Carlson said the comments Neff wrote under a pseudonym on the online forum were “wrong” and that he does not “endorse those words.” Carlson continued, “It is wrong to attack people for qualities they cannot control. In this country, we judge people for what they do, not for how they were born. We often say that because we mean it.” Carlson added that Neff “fell short of that standard and he has paid a very high price for it.”
If you watched Carlson’s remarks and knew what he was talking about, you may have noticed a glaring omission. At no point did Carlson ever describe his former top writer’s online comments, much less note that they had been racist and sexist. And at no point did he explain to viewers that Neff was actively posting such comments as recently as last week.
Misleading, at best
Reminder: He could have said this all Friday
It’s worth noting that Carlson had all the opportunity in the world to have addressed this matter on Friday. We reached out to Neff for comment Thursday night, and by Friday morning Fox News knew our story was in the works, leaving Carlson with a fair amount of time to prepare remarks and address it all.
But he didn’t, instead waiting until Monday night. Which is strange right? After all, if you were a cable news host, wouldn’t you be outraged if you learned your top writer had been secretly posting racist material online? Wouldn’t you want to address it and clear the air? Apparently not Carlson…
A “long-planned” vacation
At the end of his show, Carlson announced that he was heading on a “long-planned” vacation to do some “trout fishing.” While it may be true, it’s worth noting that there is a long tradition of Fox News anchors going on supposedly pre-planned vacations when they spark controversy. Think Bill O’Reilly (whose vacation was, it turned out, actually pre-planned, even if he didn’t return from it), Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Jesse Watters, and even Carlson himself in the past…