Tucker Carlson on Wednesday rallied to the defense of vigilante kid Kyle Rittenhouse, who allegedly shot and killed two protesters in Kenosha, Wisc., on Tuesday night, telling his Fox News viewers that the 17-year-old merely “decided to maintain order when no one else would.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Rittenhouse was arrested in Illinois and charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the slaying of two people and the injuring of another during Tuesday night’s protest over the police shooting of Jacob Blake. The teenager—whose social-media profiles were rife with Blue Lives Matter content—reportedly traveled to Kenosha and co-mingled with other armed vigilantes looking to protect local businesses.
Carlson, whose racist rhetoric and fear-mongering over the Black Lives Matter movement has sparked internal turmoil at Fox, began his broadcast by grumbling that “big media organizations do their best to downplay” the violence around the country while airing footage of chaos in Kenosha.
The Fox News star went on to show a video clip of a victim dying of a gunshot wound to the head, noting that Rittenhouse has been charged with his murder. At the same time, he portrayed the teenaged gunman as a victim himself.
“The 17-year-old who has been charged tried to run from the mob, tripped and fell in the middle of the street,” Carlson said. “A man ran up and smashed him in the head with a skateboard. The 17-year-old fired his gun.”
Saying he was “unsure” what the video of Rittenhouse shooting two individuals amounts to, Carlson said a court will decide if it “qualifies as self-defense” before seemingly justifying the suspected gunman’s vigilante-style tactics.
“Kenosha has devolved into anarchy, the authorities in charge of the city abandoned it,” the far-right host fumed. “People in charge, from the governor of Wisconsin on down, refused to enforce the law. They stood back and watched Kenosha burn.”
“So are we really surprised this looting and arson accelerated to murder?” he continued. “How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would? Everyone can see what was happening in Kenosha. It was getting crazier by the hour.”
After grumbling that Republicans aren’t doing enough to rein in the “lawlessness” and “chaos,” Carlson concluded by claiming the ruling class is pitting Americans against each other in class warfare.
“Our leaders want us to believe this is a racial conflict, they’re always telling us it is. They’re lying. It is not a racial conflict,” Carlson grumbled, adding: “This is not a race war. This is a class war.”
Carlson wasn't the only Fox News star who offered up an excuse for Rittenhouse's alleged actions. Hours earlier, The Five's Jesse Watters defended the violent militias in Kenosha, saying you're “going to have vigilante justice” now.