In a newly revealed text message, ousted Fox News host Tucker Carlson made a racist comment and said he found himself briefly rooting for a mob of Trump supporters to kill a person, according to the New York Times.
"A couple of weeks ago, I was watching video of people fighting on the street in Washington," Carlson wrote in the January 2021 text message to a producer, the New York Times reported late Tuesday. "A group of Trump guys surrounded an Antifa kid and started pounding the living s**t out of him. It was three against one, at least. Jumping a guy like that is dishonorable obviously. It's not how white men fight. Yet suddenly I found myself rooting for the mob against the man, hoping they'd hit him harder, kill him. I really wanted them to hurt the kid. I could taste it."
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The text message, which was included in redacted court filings in the Dominion Voting Systems case, was swept up in discovery as part of the voting machine company's defamation lawsuit against Fox, according to the Times.
The text message alarmed Fox's board of directors and played a role in Carlson's abrupt firing last month, the paper reported.
Fox News declined to comment to CNN on the report. Tucker Carlson did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.
The network announced last week that Fox News and Carlson had severed ties. The decision to part ways with Carlson was made by Fox Corporation chief executive Lachlan Murdoch and Fox News chief executive Suzanne Scott, a person familiar with the matter said.
The announcement came one week after Fox News settled a monster defamation lawsuit with Dominion for $787.5 million over the network's dissemination of election lies. The lawsuit had exposed Carlson disparaging his colleagues. A lawsuit filed in March by his now-fired top booker, Abby Grossberg, also included a number of allegations of sexism on his show.
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But the text revealed by the New York Times remains redacted. At the end of his text, Carlson reportedly continued that he does not condone violence.
"Then somewhere deep in my brain, an alarm went off: this isn't good for me. I'm becoming something I don't want to be," Carlson continued, per The NYT. "The Antifa creep is a human being. Much as I despise what he says and does, much as I'm sure I'd hate him personally if I knew him, I shouldn't gloat over his suffering. I should be bothered by it. I should remember that somewhere somebody probably loves this kid, and would be crushed if he was killed. If I don't care about those things, if I reduce people to their politics, how am I better than he is?"
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said Carlson's racist message wasn't shocking considering his frequent anti-immigrant comments on his show.
"What's not news is the fact that Tucker Carlson is a white nationalist," Greenblatt tweeted. "What is news is the fact that this somehow is surprising to anyone."
Fox has not publicly commented on Carlson's departure other than to say, "We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor."
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