Bias Watch

5 ways that Tucker Carlson has proved himself as a proudly anti-LGBTQ+ bigot

Tucker Carlson
Tucker Carlson Photo: Screenshot

Tucker Carlson and Fox News “have agreed to part ways” after his 14 years at the network, Fox announced Monday. The split is surprising, considering Carlson was the network’s highest-rated and most-watched host. He himself told viewers at the end of his April 21 broadcast, “We’ll be back on Monday.”

Fox News’ stock price tumbled by $930 million after announcing Carlson’s departure. But while his future is unclear, his anti-LGBTQ+ bigotry will clearly live on in infamy.

He supported the murder of gay politician Harvey Milk

Carlson’s 1991 Trinity College yearbook lists him as a member of the “Dan White Society” and the “Jesse Helms Foundation.” White is the person who assassinated Harvey Milk, the groundbreaking out politician who urged gay people to “come out.” Helms, the late Republican senator from North Carolina, was notoriously racist and viciously anti-gay.

Carlson defended himself by saying that “a mentally unbalanced middle-aged man” had been looking at his “dusty college yearbook,” a reference to Erik Wemple, the Washington Post journalist who uncovered Carlson’s bigoted fandoms. It’s not apparent whether or not the groups actually existed or if Carlson was simply trolling.

He proudly bragged about beating up a gay man

In 2007, Carlson went on MSNBC Live to brag about the time he beat up a gay man in a bathroom.

Carlson said when he was in high school and living in Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown Park neighborhood, a gay man “bothered him” in a public bathroom by propositioning him for sex. Carlson then left the premises to find a friend, and the two of them later returned to the scene to beat the guy up.

“I went back with someone I knew and grabbed the guy by the – you know – and grabbed him and hit him against the stall with his head, actually. And then the cops came and arrested him,” Carlson said, adding, “But let me say that I’m the least anti-gay right-winger you’ll ever meet.”

In 1990, Carlson wrote in his college newspaper that homosexuality was“unnatural and unhealthy.”

He regularly whips up disgust and violence against trans people

Carlson has said that trans people threaten “the perpetuation of the species” (despite trans people having children and being parents), has called trans children “grotesque” and a “nationwide epidemic,” has worried that gun-toting trans people will commit political violence, has called trans people “Satanic” and the “natural enemies” of Christianity (despite many Christians being trans allies).

His rhetoric echoes other right-wing transphobic sentiments and is particularly concerning considering that at least 34 transgender and gender non-conforming people were violently killed in the U.S. in 2022.

He put out a hit list of gender-affirming doctors and encourages violence against pro-LGBTQ+ allies

After helping stoke death threats against children’s hospitals that provide gender-affirming care for trans youth — falsely framing such care as medical experimentation that profits off of “the mental anguish of children” — Carlson showed the names and photos of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s board of directors while reading urging them to “do something to stop these crimes.”

In addition to hosting Chaya Raichik, who regularly demonizes pro-LGBTQ+ people as “evil groomers” on her LibsofTikTok social media account, Carlson has also falsely accused teachers and doctors of “sexualizing children.” He has also suggested that “neighborhood dads” should “mete out instant justice to anyone who even thought about sexualizing their kids.”

He regularly attacks LGBTQ+ politicians

Carlson has described out gay Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg as effeminate and told viewers that Buttigieg “breastfeeds” his adopted twin babies. Buttigieg responded by saying, “I guess he just doesn’t understand the concept of bottle-feeding.”

Carlson has referred to Admiral Rachel Levine, the out transgender Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services, as “a biological man who wears a dress” and compared her (and all trans individuals) to a horse.

He has pushed a conspiracy theory that the husband of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was attacked by a gay lover, has said that White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s only qualification is being a Black lesbian, has claimed that U.S. COVID-19 response team member Dr. Anthony Fauci was “caught trying to create transgender monkeys,” and suggested that officials in the administration of President Joe Biden put chemicals in milk to turn kids transgender.

Good riddance to bad rubbish

It’s important to note that, in a 2020 slander case, Fox News’s lawyers said that Carlson is not a journalist and that his words should not be “taken by reasonable listeners as factual pronouncements.” He has also repeatedly pushed white supremacist talking points, and his comments have been re-broadcast in Russia to support the country’s anti-LGBTQ global aims.

In a tweet, consumer rights watchdog Public Citizen President Robert Weissman called Carlson’s departure “flat-out great news,” writing, “Anything that reduces the reach of this purveyor [of] hate, racism, reaction and authoritarianism is a positive step for America and the world.”

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