Fox News star Tucker Carlson once argued that women are “extremely primitive” beings who “just need to be quiet and kind of do what you’re told,” according to newly unearthed audio of the host ranting on a shock jock radio show.
According to the media watchdog organization Media Matters, Carlson repeatedly called into the popular radio program Bubba the Love Sponge between 2006 and 2011 and let loose with sexist and misogynistic language—often at the expense of well-known female figures, including Arianna Huffington and Elena Kagan, a then-Supreme Court nominee and now an associate justice of the Supreme Court.
Carlson was working for MSNBC and Fox News while he was reportedly devoting about an hour a week to these rants, in which he appeared to defend statutory rape and called for the elimination of rape shield laws, among other things.
During a 2009 conversation about polygamist cult leader Warren Jeffs, who was convicted of felony rape as an accomplice, Carlson suggested Jeffs was only sent to prison because “he’s weird and unpopular.”
On Jeffs facilitating marriages between grown men and underage girls, Tucker said: “I just don't think it's the same thing exactly as pulling a child from a bus stop and sexually assaulting that child.”
“The rapist, in this case, has made a lifelong commitment to live and take care of the person, so it is a little different. I mean, let's be honest about it.”
When the show's co-host called the defense “twisted” and “demented,” Carlson responded by doubling down on his defense of Jeffs. “He's not accused of touching anybody, Carlson said. “He is accused of facilitating a marriage between a 16-year-old girl and a 27-year-old man.”
Carlson also called the charges against Jeffs “bullshit.” Jeffs was convicted of two felony counts of child sexual assault in 2011, for which he is currently serving a life sentence plus 20 years.
Carlson also suggested that if he were to “make the laws,” Warren Jeffs would not be in prison.
Throughout the years, Carlson also repeatedly took aim at many prominent women, including his then-co-workers at MSNBC, where he worked from 2005 to 2008.
In 2006, Carlson described TV host Alexis Stewart, Martha Stewart’s daughter, as “cunty,” and said he wanted to “give her the spanking she so desperately needs.”
In 2008, when discussing an ad that featured Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, Carlson called the women the “biggest white whores in America.”
Carlson also expressed his own personal dislike of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan ahead of her confirmation. Noting that he'd never vote for her, he said, “I do feel sorry for her in that way. I feel sorry for unattractive women... physically, the problems with her are fundamental. She’s never going to be an attractive woman.”
When speaking generally about women in 2006, Carlson offered his own brand of wisdom.
“You know what gets women going is arguing with them,” Carlson advises.
“It's true. It's true. You debate politics with a woman and just go—just full blown out there, especially feminism. If you're talking to a feminist, and she's giving you, ‘Well, men really need to be more sensitive,’ (say) ‘no, actually, men don't need to be more sensitive, you just need to be quiet and kind of do what you're told.’
A year later, he claimed to actually “love women.”
“But they're extremely primitive, they're basic, they're not that hard to understand. And one of the things they hate more than anything is weakness in a man.”
A request for comment sent to Fox News late Sunday about Carlson's past remarks was not immediately answered, but Carlson tweeted out his own statement on the matter in which he appeared to use the opportunity to plug his show.
“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.”