It’s a great feeling waking up knowing right-wing creep Tucker Carlson and misogynist Don Lemon are off our television screens. The two news commentators, who recently “parted ways” from their anchor positions, both have a storied history of saying some astonishingly awful things on air. While Carlson has said some incredibly dangerous and really strange things, we’d expect no less from a Fox News puppet. Don Lemon, however, managed to get away with more than a handful of spiteful and misogynistic comments through his career, even at the more respectable network of CNN. Here’s a rundown of their most… (ahem) memorable moments.
“The demographics in America [are changing] bewilderingly fast… without any real public debate on the subject. Carlson is well known for his racist, xenophobic and overall awful anti-immigrant sentiments. From his popular fear-mongering “caravan” terms, to suggesting that immigrants make the country “dirtier,” Carlson is anti-immigration, and really in turn, anti-diversity. His statements cost Fox News an advertiser– Pacific Life who released a statement that said they “strongly” disagree with Carlson’s statements. “Our customer base and our work force reflect the diversity of our great nation, something we take great pride in,” the company said. “We will not be advertising on Mr. Carlson’s show in the coming weeks as we evaluate our relationship with his program.”
Last night, Tucker Carlson opened his show by saying immigration makes America “poorer, and dirtier, and more divided.”
An offensive, dehumanizing and racist statement.
That segment ended with an ad from @pacificlife. pic.twitter.com/ryjauzYloq
— jordan (@JordanUhl) December 14, 2018
Called White Supremacy a “Hoax”
On the August 6, 2019 edition of Tucker Carlson Tonight, the host claimed that white supremacy was “actually not a real problem in America.” His diatribe begins, “It’s not actually a real problem in America. The combined membership of every white supremacist organization would be able to fit inside of a college football stadium. I mean, seriously, this country where the average person is getting poorer, where the suicide rate is spiking– ‘white supremacy, that’s the problem’– this is a hoax.” He continues, “I’ve lived here 50 years, I’ve never met anybody– not one person– who ascribes to white supremacy. I don’t know a single person who thinks that’s a good idea.” Hate to say it Tucker, but the call is coming from inside the house.
Climate Change Denial
According to an analysis by Public Citizen climate change denial claims were made in 86% of Fox News segments in the first part of 2019 alone. Tucker Carlson Tonight ran the most climate denial segments with 41 or approximately seven per month. He’s spewed some wild accusations, including his thought that climate change was a “liberal fabrication,” an astounding statement made in the fall of 2020 when the entire west coast was battling devastating wildfires. “In the hands of democratic politicians, climate change is like ‘systemic racism in the sky,’ you can’t see it, but rest assured it’s everywhere, and it’s deadly,” said Carlson on his show. “And like systemic racism, it’s your fault. The American middle class did it, they caused climate change. They ate too many hamburgers, they drove too many SVU’s, they had too many children.”
Costing Fox News Nearly $800 Million Dollars in Voting Defamation Suit
Due to Carlson’s false claims of election fraud in 2020, the company Dominion Voting Systems, that creates and sells electronic voting hardware and software systems, sued Fox News for defamation, winning nearly $800 million dollars from the news channel. Fox is facing another voting machine defamation lawsuit due to Carlson’s lies– Smartmatic is seeking nearly $3 billion in damages. While the impact of Carlson’s bigotry was incredibly damaging, and fueled sentiments that led to the January 6 insurrection, we’re just happy to see ANYONE on the right face a consequence of their own actions.
Most Iconic Moment: Encouraged Men to Tan Their Testes
In one of the most iconic moments in Tucker Carlson history, Carlson encouraged men to go testicle tanning in order to solve the “masculinity crisis” in the country. In Carlson’s new documentary, The End of Man (eyeroll) Carlson introduces the idea of “testicle tanning” as a way to increase testosterone and make men more conservative, more masculine, and more tough. “It’s not going to work,” said urologist Dr. Rena Malik, who practices at the University of Maryland Medical Center to Business Insider. “There’s no empirical evidence that it works and it doesn’t make sense that it would work.” Sorry, buddy.
Accused Commentator S.E. Cupp of having “Mommy Brain”
Last fall, Don Lemon was (rightly) scrutinized for asking a guest if she had “mommy brain” because she lost track of a thought for a moment. Republican political commentator S.E. Cupp was talking with Lemon about the Republican party and Donald Trump. She was responding to one of Lemon’s questions when she cut herself off, losing track of what she was going to say. “Is it fair to say this because I’m not a mommy, but is it mommy brain?,” Lemon asked her, referring to a term that describes a foggy memory after giving birth to her child. She responded “No, Don I just forgot what I was going to say.”
Thinks Women Should Get Paid Less Because People Are More Interested in Male Sports
Not even three months after his “mommy brain” comments, Lemon was back in the news, and not in a good way. He was heavily criticized for his on-screen comments about professional sports. He claimed, “if there is more interest in a man’s sports, [they will] put that on television because we live in a capitalist society and if people are interested in that, there will be more attention and more money paid.” Popularity doesn’t mean women athletes don’t deserve to be fairly and competitively compensated for skills– especially when it comes to women’s teams who are annihilating on a global scale, like the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team.
Said GOP Presidential Candidate Nikki Haley is “Past Her Prime”
In February, Don Lemon said that GOP Presidential Candidate Nikki Haley was “past her prime.” He starts the conversation criticizing Haley for making comments about Biden’s age, but then turns it around and makes the same comments about her. “Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime, sorry,” Lemon said. “A woman is in her prime in her 20s, 30s and maybe 40s,” he continued. His co-anchor asks, “prime for what?” and he responds “if you look up ‘when is a woman in her prime,’ it will say 20s, 30s and 40s.” He then walks it back saying, “not that I agree with that. So I think she needs to be careful when she says politicians aren’t in their prime.” His co-anchor again says, “we need to qualify this, are you talking about prime for childbearing or prime for being President?” Doubling down AGAIN, Lemon responds with, “Don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just saying what the facts are.”
Asked Sexual Assault Victim Why She Didn’t “Bite The Dick” While Being Assaulted
In an interview with Joan Tarshis, one of Bill Cosby’s many victims of rape and sexual assault, Don Lemon made some classic misogynistic victim-blaming comments. “You, you know there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn’t want to,” Lemon tells Tarshis. “Meaning use of the teeth as a weapon,” he continues. After Tarshis says that she was stoned (Bill Cosby has admitted to giving his rape victims quaaludes in order to make the assault easier for him) and didn’t think of (basically) biting his penis in the moment she was being assaulted to stop the assault. Lemon finishes with “Yes, I had to ask.” Hmm.. no you didn’t, Don.
Are Better Choices Ahead?
Who knows if CNN or Fox News will take this opportunity to find more appropriate talent for their news cast (doubtful) – but we think the American public deserves better.
Top photo: Photo of Don Lemon from CNN’s YouTube, photo of Tucker Carlson from Fox News’ Youtube.