A bombshell text sent by ex-Fox News star Tucker Carlson, published by The New York Times on Tuesday, finally reveals the beginning of the chain of events that led to him being fired by the right-wing network last month.
The text, written the day after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, was filled with racist vitriol, violent language and introspection over his own lack of morality, with the host confessing to a desire to support those who “surrounded an Antifa kid and started pounding the living s— out of him.”
Carlson wrote: “Suddenly I found myself rooting for the mob against the man, hoping they’d hit him harder, kill him. I really wanted them to hurt the kid. I could taste it. Then somewhere deep in my brain, an alarm went off: this isn’t good for me. I’m becoming something I don’t want to be.”
Written to one of his producers, the text was part of what was surfaced during discovery in the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit against Fox News. According to the Times, the text so alarmed Fox executives that they informed the board the next day that they had hired an outside law firm to conduct an investigation.
The full text reads: “A couple of weeks ago, I was watching video of people fighting on the street in Washington. A group of Trump guys surrounded an Antifa kid and started pounding the living shit out of him. It was three against one, at least. Jumping a guy like that is dishonorable obviously. It’s not how white men fight. Yet suddenly I found myself rooting for the mob against the man, hoping they’d hit him harder, kill him. I really wanted them to hurt the kid. I could taste it. Then somewhere deep in my brain, an alarm went off: this isn’t good for me. I’m becoming something I don’t want to be. The Antifa creep is a human being. Much as I despise what he says and does, much as I’m sure I’d hate him personally if I knew him, I shouldn’t gloat over his suffering. I should be bothered by it. I should remember that somewhere somebody probably loves this kid, and would be crushed if he was killed. If I don’t care about those things, if I reduce people to their politics, how am I better than he is?”
It only added to growing concerns Fox News had about its highest-rated star, according to the Times. Other material that came out during discovery in the Dominion lawsuit was nearly as damning, with other Carlson messages containing crude, sexist language — including one in which he said he hated Trump “passionately.”
But Carlson had also come into conflict with Fox News bosses over, among other things, his feeling that then network hadn’t protected him enough during the case. Reportedly, things got so bad that Carlson had to be given an intermediary between himself and Fox’s communications department.
Carlson was fired on April 24, a move that he later said took him completely by surprise.