By Kristen Holmes and Jon Passantino, CNN
In a newly revealed text message, ousted Fox News host Tucker Carlson made a racist comment and said he found himself briefly rooting for a mob of Trump supporters to kill a person.
“A couple of weeks ago, I was watching video of people fighting on the street in Washington,” Carlson texted a producer. “A group of Trump guys surrounded an Antifa kid and started pounding the living s**t 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.”
Carlson sent the text message to one of his producers in the hours after the violent January 6, 2021, insurrection on Capitol Hill. The message was redacted in court filings and was just one of several private conversations collected in the lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox News, a source familiar with the matter confirmed to CNN. The text was first reported by the New York Times.
The text message alarmed Fox’s board of directors and played a role in Carlson’s abrupt firing last month, the Times reported.
Fox News declined to comment to CNN on the report. Tucker Carlson did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.
The network announced last week that Fox News and Carlson had severed ties. The decision to part ways with Carlson was made by Fox Corporation chief executive Lachlan Murdoch and Fox News chief executive Suzanne Scott, a person familiar with the matter said.
The announcement came one week after Fox News settled a monster defamation lawsuit with Dominion for $787.5 million over the network’s dissemination of election lies. The lawsuit had exposed Carlson and other Fox News primetime stars disparaging their network colleagues. A lawsuit filed in March by Carlson’s now-fired top booker, Abby Grossberg, also included a number of allegations of sexism on his show.
But the text remains redacted. At the end of his text, Carlson continued that he does not condone violence.
“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,” Carlson continued. “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?”
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said Carlson’s racist message wasn’t shocking considering his frequent anti-immigrant comments on his show.
“What’s not news is the fact that Tucker Carlson is a white nationalist,” Greenblatt tweeted. “What is news is the fact that this somehow is surprising to anyone.”
Fox has not publicly commented on Carlson’s departure other than to say, “We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor.”
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