Tucker Carlson: Who He Was or Who He Is?
Sometimes we all say or do things that we end up regretting later. It could be something as small as breaking a phone or something as big as fighting with a friend. In the case of Fox News commentator, Tucker Carlson, it's making highly racist statements like, "Iraq is a crappy place filled with a bunch of, you know, semiliterate primitive monkeys," or sexist statements like,"I love women but they're extremely primitive, they're basic, they're not that hard to understand."
There's more than those but these two would be pretty damning on their own and easily crash a career. However, these statements were made in 2006 on a shock jock radio show hosted by "Bubba the Love Sponge," aka Todd Alan Clem. According to Media Matters for America, Carlson called the show once a week between 2006 and 2011 to discuss a number of topics or events.
Despite massive backlash from advertisers and the general public, Carlson intends to not back down from his statements and views in the last decade. But do these tapes even matter today? Does the fact that he was a bigot in 2006 apply to who he is today?
No. To make it clear, this isn't a defense for Carlson because his current attitude isn't so dissimilar from his previous views. News like this doesn't add anything new to what he's has shown himself to be.
It's also important to remember the context of the situation: a shock jock show in 2006. A show where, according to Clem's website, Bubba Army Radio, in his archives from 2006, had a torture rack, various live sexual events, multiple discussions about genitals, and usage of shock devices. This was a show where both the host and callers were both encouraged to be unfiltered.
It's no wonder then that Carlson felt comfortable in calling this show and essentially letting his thoughts free without shame. It's also unsurprising why since by the time he did make his calls, Clem's show had already gained a reputation for being outrageous. Carlson would've been just another nutty caller that would've provided more shock to draw more listeners.
What Carlson said was terrible, but it's ultimately irrelevant especially since Carlson's appeal is his unfiltered attitude and his "courage" to stand up against the liberal agenda. The "courage" to say what he thinks is right, to believe in his own convictions, no matter how unappealing it may be.
If anything, this actually helps Carlson in a way, because it can be seen as the "liberals being so desperate to find any way to silence him." His fans will galvanize and double down on the name-calling and perpetuate the narrative that the "liberal-socialist-Democrat-censoring-leftists" are still continuing to censor things they don't like.
Frankly, all this drama could've easily been avoided if he had simply apologized or acknowledged that those views were terrible. Carlson instead chose the self-destructive route of defending his archaic views to keep true to the character he and many others believe in. It's losing him and Fox advertisers and money, but if that's the route he wants, then, by all means, Mr. Carlson stay the course.