Fox News host Tucker Carlson announced Monday that he’ll be taking a vacation after his head writer was exposed to be a white supremacist. The chief writer, Blake Neff, had posted racist, sexist, and anti-LGBTQ comments under a pseudonym for years. Now some are wondering how concerned Carlson really is about the scandal.
Anonymously Posting Racist Comments
Neff, who resigned on Friday, had secretly posted offensive content on the online message board AutoAdmit. The site is a hub for alt-right conversations and extremely objectionable comments.
Under a pseudonym, Neff posted a number of offensive comments over the years. In response to a post that read “Would u let a JET BLACK congo n****er do lasik eye surgery on u for 50% off?” Neff responded, “I wouldn’t get LASIK from an Asian for free, so no.”
As recently as June 5th, he wrote “Black doods staying inside playing Call of Duty is probably one of the biggest factors keeping crime down.”
On June 26, Neff posted that the only people who would support changing the NFL team formerly known as the Washington Redskins are “white libs and their university-‘educated’ pets.”
Neff has also engaged in misogyny and stalking. He has kept alive a long thread dedicated to disparaging a woman he may or may not know. He has posted photos of her and shared her personal information. Furthermore, Neff encourages other users to degrade and stalk her.
The response from Tucker Carlson, who is a self-described “paleoconservative,” was disappointing, albeit uninspiring. As Matt Ford from The New Republic put it, “Carlson [was] visibly less displeased with Neff … than he [was] with the reporters who exposed Neff.”
Carlson read a prepared statement on the issue saying Neff’s comments were “wrong” and the show does not “endorse those words.” However the host quickly turned his focus toward those who had been outraged by Neff’s actions.
“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.”
Coming to Neff’s defense, especially so quickly, greatly undercut any prior attempt at an apology. Moreover, Carlson’s silence on certain details of the situation left many claiming that he misled his viewers. Carlson made it a point not to mention that Neff’s comments were racist or sexist or that he had posted them as recently as last week. And he certainly didn’t quote any of them.
Carlson then closed-out the show by announcing he would take a “long-planned vacation” to go “trout-fishing.” Taking a break from live TV while the controversy simmers has been a successful tactic in the past for Fox News hosts. But many are already slamming Carlson for an apparent lack of concern or remorse.