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Tucker Carlson under fire for defending statutory rape, among other things

Tucker Carlson under fire for defending statutory rape, among other things
Tucker Carlson [Photo: Flickr user Gage Skidmore]

We all know that Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson has many controversial opinions. He’s said on his TV show that white people aren’t “designed” to live among immigrants. He’s spoken frequently about diversity as pejorative. These examples–as well as many others–have landed the TV host in hot water with advertisers from time to time.

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Now, newly surfaced material, dating as far back as 13 years ago, shows Carlson saying some things that may go over the line.

Media Matters for America discovered that Carlson, between 2006 and 2011, used to call in frequently to the Bubba the Love Sponge radio show. The two talked about myriad topics, including some pretty obscene material. Here are a few highlights from the resurfaced sound bites:

  • Carlson seemed to defend statutory rape when discussing Warren Jeffs, a Christian fundamentalist who was convicted of two counts of child sexual assault. Carlson, it seemed, believed marrying underage girls wasn’t as bad as people make it seem. “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,” he said. He went on a moment later: “The rapist, in this case, has made a lifelong commitment to live and take care of the person, so it is a little different.”
  • The TV personality talked about his views on feminism and the best way to get a woman riled up: Tell them, “no, actually, men don’t need to be more sensitive. You just need to be quiet and kind of do what you’re told.
  • He had more views about women: “I love women, but they’re extremely primitive, they’re basic, they’re not that hard to understand.

MMFA has even more clips showcasing Carlson’s penchant for mouthing off. You can watch snippets of it here:

I reached out to Fox News for comment, and the network pointed me toward a statement from Carlson, which he also tweeted:

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.

You’ll notice that’s not really much of an apology.

MMFA told Splinter that more recordings are going to be released soon. We’ll be on the lookout for those. Perhaps those clips will be bad enough to elicit contrition from Carlson . . . although defending statutory rape is pretty bad, so who knows how much lower he’ll be able to go.

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