- Fox News host Tucker Carlson made sexually explicit and disparaging comments about a Miss Teen USA contestant on a radio show in 2007, according to new audio released by the liberal watchdog group Media Matters for America.
- “I gotta be honest, I thought she was appealing … she’s so dumb,” Carlson said, adding that he might like to have sex with the teen.
- Carlson was the host of his own nightly MSNBC program at the time.
- The newly unearthed clip is the latest in a series of decade-old recordings Media Matters has released of Carlson making disparaging comments about women, immigrants, and black people, among others.
- Carlson refused to apologise for his previous comments on Monday, saying the audio releases are an attack on free speech.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson made sexually explicit, disparaging comments about a Miss Teen USA contestant on a radio show in 2007, according to new audio released by the liberal watchdog group Media Matters for America. Carlson was the host of his own nightly MSNBC program at the time.
Carlson mocked Caitlin Upton, who was Miss South Carolina Teen USA in 2007, for a widely ridiculed answer she gave during the pageant and suggested he’d like to have sex with the teen.
“I gotta be honest, I thought she was appealing … she’s so dumb,” Carlson said during the clip of the radio program “The Bubba the Love Sponge Show.” The clip was first published by NowThis News. “She’s vulnerable. She’s like a wounded gazelle, separated from the herd,” he added.
Carlson then speculated that the pageant’s host, Mario Lopez, who was 35 years old at the time, likely had sex with the teen. Carlson added that wouldn’t pose a legal problem for Lopez because he “gets a pass.”
Carlson then joked that the teen would “probably be a pretty good wife” and that he “was thinking about tapping my foot next to her stall” – an apparent reference to Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig’s August 2007 arrest for soliciting sex in an airport bathroom.
“I mean if you had a wife that dumb, would it be good or bad?” he asked the show’s hosts. They responded, “good.”
Several years later, Upton said she contemplated suicide amid the widespread scrutiny she faced online and in the media.
Exclusive: Tucker Carlson's sexual comments about a Miss Teen USA pageant are some of the most shocking yet – in new unearthed audio. pic.twitter.com/iOrZbp1ANX
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) March 13, 2019
The audio is the third set of recordings Media Matters has released this week of Carlson’s comments on the Tampa-based “shock jock” radio show, which he regularly called into between 2006 and 2011.
The other clips feature disparaging comments Carlson made about women, immigrants, Iraqis, and people of colour – among other targets.
“Iraq is a crappy place filled with a bunch of, you know, semiliterate primitive monkeys – that’s why it wasn’t worth invading,” Carlson said in a 2008 clip. “I’m not defending the war in any way, but I just have zero sympathy for them or their culture. A culture where people just don’t use toilet paper or forks … they can just shut the f— up and obey.”
Carlson also called Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan “unattractive,” called women “primitive,” and defended Warren Jeffs, who was convicted of child sexual abuse.
Carlson was hired by Fox in 2009 and given his own show in 2016. Fox did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Carlson refused to apologise for his previous comments on Monday, saying the audio releases are an attack on free speech.
“Media Matters caught me saying something naughty on a radio show more than a decade ago,” Carlson said in a statement. “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.”
He said that Fox was standing behind him.
“We’ve always apologised when we’re wrong, and we’ll continue to do that. But we will never bow to the mob, ever,” Carlson said during his Monday night show. “No matter what.”
Carlson has a long history of making inflammatory remarks widely believed to be racist and anti-immigrant on his prime-time nightly Fox program.
In the past few months, more than 30 companies have stopped airing advertisements during Carlson’s show in response to other controversies.
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