrition, how about this: I’m on television every weeknight live for an hour. 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.”
Here are some of the more shocking moments, all of which can be found at Media Matters:
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.
On then-Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan (now a justice) in 2010:
I got to be honest with you. I don’t like [Kagan] and I wouldn’t vote to confirm her if I were a U.S. senator. But I do feel sorry for her in that way. I feel sorry for unattractive women. I mean it’s nothing they did. You know, she didn’t. Nobody deserves that. And men are just mean. ... No, it’s just absolutely fundamental ― physically, the problems with her are fundamental. She’s never going to be an attractive woman.
Referring to Martha Stewart’s daughter Alexis as “extremely cunty” in 2006:
She just does seem a little cunty. I mean you said it; I’m just agreeing with you. I don’t use that word because it’s offensive.
On the elimination of rape shield laws, meant to protect victims of sexual assault, in 2006:
If I’m alleging rape, I have the protection of anonymity. I can say whatever I want while hiding behind anonymity, while the person I accused, whether he’s guilty or not, has his life destroyed. That’s totally unfair.
On women in general in 2007:
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.
Carlson still appears as an occasional guest on the “Bubba the Love Sponge” show, including a November segment where he spoke about his career at Fox and his longstanding relationship with the radio program.
His comments referring to Alexis Stewart as “cunty” offer a stark contrast with the outrage he expressed last year, when comedian Samantha Bee called Ivanka Trump a “cunt” on her TBS show “Full Frontal.”
“That one word that she used ― I don’t know any man who uses that word because it is kind of the one word that is actually degrading,” Carlson said on his Fox News show. “It’s the thing that feminists are always telling us.”
Carlson has regularly drawn controversy and condemnation for his remarks, even as he’s been elevated into a senior position at the network. In December, many of the advertisers on his program canceled their spots after Carlson said immigration made the United States “dirtier” and “more divided.”
He slammed his critics at the time, and Fox News defended the host after saying he had been bullied and terrorized by “far left activist groups with deeply political motives.”
“While we do not advocate boycotts, these same groups never target other broadcasters and operate under a grossly hypocritical double standard given their intolerance to all opposing points of view,” the network said at the time.
In recent years Carlson has increasingly promoted and parroted white nationalist talking points and conspiracy theories on his show, an especially concerning trend as President Donald Trump is an avid Fox News watcher. In the video below, Media Matters compiled clips of Carlson using language on his show that is remarkably similar to language used by white nationalist figures.
Hayley Miller contributed reporting.