SALT LAKE CITY — Fox News host Tucker Carlson said he won’t apologize over a recently uncovered interview in which he defended polygamist leader Warren Jeffs.
Media Matters for America published a set of recordings over the weekend of Carlson speaking on the “Bubba the Love Sponge” radio program.
The recordings originally ran from 2006 to 2011.
In the recordings, Carlson made “numerous degrading statements about women, calling them ‘primitive’ and comparing them to dogs, and defending the now-convicted child sexual abuser Warren Jeffs," according to Business Insider.
Carlson tweeted a statement, refusing to apologize.
- "Media Matters caught me saying something naughty on a radio show more than a decade ago. 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."
In a clip from 2009, Carlson defends Jeffs, who, at the time, was awaiting trial. In 2011, Jeffs was convicted of child sexual assault and sentenced to life in prison.
"Here's my point," Carlson said in the tape. "If a guy wants to be polygamist, that's kind of his business."
Carlson was pressed about the age of the children and defended Jeffs more.
- "It's disgusting! I think the religion is ridiculous, I think it's a cult, I think it's totally immoral. But that's not the point. The question is, two questions. One: Is this guy one of the top 10 most dangerous people in America? The answer is no, unequivocally no. And two: If you're, like, for the government butting out of the bedroom and for gay marriage, and for the right of strip clubs to operate unimpeded by governments — how exactly can you be against polygamy? On what grounds are you against polygamy? I don't get that."
Angelo Carusone, the head of Media Matters, responded to Carlson’s decision not to apologize, according to CNN.
“The reason we released this is precisely because the things you say on your Fox News show echo the misogyny displayed in those clips. We were actually helping people better understand just how vile your current Fox News show is by showing what that worldview really looks like."
The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple, who covered Carlson for years, said that the Fox News anchor is attempting to "parlay the up-and-coming scandal into higher ratings.”