As outrage over his comments grows, the Fox News host is crying censorship.
Tucker Carlson is not a victim. You know who is? Child-bride Elissa Wall who, despite her objections, was forced to marry her 19-year-old cousin by cult-leader Warren Jeffs. Most people would consider forcing a 14-year-old to marry her adult male cousin some-kind-of-ugly. Not Carlson. Tucker defended the fucker (Warren Jeffs) who himself was suspected of his own plural marriages to underage girls at the time Carlson made these comments:
“He’s not accused of touching anybody; he is accused of facilitating a marriage between a 16-year-old girl and a 27-year-old man. That’s the accusation. That’s what they’re calling felony rape. That’s bullshit … The rapist, in this case, has made a lifelong commitment to live and take care of the person, so it is a little different.”
Over the last couple of days, the liberal watchdog Media Matters for America has been publishing a series of gross statements made by Fox News host Tucker Carlson when he was a guest on “Bubba the Love Sponge Show” – a popular radio program broadcast from Tampa, Fla.
Not only did Carlson, who was almost 40 at the time, suggest child marriage is not really child rape, he also called rape shield laws “totally unfair” and said he would “love” a scenario involving young girls sexually experimenting (just not his own daughter – phewwww!). He also said women are “extremely primitive” and “just need to be quiet and kind of do what you’re told” and referred to other women as cunts and pigs.
Carlson, who has rightfully been on the receiving end of women’s outrage the last couple of days, is attempting to play the “boys-will-be-boys” card:
“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 am 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 any time and explain why,” Carlson tweeted Sunday.
“Naughty”?! Naughty is a sexy Santa outfit. Naughty is taking a cookie out the cookie jar and lying about it.
Nah, this ain’t naughty. It’s an attack on the humanity of women.
If Carlson’s golly-shucks defense sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Remember when Trump was caught on camera “joking” about sexually assaulting women and dismissed it as “locker room talk”? And Billy Graham’s son and evangelical darling Franklin Graham brushed of the comments as simply “crude” and urged the faithful to vote for him anyways?
The sad truth is, the degradation of women and girls is so normalized in our culture that a major cable news network host can say the most vile things about women and girls and brush it off as “naughty.”
Yesterday, Media Matters published another segment of Carlson on “Bubba the Love Sponge Show.” This time, the “free-speech champion” was pontificating on Miss Teen USA’s teenage contestant, Caitlin Upton.
Carlson repeatedly made disturbing references to the contestant:
“She’s so dumb,” he laughed. “She’s like, she’s vulnerable. She’s like a wounded gazelle, separated from the herd.”
At another point in the recording, he said the teenager would “probably be a pretty good wife” and that during the pageant, he wanted to “tap my foot next to her stall” – a reference to expressing a desire to have sex. He and the other hosts went on to joke about anal sex with the teenager and to speculate whether the pageant’s host, 34-year-old Mario Lopez, had sex with (raped) her.
But remember; Carlson is the victim here. And those of us who are outraged? We’re just trying to stifle his free speech.
Jessica Schreindl is a nonprofit manager and freelance writer in Seattle, Washington. Her work has been featured by The Establishment, Medium, Mic, Ravishly, HuffPost, and Feministing. She graduated with her M.A. from Syracuse University where she studied film history and documentary filmmaking.