Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on Monday addressed the Friday resignation of his former top writer Blake Neff, saying that Neff’s racist, sexist and homophobic comments on an online message board were “wrong” — but also chastising “the ghouls now beating their chests in triumph at the destruction of a young man.”
Carlson further suggested that his critics were acting self-righteously in their response to news about Neff. “When we pose as blameless in order to hurt other people, we are committing the gravest sin of all, and we will be punished for it,” Carlson said.
The primetime host began by acknowledging that Neff had indeed posted racist material under a pseudonym, a fact that CNN Business discovered and reported on Friday. “Blake was horrified by the story and he was ashamed,” Carlson said. “Friday afternoon, he resigned from his job.”
Carlson added, “First, what Blake wrote anonymously was wrong. We don’t endorse those words. They have no connection to the show. It is wrong to attack people for qualities they cannot control. In this country, we judge people for what they do, not for how they were born. We often say that because we mean it. We will continue to defend that principle, often alone among national news programs, because it is essential… Blake fell short of that standard and now he is paying a heavy price for it.”
But Carlson then pivoted to his and Neff’s critics, whom he called “the ghouls now beating their chest in triumph at the destruction of a young man,” and said any joyful reaction to Neff’s resignation was uncalled for. “Self-righteousness also has its costs,” he said. “We are all human.”
At the end of the broadcast, Carlson said he was taking what he called a “long-planned” vacation for the rest of the week.
On Saturday, Fox News leadership condemned Neff’s behavior in a staff memo.
“Neff’s abhorrent conduct on this forum was never divulged to the show or the network until Friday, at which point we swiftly accepted his resignation,” Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott and Fox News Media president & executive editor Jay Wallace wrote in the memo. “Make no mistake, actions such as his cannot and will not be tolerated at any time in any part of our work force.”
According to CNN Business, Neff disparaged Black and Asian people and derided a woman for being a “megashrew” in multiple pseudonymous posts. Comments include, “Black doods staying inside playing Call of Duty is probably one of the biggest factors keeping crime down,” which CNN said Neff wrote last month. In another post made this week, CNN reported that Neff said that he “wouldn’t get LASIK from an Asian for free” in response to an email thread with the subject line, “Would u let a JET BLACK congo n— do lasik eye surgery on u for 50% off?”
At the end of the broadcast, Carlson announced he would be taking a pre-planned vacation until Monday.
Tucker Carlson responds to his head writer being a white supremacist ghoul by threatening the people who exposed him pic.twitter.com/FBb02PmpUn
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) July 14, 2020