The day Bill O’Reilly was ousted from Fox News amid sexual harassment claims, a past statement by replacement Tucker Carlson about Democrats making “up the concept of sexual harassment” resurfaced, media outlets reported.
O’Reilly’s allegations are not the first Fox News has faced. Former chairman and CEO Roger Ailes resigned from the network last year after accusations from several female employees, including Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson, surfaced.
While many cheered the removal of the often-controversial and misogynistic O’Reilly, a comment Carlson made back in 2006 on his MSNBC show, “Tucker,” might be a sign that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
On the “Tucker” segment, Steve McMahon, a Democratic strategist, said that a Democratic-led Congress would marshal in a time that would be “a lot more fun.”
“A lot more fun?” the conservative pundit replied. “This is a group that made up the concept of sexual harassment. ‘You look great today.’ ‘Boom, I’m charging you with a crime.’”
The host then followed that statement with a joke, if we want to call it such, that now seems like a bit of a forewarning.
“Do you know what I mean?” Carlson asked. “It’s not a group I associate with fun. You want a sex scandal, the Republican Party, baby, that’s where you go.”
While campaigning last year, Republican President Donald Trump was accused of sexual harassment by at least 12 women. The allegations, which he declared were “absolutely false,” came after a 2005 video resurfaced in which he bragged about grabbing women by the genitals and kissing them without consent. He chalked those comments up to “locker-room talk” in the aftermath.
But back to Carlson. That instance wasn’t the only time he pooh-poohed sexual harassment in 2006. On “The Situation with Tucker Carlson,” he said such claims are “basically everything related to sex that we don’t like.”
With an earlier time slot than the one he currently occupies since taking it over when Megyn Kelly left the embattled network earlier this year, only time will tell what sort of “jokes” and comments we’ll hear now.
Carlson is slated to take over “The O’Reilly Factor’s” 8 p.m. time slot on Monday.