Fox News personality Tucker Carlson defended Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old charged with shooting three people — two of them fatally — during a Kenosha protest Tuesday night.
The teenager, who was armed with an AR-15, is from Antioch, Illinois, drove across state lines to stand guard outside businesses during unrest stemming from the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man who is now paralyzed as a result.
He was taken into custody and will be charged with first-degree intentional homicide. Wednesday’s arrest record from Antioch Police said that Rittenhouse “fled the state of Wisconsin with the intent to avoid prosecution for the offense.”
“The 17-year-old who has been charged tried to run from the mob, tripped and fell in the middle of the street,” Carlson said. “A man ran up and smashed him in the head with a skateboard. The 17-year-old fired his gun.”
“Kenosha has devolved into anarchy, the authorities in charge of the city abandoned it,” Carlson argued. “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?” he asked.
Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich ripped into Fox News executives for airing Carlson’s defense of Rittenhouse.
If they don't take action after this, every one of Fox News's executives, directors, and advertisers is complicit in Tucker Carlson's racist, murderous rants. https://t.co/YbT8as1kHg
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) August 27, 2020
The hashtag #FireTuckerCarlson began trending on Twitter shortly after Carlson’s segment aired.
An innocent black guy is killed by police and Tucker Carlson calls him a thug.
A guilty white guy murders two people and Tucker Carlson calls him a patriot. https://t.co/SGHhohdLfC
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) August 27, 2020
Stochastic terrorism: “the public demonization of a person or group resulting in the incitement of a violent act, which is statistically probable but whose specifics cannot be predicted.”#FireTuckerCarlson https://t.co/KFzeFR0taV
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) August 27, 2020
Tucker Carlson has been putting on a fascism masterclass, night after night, for years. Justifying the murder of protesters was an inevitability. This is what the show has always been about.
— Carlos Maza (@gaywonk) August 27, 2020
How shocked are we that Tucker Carlson decided he had to maintain his fussy depravity when no one else would dare by giving a thumbs up to murder. No one, since being surprised at the latest bile to spew forth from this wanna-be man/persistently piqued desk jockey is redundant https://t.co/IXzWu7O2mM
— Kara Swisher (@karaswisher) August 27, 2020
The first ten minutes of tonight's Tucker Carlson Tonight are the closest thing I think I've ever seen to pure, unfiltered fascism in American public life. Going out to the largest cable news audience ever.
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) August 27, 2020
Your occasional reminder that Tucker Carlson is employed and compensated by a corporation whose board of directors could insist that its employees, e.g., not excuse racial violence:
Roland A. Hernandez
Paul Ryan. https://t.co/PbQQ1Jz12K
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) August 27, 2020