Tucker Carlson’s life after the Trump “hate” texts: The Fox News host is trying to walk back his notorious comments that he “hates” the former president.
Tucker Carlson Has a Problem
Earlier this month, texts were unearthed that showed Fox News host Tucker Carlson saying just about the worst thing a Fox News anchor can say- that he “hates” former President Donald Trump.
The text messages, unearthed as part of the Dominion Voting System lawsuit against Fox News, came from January of 2021, and had Carlson telling a colleague that “we are very, very close to being able to ignore Trump most nights,” and that “I hate him passionately.”
Carlson also expressed a dim view of the accomplishments of the Trump presidency.
“That’s the last four years. We’re all pretending we’ve got a lot to show for it, because admitting what a disaster it’s been is too tough to digest. But come on. There isn’t really an upside to Trump.”
Carlson, in the weeks since, has been mostly quiet about the release of the texts.
But now Tucker Carlson is striking a different tone, possibly as a strategy of damage control.
Tucker Has a Change of Heart
According to The Daily Beast, Carlson appeared this week on the radio talk show hosted by Bo Snerdley, who long worked as the sidekick to the late Rush Limbaugh. Snerdley, quoting the texts, asked Carlson what he really thinks about Trump.
“I’m pretty straightforward; I love Trump,” Carlson said on the show.
“Like, as a person, I think Trump is funny and insightful. And I said this to Trump when he called me, you know, all wounded about those texts. That was a moment in time where I was absolutely infuriated.”
Tucker Carlson also added that the texts, which were released as part of a lawsuit, “were all grabbed completely illegitimately” and then said he wasn’t allowed to talk about the case.
Those texts arrived the same week that Carlson’s show was releasing footage, obtained from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, that purported to show that the January 6 insurrection wasn’t what it appeared to be. That broadcast was widely denounced as misleading by leading politicians of both parties.
He added the context that the texts had come at a time when he was upset with the Trump campaign, during the aftermath of the election when they were pushing false conspiracy theories, which had embarrassed Fox when they went with them.
“Those particular texts were pulled at exactly the moment where I was texting with one of my producers because some idiot on the Trump campaign had sent us the name of these dead voters who had voted,” Carlson said on the radio show. “And we went and I repeated them on air, and it turns out some of them were alive. So, I was just—I felt humiliated.”
Tucker Carlson took the position, as he still does, that the 2020 election was not “on the level,” but still took exception to have been fed “evidence” that turned out not to be true. Carlson added that Trump had called him, “all wounded about those texts.” Trump, on Truth Social earlier this month, indicated that he’s not upset with Carlson about the unearthed texts.
Just over three years ago, in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, Carlson went to Mar-a-Lago to visit Trump, in order to “warn him personally about the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic,” the Associated Press said at the time.
“People you know will get sick,” Carlson said on his show the day after his meeting with Trump. “Some may die. This is real. That’s the point of this script — to tell you that… People you trust — people you probably voted for — have spent weeks minimizing what is clearly a very serious problem. It’s just partisan politics, they say, calm down. In the end this is just like the flu and people die of that every year,” he added, before stating that “it’s not.”
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Expertise and Experience:
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.