Tucker Carlson Under Fire for Ten-Plus Year Old Comments on Bubba the Love Sponge
The current FOX news host made a slew of questionable statements over a number of phone calls between 2006 and 2011 to the esteemed academic talk show Bubba the Love Sponge
3/12/19, 7:44 pm EDT
By John Corry, photo from Tampa bay Times
Back in 2005’s, a guy named Bubba the Love Sponge was hired as a radio personality at then-new Sirius (not yet SiriusXM) at the behest of radio juggernaut Howard Stern. At the time, according to the Tampa Bay Times, he was making more than $2 million a year and was named the national Active Rock Personality/Show of the Year in 2002 and 2003 by the trade publication Radio & Records. Like Stern, Bubba was known as a ‘shock jock’, though that term is redundant (at least in Howard Stern’s case, there’s a little bit more to it that that), and he made his gravy off of saying ridiculous things and having ridiculous conversations with the people ridiculous enough to have them with him. He was known for conservative humor, and his career was nearly destroyed in the mid 2010’s for a variety of reasons, including a lawsuit involving his former BFF Hulk Hogan and a sex tape. He had on a number of high profile ridiculous-conservatives, and, of these, of course, was a one: current FOX New host Tucker Carlson.
Actually, at the time (or: before 2009) it was a one: MSNBC’s Tucker Carlson, but that’s beside the point (as are the details of his wedding (of course)). From 2006-2011, Carlson made a slew of hour-ish-long phone calls into Bubba’s show, and, over this past weekend, the far-left divisionist platform Media Matters (I have created a new term, ‘divisionist’, to describe a person, or a group of people (primarily the latter), who use everything at their disposals to sew divisions through the country no matter what the cost (ahem… Trump (Ihan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Jussie Smollett, Don Lemon, Andrew Cuomo) have recently unearthed some of the material in which Carlson calls Hillary Clinton an ‘anto-penis’ and referred to all women as ‘extremely primitive’, among several other not-so-great comments (more than several… and worse than ‘not-so-great’). Carlson has had his show Tucker Carlson Tonight, airing on FOX’s primetime slot of 9pm EDT since the downfall of Bill O’Reilly in 2016.
Carlson has of course been a target of great scrutiny in the time since (and in always nonviolent and completely appropriate ways, mind you), and in the wake of the Media Matters break has once again found himself under fire.
In response, Carlson has done what was previously unthinkable: he REFUSED! to apologize (omg).
“We will never bow to the mob -- ever,” he said on his show the day following the revelations, “no matter what.”
Read the rest of his statement here (which originally appeared as Carlson’s opening monologue on his news program on FOX on Monday). Primarily, he makes the argument that statements he made ten years ago only have relevance if he still believes in those things today. “I’m on television every weeknight live for an hour,” he said when the tapes first came out over the weekend (so: before his monologue). “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.”
Some more highlights in his monologue: “There's really not that much you can do to respond. It's pointless to try to explain how the words were spoken in jest or taken out of context, or in any case, bear no resemblance to what you actually think or would want for the country. None of that matters. Nobody cares. You know the role you're required to play. You are a sinner that needs the forgiveness of Twitter,” and “You must always pretend that the people yelling at you are somehow your moral superiors. You have to assume what they say they are mad about is what they are actually mad about. You have to take them at face value. You must pretend this is a debate about virtue and not about power. Your critics are arguing from principle, and not from partisanship.” He also makes another reference to the mob, and decries mob mentality as satirically ‘on the level’.
It’s a cry for free speech is what it is, and he’s not wrong on that or his other main point: he should be derided for what he’s saying now, not what he said in jest on Bubba the Love Sponge at least 8 years ago. His reasoning that he would only be more ostracized if he did choose to apologize is far from ill-founded at worst. Much of what Carlson said to Bubba is terrible–hell, half of what he says now is pretty terrible–but I can’t argue with past Tucker Carlson if for any reason it’s just irrelevant, as he might think differently now.
He hasn’t specifically said as much, but it is implied.
He’s not saying anything like that anymore.
But as much as this is a win for ‘free speech’ (we need as many people making the points I just referenced from Carlson as possible; speech is not power, as power comes from a myriad of different sources, but speech can be one of the biggest deterrents once any power gets out of hand, which is why it’s the first thing to go in any authoritarian regime (and if you think you’re immune to the miasma that is the human will-to-power, then you have no capability to see history in any way objectively, let alone run a country))) (and it is a win, as much as we may disagree with him on other points), the end of Carlson’s statement brings it home:
“But what if we stopped pretending for a minute? What if we acknowledged what's actually going on?
“One side is deadly serious. They believe that politics is war. They are not interested in abstractions or principles, rules or traditions. They seek power, and they intend to win it with whatever it takes. If that includes getting you fired or silencing you, or threatening your family at home, or throwing you in prison, okay. They know what their goal is. If you are in way, they will crush you.”
Or: there is only one side capable of such evil.
While Carlson may have hit the mark on free speech, he then continues to do exactly what gets ‘the left’ so justifiably pissed off in the first place: call them ALL crazy and commit to conspiracy theories that everything is their faults 9or at least that’s the way the rhetoric comes off). While this certainly doesn’t take away from the general point of the statement, it puts a damper on it. Carlson is on point when it comes to free speech and not submitting to the mob (which is what ‘the left’ has turned into anymore (quotes to differentiate between more moderate ‘liberals’– Carlson’s line about ‘progressives’ being “too busy pushing late-term abortions and cross-dressing on fifth-graders,” to care about the “soul and the moral regeneration of their society”, while a little tough (ish), is right on the money (at least on the abortion part (the ‘cross-dressing thing is a little long for right now))?), but he’s never right to inflame ‘the mob’ for no more of a reason than ratings, as much of his show is devoted to making crazy liberals look crazy (as they should look). Occasionally he gets something right, and more occasionally he reveals what’s really motivating him (because I know what really motivates Tucker Carlson (I know I know I know), and what’s so blatantly common to all those who work at FOX or MSNBC or believe in conspiracy theories or small government: that we’re in a war, and there are only two sides, those two sides being–
Smart people and stupid people.
There may be only two types of people–those two types being stupid and smart people–but it depends on where you’re looking from. “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” (Einstein)
What’s ‘shocking’ here is not the divisionist policies of those trying to make money, but the fact that nobody knows who Bubba the Love Sponge is anymore outside of Stern circles.
No pun intended.