×

Tucker Carlson Responds to Radio Controversy

Tucker Carlson responded Sunday night to the discovery of controversial and off-color comments he made during conversations with a radio “shock jock” between 2006 and 2011, urging people who wanted to know more about what he thought to watch his primetime program on Fox News Channel.

Media Matters for America, a liberal advocacy group, posted excerpts from various broadcasts by Bubba the Love Sponge, a popular radio host whose real name is Todd Alan Clem. During various shows, Carlson made negative, often misogynistic remarks about some celebrities and appeared to defend Warren Jeffs, the religious leader who had been placed on the FBI’s most-wanted fugitive list on charges he had arranged marriages between his adult male followers and underage girls

“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’m on television every weeknight live for an hour. If you want to know what I think, you can watch,” Carlson said in a statement Sunday night. “Anyone who disagrees with my views is welcome to come on and explain why.” The comments appear to be made while Carlson was working as a host for MSNBC or as a contributor for Fox News Channel.

During his radio calls, Carlson made pejorative statement about Arianna Huffington, Britney Spears and Alexis Stewart, Martha Stewart’s daughter, according to transcripts posted by Media Matters. In a statement aimed directly at Carlson posted Sunday night via Twitter, Angelo Carusone, president of the organization, said the group released the radio conversations “because the things you say on your Fox News show echo the misogyny displayed in those clips.”

The controversy is the latest to involve the cable-news host, who has one of the most-watched programs in cable news and who leads Fox News’ primetime lineup Monday through Friday.

In December, a group of advertisers asked Fox News to move their commercials out of his 8 p.m. program, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” in the wake of remarks the host made about immigration.  Fox News’ primetime sponsors occasionally find themselves placed under scrutiny by progressive activist groups, who use the hosts’ off-putting comments to galvanize support.  Laura Ingraham twice came under a microscope last year, once for suggesting detention facilities for children being taken from migrants entering the U.S. illegally were like “summer camps,” and also for remarks she made on social media about one of the survivors of the shooting tragedy in Parkland Florida.

Fox News supported both hosts during past boycotts and said it would not  let them be “censored by agenda-driven intimidation efforts.”

 

 

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Joachim Trier

    Nordisk Film & TV Fond Backs Joachim Trier, Ole Bornedal, Yellow Bird

    Nordisk Film & TV Fond has announced three features, two series and a documentary set to receive $1.4m in financing, as well as distribution, dubbing and cultural initiative support recipients. Doing so, it highlights some of the key titles moving forward in the Nordic region. Already backed by the Danish Film Institute’s largest ever grant [...]

  • TV News Roundup: 'Silicon Valley' Final

    TV News Roundup: 'Silicon Valley's' Final Season Sets October Premiere Date

    In today’s roundup, “Silicon Valley” returns to HBO on Oct. 27 and Quibi greenlights a new cooking competition show “Dismantled.” DATES The fifth season of Netflix‘s “Peaky Blinders” will premiere on the streamer Oct. 4. The newest season will continue to follow one gangster family in the lawless streets of Birmingham, UK during the midst [...]

  • Peter Fonda Dead: 'Easy Rider' Star

    Peter Fonda, Star of 'Easy Rider,' Dies at 79

    Two-time Oscar nominee Peter Fonda, who became a counterculture icon when he co-wrote, produced and starred in seminal 1969 road movie “Easy Rider,” then showed Hollywood he could act about three decades later in “Ulee’s Gold,” died on Friday from lung cancer at his home in Los Angeles. He was 79. His sister Jane Fonda [...]

  • CineLink Drama Brings High-End Series to

    CineLink Drama Brings High-End Series to Sarajevo

    When the organizers of the Sarajevo Film Festival’s CineLink Industry Days surveyed the local TV landscape several years ago, they recognized the chance to make an impact. “We decided five years ago that we need to do something,” says CineLink industry coordinator Armin Hadzic. “The [regional] TV and public broadcasters were coming from another age.” [...]

  • SCHOOLED - ABC's "Schooled" stars Bryan

    'Kids Are Alright' Creator Joins 'Schooled' Season 2 as Showrunner

    Tim Doyle is taking over as showrunner and executive producer on the upcoming second season of “Schooled” at ABC, Variety has confirmed. Doyle takes over from Season 1 showrunner and series co-creator Marc Firek, who has exited the series to focus on development. The news comes just months after Doyle’s 1970s-set comedy series, “The Kids [...]

  • Matthew Miller'Lethal Weapon' TV series screening,

    'Lethal Weapon' Team Lands Put Pilot Order at Fox for Cop Drama 'Dead Eddie' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Matt Miller and Alex Taub are staying in business with Fox. The pair, who previously worked together on Fox’s series adaptation of “Lethal Weapon,” have scored a put pilot commitment at the broadcaster for a new drama project, Variety has learned exclusively. The drama is titled “Dead Eddie.” In the series, after a near-death experience, misanthropic [...]

  • Krypton Syfy

    'Krypton' Canceled After Two Seasons at Syfy, Network Not Moving Forward on 'Lobo' Spinoff

    “Krypton” has been canceled after two seasons at Syfy. In addition, the NBCUniversal cabler is not moving ahead with a planned “Lobo” spinoff. “Krypton,” set two generations before the destruction of Superman’s titular home planet, follows Superman’s grandfather Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe) as a young man faced with saving his home planet or letting it be [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content