Sam Donaldson: Tucker Carlson’s ‘Hate Speech’ Can ‘Change This Country Forever’ if Left Unchecked


During an appearance on Anderson Cooper‘s CNN show tonight, veteran ABC News anchor Sam Donaldson predicted Fox News will continue to stand by host Tucker Carlson amid the storm of his old racist, sexist, and disturbing comments — that is, unless advertisers ditch his program.

Cooper began the segment by asking Donaldson if it makes a difference that Carlson’s remarks were made on a shock jock radio program several years ago.

“No, why? Because it was a radio show or it was several years ago?” Donaldson replied. “How many guys now are taking the fall — and properly so — for having put their arms on the women several years ago. No one is saying, oh, that was in the past. ”

He continued by explaining why Carlson’s comments won’t matter to the Rupert Murdoch-run network:

“Carlson is going to go on for two reasons, I think. He appeals to the Fox audience, he’s coming on strong. The king of cable, 3.3 million people a night, is Sean Hannity, and [airing] right behind him comes Tucker Carlson with 2.9 million [viewers]. Do you think Fox is going to say, ‘You’ve been a bad boy, we’re going to have to let you go or we’re going to have to reprimand you?’ I think his audience is there and they want the audience. And if the advertisers do stick with him — well, of course, if they leave him, then he’s toast. Fox will suddenly discover that what he did was beyond the pale and let him go. But not now.”

Cooper then noted that MSNBC, who employed Carlson for a number of years when he made such comments, “seemed to be fine” with their former pundit’s offensive radio appearances.

Donaldson doubled down on his comparison of Carlson to men run out of public life after accusations of sexual misconduct, even if the allegations are years old.

“Can you think of Matt Lauer or any of the other people, Charlie Rose saying, ‘Well, wait a moment, it was just in jest. It was in fun.’ … It happened long ago, but yes, [Carlson’s comments are] still important. Your character is important. And that’s what’s happening today is a revolution when it comes to the way men treat women.”

“This is vulgarity. This is hate speech. This is homophobic speech,” said the storied ABC News anchor. “This is the kind of speech, if left unchecked, will change this country forever.” Donaldson added the comments should instead “be punished in the way that the [#MeToo] men were punished for what they did.”

“As I say, I don’t foresee it happening,” he concluded.

In comments initially resurfaced by right-wing media watchdog Media Matters, Carlson told a Florida radio host that women are like “dogs,” Muslims are like “animals,” and defended the leader of a pedophile cult. Fox News continues to stand by their pundit after Carlson shrugged off the comments as unjustified media outrage.

Watch above, via Fox News.

Have a tip we should know?

Filed Under:

Caleb Ecarma was a reporter at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter here: @calebecarma