Fox News host Tucker Carlson can be heard using a homophobic slur in a new audio clip unearthed by Media Matters for America.
In the clip, dated May 9, 2006, and published online on Monday (March 11), Carlson expresses his feelings of appreciation for the Bubba the Love Sponge, a radio personality who allowed the TV host to regularly call into his show, broadcast from Tampa, Florida.
Bubba the Love Sponge introduced Carlson to the audience and is the first to use the slur.
He can be heard saying: “MSNBC’s very own Tucker Carlson. Tuck, do you like coming on with us? ‘Cause I like you. I mean I’m not trying to fag out on you or nothing, but I like you. I like you.”
Carlson responded: “Well I like you too, and I mean that. You always say, ‘I mean that in a non-fag way,’ but I actually mean it in a completely faggot way.”
Bubba the Love Sponge’s co-host replies, in an apparent reference to Brokeback Mountain: “I wish I knew how to quit you, Tuck.”
Media Matters, a non-profit, progressive organisation monitoring conservative media, began releasing old audio clips from the Bubba the Love Sponge Show on Sunday (March10) in which Carlson, a host at the MSNBC channel at the time, used to apparently call in for about an hour each week between 2006 and 2011.
Tucker Carlson expressed racist and misogynistic views in other clips
In the first batch of audio clips released on Sunday, Carlson, who was hired by Fox News in 2009 and was given his own show in 2016, can be heard making a series of disparaging comments about women and their physical appearance, statutory rape and child marriage.
Targets of the misogynistic comments included presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, and businesswoman Arianna Huffington.
“Media Matters caught me saying something naughty.”
— Tucker Carlson
In other clips released on Monday, Carlson airs his opinions on race and ethnicity, including various racist remarks about the Obamas, the Iraqi people, and the country of Afghanistan.
In December, Carlson lost about 20 advertisers after he made anti-immigration comments on his show.
Tucker Carlson won’t apologise, wants you to watch his show instead
The clips sparked backlash against the Fox News host, but he refused to apologise. In a statement to the media posted on Twitter, Carlson sought to minimise the controversy. “Media Matters caught me saying something naughty on a radio show more than a decade ago,” he said.
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He then promoted his show: “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.”
Whether those views would air, however, is not a guarantee.
Last month, Dutch historian Rutger Bregman—whose appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January went viral after he called out the conference’s participants for not discussing “taxes, taxes, taxes” as a solution to global challenges—said a pre-recorded interview with the Fox News host wouldn’t be aired, so he released the clip himself.
1/ Here’s the interview that @TuckerCarlson and Fox News didn’t want you to see. I chose to release it, because I think we should keep talking about the corrupting influence of money in politics. It also shows how angry elites can get if you do that. https://t.co/hs1474MJNM
— Rutger Bregman (@rcbregman) February 20, 2019
In the audio recording, Bregman can be heard calling Carlson “a millionaire funded by billionaires” who is “jumping on the bandwagon” of the no-global movement, with the TV host reacting by telling the historian: “why don’t you go f**k yourself, you tiny brain.”