Fox’s Tucker Carlson Takes Heat For Kenosha Commentary [VIDEO]

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FILE - In this March 2, 2017, file photo Tucker Carlson, host of "Tucker Carlson Tonight," poses for photos in a Fox News Channel studio, in New York. Carlson is being criticized for suggesting that no one should be surprised by the killing of two demonstrators during social unrest in Kenosha, Wis. Authorities “stood back and watched Kenosha burn,” he said on Fox News Channel on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2020. “So are we really surprised that looting and arson accelerated to murder? How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?” (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

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Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, no stranger to the hot seat for his commentary, is being criticized for suggesting that no one should be surprised by the killing of two demonstrators during social unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Authorities “stood back and watched Kenosha burn,” he said on Fox News Channel on Wednesday. “So are we really surprised that looting and arson accelerated to murder? How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?”

Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old Illinois resident and police supporter, was taken into custody on suspicion of homicide after the killings of two people involved in unrest following last weekend’s police shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake.

Carlson’s commentary drew an angry response online because it was seen as sympathetic to Rittenhouse or offering justification for murder.

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich tweeted the Fox management “is complicit in Tucker Carlson’s racist, murderous rants” if they take no action against him. Author Don Winslow called the comments disgusting.

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was killed in the Parkland shooting, called Carlson a “lunatic who will get people killed. … You should be removed for the safety of our kids.”

But presidential son Donald Trump Jr. tweeted that “the left-wing media is willfully twisting Tucker Carlson’s words to smear him. He never endorsed ‘vigilante justice.’ He just pointed out that when ‘leaders’ cede control of our streets to the mob, it leads to heartbreaking consequences.”

Twitter flagged a link in one of Carlson’s tweets for sensitive content. Carlson’s tweet had quoted words he used on the air.

Carlson, who usually competes with colleague Sean Hannity to be the most popular news host on cable television, has been criticized in the past for comments considered sympathetic to white nationalists. Last month his show’s head writer quit after it was revealed he was posting racist comments online under a pseudonym.

When asked for comment Thursday, Fox provided a transcript of Carlson’s segment from the night before.

Fox management infrequently comments on individual statements by its personalities. Instead, Fox is more likely to express displeasure by taking someone off the air — temporarily or permanently — and Carlson is expected at his post on Thursday.

He didn’t stand alone in his commentary, either.

Conserative provocateur Ann Coulter tweeted about Rittenhouse: “I want him as my president.”

Three hours before Carlson’s statement, Fox’s Jesse Watters said Rittenhouse acted inappropriately and “unfortunately this is what happens when a governor abdicates his responsibility to keep the streets safe.”

Former Fox personality Megyn Kelly trended on Twitter for a series of retweets, including one that said “Jacob Blake was armed with a KNIFE when cops shot him.” While authorities found a knife in Blake’s car after he was shot by police, it wasn’t clear if he had possession during the confrontation.

She also emphasized a quote in a Real Clear Politics article by Ben Shapiro: “The narrative has been set. The (police) shooting was unjustified, and racist at that. No evidence has been presented, none need be. And if the facts don’t match the accusations, the facts will be put aside.”

Kelly declined comment on Thursday.

In an article on the website Outkick.com, writer Jason Whitlock wrote that professional athletes who have sat out competitions due to police shootings are “useful idiots” convinced that some police shootings were examples of racism when they were really about resisting arrest.

In the publication American Spectator, author Scott McKay said that while 17-year-olds should not cross state lines to carry rifles into demonstrations, protest groups like Black Lives Matter bear “total responsibility” for Rittenhouse doing so.

“What did you morons think was going to happen?” McKay wrote. “That you could continue to burn down a small city in middle America without any resistance?”

But “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace on Thursday rejected any notion that Rittenhouse’s alleged actions are justifiable.

“Vigilante justice is a completely inappropriate response to rioting in the street,” Wallace said. “There is no justification for what happened in Kenosha and vigilante justice is a crime and should be punished as a crime.”

(AP)




13 COMMENTS

  1. Tucker has been spot on throughout these last few month of anarchy.

    When you see the left screams and demands someone to be taken off air, you know the TRUTH about them has been exposed and they can’t allow it to spread

  2. Another horribly biased new story from the AP? Why do Jews still use this news service?

    Even the ultra-leftist New York Times did an analysis of the events (in a method that was surprisingly just as I would expect from a “real” reporter), and concluded that the narrative that the mainstream media is trying to push does not match the facts. I took away from the article that it seems that Rittenhouse was justified, and certainly worthy of being judged favorably until all the facts come in.

  3. New story emerging.
    there are pictures of rittenhouse being stomped and beaten with a skateboard and another pic of someone pointing a hand gun at him while he is on the floor.
    Oh and the people shot? One of them convicted multiple times for assault and domestic violence, the other a convicted child molester.
    I do not (yet) know what happened there, but suffice it to say that the media isnt giving the full story.

  4. Kyle Rittenhouse was completely justified. When the police refuse to protect people, someone has to. He stepped up. And for his trouble he was attacked by a gang of vicious thugs and had to shoot three of them in clear self defense. All three had attacked him and if he hadn’t defended himself they would have seriously injured or killed him. Given their criminal records they were not normal decent people who might have restrained themselves — if they had got their hands on him they would have gone as far as they could. He acted entirely as a normal and decent person would act, including trying to surrender to the police when he saw them — but they drove right past him, so he had no choice but to flee the mob.

  5. The video is quite clear. These guys attacked him and he was only defending himself. Each one of the attackers had a history of violence (one even with a handgun). The prosecution is basically questioning why he was there in the first place (technically he crossed state lines even though it was like 15 miles away).

  6. AP is twisting the truth yet again. Doing it’s pathetic best to pain all conservative commentators as murder inciting racists. Shame on AP!

  7. How would this story play out if rittenhouse was BLACK? The demented media would surely twist around the story from murderer to hero!