Tucker Carlson has called the racist and sexist posts authored by his Fox News show’s former top writer “wrong” but slammed the “self-righteousness” of people celebrating that writer’s downfall.
“What Blake wrote anonymously was wrong. We don’t endorse those words, they have no connection to the show,” Carlson said on Monday night’s show of former head writer Blake Neff, who resigned from his position at Tucker Carlson Tonight on Friday. He added, “It is wrong to attack people for qualities they cannot control. In this country, we judge people for what they do, not how they were born.”
Carlson did not miss the chance to take a shot other fellow media outlets in his remarks, adding, “We often say that because we mean it. We’ll continue to defend that principal, often alone among national news programs, because it is essential. Nothing is more important. Blake fell short of that standard and he has paid a very heavy price for it.” (Earlier in the segment, he said that Neff was “horrified” and “ashamed” by the revelation of his public comments.)
The Fox News host also, however, admonished those who he believed were delighting in the publication of Neff’s comments and his subsequent resignation, calling them “ghouls.” Carlson said, “We should also point out to the ghouls now beating their chests in triumph at the destruction of a young man that self-righteousness also has its costs. We are all human. When we pretend we are holy, we are lying. When we pose as blameless in order to hurt other people, we are committing the gravest sin of all, and we will be punished for it.”
Later in the show, Carlson announced that he was going to take a “long-planned” vacation and go trout-fishing during the subsequent four days. “This is one of those years where, if you don’t get it in now, you’re probably not going to, if something dramatic happens, of course.” Brian Kilmeade will guest-host for the rest of the week, with some taped segments included.
Carlson’s remarks followed an internal memo sent from Fox News to employees Saturday, wherein the network’s leaders said, “We want to make abundantly clear that FOX News Media strongly condemns this horrific racist, misogynistic and homophobic behavior.” The statement added, “Make no mistake, actions such as his cannot and will not be tolerated at any time in any part of our work force. Tucker will be addressing this on his show on Monday night.”
Neff’s comments first came to light in a CNN Business story Friday that reported that Neff had posted racist and sexist remarks while using a pseudonym on the forum AutoAdmit for years. The story reported that Neff occasionally posted material that ended up being covered on Tucker Carlson Tonight and that he posted while employed at the Fox News show and also while a reporter at The Daily Caller, which Carlson co-founded. Less than a day after CNN Business reporter Oliver Darcy contacted Neff for comment, a Fox News representative told CNN that Neff had resigned.
Per CNN’s reporting, many AutoAdmit users understood that Neff’s pseudonymous personality worked for Carlson; his username had been posting personal information that allowed the news outlet to connect the dots for years.
July 13, 6:27 p.m. Updated with Carlson’s vacation plans.