Amid Renewed Backlash, Tucker Carlson Says That Fox News Supports Him

Tucker Carlson - Getty - H 2018
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"Fox News is behind us, as they have been since the very first day," the host said Monday night, after more offensive remarks were uncovered.

Tucker Carlson says he has the full support of his employer, Fox News, even as the progressive advocacy group Media Matters for America on Monday spotlighted a new trove of offensive remarks he made on years-ago radio shows.

"First, Fox News is behind us, as they have been since the very first day," Carlson said on his Monday night show. "Toughness is a rare quality in a TV network, and we are grateful for that."

Sheex, one of Carlson’s biggest and most reliable advertisers, announced the following day that it was ceasing advertising on Tucker Carlson Tonight “due to the inappropriate statements ... that have recently come to light.”

Media Matters first reported Sunday that Carlson made disparaging and offensive remarks about prominent women like Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan ("unattractive"), Britney Spears and Paris Hilton ("two of the biggest white whores in America") and television show host Alexis Stewart ("extremely cunty") during weekly appearances on a shock-jock radio station.

The organization, which advocates for advertisers to boycott the network, on Monday published a follow-up story. In a 2008 radio show appearance, before he joined Fox News, Carlson said that the people of Iraq are "a bunch of, you know, semiliterate primitive monkeys."

In 2006, Carlson said that he loves the host of the radio show, Bubba The Love Sponge, "in a completely faggot way."

Fox News on Sunday released a statement from Carlson but did not issue a comment from the network. “Media Matters caught me saying something naughty on a radio show more than a decade ago," he said. "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.”

Carlson doubled down on Monday night, telling his large audience that he is being targeted by "the great American outrage machine."

"One of the only places left in the United States where independent thoughts are allowed is right here, the opinion hours on this network," Carlson said. "Just a few hours in a sea of television programming. It’s not much, relatively speaking. For the left, it’s unacceptable. They demand total conformity."

Earlier Monday, the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said it was no longer advertising on Carlson's show and "will not be advertising on this program in the future."

But it appears that the company's decision to cut ties with Tucker Carlson Tonight was made before his most recent controversy. "AstraZeneca stopped advertising on the program earlier this year," a spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter.

Carlson's opinion-side colleague, Jeanine Pirro, has already lost the support of two major advertisers after making disparaging remarks about Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar on Saturday night.

"We're no longer advertising on this show and don't have plans to in the future," a spokesperson for NerdWallet told THR on Monday.

Novo Nordisk also said that it is "pausing" advertisements on Pirro's show, which most recently included a spot for the diabetes medicine Ozempic.

"We strongly condemn Jeanine Pirro’s comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar," Fox News said Sunday night in a statement. "They do not reflect those of the network and we have addressed the matter with her directly.”

March 12, 10:30 a.m. Updated to include Sheex statement.