On Sunday night, Tucker Carlson declared an open-door policy for his eponymous prime-time Fox News program. The declaration came after Media Matters surfaced a bunch of misogynistic remarks that Carlson had made between 2006 and 2011 on a radio show with “Bubba the Love Sponge.” The comments were just awful: He called one woman a “pig,” another “c---y” and essentially spread sexist sentiment across the airwaves.
The backlash was substantial enough, in fact, as to prompt a Sunday night statement from Carlson himself, distributed by Fox News’s PR team: “Media Matters caught me saying something naughty on a radio show more than a decade ago. Rather than express the usual ritual contrition, how about this: I’m on television every weeknight live for an hour. If you want to know what I think, you can watch. Anyone who disagrees with my views is welcome to come on and explain why.”
Bolding added to highlight quite an offer.
The Erik Wemple Blog asked Fox News whether the network had received any takers for Carlson’s generosity. We didn’t get a response.
However, we know about the case of David Schleich, a 49-year-old resident of Lincoln, Neb. Intent upon capitalizing on the offer, Schleich asked a producer on Carlson’s show if he could be scheduled on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” to explain why he disagrees with the host’s views. Schleich is computer systems manager for Commercial Investment Properties, a Lincoln firm that has been in his family for more than 40 years. The family’s business philosophy, he says, is the opposite of the approach that Donald Trump took to his own company. “We are a family that believes in giving back to the community,” says Schleich.
As for his motive in seeking a slot on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Schleich tells the Erik Wemple Blog: “Tucker’s unwillingness to take responsibility for what he said — even if they were 10 years ago — is infuriating to me,” he says, noting that he has three daughters. The comments from Carlson about women, says Schleich, “are not acceptable in this day and age.”
Alas, Schleich never got a response from Fox News about his request for a moment with Carlson. No great surprise there: Over the past three nights, Carlson has avoided reckoning with his sexist, misogynistic, racist comments. Instead, he has attacked the organ that surfaced them. “I’m for apology, but not to them,” he said Tuesday night.