Fresh audio of Tucker Carlson’s run of appearances on Bubba the Love Sponge’s radio show is making the rounds. True to the duo’s on-air oeuvre, it features a bunch of gross misogyny. This time, it’s directed at a teenager.
In 2007, Miss South Carolina Teen USA Caitlin Upton was widely ridiculed for an answer she gave during the pageant to a question about why a fifth of Americans couldn’t locate the country on a map. Bubba and Carlson contributed to the pile-on in the worst way possible. “I gotta be honest, I thought she was kind of appealing,” the future Fox News host said of the teenager before he and Bubba pondered the age of consent in South Carolina. “She’d probably be a pretty good wife,” added Carlson, who was 38 at the time. “If you had a wife that dumb, would it be good or bad?” he asked. “Good!” said Bubba.
Exclusive: Tucker Carlson's sexual comments about a Miss Teen USA pageant are some of the most shocking yet – in new unearthed audio. pic.twitter.com/iOrZbp1ANX
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) March 13, 2019
Later, Carlson said, without evidence, that there was a 90-percent chance that pageant host Mario Lopez had sex with Upton after the show. “She’s so dumb,” Carlson said. “She’s vulnerable. She’s like a wounded gazelle separated from the herd.” When Bubba suggested that Lopez having sex with a 17-year-old could be a problem legally, Carlson didn’t seem to think it was that big of a deal. “Are you kidding? He’s like James Brown. He gets a pass. The normal laws for that kind of thing don’t apply to him.”
In 2015, Upton told New York magazine that she became “very, very depressed” after her life became a viral punchline. “I had some very dark moments where I thought about committing suicide,” she said.
The clips of Carlson objectifying and demeaning a teenage girl are only the latest in what has been a torrent of unearthed audio of the his appearances on the shock jock’s radio show show, which took place weekly from 2006 to 2011. On Sunday, Media Matters released clips of Carlson making several misogynistic comments while defending child rape. A day later, they released audio from 2006 of Carlson calling Iraqis “semiliterate primitive monkeys” who should “shut the fuck up and obey” Americans.
Carlson has used his show, Tucker Carlson Tonight, to lash out against his critics. He has refused to apologize or acknowledge any wrongdoing, claiming that his free speech has been infringed upon. When asked for comment about whether the network supports Carlson, a spokesperson for Fox News directed Rolling Stone to the comments he made on his show Monday night. “Fox News is behind us,” he said on the show. “They have been since the very first day. Toughness is a rare quality in a TV network and we are grateful for that.”
On Wednesday morning, Fox & Friends described those criticizing Carlson’s comments as “bullies trying to silence individuals who either don’t conform or think a little differently.”
Fox & Friends' first mention of Tucker Carlson defending statutory rape and calling Iraqis primitive monkeys (and more) is to attack the "bullies trying to silence individuals who either don't conform or think a little differently." https://t.co/aCLgGfCWJu pic.twitter.com/67q9vlsij8
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) March 13, 2019
The network’s support of Carlson will be put to the test on Wednesday. For the first time ever, Fox News will hold a meeting with advertisers in an effort to convince them that the network is still a viable partner despite Carlson and other prominent hosts who have come under fire for bigoted remarks. In December, several advertisers fled after Carlson said that immigrants make “our country poorer and dirtier and more divided” before juxtaposing pictures of piles of garbage with migrants. Still more have left in light of the uncovered audio of Carlson’s comments before he joined the network.
Greeting advertisers arriving at the network’s New York headquarters on Wednesday will be a “Drop Fox” protest organized by Media Matters.