Faced with calls for his ouster from Fox News after claiming the issue of white supremacy is a “hoax,” Tucker Carlson on Wednesday doubled down and in a “sincere message” to those he outraged claimed it was they who need to “calm down.”
“I want to take a second to pass on a sincere message to officials in Washington and particularly to our colleagues at the other cable news channels,” the conservative host said in a video message addressing the condemnation of his remarks. “And it’s this—please, for the sake of the nation, calm down.”
During his primetime Fox News broadcast on Tuesday night, Carlson took aim at critics of President Donald Trump who say his anti-immigrant rhetoric emboldened the El Paso shooter accused of killing 22 people.
Claiming it was “just a lie” that Trump ever “endorsed white supremacy or came close to endorsing white supremacy,” Carlson, who’s repeatedly used the same Hispanic “invasion” rhetoric found in the manifesto the suspected shooter apparently posted, went on to say white supremacy is “actually not a real problem in America.”
“It’s a hoax,” he added. “Just like the Russia hoax, it’s a conspiracy theory used to divide the country and keep a hold on power.”
The Fox News star’s remarks sparked immediate outrage and backlash.
In his response on Wednesday, Carlson briefly acknowledged that racism is indeed a problem in America before going on to list off other problems he feels are much worse, such as the national debt and a “fading middle class.”
After having told everyone to calm down, Carlson said that “people know” that America “is in decline” and are therefore terrified, which is the reason they voted for Trump and are turning to new leaders.
“This is a time of frustration and a time for change,” he added. “It’s a hard time for America.”
Carlson concluded his video message by saying America is full of decent people of all races who “make bad decisions from time to time” but “mean their best.”
“So going forward, give them the benefit of the doubt,” he declared. “Even when you disagree with them. Maybe especially when you disagree with them. These are your fellow Americans, cut them a break. They deserve it. And remember, the alternative is disaster.”