Yesterday, Media Matters for America released a series of audio clips extracted from hundreds of hours of Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s appearances on The Bubba the Love Sponge Show, a shock jock radio program. In those clips, Carlson defended cult leader and accused rapist Warren Jeffs, called women “primitive,” and questioned whether sex workers could be raped. But that wasn’t all Media Matters found.
A second round of tapes released this evening focuses on what is still Carlson’s favorite subject: race. These recordings feature Carlson at his peak white nationalist, crediting the birth of civilization to white men and denigrating Iraqis as “semiliterate primitive monkeys.”
These recordings are even more instructive on Carlson’s character than yesterday’s batch. Pushing extreme narratives about immigration, racism, and political correctness is the bread and butter of Carlson’s current show. What these tapes reveal is a remarkable ideological consistency, dating back 15 years.
Carlson discusses President George W. Bush’s foreign wars in several of the clips, concluding in a 2008 recording that Iraq “wasn’t worth invading” because it’s “a crappy place filled with a bunch of, you know, semiliterate primitive monkeys.”
“They’re also so just awful. Just awful,” Carlson said of Iraqis in a 2006 recording. “I hate the war. You know, I’m not defending the war in any way, but I just have zero sympathy for them or their culture. A culture where people just don’t use toilet paper or forks.”
Afghanistan, he says, is similarly a fools errand.
“[It’s] never going to be a civilized country because the people aren’t civilized,” he says in a 2009 clip.
Carlson guested on The Love Sponge show many times in the late ‘00s, so it’s not surprising that he also brought his particular brand of racism to discussing former President Barack Obama’s campaign. In addition to claiming that Obama benefitted from being black, Carlson also questioned whether Obama really was black, as someone with one white parent.
But perhaps his most disgusting comments on this subject were about former First Lady Michelle Obama. In a deeply racist 2008 discussion between The Love Sponge and his cohosts, Carlson added his thoughts on Michelle Obama’s blackness.
“She’s going to be a problem for him,” Carlson says, referencing Michelle Obama. “She’s got an edge to her that’s bad.”
CARLSON: I’m not attacking her personally. I’m just saying, as a public figure, you just get the feeling she’s got a major chip on her shoulder.
THE LOVE SPONGE: Not only that.
CO-HOST: So what?
THE LOVE SPONGE: But she gets a little chicken-headed at times.
CO-HOST: I love it.
THE LOVE SPONGE: She turns into a sister —
CARLSON: Turns into a sister.
THE LOVE SPONGE: She does. She gets that whole, you know, three snaps and a fucking whirl around kind of deal.
CO-HOST: I love it. That gets me —
THE LOVE SPONGE: Well, you see, I’m a guy who loves Obama, but that kind of shit I don’t like. They need to whiten her up a little bit.
In a 2008 discussion about who the best vice presidential candidate would be for John McCain, Carlson bemoans his struggle as a white man.
“I don’t like the feminist crap,” Carlson says. “I hate that and that’s one of the reasons I despise the Democrats because they’re always rolling that crap out. ‘Well, you don’t like him because he’s Black. You don’t like her because she’s a woman.’ Oh, shut the fuck up.
“The country’s so fucked up on the subject that getting a white man, I mean everyone’s embarrassed to be a white man I guess, that’s a bad thing,” he says.
Then this happens (emphasis mine):
THE LOVE SPONGE: No, I love being a white man. It kicks ass, my friend. I love it.
CARLSON: I don’t have a problem with it. I don’t really think of the world in those terms but, you know, white men, you know, they’ve contributed some, I would say.
CO-HOST: Well, quite a lot.
THE LOVE SPONGE: Tucker’s high on pills.
CARLSON: Well, I mean creating civilization and stuff, I think they’ve done a pretty — I don’t know, whatever! I just don’t like to think of the world in those terms but —
However he tries to spin it, the perceived injustice that white people face is hardly “whatever” to Carlson—it’s what his entire media persona is based on.
In another clip from all the way back in 2006, Carlson lays out a game plan for a presidential candidate that sounds terrifyingly familiar.
TUCKER CARLSON: I think they are. On the other hand, you know, the bottom line is the issue of security — who’s going to protect the country against, you know, the Muslim lunatics who want to hurt us — is the only thing the Republicans have left. They can’t claim that they’re, you know, the party of fiscal restraint anymore. They’re big spenders, and that’s obvious. But that one argument, “Vote for us, we’ll protect you,” that still works, because on — you know, let’s be totally real. Nancy Pelosi’s going to keep you safe while you sleep? I don’t think so. She’s not. [...]
CARLSON: I think if they’re — Oh, they could, absolutely. If there were a Democrat to come out in the 2008 election and say, “You know what the problem is? It’s Islamic extremism. It’s not terror, it’s not some, you know, indefinable threat out there. It’s these lunatic Muslims who are behaving like animals, and I’m going to kill as many of them as I can if you elect me.” If a Democrat were to say that, he would be elected king, OK?
“So, basically we need a racist president,” one co-host says.
“I think that you’re onto something. I mean, not someone who’s like a Klansman or anything, but someone who’s totally unbound by P.C. rules, who will just say whatever the hell he wants,” Carlson responds.
We are living in the country that Tucker Carlson has always dreamed of.
Below, you can watch a cut of the clips Media Matter released tonight.