Fox News host Tucker Carlson has refused to apologize for the disgusting comments about women he made on a shock jock radio show between 2006 and 2011.
In a series of unearthed interviews published by Media Matters, Carlson defended statutory rape and domestic abusers, called women "extremely primitive," and said feminists "just need to be quiet and kind of do what you're told." He also insulted his female coworkers and public figures like Alexis Stewart, Martha Stewart's daughter, whom he called the c-word and said he wanted to "give her the spanking she so desperately needs."
Instead of apologizing, Carlson posted on Twitter: "Media Matters caught me saying something naughty on a radio show more than a decade ago. 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." Fox News has been silent on his comments so far.
If you take up Carlson on his shill for the show, you'll soon discover that it's not like he's become a feminist icon since 2011. One of his recent segments was called "Men In Decline As The Ruling Class Looks Away," where he argued that when women make more money than men, it leads to all types of societal ills. He's also shown that he clearly doesn't understand the concept of sexual harassment, told a woman political commentator to "stick to [writing about] thigh-high boots," and defended Donald Trump's "grab 'em by the pussy" comments.
People are calling for Carlson's show to be canceled, with #BoycottTuckerCarlson and #FireTuckerCarlson trending on Twitter on Monday. "Tucker Carlson is a dangerous misogynist," Shaunna Thomas, cofounder of women's advocacy organization UltraViolet, said in a statement provided to Refinery29. "Carlson’s defence of domestic abusers and child rapists, and his perverted comments about young girls, are nothing short of horrifying. Unfortunately, they're also not surprising. This report shows exactly who he is and has always been. Fox News should fire Tucker Carlson immediately."
Of course, it's unlikely that Fox News will do that. After all, the network is reportedly intimately connected with the administration of the misogynist-in-chief, and the ties are closer than many had thought, according to a new, damning investigative report by the New Yorker's Jane Mayer. As a result, the Democratic National Committee announced that it will not hold any of its 2020 primary debates on the network.
Carlson likes to grandstand when it comes to free speech, as Lyz Lenz' Columbia Journalism Review profile of the writer-turned-TV host made abundantly clear. But, when your free speech causes other people pain — when it forces them to unearth deep trauma — it's time to think about whether you're, as Jon Stewart called Carlson, just a big dick.