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Tucker Carlson says Fox remains behind him despite remarks on shock jock's radio show

Tucker Carlson says Fox remains behind him despite remarks on shock jock's radio show
Fox News host Tucker Carlson. (Jennifer S. Altman / For The Times)

Tucker Carlson says Fox News is standing behind him despite a series of sexist, racist and homophobic recordings dogging the conservative cable news host.

He referred to the harsh revelations as a “bewildering moment” and alluded to the “comic absurdity of the whole thing.”

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“What if we stopped pretending for a minute? What if we acknowledged what’s actually going on?” Carlson asked on his Fox News program, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” on Monday.

“One side is deadly serious. They believe that politics is war. They’re not interested in abstractions or principles, rules or traditions. They seek power. They plan to win it, whatever it takes. If that includes getting you fired, or silencing you, or threatening your family at home, or throwing you in prison, OK, they know what their goal is. If you’re in the way, they will crush you.”

His remarks come amid a #FireTuckerCarlson social media backlash following the posting by Media Matters for America of numerous recordings featuring Carlson’s regular call-in appearances on the Tampa, Fla.-based, shock-jock radio program “The Bubba the Love Sponge Show.”

The first round of recordings was released on Sunday and featured Carlson making vulgar and sexist remarks, defending statutory rape and repeatedly using a crude reference to female genitalia.

On Monday night, Media Matters, which says it is devoted to “correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media,” released a second set of recordings featuring Carlson using white nationalist rhetoric and making racist remarks and using a homophobic slur.

As promised on Twitter, the host addressed the controversy on his show but refused to apologize and didn’t speak much to the specifics of the audio clips, instead spinning the story into an attack on the left, Republicans whom he believes are controlled by the left and the pitfalls of giving in to a mob mentality.

“One of the only places left in the United States where independent thoughts are allowed is right here, the opinion hours on this network. Just a few hours in a sea of television programming. It’s not much, relatively speaking. For the left, it’s unacceptable. They demand total conformity,” Tucker, a former CNN and MSNBC host said during his opening remarks.

“Since the day we went on the air, they’ve been working hard to kill this show. We haven’t said much about it in public. It seemed too self-referential. The point of this show has never been us. But now it’s obvious to everybody. There’s no pretending that it’s not happening. It is happening. And so, going forward, we’ll be covering their efforts to make us be quiet,” he said.

“Fox News is behind us, as they have been since the very first day,” he reassured viewers, before adding, ”we will never bow to the mob. Ever. No matter what.”

Carlson also said it was “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.”

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