Tucker Carlson Defends Alleged Wisconsin Shooter, Suggests Murders Were Deserved
Fox News personality Tucker Carlson defended the teenager charged with killing two people during civil unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday, suggesting that he and others "had to maintain order when no one else would" because state and local leaders had not put an end to the chaos.
- The Washington Post reported that Carlson’s “Wednesday show was filled with images of the unrest in Kenosha, Wis., sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake — including graphic footage of a protester bleeding out in the street after he was shot in the head on Tuesday.”
- Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old from Antioch, Illinois, was charged with murder in connection to the shootings “after he drove to Kenosha with a rifle to stand with others in self-styled militias claiming to guard local businesses,” The Post reported.
- Carlson argued that the teen’s actions were understandable after demonstrations had continued for days: “Are we really surprised that looting and arson accelerated to murder?”
- The host added: “How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?”
- “Kenosha has devolved into anarchy because the authorities in charge of the city abandoned it,” Carlson said. “People in charge in Wisconsin from the governor on down refused to enforce the law. They stood back and watched Kenosha burn.”
Carlson’s comments were met with immediate criticism online, The Post noted, with some calling upon advertisers to drop his show.
- Robert Reich, the former labor secretary under President Clinton, tweeted: “If they don’t take action after this, every one of Fox News’s executives, directors, and advertisers is complicit in Tucker Carlson’s racist, murderous rants.”
- Nikole Hannah-Jones, the journalist behind the New York Times’ 1619 Project, tweeted that Carlson “just justified murder.”
- And Blake Hounshell, Politico’s editorial director, chimed in as well, tweeting: “Vigilante violence was always one of my greatest worries about the present moment. And here we have a prominent TV host — a man who had the president’s ear — excusing it, rationalizing it.”
The Post also observed that the criticism comes after Carlson “has recently been assailed for past bigoted statements” and following his “vacation in July after his former top writer was outed for racist and misogynistic posts.”