Fox’s late-night show host Greg Gutfeld has come to the defense of his former colleague Tucker Carlson after a series of leaked videos featuring Carlson’s backstage comments drew backlash from commentators.
“Apparently everyone understands nonsense banter between segments except for hall monitor failures bitterly chronicling the lives of the far more successful,” Gutfeld, host of late-night comedy “The Greg Gutfeld Show,” wrote in a Twitter post on Tuesday.
The comedy show anchor was responding to another post by Matthew Gertz, an employee of Media Matters for America, a left-leaning nonprofit.
“NEW FOXLEAKS: Media Matters obtained three more behind-the-scenes videos featuring former Fox host Tucker Carlson’s creepy on-set comments,” Gertz wrote on Tuesday, referring to his article published on Media Matters, which included behind-the-scenes videos that show Carlson talking about his “postmenopausal fans” and making sexual references. The article writes that Carlson also said “nobody watches Fox Nation because the site sucks,” referring to Fox’s online streaming service.
Gutfeld became the only public figure at Fox News who defended Carlson after Fox announced last Monday that it had parted ways with Carlson, whereas neither the media company nor Carlson has spoken about the incident.
That wasn’t the first time Gutfeld had mentioned Carlson’s name since the former host departed from Fox. While Carlson’s name has virtually disappeared from the script of most Fox anchors, Gutfeld joked about it in on a segment of “The Five,” Fox’s top-rated opinion show, hours after Fox’s announcement last Monday.
“And then so in 2024, it’ll be Susan Rice versus Tucker Carlson,” Gutfeld said near the end of the segment that focused on Biden’s reelection prospects. The round table did not respond to his comment.
Carlson In the Spotlight, Again
Carlson’s name took over the news cycle last week and reemerged this week when mainstream outlets published scoops of videos and text messages redacted in legal filings from a defamation case against Fox News that they said showed Carlson making inappropriate comments.
A New York Times article published a text message that the outlet said Carlson sent to one of his producers on Jan. 7, 2021. The outlet wrote that the message shows Carlson commenting on an incident where supporters of former President Donald Trump beat a member of left-wing movement Antifa.
“A couple of weeks ago, I was watching video of people fighting on the street in Washington. A group of Trump guys surrounded an Antifa kid and started pounding the living shit out of him. It was three against one, at least. Jumping a guy like that is dishonorable, obviously. It’s not how white men fight. Yet suddenly, I found myself rooting for the mob against the man, hoping they’d hit him harder, kill him. I really wanted them to hurt the kid. I could taste it. Then, somewhere deep in my brain, an alarm went off: this isn’t good for me. I’m becoming something I don’t want to be. The Antifa creep is a human being. Much as I despise what he says and does, much as I’m sure I’d hate him personally if I knew him, I shouldn’t gloat over his suffering. I should be bothered by it. I should remember that somewhere, somebody probably loves this kid, and would be crushed if he was killed. If I don’t care about those things, if I reduce people to their politics, how am I better than he is?” Carlson’s message reads.
Critics of Carlson, including reporters at these outlets, claim that this message shows Carlson’s view on “racial superiority,” while other newly revealed texts and videos show Carlson’s “indiscretion” and “embarrassing and inappropriate conduct.”
But Scott Adams, author of the comic strip Dilbert, indicated that the criticisms of Carlson were racially motivated themselves.
“Shoe on the other foot test: If a Black man said in a private message, ‘That’s not how Black men fight,’ it would not be news. Same with Asian-Americans, Hispanic, etc.,” Adams wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
“Obviously the attack on Tucker is based on his race. What’s it called when you attack someone based on race?”
Glenn Greenwald, co-founder of investigative journalism company The Intercept and host of the daily live show System Update, alleged on Wednesday that Fox News is intentionally undermining Carlson’s character.
“There’s obviously a decision by Fox to wage a massive war on Tucker Carlson’s character—partnering with both the NYT and Media Matters to do it—and it’s extremely odd for many reasons, beginning with the fact that [Carlson] hasn’t uttered a negative word about [Fox],” he wrote in a Twitter post, responding to the critical pieces against Carlson.
“Since Tucker’s show was taken off the air, there has been what could reasonably be called a collapse in ratings—especially among young viewers—on Fox’s other shows. I don’t know if this is a strategy to win back viewers or what but it seems odd,” Greenwald said.
The Epoch Times has contacted Fox News for comment.
Following its April 24 announcement dropping Carlson, Fox Corporation took a nearly $1 billion hit—around 3 percent—to its market value on the same day, trading at a low of $29.27, adding to its more than 16 percent decline in the last 12 months. Neither Fox News nor Carlson has commented publicly on the separation.
Fox also suffered a rating loss on Monday night without Carlson. The company has said that host Brian Kilmeade was the first of a rotating slate of hosts who will replace Carlson on Fox’s temporary program “Fox News Tonight” until a new host is named.
Gertz also weighed in on the reason behind the leak; he wrote last Wednesday on Twitter: “It’s probably worth interpreting most leaks out of Fox News this week as Irena Briganti, on behalf of the Murdochs, letting Tucker Carlson know how bad things will get for him if he doesn’t go quietly.”
Media personality Megyn Kelly shared a similar sentiment with Greenwald, alleging that Fox is trying to “destroy” Carlson by leaking the videos to other outlets.
“It’s not enough to fire you. You must be destroyed, and it doesn’t matter how nice a guy you were, how many points you put on the board for the channel, that you brought us through the Trump years, that you were No. 1 in your time slot, that you haven’t said one negative word about us,” she said on “The Megyn Kelly Show” on May 1.
The host said Fox executive Irena Briganti is behind the leaks. She didn’t provide evidence to support her claims other than “[Irena] hates [Carlson’s] guts.”
Briganti denied Kelly’s claim in a statement sent to news outlets.
When reached for comment, a Fox News spokesman told The Epoch Times that Kelly’s allegations have no merit. “This is completely false and an outright lie,” a spokesman said on Wednesday.
Jack Phillips contributed to this report.