Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, has been charged with murder after two people were killed at Black Lives Matter protest
Tucker Carlson: “So are we really surprised that looting and arson accelerated to murder? How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?”
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The rightwing Fox News host Tucker Carlson has defended the actions of a 17-year-old who was arrested and charged with murder after two people were killed in Kenosha, Wisconsin, as white vigilante agitators shot at Black Lives Matter protesters.
Kyle Rittenhouse, from Antioch, Illinois, 20 miles south-west of Kenosha, had taken to the streets of Kenosha with a rifle after protesters marched demanding justice for Jacob Blake, a young Black father who was shot and gravely wounded by police on Sunday.
On his TV show Carlson – who has a long record of making racist and inflammatory statements, triggering an advertising boycott – said that Rittenhouse’s actions were understandable given the violence and property damage in the city.
“Kenosha has devolved into anarchy because the authorities in charge of the city abandoned it. People in charge from the governor of Wisconsin on down refused to enforce the law. They stood back and they watched Kenosha burn,” Carlson said.
He then added: “So are we really surprised that looting and arson accelerated to murder? How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?”
His words were met with instant condemnation on social media.
“An innocent black guy is killed by police and Tucker Carlson calls him a thug. A guilty white guy murders two people and Tucker Carlson calls him a patriot,” tweeted CNN commentator Keith Boykins.
“He just justified murder,” tweeted the New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones.“If they don’t take action after this, every one of Fox News’s executives, directors and advertisers is complicit in Tucker Carlson’s racist, murderous rants,” said Robert Reich, a former secretary of labor under Bill Clinton.
The comments are far from the only time Carlson has broadcast bigoted or extreme views, especially when it comes to race and immigration.
Last August, Carlson announced a vacation after causing a rift with advertisers by calling white supremacy a “hoax” and a “conspiracy theory”. In another incident Carlson said that letting low-income people immigrate to America “makes our own country poor and dirtier”.
Recently, one of Carlson’s top writers resigned after a CNN investigation found he was posting racist and sexist comments online under a pseudonym. Blake Neff regularly posted offensive language on an online forum called AutoAdmit.
In June, for example, Neff wrote, “Black doods staying inside playing Call of Duty is probably one of the biggest factors keeping crime down.” Neff also harassed a woman on the forum.
For over a year, Anthony Fauci has been a bogeyman for conservatives, who have questioned his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and accused him of quietly undermining then-President Donald Trump. But those attacks took on a whole new level of vitriol this week, to the point that one social media analysis described it as highly misleading and at least one platform pulled down some posts, citing false content. It all stemmed from a tranche of Fauci’s emails that were published as part of a Freedom of Information Act request filed by various news outlets. Within hours of publication, the hashtag #FauciLeaks was trending on Twitter.
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Fox News host Tucker Carlson continued his reckless mission to mainstream vaccine skepticism on Wednesday night by dangerously speculating that thousands of Americans have died from COVID-19 vaccinations, citing a faulty open-sourced database that has become a haven for misinformation.
Veteran GOP pollster Frank Luntz warned that former President Trump’s repeated assertions that the 2020 presidential election was rigged against him could hurt Republican efforts to take back the House in 2022. Luntz noted in an interview on the New York Times podcast “Sway” released Thursday that “more than two-thirds of Republicans believe that the election was stolen,” warning that a widespread and unproven belief that there was rampant fraud last November could turn Republicans off from voting in the midterm elections.