- On Wednesday, Fox News opinion host Tucker Carlson said a fatal shooting in Kenosha, Wisc. was the inevitable result of protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
- Two protesters were shot and killed Tuesday night in Kenosha, with a 17-year-old suspect arrested Wednesday.
- “So are we really surprised that looting and arson accelerated to murder?” Carlson said. “How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?”
- Carlson had the second-most viewed show in his program’s history Wednesday night, as his already towering ratings were boosted by viewers flocking to Fox News for its RNC coverage.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
In an extended monologue Wednesday night lamenting local authorities and the media for not taking looting seriously enough, Fox News opinion host Tucker Carlson framed a fatal shooting in Wisconsin as the result of a teenager deciding to “maintain order when no one else would.”
A 17-year old named Kyle Rittenhouse was arrested Wednesday and charged with first degree homicide. Officials say Rittenhouse, who reportedly idolized law enforcement, guns, and the Blue Lives Matter movement, shot three protesters Tuesday night, killing two of them.
—nikki mccann ramírez (@NikkiMcR) August 27, 2020
—Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) August 27, 2020
“So are we really surprised that looting and arson accelerated to murder?” Carlson said. “How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?”
Carlson described the scuffle that ensued before the shooting, but put the shooting in the broader context of how “Kenosha has devolved into anarchy.”
“A court will decide if whether what you just saw counts as self defense,” Carlson said.
A shorter clip of Carlson’s comments quickly drew outrage online.
—Kara Swisher (@karaswisher) August 27, 2020
—Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) August 27, 2020
A Fox News spokesperson provided Insider with a full transcript of Carlson’s remarks:
“What does that amount to? We’re unsure, a court will decide whether what you just saw qualifies as self-defense. We don’t have more details. We do know why it all happened, though. Kenosha has devolved into anarchy, the authorities in charge of the city abandoned it. People in charge from the governor of Wisconsin on down refused to enforce the law. They stood back and watched Kenosha burn. So are we really surprised this looting and arson accelerated to murder. How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would. Everyone can see what was happening in Kenosha. It was getting crazier by the hour. Watch this scene from last night.”
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Since the death of George Floyd, Carlson has seen his ratings swell to over 4 million viewers on many nights, more than the 8 p.m. shows on MSNBC and CNN combined.
His summer programming has largely focused on Black Lives Matter protests and upticks in violent crime in US cities. Carlson claims the mainstream media and Democrats have ignored issues like looting and shootings so they can push the agenda of BLM, which he has described as “poison,” despite claiming he knows people who are for it and that he’s “not mad at them.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center has criticized Carlson for promoting white supremacist rhetoric echoed by violent extremists, such as in the Christchurch shooter’s manifesto.
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