Tucker Carlson facing backlash over misogynist comments

By Jon Vitale

Elm Staff Writer

Tucker Carlson, a host of Fox News, has recently fallen under

heavy criticism for several comments he made in the past

about women that have resurfaced. The comments that have

garnered the attention came from various appearances on the

radio show “Bubba the Love Sponge” that Carlson made between

2006 and 2011.

In 2009, Carlson came to the defense of Warren Jeffs, who

was then being charged with facilitation of child rape. Carlson

claimed that Jeffs had not himself been guilty of rape and

was therefore being jailed for being “weird.” In 2010, Carlson

made remarks about Elena Kagan, then a Supreme Court

nominee, in which he said, “she’s never going to be an attractive


Carlson has made several more controversial comments,

including “I love women, but they’re extremely primitive,

they’re basic, they’re not that hard to understand.” The bigoted

comments have fallen under heavy fire from media outlets

and entertainers alike. On “The Late Show,” Stephen Colbert

ridiculed Carlson, saying, “you’re awful on so many levels.”

Carlson has refused to apologize for the comments, claiming

that he is being unfairly attacked for things he said almost

a decade ago.

In his refusal to apologize, Carlson has made numerous

claims. One is that he should not be held accountable for

something he said so long ago. Another is that he is the victim

of a witch hunt. A third is that to force him to step down

would be a violation of his freedom of speech.

To Carlson’s point, the remarks he made were indeed ten

years ago, on a relatively small-scale radio program. It is very

common for public figures to make terrible remarks they later

regret. These are people who make the same mistakes as everybody

else. Additionally, awful as his comments were, they

are protected constitutionally. All of this being considered,

calls for Carlson to be forced to step down over these remarks,

or any remarks he has made should, in fairness, be dismissed.

However, unfortunately for Carlson, these are not the arguments

his critics are making.

While there have been some, there have not been too many

calls for him to step down, nor even many accusations that

he should be held entirely accountable for his remarks at all.

They have been commonly regarded, even by many of his

critics, as mere slip ups. All Carlson’s critics are asking for is

an apology, and while an apology should not be forced from

Carlson, he would be right to make one by his own choice, for

the sake of decency. His comments were disgusting, bigoted,

ignorant, and harmful.

Whether or not Carlson still believes what he said a decade

ago is anybody’s guess, but either way, he should admit that

saying those things was wrong. The Constitution gives Carlson

the right to say what he wants, but not the right to be free

of consequences for saying it, necessitating better judgement

on his part if he wants to retain any credibility.

Public figures do, like all of us, make mistakes and say bad

things. However, when a public figure makes such a mistake,

it is customary for them to apologize, lest they lend credibility

to whatever they said. By refusing to apologize for these old

remarks, Carlson is doubling down on them. He’s making a

bigger deal out of what could have been disregarded as just a

few slip-ups. The remarks he made were awful, and he would

do himself a great favor in acknowledging his mistakes and

apologizing. Until he does so, he will continue to fall victim

to justified bipartisan attacks that he might later find difficult

to recover from.

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