Fox News host Tucker Carlson continues to receive backlash over his comments regarding immigrants, which many called racist and xenophobic. This time the pushback came in the form of a guest on Carlson’s own show, Tucker Carlson Tonight.
Retired Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz appeared on Carlson’s show to discuss the legal implications for retired General Mike Flynn. But before that commentary began, Dershowitz stated he needed to say something to Carlson.
“I hate boycotts and attempts to censor free speech. I’m in favor of complete dialogue, but as such, I feel compelled to tell you that I, with due respect, disagree with the way you categorize mass immigration. That’s all. I just want to say that.”
The Tucker Carlson Tonight guest referred to the exodus of many of Carlson’s show sponsors. Spurred by public outcry over Carlson stating immigrants make the United States “poorer and dirtier,” advertisers began pulling their campaigns from Carlson’s show almost immediately.
Dershowitz later stated:
“I wish you hadn’t used that language. Language like that was used to describe my grandparents and great-grandparents and probably some of yours. So let’s move on.”
But Carlson responded, once again trying to backtrack from his own comments, and shift blame to the “American Left”:
“Well, actually, just in point of fact since you brought it up, as noted on Monday, that was in the context of a conversation with an elected official in Tijuana about the filth of his city, and he was complaining about how dirty it had become, which was a byproduct of the policy decisions pushed by the American Left.”
“I would never describe people as inherently dirty. I don’t think that they are.”
Tucker Carlson coming close to a mea culpa on his “dirtier” comment on tonight’s show: “I would never describe people as ‘dirty.’ I don’t think they are.
I think it was clear.” But, he added, “I’m not afraid to defend how I think.”
— Jeremy Barr (@jeremymbarr) December 20, 2018
Watch the interview here.
Reaction to Dershowitz’s remarks was mixed, with some applauding Dershowitz.
No @AlanDersh, Tucker Carlson’s grandparents were UBER rich, his G-Grandparents were UBER rich. He knows nothing but unrelenting privilege.
— RBChessi (@rbchessi) December 20, 2018
Tucker would need the ability to think to defend his thoughts.
— billy (@halliganotoole) December 20, 2018
Sounds like Tucker needs more prayers, than thoughts.
— PersistAndResist (@JennaGoose) December 20, 2018
When you want your advertisers to come back but you also want your base to know you’re still with them
— JulieS (@jaxcarys) December 20, 2018
But you DID call them “dirty,” Blanche, ya did.
— DeckTheHallsMikefromBurkeVA (@BurkeanBeer) December 20, 2018
Tucker Carlson appears determined to feed the advertiser-pressure campaign against him: https://t.co/jpvsPkaq9a
— ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) December 20, 2018
While others felt both men were equally contemptible.
Tucker Carlson show with Dershowitz as a guest…does it get any darker?
— James Mackey (@LiberalDem101) December 20, 2018
Oh, a racist calling out a racist?
— Jason@earthstrike (@Jasonearthstri1) December 20, 2018
And some took exception to Dershowitz use of the term censorship.
Advertisers are free to choose what personalities to endorse. Freedom of speech is not freedom from consequences.
Dershowitz – of all people – should know better. Boycotts aren’t a restraint on free speech. They are exercises of free speech. Only the government is restrained by the First Amendment – not We The People.
— billy (@halliganotoole) December 20, 2018
“censor” is really not the right word here.
— NRA & Fox News Boycott (@NRABoycott) December 20, 2018
Although Carlson did have his defenders.
Well I wouldn’t call @AlanDersh statement to @TuckerCarlson about using the word “dirty” to be a dressing down, but he did get stuck in PC which was surprising. Poor ignorant people are dirtier than rich educated people. That’s just a statistical fact.
— DKY (@dianekyoung) December 20, 2018
But Alan Dershowitz point to Carlson was reiterated to them as well.
It’s also a fact that NAZIs used that language to dehumanize Jews in Germany.
— Bredzulianski (@CarpathianMts) December 20, 2018
While Carlson’s program continues to lose sponsors, he stands behind his words. But now claims they were in an entirely different context.
Whether that will bring sponsors back remains to be seen.