Carlson told his viewers that Neff’s writings were “wrong” and suggested there was no link between the blog posts and the work he did for Carlson’s prime-time show.
“We don’t endorse those words,” he said. “They have no connection to the show. 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. We’ll continue to defend that principle, often alone among national news programs, because it is essential. Nothing is more important. Blake fell short of that standard, and he has paid a very heavy price for it.”
In posts over a period of five years and as recently as this past week, a pseudonymous account now linked to Neff used anti-gay slurs, characterized black people as lazy and prone to commit crimes, mocked a female college classmate by reposting her Facebook messages and stated that he would not get medical care from an Asian doctor.
In a memo on Saturday, Neff’s writings were also denounced by Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace. “Fox News Media strongly condemns this horrific racist, misogynistic and homophobic behavior,” the executives wrote. “Make no mistake, actions such as his cannot and will not be tolerated at any time in any part of our workforce.”
But in his 75-second commentary about Neff near the end of Monday’s broadcast, Carlson concluded with a vague warning to Neff’s critics.
“We should also point out, to the ghouls now beating their chests in triumph at the destruction of a young man, that self-righteousness also has its costs,” he said. “We are all human. When we pretend we are holy, we are lying. When we pose as blameless to hurt other people, we are committing the gravest sin of all, and we will be punished for it. There’s no question.”
On Friday, when Fox News was asked about Neff’s past writings, the network released a brief statement saying only that “Blake Neff has resigned.”
At the end of his show, Carlson told viewers that he would be absent for the rest of the week as part of a “long-planned” fishing vacation.