Fox News’ Tucker Carlson is about to take a vacation that just so happens to follow his bizarre rant Tuesday night claiming that white supremacism is “actually not a real problem in America,” calling it instead a ‘hoax.”
Besides being false, the rant completely ignored both the El Paso shooter’s manifesto as well as Carlson’s own penchant for extremely racist and xenophobic rhetoric. Carlson will now follow the storied tradition of Fox hosts suddenly disappearing for a while after getting themselves in trouble.
Carlson was still on the air Wednesday night, though, and he chose to double down. People claiming Trump is a white supremacist, he said, are doing so “for political reasons” to distract people from discussing class divisions. All of this is just to whip up a frenzy, he claimed, calling criticism of white supremacy “the path to civil war, obviously.” Clearly on the defensive, he urged people to “calm down.”
There’s been a tremendous response to last night’s show. The left wants to silence us. They won’t. Here’s a portion of our response from tonight’s show. Watch this video and watch #FoxNews at 8pm ET for more. pic.twitter.com/bMRdIeC33b
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) August 7, 2019
But with that, he’s now off on a previously unannounced vacation.
CNN’s Oliver Darcy checked in with Fox News and learned that the vacation had supposedly been in the works before his controversial comments, and that Carlson will be back on the air Monday, August 19th. Similar comments were made, however, when other Fox hosts took the same kinds of vacations.
For example, Laura Ingraham took a sudden vacation last year after mocking Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg for not getting into some colleges. Hogg countered by targeting Ingraham’s sponsors, and suddenly she was taking a “pre-planned” vacation.
Back in 2017, Sean Hannity was also bleeding advertisers for his insistence on promoting the Seth Rich conspiracy, which Fox News has still not apologized for elevating. The network claimed Hannity was simply observing Memorial Day weekend, insisting that all those who believe he won’t soon be back on the air “are going to look foolish.”
The one host, however, who never came back from his “pre-planned vacation” was Bill O’Reilly. He was also hemorrhaging advertisers after it came to light he’d settled sexual harassment allegations with five different women to the tune of $13 million. His absence did not help end the scrutiny of his advertisers, and a week into that vacation, Fox News fired him.
So far, the network has been silent about Carlson’s latest gaslighting on white supremacy. Darcy tried to reach out to members of the Fox News board, but none would comment.
Total silence. One of the Fox board members, former Telemundo CEO Roland Hernandez, actually abruptly hung up on me when I phoned him and started to ask about Tucker’s comments. https://t.co/Xr19oQG83h
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) August 8, 2019
If past is precedent, Carlson’s fate could be shaped by whether or not criticism dies down while he’s away. Reportedly, he’ll still be on the air Friday night for a “special investigation,” so he won’t be “out of sight, out of mind” as quickly as might be desired. Indeed, the extra appearance might add more fuel to the hashtag #FireTuckerCarlson, which is already trending on Twitter.