Tucker Carlson says 'we will never bow to the mob' amid resurfaced comments

Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Monday rejected what he called a culture of outrage from both Democrats and Republicans amid the fallout from recently resurfaced offensive comments he made about women and minorities years ago.

Carlson delivered a roughly seven-minute opening monologue on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" peppered with graphics that read "The Mob," "Crackdown on Dissent" and "Liberal Hypocrisy." While he did not reference any of his specific controversial comments, he doubled down on his initial refusal to apologize for them.

"Fox News is behind us, as they have been since the very first day," Carlson said. "Toughness is a rare quality in a TV network, and we’re grateful for that."

ADVERTISEMENT

"We’ve always apologized when we’re wrong, and we'll continue to do that," he added. "That’s what decent people do. They apologize. But we will never bow to the mob, ever, no matter what."

Carlson made a series of indirect references to the backlash his comments generated after the first batch was resurfaced Sunday by the left-leaning Media Matters. The Fox News host described the cycle of the "great American outrage machine," in which he said one comes under questioning from reporters, is forced to apologize and still faces criticism.

"But what if we stopped pretending for a minute?" Carlson asked. "What if we acknowledged what’s actually going on?" 

Carlson described Democrats as "deadly serious" in their effort to "crush" those who oppose their ideology. 

“Why are the people who considered Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonBiden campaign taps foreign policy vet Nicholas Burns as adviser: report Major health reform requires Democratic congressional dominance No presidential candidate can unite the country MORE a hero lecturing me about sexism?" Carlson asked. "How can the party that demands racial quotas denounce other people as racist? After a while, you begin to think maybe their criticisms aren’t sincere." 

"What’s interesting is how reliably the other side pretends that none of this is happening," Carlson said, referring to Republicans.

"Republicans in Washington do a fairly credible imitation of an opposition party," he added. "But on the deepest level, it’s all a pose."

"The mob demands a response. Very often, the first people calling for the destruction of that person are Republican leaders. You saw it with the Covington Catholic High School kids. You see it all the time. [House Minority Leader] Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyThe Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants History in the House: Congress weathers unprecedented week EU official in Canada says he feels 'at home' there because no one was shouting 'send him back' MORE spends half his day telling Republican members not to criticize progressive orthodoxy. [Former Speaker] Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanJuan Williams: Trump fans the flames of white grievance Ex-White House spokesman Raj Shah joins Fox Corporation as senior vice president Trump quietly rolled back programs to detect, combat weapons of mass destruction: report MORE did the same before him."

Media Matters released audio Sunday featuring many of Carlson's appearances on a popular "shock jock" radio program hosted by Todd Clem. In the clips, Carlson makes a number of derogatory comments about women. He also makes multiple observations about issues related to sexual abuse.

Media Matters released additional resurfaced comments as Carlson's show aired that featured the Fox News host making incendiary remarks years ago, including saying that "Iraq is a crappy place filled with a bunch of, you know, semiliterate primitive monkeys. That’s why it wasn't worth invading."

In the remarks released Monday evening, Carlson denounced "whining" from black politicians who are, he said, "using racism as a defense."

"The Congressional Black Caucus exists to blame the white man for everything, and I'm happy to say that in public because it's true," Carlson said in August 2008, according to Media Matters.

Carlson has sparked controversy in the past with his comments about immigration and other subjects. He used the latest controversy to pivot toward his show, encouraging "anyone who disagrees with my views" to come on the program "and explain why."

"There’s really not that much you can do to respond," he said on Monday's show. "It’s pointless to try to explain how the words were spoken in jest or taken out of context or in any case bear no resemblance to what you actually think or would want for the country. None of that matters. Nobody cares. You know the role you’re required to play: You are a sinner, begging the forgiveness of Twitter."