“It shouldn’t surprise you that famous people who bask in adulation all day long behave poorly when the cameras are off,” Carlson said during Business Insider’s Ignition conference on Thursday.
“It’s awful, ” he added. “Abuse of power is always awful — any kind of power; sexual power, financial power. It’s also really common. People abuse their power, by definition.”
Carlson is now a popular Fox News host, but he previously had a perch at MSNBC. The pundit said he still had friends at the network, describing them as “good people.”
Lauer allegedly propositioned employees, made lewd jokes to co-workers, and behaved inappropriately with a female colleague while covering the 2014 Sochi Olympics. He is the latest high-profile media and entertainment figure to be accused of sexual misbehavior, joining a group that includes Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein, John Lasseter, Dustin Hoffman, Charlie Rose, as well as former Fox News chief Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly, the conservative host that Carlson replaced.
“It’s shocking,” said Carlson. “Especially when it happens in an industry you’re familiar with to people you know. It’s even more awful in a way.”
Fox News has been lavishly praised by President Donald Trump for its largely positive coverage of his administration. Despite the Oval Office kudos, Carlson said he thinks that all of the cable news networks are paying too much attention to Trump.
“If you’re programming your entire schedule against one guy and his tweets, it’s possible you’re missing other stories,” Carlson said.
He did offer some praise for the 45th president, saying, “people don’t give Trump the credit he deserves for being hilarious.”
Carlson called the Democratic Party a “force for bad,” but said he did not vote for Trump and does not vote in any elections, save the mayoral race in his native Washington, D.C. Because the city is overwhelmingly Democratic, and he wants to vote in the primary, he is registered with the party.
“I always vote for the more corrupt candidate over the idealist, the person who will be happiest taking payouts from developers and leave me alone,” Carlson said. “Every four years there’s always some guy who’s like ‘I’m going to make your life better.’ I vote against that person every single time.”