The text messages that helped Fox News part ways with star host Tucker Carlson included one in which he said Trump supporters beating up a protester was “not the way white men fight,” according to the New York Times.
The text was part of a trove of messages from Carlson and other Fox News hosts uncovered in a defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems against the network for airing false claims that the company’s machines were used to steal the 2020 election from former President Donald Trump.
The parties settled just as the trial began, with Fox agreeing to pay Dominion nearly $800 million.
While some of Carlson’s texts have been made public, the one cited by The Times remains redacted by the court, as do many other exhibits. Media organizations, including the Associated Press, continue to try to lift the redactions.
The Times reports that Carlson sent the text to a producer hours after Trump supporters attacked the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. He describes a video he had seen a few weeks earlier of Trump supporters beating up someone. one he described as “an Antifa kid”. .”
Carlson wrote about his mixed emotions watching the fight, which he described as “three to one, at least”.
“To jump a guy like that is obviously dishonorable,” he wrote, according to the Times. “That’s not how white men fight.”
“I should remember that somewhere someone probably loves this kid and would be crushed if killed,” Carlson wrote, after admitting that part of him supported the attackers. “If I don’t care about these things, if I reduce people to their politics, what am I better than him for?”
Prior to his ousting last month, Carlson was Fox’s highest-rated host. He has drawn controversy for supporting theories such as the idea that immigrants are admitted to the United States to “replace” those born here. Critics called it white supremacy, a charge he denied.
Messages sent Wednesday to Carlson and his attorney seeking comment were not immediately returned.